Sweden’s PM accused of ‘stealing’ Viktor Orbán’s energy plan

Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson (left) has been accused by a Swedish media outlet of cribbing Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's (right) energy plan (John Thys, Pool Photo via AP)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

Swedish Social Democrat Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson’s fresh plan to decouple electricity prices from those of natural gas is strikingly similar to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s proposal, writes Swedish daily Nyheter Idag.

“She stole a proposal from the man they otherwise single out as the closest thing to Satan himself — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán,” the paper writes.

It was on Friday that Andersson held a press conference where she explained that she will leave the Swedish election campaign to instead devote herself to European politics and try to create a broad coalition in the EU for lower electricity prices, including by decoupling the prices of electricity from the rising prices of natural gas.

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“It is not reasonable that Swedish households and companies buy Swedish electricity, which is produced cheaply, but have to pay sky-high prices because our neighboring countries are dependent on Russian gas,” Andresson said.

“Russia is waging an energy war against Europe, and we must take back control. Disconnecting electricity prices from gas prices creates a completely new line of defense,” says Andersson without further explaining the mechanisms behind this defense.

However, the Swedish media outlet argues that the proposal is nothing new and was already introduced by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at a press conference all the way back in April this year. Orbán then proposed several measures to deal with the energy crisis, including decoupling the price of electricity from the price of gas in Europe.

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“We must prepare to deal with the economic crisis in Europe,” Orbán said at the time.

Swedish political commentator Arvid Hallén believes that Andersson’s actions are part of the Social Democrats’ election campaign.

Currently, the country’s main anti-immigration party, the Sweden Democrats, are polling above 20 percent and are expected to become the second-largest party in the country. If the center-right aligns with the Sweden Democrats following the election, the possibility of a right-wing coalition arises that could kick Andersson’s party from power.

“The Social Democrats’ election campaign lacks policy, it is almost exclusively about highlighting Magdalena Andersson as a strong leader,” he said. “The electricity crisis has also arisen by itself, but this real crisis atmosphere does not exist yet; it will only come when these insane electricity bills and possible rotating disconnection appear.”

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