In French media, and on YouTube!
1‑Do you have a lot of news in the Swedish media about the French election? If yes, what kind of articles or reports?
Yes, the reporting is rather extensive, both on TV, radio and in newspapers. Many pieces of news are about the election in general (the candidates etc), quite a few have been focusing on Ségolène Royal being a strong woman in the male world of French politics. More difficult subjects, such as the campaign about homelessness, Le Pen, integration, Sarkozys comment about young immigrants, have been reported as well.
2‑What do you think of the French candidates?
If I had the right to vote I would vote for Ségolène Royal since she combines a strong social agenda with rather sound economic policies. Sarkozy scares me, mostly since I do not believe that force is the solution to social problems. Le Pen is a talented populist in terms of winning votes, but I have no sympathy at all for his political position since I believe in multi-ethnic societies.
3‑Do you think that there are some similitarities between Ségolène Royal and Mona Sahlin?
There are a lot of similarities. They are both talented, experienced, charismatic women with similar political programs – the parties they represent (PS and SAP) are part of the same political family.
4‑Do you think that the French media are right to considered the Scandinavian countries as a model or do you think that the French media know nothing about the Scandinavian reality?
Tthere is plenty of research suggesting that the Scandinavian welfare model is competitive and well equipped to handle globalization. What should be said in the reporting is that the model is built on market economy, strong and responsible trade unions, and extensive and smart welfare systems – I hope that the French left will do their homework about this model and especially accept the first one (market economy, balanced and made more human and effective by trade unionism and generous welfare). Moreover, the new right-wing government in Sweden is currently cutting taxes and welfare and they are also trying to weaken the trade unions. So the Nordic model is being dismantled in Sweden as we speak.
5‑According to you who will win the French election? Do you have a preference?
I think that Sarkozy and Royal will end up in the second round, where Royal will win by 50,5 against 49,5. The main reason why Royal will win is because French people want change, and not five more years with a guy from Chirac’s party. And obviously I have a preference for Royal.
6‑ Do you think that this election can have an influence on the European Union? If yes, how? (for example the European constitution, the European economy…)
Since France is one of the four big in the EU, the election is very important. I believe that we need to create a social Europe that helps working people and balances the freedoms of the internal market – social dumping will not make Europe competitive in the long run. I also hope that Turkey can be part of the EU one day. I think that the EU should be more than only neo-economic integration. In all these areas, I believe more in Royal than in Sarkozy. But when elected president, Royal needs to engage in European issues in the same way as French European socialists Mitterrand and Delors did. That remians to be proven.
7‑What is the look that Swedish people have on France?
The stereotype, I guess: A charming but snobby country with a great capital, good food and wine, and beautiful countryside. But also: a struggling economy, huge problems with integration, and lack of efficiency in many fields.
8‑Can you just present yourself in few words?
I am 33 years old and the editor in chief of the weekly social democratic newspaper ”Aktuellt i Politiken”. I live in Stockholm with my girlfriend and my main interests are politics, football and music. In 1998 I lived in Tours the whole summer, and after that I studied economic history and international relations at Université Paul Valery in Montpellier for a year. I miss the weather and the food in southern France a lot!
And don’t you miss the interview with Mona Sahlin on the Social Democratic party's new home on YouTube!