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Ten new minister faces you should know

Oliver Gee · 3 Oct 2014, 11:40

Published: 03 Oct 2014 11:40 GMT+02:00

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Stefan Löfven - Prime Minister (Social Democrats)
This is the main face you're going to need to get used to over the next four years. The 57-year-old was born in Stockholm and is a former welder, but rose to the national spotlight as the head of trade union IF Metall in 2006. He's never been a politician before. He has set unemployment and school results as priorities, and has plans to increase welfare payments for some groups.
Top trivia: Stefan Löfven was raised by foster parents. 
Magdalena Andersson - Finance Minister (Social Democrats)
Uppsala-born Andersson, 47, has had a long career in economics. She studied at the Stockholm School of Economics, and even in Harvard in the US and Vienna. Before becoming the Social Democrats' finance spokesperson in 2012, she served as the Chief Director of the Swedish Tax Agency. But this is not her first foray into politics, or indeed the Finance Ministry: she was state secretary at the ministry under the last Social Democratic government.
She has big shoes to fill, following in the footsteps of Anders Borg, often credited as being the brains behind Sweden's successful dodging of the global economic crisis. 
Top trivia: Andersson's husband is also good with numbers - he's a Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics.
Margot Wallström - Foreign Minister (Social Democrats)
Also with big shoes to fill is 60-year-old Margot Wallström. Her pre-decessor Carl Bildt took to Twitter immediately (which is no surprise) to "warmly congratulate" her on the position. Wallström, who also tweets, is a former UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and an ex EU Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy. She's from Skellefteå in the north of Sweden.
Top trivia: She never went to university.
Åsa Romson - Deputy Prime Minister (Green Party)
Romson is a 42-year-old Stockholmer who has headed the Green Party together with Gustav Fridolin since 2011. As befits a Green, she burns for anything to do with climate, and will be the Minister for Climate and Environment Minister. Romson used to be a lawyer and studied at Stockholm University. She has a healthy following on Twitter and loves to blog about her love of the outdoors.
Top trivia: She loves cycling
Gustav Fridolin - Education Minister (Green Party)
The second-youngest on this list, 31-year-old Fridolin was born in southern Sweden's Vittsjö. In fact, when he was just 19 he served as a member of the Swedish parliament for the Stockholm Municipality, making him the the youngest MP in Swedish history (the record was bested in 2010, however). 
Fridolin studied oriental languages and teaching while at university, and took a sabatical between 2006 and 2009 to work as an investigative journalist on TV show Kalla Fakta (The Cold Facts), while simultaneously teaching social sciences and history in an adult education college.
Top trivia: He has penned three books, all about politics. 
Alice Bah Kuhnke - Culture Minister (Green Party)
Bah Kuhnke, a 42-year-old from Malmö, is a new and very interesting face on the political scene. She has a showbiz past, including stints hosting Sveriges Television's Disney Club, working on Kalla Fakta - the same investigative TV programme Gustav Fridolin was involved with. She has studied political science, worked recently with internet and technical consultancy. Her father is Gambian.
Top trivia: She used to be one of the top 200 metre sprinters in Sweden
Mehmet Kaplan - Housing Minister (Green Party)
Kaplan, a 43-year-old born in Turkey, is a former spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Sweden. He has been with the Green Party since 2003. 
He caused a stir in Swedish media in June when he compared Swedish jihadists in Syria to Swedish freedom fighters in Finland during World War Two.
Top trivia: Kaplan was part of the Ship to Gaza flotilla that tried to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza in 2010
Aida Hadzialic - Minister for Upper-Secondary School and Educational Standards (Social Democrats)
Story continues below…
Hadzialic, a 27-year-old born in Bosnia-Hertzagovina, is relatively new to politics. She worked as a lawyer until 2010. She enjoys photography, books by Ernest Hemingway, and thinks jobs, education, and investing in welfare are the most important political issues.
Top trivia: : Her favourite film is The English Patient. 
Annika Strandhäll - Social Insurance Minister
One of three ministers to come from outside politics, Strandhäll is a 39-year-old from Gothenburg. She studied at the Gothenburg University, and more recently was the head of trade union Vision, formerly known as The Swedish Union of Local Government Officers (SKTF).
Top trivia: Strandhäll said taking the job offer from Löfven wasn't an easy decision and needed 24 hours to think about it. 
Åsa Regnér - Minister for the Elderly, Children and Equality 
Another minister who's new to politics, Regnér was the general secretary of Sweden's National Association for Sexuality Education, the RFSU. Regnér studied at Stockholm University and studied philosophy, Spanish, and German. 
Top trivia: Last year, she spent time in Bolivia working for UN Women.

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Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

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