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SWEDEN AND THE UK

‘There’s never been anyone like her’: Sweden pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth

Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson held a press conference on Thursday evening to express her condolences after the announcement that Queen Elizabeth II, who was Europe's longest reigning monarch, had died.

'There's never been anyone like her': Sweden pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth II waves to the crowd during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant at the Buckingham Palace in London, Sunday, June 5, 2022, on the last of four days of celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee. Photo: Frank Augstein

“There has never been another person like Queen Elizabeth and her passing away deserves a moment of consideration,” Andersson said. “We have all been party to drastic events which have changed the world, but few have been party to so many as Elizabeth. Both I, myself, and the Swedish people want to express our condolences.”

 
Queen Elizabeth died at Balmoral, her beloved country house in Scotland, aged 96, after 70 years on the throne. 
 
In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

In a statement, her son King Charles III said: “The death of my beloved mother Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.

“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”

Elizabeth’s reign spanned he Victorian to the modern era. Her first prime minister, Winston Churchill, was born in 1874, while her last Liz Truss, was born 101 years later in 1975.

Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf, who was Elizabeth II’s fourth cousin, issued a statement praising Queen Elizabeth’s “sense of duty” and “outstanding dedication”. 

“My family and I have with great sorrow received the notice that my dear relative, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, has passed away,” he said in a statement. 

“The Queen served her Nations and Commonwealth with an outstanding dedication and sense of duty,” he said. “She has been a continuous presence, not only in British society, but internationally. Throughout this time, she has been a good friend to my family and a link to our common family histories.” 

“We convey our condolences to the Queen’s family and to her people.” 

Judith Gough, the UK’s ambassador to Sweden thanked Sweden for its condolences, which she said, “bore witness to the affection and admiration which the Queen had inspired in so many.” 

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MAGDALENA ANDERSSON

Sweden’s Social Democrats float idea of voting in a Moderate Speaker

Sweden's Social Democrats have said they would back a Moderate party candidate as the Speaker of the Riksdag parliament, in a move that seems calculated to complicate the right bloc's government negotiations.

Sweden's Social Democrats float idea of voting in a Moderate Speaker

“We would very much like for a broad agreement to be reached around the Speaker,” Sweden’s outgoing Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper. “This is the second-highest ranking post in the kingdom and the highest elected position.” 

The Aftonbladet newspaper reported on Wednesday that the post of Speaker was a key part of the negotiations between the Moderate, Sweden Democrat, Christian Democrat and Liberal parties, with the Sweden Democrats presumably seeking to appoint a senior party figure to the post. 

As the vote is a secret ballot, the newspaper reported, there is concern in the negotiations that enough MPs from the Liberal Party, or even other parties, will break ranks and not vote for the agreed choice. 

READ ALSO: Sweden’s right-wing bloc ‘agreed on stricter migration policy’

According to Dagens Nyheter, Andersson has already contacted Moderate Party leader to discuss the possibility of having a Moderate Party figure in the post. 

In the past, the Social Democrats have argued that the biggest party in the parliament should have the Speaker position, whereas the Moderates have historically argued that it should be the biggest party in the ruling bloc. 

Andersson said her party would be willing to “make an exception” to its principle. “We think there are arguments at this time, to have a Speaker who can be appointed with very broad support in the parliament. What’s important is that it’s someone who can bring people together, either a Social Democrat or a Moderate”. 

The outgoing Speaker, Andreas Norlén, is popular both within the parliament and outside it, given the steady way he has handled an unusually turbulent two terms.

“I can state that Andreas Norlén enjoys great respect, both in the parliament, and among the Swedish people,” she said. “He has handled his duties creditably and during a turbulent time, and a problematic parliamentary situation.” 

She said she was offering to discuss the issue with Kristersson to avoid the risk of a Sweden Democrat Speaker, something she said would be “problematic”. 

“This is a party whose whole rationale is to split rather than unite. This is also about the picture of Sweden overseas.” 

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