STOCKHOLM – With Swedish cities roiled for weeks now by rioting by unemployed immigrants, many observers see a failure of the country’s economic model. They are wrong. The Swedish/Scandinavian model that has emerged over the last 20 years has provided the only viable route to sustained growth that Europe has seen in decades.
Europeans should remember that perceptions of strength and weakness change fast. In the 1980’s, Scandinavian countries stood for chronic budget deficits, high inflation, and repeated devaluations. In 1999, The Economist labeled Germany “the sick man of the euro” – a monument of European sclerosis, with low growth and high unemployment.