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Swedish leader tackles crime, energy fears on campaign trail

NORRTALJE, Sweden (AP) Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on Sunday was on the campaign trail weekly before Swedens national election to tackle fears over gang violence and rising power bills.

Andersson traveled by bus to communities near Stockholm to attempt to reassure voters. The election on Sept. 11 comes amid a feeling of rising insecurity, with a spate of shootings in Sweden making crime an integral campaign issue.

Russias war against Ukraine led Sweden, alongside Finland, to take the historic step of deciding on join NATO. That step has reassured many, and is indeed uncontested it hasnt been a concern in the campaign prior to the election.

But Andersson said that Russias energy warfare against Europe, including a cutoff of gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany, is becoming a concern that voters keep raising with her as she campaigns on her behalf left-wing Swedish Democratic party.

Lots of people are concerned making use of their electric bills given Putins warfare on energy, the 55-year-old leader said in comments to The Associated Press following a visit at a senior community center in Norrtalje, a town to the north of Stockholm.

After all he’s got a military invasion in Ukraine, but he also offers energy warfare against Europe, so folks are very worried about electricity bills but additionally with criminality and climate.

Her government pledged Saturday to supply $23 billion in liquidity guarantees to electricity companies, a step that followed the cutoff to Nord Stream 1, and was designed to prevent a financial meltdown.

Another concern for Andersson may be the rising popularity of a populist far-right party using its historical roots in the Nazi movement, the Sweden Democrats.

The party, which includes worked to mainstream its image, is nearer to power than it has ever been, causing many Swedish voters to fear that it might end up getting an integral position of power in a right-wing coalition. The anti-migrant party has gained in popularity because the country has struggled to integrate many migrants. Critics fear its roots in the extreme far right ensure it is a threat to the countys democratic foundations.

Polls show a right-wing coalition like the Sweden Democrats includes a chance at winning power, although race is likely to be close.

Andersson told the AP she actually is concerned, noting an employee of the right-wing party delivered an email the other day inviting visitors to celebrate the Nazi invasion of Poland 83 years back.

That sort of invitation could not happen in virtually any other parties in Sweden. With that said, most of the voters of the Sweden Democratic party, they’re decent people who are disappointed with the development, she said.

Contrary to the backdrop of shootings and the task from the proper, the Social Democrats have already been toughening up their stance recently. In this campaign, the party has been promising tougher measures to fight crime alongside promises to preserve the Scandinavian countrys famous welfare protections.

Andersson and her party said she believes the issues could be tackled together, and that the welfare system is among the best weapons for fighting crime.

Andersson told the AP that her treatment for crime involves accumulating the authorities force and putting more of the criminals behind bars, while also tackling the social roots of the issue.

We also need to work harder to avoid new generations from selecting a criminal life. And I believe the only method to achieve that would be to stop the segregation that people have in Sweden, she said.

Andersson traveled in a big red bus emblazoned with what our Sweden can perform better. After leaving the senior center, she headed to a good on park grounds in Botkyrka where party campaigners wore T-shirts saying I vote for Magdalena and where families from multicultural immigrant backgrounds prearranged for pony rides along with other attractions.

Andersson is Swedens first-ever female prime minister. She took job last November after her predecessor, Stefan Lofven, resigned after leading the party and country since 2014.

While she’s to fight the perception that her party hasnt were able to stem the gang violence ailing the united states. In her favor is really a reputation to be a reliable and competent hand who has governed with a thin majority and by way of a time of geopolitical upheaval.

At the party fair, Annelie Gustafsson, a 45-year-old mother carrying her daughter on her behalf shoulders, wouldnt say who she was voting for. But she clarified her vote was designed to keep carefully the Sweden Democrats out of power. She opposes their unwelcoming stance to migrants, which Gustafsson feels undermines the countrys tradition to be a humanitarian refuge.

This season it had been about which party I dont desire to see running the united states, and thats important for me personally, she said. Im pleased with being Swedish, Im pleased with individuals here, and that people help other folks. … So closing the united states, thats not for me personally.

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