Sweden's PM announces resignation

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has announced that he will resign as party leader at the Social Democrats' party conference in November and relinquish his post as head of government. Commentators take stock of events and look to the future.

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Aftonbladet (SE) /

Time for a woman to take charge

Unlike its Nordic neighbours Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland, Sweden has never had a female head of government. Aftonbladet is glad to see that the current Social Democratic finance minister has good chances:

“It's quite clear who Stefan Löfven wants as his successor. In his summer speech he described her as 'the best finance minister in the world'. Magdalena Andersson is qualified for this post, to say the least. This year also marks the centenary of the introduction of women's suffrage in Sweden. Social Democracy thus has the chance to make history by providing Sweden with its first female prime minister.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Drained social democracy

Löfven's time in government hasn't done his party any good, writes Kai Strittmatter, Scandinavia correspondent for the Süddeutsche Zeitung:

“Stefan Löfven has managed to keep the Social Democrats in power again and again. The price for this was high. Löfven leaves behind him a drained, bleeding Social Democratic Party. It has tolerated - or even supported - a policy of dismantling the welfare state, cutting taxes, liberalising the labour market, privatising and streamlining the school system and social and health services (which Sweden felt bitterly during the coronavirus pandemic). This party now faces a Sweden where the gap between rich and poor is growing fast and voters are fleeing both to the right and to the left.”

Jyllands-Posten (DK) /

Löfven dismantled the Swedish homeland

In the course of Stefan Löfven's time in office Sweden has only gone downhill, Jyllands-Posten concludes:

“Under his leadership Sweden has changed dramatically from a well-functioning national homeland to a non-functioning jungle society, characterised by gang crime and crime statistics that break most records in Europe for violence and rape. ... Löfven's handling of Covid-19 has also been a disaster. Sweden has one of the highest mortality rates in Europe. One has the impression that the elderly and the weak were the victims of a heartless experiment. ... Sweden has become a terrible example: a model for exactly how not to run a country.”