Sweden – What is Going On?

Overnight from Sweden:

  • Fires in Gothenburg, Malmo and Helsingborg
  • Approximately 80 vehicles vandalised and put on fire
  • No injuries as emergency services tackled the fires

We have seen rather horrific pictures and videos from the overnight violence in Sweden. The once so peaceful Sweden is transforming into something much more violent. Images from the overnight violence is something we are used to seeing from other parts of the world, not Sweden.

For decades Sweden has had a high immigration rate. In the 50’s and 60’s labour from mainly southern parts of Europe was welcome and immigrants helped Swedish economy move forward and they all contributed to the great Swedish welfare state.

Things have lately changed and the Swedish welfare state simply cannot pay for it  all. Add to that that over past 5 years some 500-600 000 immigrants have entered Sweden and you will realize things are stirring up in this rather segregated society.

We all remember Trump’s views on Sweden’s increased violence not long ago.

As Reuters writes:

Many Swedes were horrified in early 2017 when U.S. President Donald Trump linked immigration to rising crime in Sweden, but an increasing number now agree with him.

The Sweden Democrats have succeeded in linking the two in the minds of many voters, even though official statistics show no correlation between overall levels of crime and immigration.

Sweden has one of the highest levels of lethal gun violence in Europe, World Health Organisation data showed. But while the number of foreign-born citizens has risen for decades, murder rates are roughly flat.

Full Reuters article here.

The problem is that the right wing Sverigedemokraterna have gained popularity while the other parties have been ignorant in debating what seems important questions for the voters, immigration. Ignoring a party that has more than 20% of the votes according to latest polls could prove to be lethal.

Latest overnight violence is playing right into the hands of Jimmy Akesson’s Sverigedemokraterna who according to the latest polls has 21.8% of votes while Socialdemokraterna is the biggest party with 23.3%. Note this poll was conducted in August prior to the latest overnight violence.

 

Source: https://val.digital/

 

The image below shows the change among parties compared to last elections in 2014. The trend is very clear.

 

Source: https://val.digital/

 

Let’s see if Trump will be proven right but Sweden as a stabile place seems to be changing rapidly. With elections only 25 days away things could get interesting for the SEK and other related assets.

SEK is some 15% weaker versus the USD compared to year lows. The move versus the Euro is less but the trend of a weaker SEK continues. There will be winners and losers in this elections and plenty of opportunity to trade the outcome.

I guess Stefan Lofven (Sweden’s PM) needs to come up with more than his comment for the overnight events:

“What the H…LL is going on?”

 

Source: Bloomberg