The Swedish way - good example or impasse?
Sweden is has struck out on a path of its own in the fight against the pandemic: under the 'administrative model', the government is relying directly on the expertise of key authorities. And so far they have stressed the need for a moderate response. Borders and elementary schools will remain open, no curfews have been imposed, and only the seriously ill are being tested. But with the number of cases rising sharply, critical voices are growing.
Deceptive image of the Gallic village
Expressen warns against national arrogance:
“Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks, gang crime - Swedish self-esteem has suffered in recent years. The corona crisis is now resuscitating a long-standing sense of self-righteousness. ... [People are proud of] independent authorities that maintain a certain distance from overzealous ministers. According to this narrative, the corona crisis in the entire industrialised world is playing into the hands of populist leaders who close borders and schools merely to show who's in charge. Did you say the entire world? No! Because one small country is successfully defying populism. ... To be sure, models with ministers who interfere in even the most minor details have drawbacks - in Israel and Hungary the dangers of a state of emergency are now clearly visible. But, in a crisis situation, it is also clearly beneficial for leaders to talk straight.”
Experts can't replace politicians
Upsala Nya Tidning sees democratic shortcomings in the country's approach:
“Again and again we've heard that we have to trust the experts. Our ministers constantly stress that the government is following the advice of the respective public agencies. The recommendations of the National Institute of Public Health carry weight. So far, so good. Nevertheless, political responsibility must lie with the representatives of the people. ... Of course, the experts play an important role in the corona crisis. But weighing up the ethical, social and economic considerations must be the politicians' responsibility. And it cannot be delegated. It's not for nothing that we have elected representatives.”