Magdalena Andersson, an ephemeral Prime Minister

Magdalena Andersson an ephemeral Prime Minister

Magdalena Andersson went down in Swedish history as the first female head of government, but also as the most ephemeral of them: a few hours after being elected Prime Minister, she had to resign after the Greens’ decision to leave the government coalition.

But the leader of the Social Democrats, Minister of Finance in the previous government, has every chance of obtaining the confidence of Parliament once again on Monday and of taking the head of a minority government

Just hours after her appointment as Prime Minister, a hundred years after Sweden granted the right to vote to women, Magdalena Andersson faced her first setback.

The Swedish Parliament, with very tight balances, rejected its budget and adopted that of the right-wing opposition, prepared for the first time, with the extreme right. If Stefan Löfven’s Finance Minister has said she is ready to live with it, her coalition environmental allies have decided to slam the door. Magdalena Andersson then felt that she had no choice but to step down, while announcing to the Speaker of the Parliament that she was still “Ready to become Prime Minister”.

Because Magdalena Andersson is almost certain to be re-elected in a new vote on Monday, for lack of a serious alternative. The Greens and the centrists have already announced that they will accept a 100% social democratic government. At the head of this very minority cabinet, Magdalena Andersson, will have to demonstrate negotiating skills. For Elisabeth Elgán, professor of contemporary history at Stockholm University, specialist in Nordic feminist movements, this is not an impossible task. “She’s a character that reminds me of Angela Merkel, a left-wing Angela Merkel”, notes the researcher who qualifies her as “Frank, discreet and serious”, while not being very “Charismatic”.

At 54, this economist by training, married and mother of two, defines herself as a “Nice and hardworking woman” loving to decide. But this former junior swimming champion, heavy metal fan, known for her straightforward style, has also earned the nickname “bulldozer” at the Ministry of Finance. A term refuted by Jonas Hinnfors, professor of political science at the University of Gothenburg: “She has been a very loyal member of Stefan Lövfen’s government. However, this government has shown pragmatism by acknowledging the fact that the social democrats had a very weak position and that they should, therefore, cooperate with the right-wing and center parties ”. For the political scientist, it is above all “A pragmatist”.

Close to Stefan Löfven, she succeeded him as head of the Social Democratic Party earlier this month. After brilliant studies at “Handels” in Stockholm, the Swedish equivalent of HEC, supplemented by a stint at Harvard, she quickly found a place in the social democratic apparatus. If she likes to tell that in her youth, she served coffee in party meetings, as Jonas Hinnfors recalls, her profile is very different from her predecessor. Stefan Löfven was the first trade union leader to ever assume a role of Prime Minister in the history of the Social Democratic Party, for a workers’ party, ” it was still something, notes Yohann Aucante, specialist in Scandinavia at the School of Higher Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS), for which the former welder was much more “In rupture by her profile than Magdalena Andersson who is a pure product of the social democratic aristocracy”.

Member of the party youth, SSU, at 16, she became an assistant to Prime Minister Göran Persson in 1996 and alternated functions within the party and senior civil servant positions, until becoming Minister of Finance in 2014. ” Like many members of the political elite, it has an extremely classic and linear trajectory ”, underlines Yohann Aucante. Rather marked at the start on the left wing, it followed “In pragmatics” the centrist turn of his party, according to Jonas Hinnfors. In this context, Yohann Aucante does not see Magdalena Andersson as “A great innovator. The only thing that pushes it to its limits are the needs resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic ”, notes the lecturer of the EHESS.

As Minister of Finance, Magdalena Andersson distinguished herself by opposing the European recovery plan to deal with the health crisis, before joining it. Minister known as “ frugal “, Qualified as” stingy from europe »She had to make concessions to other parties, in Sweden, by loosening the purse strings and “By accepting a Swedish-style” whatever the cost “”, notes Yohann Aucante.

To relaunch her camp, Magdalena Andersson has set three main priorities: “Take back democratic control” on schools, health care and retirement homes after a wave of privatizations, make Sweden a climate champion, and fight segregation and gang warfare that Sweden fails to stop. But time is running out: the next legislative elections will take place in September 2022.