Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Far Right Comes to Sweden

"Today, 55 percent of Swedes say immigration is the most important issue; the environment ranks a distant second at 13 percent. This in a country where until just a few years ago no issue could compete with education, health care, or jobs. Swedish politics is now trapped in a vicious circle. The larger the Sweden Democrats grows, the larger immigration looms in the public’s mind, and vice versa.

Three of the four parties that make up the center-right parliamentary bloc have concluded that they can stem the leakage of voters to the Sweden Democrats by taking positions that resemble the new party’s, and now vie to outpace one another in a race to the authoritarian side.
The Sweden Democrats actively cultivate the counter-jihadist conspiracy theory that Europe is facing an invasion of Muslim immigrants, who in time will destroy the welfare state and Swedish culture. Muslim immigration, party leader Jimmie Åkesson once said, is “our greatest foreign threat since World War II.”

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