• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Reinfeldt gives 'best' and 'last' Almedalen speech

Solveig Rundquist · 4 Jul 2014, 10:44

Published: 04 Jul 2014 10:44 GMT+02:00

Current prime minister and Moderate party leader Reinfeldt trotted onto the stage at Almedalen to the sounds of cheers and applause. Totally at ease in the moment, he paced the stage as he waited for the noise to die down. 

And then he launched right into the speech which experts are calling Almedalen’s best – and also Reinfeldt’s last at the event.

"It felt like a farewell speech," political scientist Ulf Bjereld told The Local.

"There was an interaction between Reinfeldt and the audience which worked very well. He had a very positive introduction, about values, ideology, and belief in the future. He should have sounded like this more often."

Indeed, Reinfeldt’s speech made headlines for much more than the topless protesters who momentarily interrupted him.

He began by welcoming – and thanking – those in the audience.

"Is there anyone who is here for the first time? Welcome. Are there any teachers here? Thank you for your hard work. Don’t believe what people are saying about Swedish schools. We believe in you. Are there any business owners? Thank you for creating jobs."

And finally, to mixed delight, awe, and stoicism in the audience:

"Is there anyone here tonight who was born in another country? Thank you for choosing Sweden."

Reinfeldt's speech continued in the same folksy, casual manner it began, with the prime minister frequently joking and mocking himself. It worked like a charm on the audience members, who laughed and cheered in all the right places.

"Unlike many other party leaders, he thrives on the stage," KG Bergström, journalist and former politician with the Moderate party, said of the speech. "And he's totally free from a script."

Bjereld agreed, saying that the style of Reinfeldt's speech was reminiscent of American politicians. 

Reinfeldt talked about the economy as the party’s number one priority, but also reiterated that the Moderates’ project is mankind.

"Human beings are the take-off point and goal for what we want to see in society," he declared.

"Mankind, with its never-ending ability to develop thanks to its own strength. We are born into this world literally screaming with vitality, and the sensation that there is so much out there to look forward to. We have to give people room to create their own futures."

Bjereld called it the best speech of Reinfeldt's career - and added that is was much more optimistic than usual.

"He doesn’t usually talk so much about people and values," Bjereld told The Local.

"Everyone thought he would focus on the economy, but it was a visionary speech. Very unusual for him."

Story continues below…

Bergstöm said that Reinfeldt's rhetoric was remarkably strong, and that the party leader has finally realized that "voters want visions and values". But when it came down to the content, the Moderate Party's platform still remains relatively weak. 

The Moderates' main suggestion is the building of 20,000 new student flats. The housing boost would soothe the housing shortage in Sweden's cities while also creating around 13,000 jobs, Reinfeldt said. But many political experts remain unimpressed. 

"While it may have been Fredrik Reinfeldt's best party leader speech in Almedalen, it was also probably his last," Bjereld mused.

"The Swedish people like Reinfeldt as a person. But they vote for parties, not people. And the Alliance has emptied its bank of possibilities for turning around public opinion."

He added that public discourse in Sweden is no longer focused on Reinfeldt, but rather on what problems Löfven will face "when" he is elected.

Despite common belief that Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven will take over after the elections, a poll last week revealed that the Prime Minister had three percent more support than his rival, at 49 percent. But poll results vary widely, with a poll from the week before claiming Löfven had 46 percent of support versus 34 percent for Reinfeldt. 

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Solveig Rundquist (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Meat-free days soaring in Swedish schools
Meat-free days are up by as much as 80 percent in Swedish schools. Photo: Lunds Universitet/TT

The number of Swedish schools ditching meat has grown significantly according to a study of municipal environmental credentials by a sustainability magazine.

Why these recalled Ikea drawers ‘can result in death’
Ikea demonstrates the potential danger at a news conference in Washington. Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP/TT

Swedish furniture giant Ikea said on Tuesday that 35 million chests and dresser units recalled in North America can 'result in death or injuries to children' if not properly anchored.

