Swedish political life was shaken by the civil election victory in Denmark in November 2001. First and foremost because of the strongly xenophobic rhetoric, and the Left’s Swedish sister party, the Moderates declared that the Left should be thrown out of the liberal international for its racist politics.
In 2002, bourgeois Danish parties responded again by trying to influence the Swedish elections in a more xenophobic direction. However, it failed predominantly, even though the People’s Party over the last 2 weeks estimated more foreign-critical strings. Social democracy regained government power and continued as a government, supported by the Environment Party and the Left Party. A referendum was issued on Sweden’s affiliation with EMU, and a few days before the vote was carried out in September, Foreign Minister Anna Lindh was killed by a mentally distraught man, Mijailo Mijailovic in a department store. While Palme’s killer was never found, within a month she managed to arrest Lindh’s killer. Political motives were speculated because, like Palme, Lindh had been highly critical of US foreign policy, but there did not appear to be any political motives behind it.
The referendum on EMU in September, like the Danish vote, ended 3 years earlier with an obvious defeat for EMU supporters. Sweden remained outside, and Persson declared that no new vote on European issues would be conducted in the foreseeable future. The Swedes are still very skeptical of the EU.
In January 2004, there was a diplomatic scandal when the Israeli ambassador to Sweden, Zvi Mazel, destroyed a work of art at the Stockholm Historical Museum. The artwork included a photo of a Palestinian suicide bomber, which the ambassador perceived as anti-Semitic. The artist behind the work was a Jew himself. The Israeli vandalism not only triggered a diplomatic crisis but also focused on Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian population.
In April, 4 people were detained by police for suspected links to terrorist organizations. The detention triggered protests from representatives of the 40,000 Muslims in Sweden.
In March, the High Court sentenced Mijailo Mijailovic to life imprisonment for the September 2003 murder of Foreign Minister Anna Lindh. Mijailovic who was the son of Serbian immigrants claimed to have heard voices commanding him to commit the murder. Although forensic psychiatric examinations showed that Mijailovic had been mentally ill at the time of the murder, other studies showed that he was suffering from a mental illness. An appeals court therefore overturned the life sentence and allowed Mijailovic to transfer to a psychiatric hospital.
After registering an increase in the number of Clamydia cases, the health authorities decided to create the “express condom” initiative. An emergency service with delivery of condoms in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.
In May 2005, the UN made Sweden responsible for violating the Torture Convention after denying asylum to Egyptian Ahmed Agiza, who had sought political asylum in 2001. Egypt had sentenced Agiza to 25 years in prison in absentia for being a member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Acc. The UN had credible information that Agiza was subjected to torture in her home country.
In February 2006, Minister for Sustainable Development, Mona Sahlin, declared that the government expected that from 2020 Sweden would no longer depend on the oil – and this without building new nuclear power plants. Instead, the energy supply should be based on renewable energy. Sweden has continuously invested in renewable energy, which in 2003 covered 26% of the country’s electricity consumption. In the other EU Member States, renewable energy covers less than 6%.
An IMF report from May 2006 indicated that Sweden is the country in the world with the greatest gender equality. In Sweden, women have almost the same opportunities as men for access to political positions, to business and to good education.
After 12 years in the government, the Social Democracy and its 2 support parties lost the majority in the September 2006 elections and had to be defeated by the national-liberal “alliance”. The Danish media’s coverage of the election focused predominantly on the Nazi-oriented xenophobia, which covers the attitudes predominantly expressed against refugees and immigrants in Denmark. Despite the media’s enthusiasm for these particular parties, none of them crossed the threshold at the Reichstag elections, although they did advance in southern Sweden. “Better” went the Danish media favorites in Germany, when the Nazi NPD gained 20% of the votes in the former East German state of Mecklenburg.
During the first month after the bourgeois takeover, 4 ministers had to resign after it emerged that they had cheated on a TV license or had been employed by black labor. In Social Democracy, Göran Persson resigned as party leader and was replaced by Mona Sahlin. The party was pleased that already a few weeks after the election, the left was again larger than the ruling right wing. The right wing dropped further in the polls in 2007.
In mid-May 2007, the Migration Board decided to expel single asylum-seeking Afghan men. This led to protests and demonstrations in Stockholm. Ten Afghans went on hunger strike lasting 1 week. At that time, Amnesty International and the International Red Cross had also joined the protests. The Emigration Court of Appeal stated that the deportation decision was taken because “the conditions for the reintegration of young men into Afghanistan are good.”