Social Democrat Magdalena Andersson, who resigned just hours after becoming Sweden’s first woman to be elected Prime Minister, is a “bulldozer” who must fight an uphill battle to fend off an unprecedented challenge from the right and the far right in the general election next year.
The 54-year-old, with straight blonde hair and a down-to-earth attitude, describes herself as a “kind and hard-working woman” who enjoys being in charge.
In political circles, she has built a reputation for being straightforward and straightforward, a quality that offends some in a country where consensus is the law of the land.
A recent TV profile of her was titled “The Bulldozer”.
“People even say they’re scared of her, which is kind of funny, these elite political scientists or economics professors saying they’re scared of her,” said Anders Lindberg, political editor for the daily newspaper. Aftonbladet, who describes himself as an independent Social Democrat.
Considered extremely competent for seven years as Minister of Finance, Andersson is known for her slogan “Sweden can do better”.
She made a name for herself in Brussels for defending budgetary rigor when the Scandinavian country joined Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands as “four frugal” who advised a European Covid-19 recovery plan more sober.
âShe kinda has Angela Merkel’s way of arguing. It’s not entirely clear what she means all the time, but (she) ends up winning the argument because no one else can’t really answer because she knows all the details, âsays Lindberg.
“Does the basic work”
Born in the university town of Uppsala, she is the only daughter of a university professor and teacher.
She first made a name for herself in the water, twice winning gold at the Swedish National Junior Championships.
Along with her studies at the Stockholm School of Economics – and a stint at Harvard – she immersed herself in the Social Democratic Party, having joined its youth league at 16.
In 1996, she became assistant to Prime Minister Goran Persson.
“I think she is now very keen to present herself as someone who has done the groundwork. But of course she is part of an academic elite,” Jonas Hinnfors, professor of university, told AFP. political science at the University of Gothenburg.
Although she identifies with the left-wing faction of the party, she has taken a “pragmatic” approach to moving to the center in recent years, Hinnfors said.
But behind all this pragmatism lie some surprises. The mother of two, married to an economics professor, is a fan of the heavy metal band System of a Down.
Yet after waiting so long for a female prime minister, Sweden saw its first wife in that post for just a few hours.
Andersson resigned after his budget was rejected and the Greens walked away from his coalition.
However, she said she would love to come back, so the Swedes can still see how a heavy metal fan dubbed Bulldozer could rule the country.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)