Now that the english have voted to exit the european union one must ask if it's not about time to have a referendum here in Sweden. The results could mirror those of the brits, a slight majority preferring to leave. A divide mostly between the upper and lower class and the old and the young. Swedes already said no to join the Euro and NATO so the sentiment of wanting to keep self-determination has always been strong. 

Opinion polls show loosing confidence in established parties and a turn towards more radical left and right wing politics as people become increasingly aware of the major challenges society is facing. The conservative Sweden Democrats is thought to have gained some 20% of voters while the Social Democrats and the Liberals have lost a significant number of voters. 

Economic, environmental and energy problems keep piling up without any clear vision or united efforts to tackle them on a national scale. On top of that immigration has become a major issue that divides the country. At the same time property prices and rents are sky high in city regions leading to segregation that only intensifies conflicts between the have and have nots.

This meanwhile farmers are struggling due to unreasonable EU rules and practices. Sweden imports almost 50% of the food that is consumed despite all the fertile land and freshwater the country has. However, the trend is shifting towards more locally grown food as people become aware of the benefits and the enjoyment in knowing where their food comes from. But it's a slow process.

The danger of course, in these times of political turmoil, is for demagoguery to gain more traction as people struggle to make sense of shifting power structures and harsher socioeconomic conditions. There are no easy or quick fixes, even if Sweden leaves the EU we still have many problems that our own government is to blame for, the massive private debt burden for example. The rising economic inequality and unfunded pensions that indebted students without any sight of gaining high paying jobs will ever be able to pay for. Exiting the EU or stopping immigration won't solve these problems, we need structural change of our entire economic system. The question is if we have the courage to change our way of living before it is changed for us, whether we like it or not.


Out of the ashes into the fire

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