The Local List
Five things to do in Stockholm when it empties for summer
Photo: Henrik Trygg/visitstockholm.com

The Swedish capital can feel a bit empty during the summer, but fear not, there are ways to enjoy it.

Brexit: Swedes in the UK
'My Swedish friends and I talk about moving to Scotland'
Moving further north is one post-Brexit option touted by a UK-based Swede The Local spoke to. Photo: Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/TT Hasse Holmberg/TT

The Local speaks to UK-based Swedes on the impact they think Brexit will have on their lives and their future plans in the country.

Sweden wins seat on UN Security Council
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström and UN Ambassador Olof Skoog beam as Sweden wins its seat. Photo: Pontus Lundahl

A dream come true for Sweden's government.

Swedish billionaire missing at sea
Christer Ericsson has been missing since Monday. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

A high profile Swedish businessman is missing at sea after a boat accident near Marstrand off the Gothenburg coast.

Ikea to recall chests of drawers after child deaths
The drawers are only being recalled in the US and Canada. Photo: Cornelius Poppe/NTB scanpix/TT

The Swedish furniture giant will recall a popular chest of drawers model in North America after six children were crushed to death.

Swedish stocks rebound from post-Brexit collapse
The interior of the Stockholm Stock Exchange. Photo: Fredrik Sanberg/TT

On Tuesday the Stockholm Stock Exchange started to bounce back from a Brexit-inspired worst day of trading since 1986.

Man shot dead in Stockholm suburb
A police technician examines the scene in Tensta. Photo: Johan Jeppsson/TT

Swedish police were kept busy on Monday night after a fatal shooting in Stockholm, an attempted murder in Malmö, and a spate of car fires in Gothenburg.

Euro 2016
The humble Swede who sent England home from Euro 2016
Iceland's Swedish coach Lars Lagerbäck. Photo: Ciaran Farey/AP/TT

Is Swede Lars Lagerbäck, who guided Iceland to victory over England at Euro 2016, the world's best football coach?

Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Gallery
Property of the week: Torhamn
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
International
'A morning of sorrow': Sweden reacts to Brexit vote
International
Sweden opposition cools talk of 'Swexit' poll
Blog updates

28 June

A message for British expats in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"The people of the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union. As Prime Minister…" READ »

 

10 June

i lördags, på lördag – time phrases for present, past and future (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! Swedish time phrases can be difficult to master. It takes a lot of practice to…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
International
'Devastated' - Brits in Sweden shocked by Brexit vote
Sponsored Article
Stockholm school celebrates Nepal Project success
Gallery
People-watching: June 22nd
Private
The Local Voices
'Swedes don't treat me differently because I wear a hijab'
Culture
How do Swedes celebrate Midsummer?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Coming soon: Sweden’s smelly fermented fish
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Assange lawyer: Sweden should recognize UN opinion
Private
The Local Voices
Why is this Syrian dentist who hugs like a Swede worried about undies?
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Swedish nationalist 'shot and ate' lion and giraffe
Sponsored Article
The man behind Sweden's biggest music festival
Analysis & Opinion
'Sweden's residency revamp is harmful and inhumane'
Photo: The Local
The Local Voices
UNHCR boss: 'It's hard to start your life without your family'
Sponsored Article
US expats: Have you met your tax deadlines?
Politics
VIDEO: Brits in Europe say why UK should stay
Sponsored Article
Malmö: Home to the best food in Sweden?
Photo: Marko Risović
The Local Voices
World Refugee Day: Searching for safety in Europe - in pictures
Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
National
Is Swedish nationalists’ foreign food ban bananas?
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Gallery
Property of the week: Söråker
International
Poll shows huge support for EU in Sweden
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
The Local Voices
How a Syrian scuba diver mobilized Sweden's biggest asylum centre
Sport
Zlatan: 'If we'd been fighting for real, he'd be in hospital'
The Local Voices
Orlando reflections: Is it possible to be gay and Muslim?
Sweden to go ahead with migrant age tests
Gallery
People-watching: June 17th-19th
3,281
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se