“We have a very turbulent situation in the financial markets. The problem is that the considerable international uncertainty also has an impact on Sweden,” says Finance Minister Anders Borg to daily Svenska Dagbladet.
Minister for Enterprise, Maud Olofsson, suggests that it may delay any of the government's election promises: a fifth earned income tax credit, tax cuts for pensioners, or reduced restaurant VAT.
“We are prepared to postpone reforms to a later date. The public finances should never be compromised. We must be sure that there is a buffer if this trend continues,” she says.
The situation is so serious that the government should invite opposition to talks, believes Tommy Waidelich, economic spokesman of the Social Democrats, who also thinks that the government should do more at the European level.
“The biggest issue is the lack of leadership in Europe, where problems just are postponed, and one are not looking for what is best for Europe. There, Anders Borg has a shared responsibility,” he says.
Swedbank's chief economist Cecilia Hermansson describes the falling stock markets as a "thermometer". There is a growing nervousness about debt problems in Europe and the United States and the increasingly gloomy situation for the world economy.
"There is a concern that we are entering a weaker world economy, and there is also a concern for a new financial crisis," she says.
The sharp decline in the stock markets has frightened many Swedish small savers, who have sold much of their equity funds.