Sweden’s under-fire prime minister visits France in welcome reprieve

Sweden’s under-fire prime minister visits France in welcome reprieve

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven heads to Paris today for talks with Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Eduoard Phillipe. The embattled Lofven is struggling to survive political turmoil back home. A fresh scandal centres on his government’s outsourcing of driver’s license databases to IBM Sweden. A lack of safeguards exposed that data—potentially including the identities

Photo: AA

Photo: AA

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven heads to Paris today for talks with Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Eduoard Phillipe.

The embattled Lofven is struggling to survive political turmoil back home. A fresh scandal centres on his government’s outsourcing of driver’s license databases to IBM Sweden. A lack of safeguards exposed that data—potentially including the identities of undercover operatives.

Lofven has resisted calls to resign, instead reshuffling his cabinet and bracing for a confidence motion when parliament returns from a summer break in September. Rather than face that vote, the prime minister may call early elections.

If so, the Paris visit could provide a boost. A YouGov poll at the end of June found that Mr Macron has a favourable rating of +29% among Swedes. So, Lofven could be hoping that appearing side-by-side with the French president will bolster his image as a statesman as his fate is decided.

Yet, Lofven is unlikely to receive much alleviation from his domestic headaches. At the very least, the Paris visit could bring him a respite from his looming potential unemployment.

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