Political and Economic Situation in Sweden

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Sweden’s political system is called Riksdag and is a parliamentary, representative democratic constitutional monarchy. The parliament consists of 1 chamber, 349 seats, approximately 8 parties. A party must have a total vote of 4% to be considered a part of Riksdag. The executive power is presented by the Prime Minister. Moreover, the legislative power is exercised by both the parliament and the Prime Minister, which is elected by a multi-party system. Elections in the Swedish parliamentary system take place every 4 years. Any citizen 18 or older has the right to vote in the election. The parliament building is located between the old town of Stockholm and the rest of the main city as of 1905. Sweden’s head of state has been King Crl XVI Gustaf since 1973, yet the head of state posses no political power and is solely for ceremonial duties. The present Prime Minister of Sweden is Stefan Lofven. Stefan Lofven was elected in October of 2014 and has now entered the second term as of January 2019. Stefan Lofven has been the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party (SAP) since January of 2012. The Swedish Social Democratic Party has been the largest party in Sweden since 1921. The Swedish Social Democratic Party supports social welfare provision, progressive taxation and believes in a social corporatist economy. Other Swedish political parties include The Center Party, Left Party, The Right Party, Christian Democrats, Green Party, and the Liberal Party.

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Sweden was placed 10th among 44 European regions for its political standing and quality, placing Sweden above the overall world average. Sweden is the chair of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as of 2019. The parliament of Sweden has implemented a revised budget surplus goal of 0.33% as of 2016 with a long term intention of lowering public- debt across Sweden. The personal income tax has risen to 57%, while the top corporate tax remains at 22%. Other taxes include Value-added and capital gain taxes. Furthermore, the total tax amount equals to 44.1% of the total domestic income. Sweden is an export-oriented economy that is mainly aided by the exportation of timber, hydropower, and iron ore. Sweden’s main export partners include Germany with 11% of total exports, Norway with 10.2%, Finland with 6.9%, and the United States with 6.8%. Sweden’s total gross domestic products (GDP) had risen by 1.2% in 2019. Placing Sweden 23rd place on the GDP world ranking chart of 2019.

Sweden’s unemployment rate continues to be a problem, nevertheless the unemployment rate has dropped a total of 6.85 in 2019 and has been predicted to continue decreasing. Due to Sweden’s high standard of living and welfare benefits, it is considered to be a higher ranking economy. Nevertheless, Sweden faces vast amounts of challenges facing its immigration policies. The Swedish government has struggled with accommodating the influx of immigrants. A total of 180,000 new immigrants entered Sweden in 2017. Due to the overwhelming number of asylum seekers, Sweden then issued restrictions on its immigration policies. The unemployment rate of immigrants has overall worsened the challenge of Sweden’s long history of unemployment issues. Additionally, Sweden struggles to maintain its 8th overall place in the world education system ranking. Sweden has spent 6.6% of GDP on maintaining education standards. The Social Democratic Party has responded to this problem by suggesting to hire more teachers, yet the moderates believe that emphasizing mathematics skills in the curriculum. In addition, Sweden also struggles with income inequality. Sweden is one of the few countries that continue to have income inequality between 1985 and the 2000s. The average income earned by the higher 10% is 6 times higher than the lower 10%. Sweden has progressively improved the issue by 30%, yet it is still a problem for Sweden’s political system.

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