In his first Christmas address as prime minister, Ulf Kristersson (M) painted an exceptionally grim picture of the country’s situation, saying, among other things, that Sweden’s internal and external security situation is the worst since World War II.
In the speech, delivered from his holiday residence Harpsund on Wednesday, December 21st, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson called attention to the laundry list of crises presently facing Sweden, including its internal security crisis (caused by ever-increasing deadly gang violence), an external security crisis caused by “Russian aggression against Ukraine,” Europe’s energy crisis, its economic crisis, and the global climate crisis, the state-run broadcaster Sveriges Television AB (SVT) reports.
“Sweden is in a very serious situation,” the prime minister began, warning that “the years ahead may be the toughest financially for our country since the 90s crisis and the financial crisis.”
Speaking on Sweden’s security situation, Kristersson, whose three party, center-Right government was formed in October with the backing of the national-conservative Sweden Democrats, said, “We cannot rule out the risk that the conflict will spread further,” before pointing out that Sweden is already in so-called “gray-zone warfare.”
The prime minister also took the time to sharply criticize the previous left-liberal, Social Democrat-led government, which had governed the country continuously for years, and whose weak policies have been disastrous for the country.
“The years of ever-weaker government power are over. We will implement a paradigm shift in Swedish politics,” Kristersson said.
Regarding the constantly increasing gang violence which continues to plague Swedish society, the prime minister expressed the dark reality that no other country in the European Union has a problem remotely as serious as Sweden, despite the fact that it appears to be a peaceful country to much of the world.
So far this year, Sweden has seen 378 gun incidents, killing 60 people and injuring another 104. The number of people killed in shootings in Sweden climbed to a new all-time high this year, topping the country’s previous record set in 2020, which was also a European record, as The European Conservative reported days ago. By contrast, 4 murders were carried out with firearms in Norway, 4 in Denmark, and 2 in Finland. In the past decade, alone, Sweden has witnessed the number of fatal shootings jump an astounding 253%.
Young people are being killed and carrying out the killing, almost always as part of organized criminal gang activity. They almost always have a foreign background, Kristersson said.
During the speech, the prime minister also emphasized that the government was working hard to deliver election campaign promises, including more robust action against criminal gangs, reforming the country’s social welfare system (which is being taken advantage of), increased aid to Ukraine, and a stronger national defense.
“Just as we said in the election campaign, we stand up for the line of work and the basic idea that everyone who can should support themselves,” he said.
To conclude the address, Kristersson affirmed his belief that Swedes are prepared to take the personal responsibility that will be needed to weather the crises facing the country, saying: “In every crisis, individuals have taken responsibility for themselves and theirs, for neighbors and friends, for colleagues and citizens, for their country and for their ideals.”