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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Swedes Pick Premier

STOCKHOLM -- Swedish Finance Minister Goran Persson was appointed leader of the ruling Social Democratic Party at a congress Friday, replacing retiring Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson.

Persson, 46, appointed by a mass cry of "Yes" from delegates, will be officially appointed prime minister next week, when he will name a new center-left government, party officials said. He has vowed to continue the austerity policies he has introduced since becoming finance minister in September 1994.

Persson is presiding over a party split between traditional leftists seeking to preserve the country's cradle-to-grave welfare state and reformers who say the country cannot afford it.