Sweden is often praised as one of the, if not the, most successful welfare states in the world. Many progressives around the world take the country´s strong welfare system, pared with a healthy economy, as an example. According to a recent survey by World Economic Forum Sweden stands out as the best country in the world to live in, with top rankings in areas like gender equality and business climate. But something in this does not seem to translate into reality. Polls suggest that many Swedes do not think that their country is heading in the right direction, and the political situation is becoming more and more uneasy with minority governments and threats of snap elections. The Social Democrats, often attributed for Sweden’s success, seem to be heading for one of their worst election results ever, just around 30%. And how could a populist right wing party, that has its roots in 80s neo-nazism, become the third largest party and parliamentary kingmaker in the world’s most successful welfare state?
Angela Merkel has just announced to re-run for the German Chancellorship in the upcoming Fall 2017 general election. If she wins she can prolong her reign, which started in 2005, a total of 16 years, the biggest in German history (tied only with Helmut Kohl 1982 – 1998, CDU). Over the years the reasoning by experts for her uncontested leadership, although with changing coalition partners, has varied but subsequently acclaimed she holds a high level of trust.