Sweden: the self-doubt of a model state

Two major issues have apparently been gnawing away at Sweden's self-confidence in recent weeks. After taking a different approach to other states in the coronavirus pandemic, the country is now being isolated and left out of plans for relaxing travel restrictions. And although the murder of Olof Palme is now considered solved, the perpetrator, who emerged as a suspect early on in the investigation, is now dead. Journalists ponder Sweden's claims and reality.

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Sydsvenskan (SE) /

Results count more than ambitions

Always wanting to be best is a Swedish trait which sometimes causes problems for the country, Sydsvenskan writes:

“Swedish excellence: to excel in different ways, not least through exorbitant ambitions. Road safety, climate policy, IT, online medicine - the list of goals that are to turn Sweden into a global leader is long. Others are satisfied with simply being good. ... Of course it's results that count, and not ambitions. And that is exactly why the image Sweden wishes to project should be less of a priority than the actual situation in the country.”

Iltalehti (FI) /

Would-be pioneer must face criticism

Iltalehti is indignant to see Sweden dismissing the concerns of neighbouring countries about Covid-19 infections in Sweden:

“Last week, official Sweden had difficulty understanding that its neighbouring countries were making decisions in the corona crisis without granting the country privileges or viewing it as a role model. ... It is astonishing that Sweden does not accept Finland's decision in a situation where the respective numbers go in markedly different directions. ... Against this background, Sweden's historical claim to be the pioneering nation in Northern Europe is clearly evident. ... But when it comes to freedom of travel, Sweden should now start asking itself some questions.”