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Security Brief: EUCOM Week of June 14, 2021

Week of Monday, June 14, 2021 | Issue 36

Flavien Baumgartner, EUCOM Team

Swedish Parliament, which could see the first snap elections since 1958[1]

Date: June 14, 2021

Location: England

Parties involved: English government

The event: Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), Boris Johnson, was forced to delay lockdown measures related to ending COVID-19 restrictions by a month. The uptick in the number of cases caused by the appearance of the Delta variant, which lately exceeded 10,000 cases a day, forced the government to delay the full reopening to July 19.

The implications:

  • Although the English population has been vaccinated mostly with AstraZeneca, the Delta variant, which originated in India, appears to be more resistant. This variant has caused higher contamination rates, especially in Indian communities in small cities throughout England.

  • Such delay might bolster frustrations that have previously led to violence during demonstrations, like the Kill the Bill rally in March.

  • The extended lockdown will also prevent the population from going abroad for the holidays and allowing visitors into the country, reaping consequences for the economy. As foreign businesses will be unable to enter England the home economy might not rebound as well as expected. In addition, revenue that would have been collected from tourism will not only harm the UK’s overall economic growth but is likely to affect European Union states if the Delta variant continues to spread.

Date: June 18, 2021

Location: Sweden

Parties involved: Swedish Greens; Democrats; Left Party

The event: The Swedish Left Party, a party with communist ideology, decided to stop backing the center-left coalition in power over disagreements on the new plan to ease rent controls on new-build houses. The coalition led by Prime Minister Stefan Lofven will now face a no-confidence vote as they do not have a majority in Parliament anymore. The motion, submitted by the far-right party, the Democrats, will be discussed on Monday before general voting.

The implications:

  • Prime Minister Lofven still has the weekend to agree with his coalition partners to remain in power. If he loses the no-confidence vote, he will have to resign, and the Speaker of the Parliament will either try to find a new leader within the Parliamentary majority or call for anticipated elections. These elections would be the first anticipated elections in Sweden since 1958.

  • The end of the center-left coalition will bring turmoil on the Swedish political stage and lead the way to a center-right coalition. However, the center-right would have to rely on the support of the far-right Democrats to take power. Such a coalition would most likely undo everything the Lofven government has done since coming to power in January, especially regarding the immigration policy.

  • Sweden is well-known for accepting large numbers of migrants, especially after the war in the Balkans. However, this model was put in question after 2014 as 350 young Swedish left for Syria to join the Islamic State, most of whom had an immigrant background. The immigration model and Sweden’s welcoming policy are now pivotal topics discussed in Swedish politics especially after the Vetlanda attack in March 2021.




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