Why is Magdalena Anderson, the first woman to become Prime Minister of Sweden, well known in the media as the Bulldozer?
And how did she manage to help the country abandon military neutrality after the Scandinavian state had not fought since 1812?
But why the Bulldozer?
Those who know her closely describe that her leadership skills are close to those of Angela Merkel. It is not always clear what he means, but it is always the one who wins the quarrel.
And it is no coincidence that her colleagues say that they are afraid of her. For the Scandinavian, her opinion is an almost irrefutable fact, although sometimes it happens to be wrong. She describes herself as a “good and hard-working woman” who likes to be in control.
The leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party may have a tough and strict approach to his policy. In her spare time, she is a true heavy metal fan and it is not known if and how this affects her management decisions.
In recent weeks, Anderson’s political profile has been particularly important. With the war in Ukraine, he had to quickly but smoothly adapt his country to NATO requirements. And it has yet to prove to the people that it is worthy of continuing to head a government after the September elections.
Where does this political interest come from?
Anderson’s political career began in 1983 when he joined the youth league of the Swedish Social Democratic Party.
Four years later, when she was only 20, Magdalena was elected chair of the organization’s Uppsala branch.
In 1992, she received a master’s degree in business administration and economics from the Stockholm School of Economics, where she was chairman of the Social Democratic Students’ Association.
He also defended his doctorate at the Stockholm School of Economics. In 1996, she decided to take a break because she had a very good political opportunity – to be a special adviser in the office of then-Prime Minister Goran Persson.
As part of her doctorate, she also studied abroad at the Institute for Advanced Study in Vienna in 1994 and Harvard in 1995.
The political rise
Anderson had an extremely rich and varied political career, which led to her rise as the main actor in the rule of the monarchy. He is distinguished as a career politician and has a reputation as a strong and direct speaker.
Between 1998 and 2004, Anderson was the director of planning. He then became Secretary of State in the Ministry of Finance for two years. Then, until 2008, the Scandinavian was an adviser on the party’s domestic policy. From 2009 to 2012, Anderson also served as Deputy Director of the Swedish Tax Agency.
Logically, the party chooses Magdalena Anderson to be its spokesperson for economic policy. In 2014, the party won the election, which led to its important political success.
From then until the year she was appointed Prime Minister, she was Minister of Finance in the government of Stefan Leuven.
Minister of Finance
Leuven heads a coalition government with the Green Party, but is without a majority in parliament, ie. there is no strong mandate. Then the Swedish economy grew by more than 2% of GDP per year. This growth persisted throughout Leuven’s term, and inflation and unemployment declined.
Nevertheless, the implementation of policies to be adopted by both left-wing and right-wing supporters proves to be a difficult task.
In 2015, a large wave of refugees coming from the Middle East and Africa reached the country. It is because of the increase in immigrants in the country that support for right-wing parties is increasing. The far-right anti-immigrant Swedish Democrats were especially popular then.
In 2018, Leuven lost a vote of confidence to return next year to head a minority government with the Greens. But Stefan Leuven proved unable to comply with the demands of the Liberal and Left parties and secure parliamentary approval of the state budget.
In November 2021, Stefan Leuven resigned as both party leader and prime minister. This enabled Anderson to gain strength and reach the peak of his political career.
Prime Minister of Sweden
Sweden has long been at the helm of women’s representation in government, but Magdalena Anderson is still the first woman to hold the post of prime minister. By this turning point for the country, this gender barrier had already been overcome by all of the monarchy’s Scandinavian neighbors.
But shockingly, Magdalena resigned 7 hours after she was appointed as Riksdagen (the Swedish parliament) rejected her draft budget and instead accepted that of the opposition.
“I will not lead a government whose legitimacy will be called into question,” she said when she resigned.
With the rejection of the proposed budget, her chances of leading a government in coalition with the Greens were dashed. Also by convention, the prime minister must step down when one of the coalition parties leaves the government.
In the last century, the Swedish government has been dominated by the Social Democrats and has stood out with coalition stability. But unusually for the monarchy, chaos ensues when Anderson resigns.
Five days later, parliament gave politicians another chance to decide whether to approve or reject the Swede, but none of them changed their position. Also, none of the opposition parties has enough support to propose an alternative government.
Thus, for the first time, a woman officially took over the post of Prime Minister, and for the first time in 15 years, the Social Democrats ruled the country on their own.
According to the Swedish constitution, a candidate cannot be prime minister if a parliamentary majority opposes him. 173 members voted against Leuven’s heiress, but two votes were not enough to remove her.
Anderson’s political goals:
Stop the privatization of the public sector in Sweden and restore democratic control over schools, health care, and care for the elderly.
Sweden’s green policy is to become an example for the rest of the world.
To end the segregation of immigrant communities, the shootings, and bombings against cars and objects are very often caused by gangs in neighborhoods with immigrant populations.
The war in Ukraine
The Scandinavian also changed the foreign policy of the state, which for 200 years did not belong to any military alliances. For the first time since 1939, Sweden has sent arms to a country in active military conflict.
In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Magdalena Anderson secured a pact with both the United Kingdom and Finland. The pact, signed on May 11, provides security for crisis assistance and is primarily aimed at securing Russian aggression against NATO as NATO countries ratify the country’s accession to the alliance.
“It is not typical for Sweden to send military equipment to conflict zones. The last time it did so was largely in 1939, when the Soviet Union invaded Finland,” said Magdalena Anderson.
In this way, by giving humanitarian aid and weapons to Ukraine, Sweden gets a new ally with whom it will respond to each other’s military assistance.
The vote of no confidence and NATO
On May 18, Sweden, along with Finland, applied for NATO membership. Security in the northern European region has become a new top priority for the prime minister. And to achieve it, it must find a way out of Turkey’s veto.
Bulldozer Anderson is reluctant to save his government from resignation – and the country from political chaos and uncertainty – three months before the election – by betting on Iranian-based independent MP Amine Kakabawe, a Kurdish rights activist. Anderson’s party has pledged support for Kurdish groups in northern Syria, which are seen as terrorists in Turkey. This pledge ultimately pays off: the cabinet survives, there is a deal with Ankara to lift the veto, and Sweden does not deviate from its human rights principles.
Here are some more interesting moments from her life:
Her full name is Eva Magdalena Anderson and she was born on January 23, 1967, in the Swedish city of Uppsala.
In his youth, Anderson distinguished himself as a swimmer and even twice won gold medals at Swedish youth competitions. At just 14, she finished twelfth in the women’s national championship.
While studying at the Stockholm School of Economics, Magdalena Anderson met her future husband, with whom she has two children. They married in 1997.
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