One woman makes Sweden’s power top-ten

Only one woman, Enterprise Minister Annie Lööf, has made it into an annual top-ten list of the most powerful Swedes.

One woman makes Sweden's power top-ten

Politicians dominated this year’s ranking published by news magazine Fokus, with Lööf, who also heads the Centre Party, coming in seventh.

She has, however, been downgraded from last year’s third place, with Fokus noting that questions about her ministry’s representation budget saw voter-confidence take a tumble.

The prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, maintained his hold at the top of the list, which includes 100 Swedes from different parts of society.


Pony-tailed Finance Minister Anders Borg, meanwhile, repeated as runner-up on the list.

He is followed by Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven, who took over the left-of-centre party this year after it suffered months of opinion-poll drudgery.

Last year, Löfven had been ranked the 20th most powerful Swede when he still controlled the metal workers union IF Metall.

Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) head and Education Minister Jan Björklund, who also serves as Deputy Prime Minister, came in fourth.

Karl-Petter Thorvaldsson, who took over the reigns of blue-collar Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) earlier this year, made a high-ranking debut on the Fokus list, grabbing fifth place.

Thorvaldsson is followed by the first of two businessmen to make the top ten.

Leif Johansson, board chairman of both telecom giant Ericsson and pharmaceutical heavy-weight Astra Zeneca, was ranked sixth.

Then comes Lööf, the lone woman among her powerful peers.

Hot on her heels is the head of another minority party in the centre-right government coalition, Göran Hägglund, who apart from heading the Social Affairs Ministry spent part of the year successfully stamping out an internal Christian Democrat Part rebellion against his leadership.

Marcus Wallenberg, chairman of the board at SEB bank, LKAB and Saab, was ranked ninth.

Meanwhile, Riksbank head Stefan Ingves rounded out the top ten, having dropped three spots from his seventh place ranking last year.

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Sweden’s right-wing parties agree to bring back Norlén as Speaker 

The four parties backing Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson as prime minister on Sunday announced that they had agreed to keep the current Speaker, Andreas Norlén in place, when the role is put to a vote as parliament opens on Monday.

Sweden's right-wing parties agree to bring back Norlén as Speaker 

The parties won a three-seat majority over the bloc led by the incumbent Social Democrats in Sweden’s general election on September 11th, and are currently in the middle of negotiating how they will form Sweden’s next government. 

Sweden’s parliament meets at 11am for the official installation of the 349 MPs for this mandate period. The votes for the Speaker and three Deputy Speakers are the first item on the agenda, after which the parties each select their parliamentary leaders and then vote on who should chair each of the parliamentary committees. 

READ ALSO: What happens next as parliament reopens? 

In a joint press release announcing the decision, the parties also agreed that the Sweden Democrats would be given eight of the 16 chairmanships the bloc will have of parliamentary committees in the next parliament, and that MPs for all four parties would back Julia Kronlid, the Sweden Democrats’ Second Deputy Leader, as the second deputy Speaker, serving under Norlén. 

In the press release, the parties said that Norlén had over the last four years shown that he has “the necessary personal qualities and qualifications which the role requires”. 

The decision to retain Norlén, who presided over the 134 days of talks and parliamentary votes that led to the January Agreement in 2019, was praised by Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson. 

Norlén, she said in a statement, had “managed his responsibilities well over the past four years and been a good representative of Sweden’s Riksdag.” 

The decision to appoint Kronlid was opposed by both the Left Party and the Green Party, who said that she supported tightening abortion legislation, and did not believe in evolution.

The Green Party’s joint leader Märta Stenevi said that her party “did not have confidence in Julia Kronlid”, pointing to an interview she gave in 2014 when she said she did not believe that humans were descended from apes.

The party has proposed its finance spokesperson Janine Alm Ericson as a rival candidate. 

The Left Party said it was planning to vote for the Centre Party’s candidate for the post second deputy Speaker in the hope of blocking Kronlid as a candidate.