Hans Göran Persson born 20 January 1949) served as Prime Minister of Sweden from 1996 to 2006 and was leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party from 1996 to 2007.
Persson was first elected to the Swedish Parliament in 1979, representing Södermanland County but left in 1985 to serve as Municipal Commissioner of Katrineholm, which he did from 1985 to 1989. In 1991, he was re-elected to the Parliament and represented the same constituency. He served as Minister for Schools from 1989 to 1991 in Ingvar Carlsson’s first and second cabinets. From 1994 to 1996, Persson served as Minister for Finance in Ingvar Carlsson’s third cabinet.
After that Ingvar Carlsson announced his retirement from the position of Prime Minister, Persson was chosen to become the new Prime Minister. Persson began as Prime Minister where he left office as Minister for Finance - by continuing to spearhead government efforts to alleviate Sweden's chronic budget deficit. In 1994, the annual shortfall was about 13% of GDP. But after implementing welfare cuts and tax increases, it fell to a projected 2.6% of GDP in 1997, which placed Sweden in a position to qualify for the European Economic and Monetary Union. However, the cost was high: unemployment rose, hovering persistently around 13%, then suddenly fell to about 6.5% the same year. In the 1998 general election, the Social Democrats gained even fewer votes than in the 1991 general election, when they got voted out of office. Persson could remain as Prime Minister with the support of the Green Party and the Left Party...
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