Sweden Democrat leader: ‘Magdalena Anderson does not love Sweden’

The leader of the Sweden Democrats has claimed in his speech at the Almedalen political festival that his party had the solutions to soaring prices for food, power, and fuel, while casting scorn on the Prime Minister's patriotic speech.

Sweden Democrat leader: 'Magdalena Anderson does not love Sweden'
Jimmie Åkesson makes his speech at the Almedalen political festival. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

“Magdalena Andersson does not love Sweden,” Jimmie Åkesson said, in a speech heavily preoccupied with Sweden’s Prime Minister.

The Sweden Democrat leader began his speech with a fable about a woman, “we can call her Magdalena”, who desperately wants a job, but cannot account for what she has been doing for the past eight years, despite repeated questions from her interviewer. 

In the end, the interviewer, red-faced with anger, snaps and bellows: “You’ve devoted yourself to throwing a whole country into chaos, and now you’ve got the gall to ask for another chance!”

In a sign that Sweden is about to have a so-called “pocketbook election”, focused on voters’ falling spending power, Åkesson followed the example of Christian Democrat leader Ebba Busch, who blamed Andersson for what she called Magdapriserna or “Magda prices”, but instead he dubbed the high prices “sossepriserna or “Social Democrat prices”. 

“Are you sick of rampant power prices? Are you sick of shameless petrol prices? Sick of food getting more expensive? Then you should vote for the Sweden Democrats,” he declared, without giving any suggestions as to how his party would reduce them.

He cast scorn on Andersson’s attempt in her Almedalen speech to establish her party as the party of populism, with a lyrical account of her love of Swedish nature and cultural traits.

“With my hand on my heart, those who love Sweden would not accept this sort of reality,” he said, after running through a list of Sweden’s problems with crime and gang violence. “Anyone in power who loved Sweden would have done anything in their power to make it a good home for all citizens.

“The Social Democrats and Magdalena Andersson do not love Sweden. That should be absolutely clear after the last eight years brutal treatment of our country .The Social Democrats love themselves. The Social Democrats love power.”  

He also attacked the Sweden Democrats’ promise to “turn over every stone” to combat segregation and gun crime, listing five out of a list of 100 “stones”, or measures to combat segregation, his party has posted on its website (see here). 

But while at times the speech attacked immigration, he also stated quite clearly that he was not against immigrants. 

It’s not only for those born in Sweden, he said, that the country must be put right, but also for the “hundreds of thousands of diligent, hard-working and honourable immigrants”. 

“It’s not about how you look, what skin colour you have, or where you were born,” he said. “Unlike the Left-wing focus on people’s appearance, I think it’s totally irrelevant. What matters is who is doing their best to contribute to our society, who does their duty, and who doesn’t. It’s about who is building cars, and who is burning cars.” 

He mentions a man called Omar, who he said he had met in Järva, Northern Stockholm, and who had expressed is worries about the gangs that seek to control his area. 

“Sweden,” he said, “can be a good country again. Sweden will be a good country again. Give us a chance.” 

You can read the full speech here in Swedish or here in English (Google Translate). 

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Swedish PM: Moderate Party’s property tax warnings ‘completely absurd’

Sweden's prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, has yet again denied that her party plans to bring back a property tax, calling the Moderate Party's decision to campaign on the issue 'completely absurd'.

Swedish PM: Moderate Party's property tax warnings 'completely absurd'

In a long interview broadcast on Swedish state radio broadcaster SR, Andersson stressed that her party had no plans to bring back the property tax abolished by the Moderate-led government back in 2008. 

“We are not going to campaign on the back of a property tax, have no plans to do it, and have shown over the last eight years that we are not doing it,” she said. “It is completely absurd that the Moderates are running their campaign about this for the third or fourth time in a row. They were cranking this out in 2014, 2018 and now in 2022, and we have not brought back the property tax.” 

When pushed by the interviewer, however, Andersson refused to absolutely rule out making any changes to Sweden’s system of property taxation. 

“If I start to draw red lines, I will risk creating an even more locked situation after the election,” she said. “But there’s no question over what I believe. If you don’t want to bring back property tax, you should vote for the Social Democrats.” 

The Swedish Trade Union Confederation LO, is in favour of bringing back the property tax, which it describes as “one of the best taxes”, as is the Left Party.

After the interview, Tobias Billström and Elisabeth Svantesson, the Moderate Party’s group leader and financial spokesperson, said that by refusing to rule out bringing back the tax, Andersson had justified their decision to campaign on the issue. 

“Unequivocal message from Magdalena Andersson today in P1 Morgon,” Billström wrote on Twitter. “If the Left Party wants property tax to be reintroduced, it will happen. There are no red lines from S.” 

“Bringing back property tax is on the negotiating table,” Svantesson wrote. “She has no red lines there. Important — but expensive — message for Swedish households.” 

Andersson did, however, say that the Social Democrats want to raise taxes, saying that the party planned to bring in a new tax to fund building back Sweden’s defence capabilities, a so-called beredskapsskatt, or “preparedness tax”. 

“So that this will not end up taking priority over schools, pensions, healthcare and elderly care, we think that those with the highest incomes should be able to pay just a little bit extra towards this,” she said, although she would not go into detail on how “highest incomes” would be defined. 

“But in the economic situation we are in, it’s not the time to raise taxes for ordinary households,” she said.