Election marks 'end of an era': Swedish press

AFP/The Local
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Election marks 'end of an era': Swedish press

With the far-right Sweden Democrats headed to the Riksdag for the first time and the traditional dominance of the Social Democrats apparently broken for good, the Swedish press on Monday reflected on the consequences of a new political era.


"The (centre-right) Alliance's victory marks the end of the Social Democrats' long dominance of Swedish politics. The election's unpleasant back side is the (far-right) Sweden Democrats' advance," leading daily Dagens Nyheter (DN) said in an editorial entitled "The end of an era".

The Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper meanwhile said it was time for Swedes to "draw up a new national image" on Monday morning as it hammered out the three central changes to Sweden's political landscape, "a centre-right government without a majority, a crashed social democracy and a kingmaker party with roots in the far-right".

The paper also noted that in the absence of a majority in parliament -- the exiting coalition obtained 172 seats in the 349 seat parliament -- "Fredrik Reinfeldt ... now has to invite in the Green Party to talks in order to build a government that is able to act".

It predicted a "shaky ride ahead for the election's winner".

Swedish media seemed just as concerned with the complicated parliament ahead as with the historical defeat of the Social Democrats, which have dominated politics here for most of the century.

Recalling that the Social Democrats had been in power "for 83 percent of the time since 1932", DN said "the time when one party was subscribed to power and could decide of everything is gladly over".

With Mona Sahlin as their leader, this election marked the Social Democrats' worse score since 1914 and "the party will never again feel like it owns Sweden", Göterborgs-Posten (GP) said.

"In other countries, it’s obviously not strange for a centre-right government to be re-elected, but this is Sweden, it's a never before seen phenomenon," said SvD.

The paper noted that with no party sharing the Sweden Democrats' anti-immigrant views, Sweden has also been an exception.

Tabloid Expressen meanwhile deplored that "obscure forces have taken Swedish politics hostage", calling on Reinfeldt to immediately find an agreement with the Greens, to whom the outgoing prime minister reached out late Sunday.

Aftonbladet said "the nightmare scenario has happened".

"Fredrik Reinfeldt is thinking of staying with his government, and it will probably be under the influence of the far-right," it said.


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