Sweden History – the 20th Century and the Early 21st Century

In 1905 the independence of Norway was sanctioned. During the reign of Gustavo V (1907-50) the crisis of the First World War only reached the country, which remained neutral. In power with the support of the Social Democrats (1920-26), then the Conservatives (1926-32), the Liberals could not prevent the collapse of exports and the rise in unemployment resulting from the crisis of 1930; after the elections of 1932 the government was therefore taken over by the Social Democratic party. Neutral even in World War II, after the German conquest of Norway and Denmark the Sweden had to grant the right of transit to the troops of the Reich bound for Norway. In 1946 the leadership of the party and of the government was assumed by TF Erlander, who continued the work of consolidating the welfare state; after joining the UN (1946), the OEEC (1948) and the Council of Europe (1949), Sweden did not join NATO. ● In the last years of the reign of Gustavo VI Adolfo (1950-73) and in the early years of Carl XVI Gustavo, important reforms were carried out: in 1970 the Riksdag was transformed into a unicameral assembly; in 1975 a new Constitution came into force; finally in 1979 the succession to the throne in the female line was allowed. Led by SO Palme since 1969, the social democratic government was faced with growing discontent over the high level of taxation and rising inflation and unemployment; the electoral decline culminated in defeat in the 1976 elections. After two ruling coalitions led respectively by the centrist T. Fälldin (1976-78; 1979-82) and the liberal O. Ullsten (1978-79), the persistent economic difficulties and the poor cohesion of the forces of the majority favored the return to power of the Social Democrats, victorious in the elections of 1982, 1985 and 1988; supported externally by the communists, a new Palme government managed to contain inflation and encourage a certain economic recovery, without neglecting the policy of developing public services and fighting unemployment. For Sweden history, please check historyaah.com.

● Killed in an attack of an obscure origin in 1986, Palme was replaced by Deputy Prime Minister I. Carlsson, who made a moderate twist on his party’s traditional politics by introducing measures to reduce public spending and state intervention in the economy. However, the 1991 elections saw the affirmation of a conservative-led coalition. The government, chaired by C. Bildt, proceeded with the privatization of state-owned enterprises, the reduction of the tax levy and a series of cuts in social spending, without however being able to improve the economic conditions of the country. In 1994 Carlsson formed a minority executive, advocating a policy of economic austerity. In terms of international relations, in 1996 the Sweden joined the European Union, but not the European Economic Union.

● The work of the new premier G. Persson, who replaced Carlsson in 1996, it essentially aimed at fiscal consolidation through an austerity line. Despite the undoubted effectiveness, the strategy adopted by Persson implied a progressive downsizing of the Swedish welfare which called into question a social model that had hitherto appeared unassailable, finding strong opposition in the public opinion of the country. In 1998, the Social Democrats suffered the worst electoral result in about 70 years but still managed to form a coalition government with the Greens and the Left Party, again under Persson’s leadership. From an economic point of view, the favorable situation allowed the government to adopt, between 1999 and 2000, a policy of cuts in income taxes accompanied by an increase in spending on health, education and social services.

● Despite the undoubted effectiveness, the strategy adopted by Persson implied a progressive downsizing of the Swedish welfare which called into question a social model that had hitherto appeared unassailable, finding strong opposition in the public opinion of the country. In 1998, the Social Democrats suffered the worst electoral result in about 70 years but still managed to form a coalition government with the Greens and the Left Party, again under Persson’s leadership. From an economic point of view, the favorable situation allowed the government to adopt, between 1999 and 2000, a policy of cuts in income taxes accompanied by an increase in spending on health, education and social services.

● the strategy adopted by Persson implied a progressive downsizing of the Swedish welfare system which called into question a social model which had hitherto appeared unassailable, finding strong opposition in the public opinion of the country. In 1998, the Social Democrats suffered the worst electoral result in about 70 years but still managed to form a coalition government with the Greens and the Left Party, again under Persson’s leadership. From an economic point of view, the favorable situation allowed the government to adopt, between 1999 and 2000, a policy of cuts in income taxes accompanied by an increase in spending on health, education and social services.

● the Social Democrats suffered the worst election result in about 70 years but still managed to form a coalition government with the Greens and the Left Party, always under Persson’s leadership. From an economic point of view, the favorable situation allowed the government to adopt, between 1999 and 2000, a policy of cuts in income taxes accompanied by an increase in spending on health, education and social services.

● a policy of cuts in income taxes accompanied by an increase in spending on health, education and social services.

●The debate on reform and a rethinking of the welfare state remained at the center of political life even in the early years of the 21st century, until the 2006 elections registered the success of the center-right coalition, led by F. Reinfeldt, confirmed in September 2010, while at the political consultations held in September 2014 the center-left coalition led by Sweden Löfven obtained 43.7% of the consensus against the 39.3% of the preferences reported by the center-right parties led by the outgoing premier Reinfeldt ; the votes won by the far right of the Swedish Democrats doubled (SD, 12.9%), which in the elections of September 2018 showed a further advance (17.6% of the votes, about 5% compared to 2014), while the block left received 40, 6% of the votes (with the Social Democrats who, while remaining the first party in the country, obtained the worst result ever), and the right-wing alliance 40.3%, which signals a profound tear in the Swedish social fabric and a political situation that is difficult to govern. The following month, Parliament approved a motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Löfven, who in January 2019 obtained a new mandate, leading a minority government made up of Social Democrats and Greens; the voters confirmed their confidence in the executive at the European consultations held the following May, in which the Prime Minister’s Social Democrats obtained 23.6% of the votes, ahead of the Conservatives (16.8%), while the far right won attested as the country’s third largest political force (15, 4%) and the Greens recorded a decrease in consensus (11.4%, compared to 15.4% in 2014). In June 2021, the executive led by Prime Minister Löfven, at the head of a minority coalition between Greens and Social Democrats, was defeated in a vote of confidence following a motion presented by the far right, which also attracted the support of conservatives moderates and Christian Democrats. He resigned in the following November, in the same month he was taken over by M. Andersson, who – having lost the support of the Greens in a vote on the budget law – resigned from his post a few hours later, being reconfirmed by a new appointment by Parliament.

Sweden History - the 20th Century

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