Göran Persson flanked by new and shuffled ministers

Persson Reshuffles His Cabinet Cards

Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson has picked the political heavyweight Pär Nuder as his finance minister, hoping the move can convince voters the government can turn economic growth into new jobs before elections in 2006.

The Social Democratic leader told a news conference that ”The old guys are leaving. This is a new generation.” The 62 year old outgoing finance minister Bosse Ringholm becomes deputy prime minister in a wide ranging cabinet reshuffle.

Other cabinet changes included Education Minister Thomas Ostros replacing Leif Pagrotsky in the trade, industry and business portfolio. This had been widely expected since Pagrotsky’s loud opposition to the government’s euro campaign last year.

Also new is Schools Minister Ibrahim Baylan, a 31-year-old union representative. Of Syrian origin and born in Turkish Kurdistan, he fled to Sweden with his family when he was a child and becomes the first non-European to join a Swedish government.

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