For the first time in Sweden, the leadership of the government is entrusted to a woman: Magdalena Andersson, who will succeed Stefan Lofven, will hold the position of prime minister. Minister of Finance in office, 54-year-old Andersson was elected leader of the Social Democrats at the congress held in Gothenburg at the beginning of November, marking a record. Because of her determination and ability to impose her line, she was nicknamed “the bulldozer” as well as being often compared to Angela Merkel.
Andersson is the only daughter of Goran Andersson, professor of statistics at Uppsala University, and teacher Birgitta Grunell Andersson. During the years of high school, in addition to being a swimmer at the highest level, she studied social sciences at the Katedralskolan in Uppsalam, graduating in 1987. It was in those years, in 1983 to be precise, that she began her engagement in politics, entering to join the Social Democratic Youth League (SSU), of which four years later she was elected president of the local office in Uppsala. She then continued her studies in Stockholm, at the School of Economics, where she graduated in 1992 with a Masters in Economics.
From 1992 to 1995 she worked there as a doctoral student in economics, but then stopped her studies after a period at the Vienna Institute of Advanced Studies and Harvard University. From 1996 to 1998 she was the political advisor to Prime Minister Goran Persson and until 2004 she served as Director of Planning. Subsequently, for two years she was Secretary of State at the Ministry of Finance before leaving to become political adviser again, this time for the opposition leader Mona Sahlin, from 2007 to 2009. Until 2012 she held the position of Chief Director of the Swedish Revenue Agency, stepping down after her Social Democratic candidacy ahead of the 2014 general elections. Andersson was elected a member of the Riksdag and in October 2014 was appointed Minister of Finance by the new Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, a position she held for 7 years.
Andersson has already presented her government priorities after her election as head of the Social Democrats, saying she is convinced that “Sweden can do better and I know that we must carry Sweden forward”. Climate, resumption of democratic control over the school and health system after a wave of privatizations, the fight against segregation and violent gangs will be at the center of his government action. Furthermore, Andersson’s profile, published on the government website, summarizes his political line and his work: «Creating socially and ecologically sustainable and equally distributed growth is one of the crucial issues of our time. It is also an issue in which Sweden has good prospects of being at the forefront ». It is an uphill path in a political context marked by the rise of the far right, that is the anti-immigration party of the Swedish Democrats, allied with the Conservative Party led by Ulf Kristersson, serious rivals in the general elections of September 2022 also because at the moment the polls do not reward the Social Democrats.
For 10 years in Sweden there has been a widespread sense of unease with regard to substantial migratory flows which have been reduced only after a substantial crackdown by the Lofven government four years ago. Although gender equality has long been a reality, Sweden is the only Nordic country that has not yet had a prime minister. As for her private life, Andersson has been married since 1997 to Richard Friberg, a professor of economics at the Stockholm School of Economics, with whom she had two children. In the family they devote a lot to outdoor activities, hiking, mountaineering and kayaking.