Sweden Recent History Part 7

In June 2008, the Riksdag passed a new interception law that allowed the Swedish Defense Radio Agency (FRA) to intercept all telecommunications in and out of Sweden. The eavesdropping law triggered violent political reactions. Following the disclosure in 2013 of the NSA’s global Internet surveillance, it was revealed that the NSA also had access to the FRA’s intercepts.

The global economic crisis that really hit in 2008 hit Sweden hard. This was especially true of the car industry, as car sales in the western world almost completely stalled. Saab was particularly hard hit. Until then, the company was owned by the North American car group GM, which was close to bankruptcy and wanted to close Saab. In 2010, the company was sold to the Dutch Spykers and avoided immediate closure. In 2012, Saab went bankrupt, but was rescued and started production of electric cars in 2013.

In February 2009, the government reversed a 30-year-old nuclear decommissioning decision. The government argued that nuclear power was needed to secure the energy supply of the future.

Swedish GDP fell by 4.6% in 2009 as a whole, and unemployment rose from 7.8% in March to 8.7% in March 2010. Youth unemployment was up 26%.

In November 2009, the Swedish authorities refused to grant full residence permits and compensation to Ahmed Agiza and Mohammed El Zari, whom the country had handed over to the United States in 2001, which sent to Egypt to be tortured.

In December, the UN Human Rights Committee criticized for failing to take sufficient steps to prevent torture and ill-treatment in Swedish police custody. The Committee referred to several cases where the Swedish police had used pepper spray against arrests at police stations as a form of “punishment”. It also referred to Johan Liljeqvist, who was killed by the Gothenburg police in April 2008 while in police custody. Finally, the Committee criticized the government’s unwillingness to include a ban on torture in its legislation.

The crisis increased xenophobia in Sweden. Unlike Denmark, the media and the bourgeois parties did not cultivate xenophobia. Nevertheless, the sister party of the Danish People’s Party, the neo-Nazi / right-wing radical Sweden Democrats managed to rise from 4% in the polls in the summer of 2008 to 7.6% in March 2010. The Nazi friends of the Swedish Democrats in the Danish People’s Party and the Left Party in September rescinded the party. Swedish TV station TV4 refused to broadcast the party’s xenophobic election video. The Danish politicians were unable to distinguish between freedom of expression and coercion (they wanted to force TV4 to bring the xenophobic election video).

With 174 votes against 170, the Swedish Parliament in June 2010 decided to ignore the result of the 1980 referendum on the decommissioning of nuclear power. Sweden will now again intensify the use of nuclear power.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange attended a series of events in Stockholm in August. Two women police reportedly reported him for having “unprotected sex” with them. Most foreign journalists did not understand Swedish law and therefore wrote that Assange was charged with rape, but according to. Swedish legislation must be protected with a condom if you have sex with “strangers”. Assange did not and hence the notification. Assange traveled to the United Kingdom where he was arrested and threatened with extradition to Sweden in December, where the Swedish prosecutor’s office wanted to interrogate him. However, Assange was afraid of an extradition to Sweden as he thought the Swedes would extradite him to the United States. He therefore ended up seeking asylum at Ecuador’s embassy in London.

In the September 2010 elections, the Moderates advanced 10 seats, but on the other hand, its 3 coalition partners lost a total of 17 seats. Worse, the Social Democracy went down a total of 18 seats and was only 0.6% from being overtaken by the Moderates. The Left Party returned 4 seats. The Greens, in turn, advanced 10 seats. The biggest victor of the election, however, was the right-wing Swedish Democrats, who entered the Riksdag with 14 seats. The party went up 2.8% to 5.7, thereby exceeding the 5% threshold. The defeat was total for the Social Democracy, which had ruled the country for 65 of the previous 78 years (since the introduction of the suffrage in 1921), and had never experienced losing two consecutive elections. Many saw party leader Mona Sahlin with her arrogant and snobbish style as a major cause of the defeat.Håkan Juholt as chairman.

After the election, Fredrik Reinfeldt continued as prime minister, but with the narrowest possible majority.

Danish People’s Party, Leftand Conservatives volunteered to participate during the Swedish election campaign in August-September 2010 to ensure that the Swedish Democrats entered the Riksdag. The argument was that a party that was hostile to immigration was missing. As the Swedish Democrats, in accordance with the Swedish rules, could not get a presentation video shown on private TV4, its Danish support parties moved to the rescue. DF chairman Pia Kjærsgaard attended the party’s election meetings during the election campaign. The party ran into many problems with its parliamentarians first moved into Parliament. In September 2011, William Petzäll was thrown out of the party for his alcoholism. In November 12, a number of video clips were published with, among other things. Kent Ekeroth and Erik Almqvist who appeared violent and repulsive to several different people. Party leader Jimmie Åkesson declared that there was zero tolerance for racism in the party, and the two members of Parliament were therefore sent on leave. Not everyone supported this sanction. The party’s youth organization publicly criticized the mother party for being compliant with the media.

Sweden Recent History 7