The Swedish far-right hopes for Brexit

EPA/FREDRIK SANDBERG SWEDEN OUT

Jimmie Akesson, chairman of the right-wing party Sweden Democrats, cheers when he meets party workers in Stockholm, Sweden, 19 September 2010, after forecasts of the national elections saying the Sweden Democrats will pass the 4% threshold and enter the parliament. Recent polls project 25% support for the SD

The nationalist right in Sweden hopes this is the beginning of the end


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The leader of the far-right Swedish Democrats (SD) said on Swedish television on Sunday night that he hoped Britain voted in favor of Brexit this June 23rd, followed by Sweden in the near future.

“I really hope we eventually get the opportunity to hold a referendum in Sweden” said the Eurosceptic Jimmie Åkesson. Like AfD in Germany, it appears the Swedish far right has been benefitting from both the economic crisis and the refugee crisis.

Since 2010, the party passed the 4% threshold, entered the parliament, and has since continued to surge, first on polls, then in ballot boxes. They came third with 12,9% in the legislative elections of 2014. In recent polls in February 2016 they have been fighting head-to-head for first, second, and third place with the Moderates and the Social Democrats. In two polls the SD came first with more than 25%.

The leader of the Swedish Democrats believes the EU is an unwanted federation that undermined national sovereignty and applauded Donald Trump for being tough on immigration. The party is not simply populist, but has an explicitly racist tradition. Some of its members have been associated with the neo-Nazi movement and its secretary has said that Jews were not Sweidish before they renounce their “ethnic identity.”

On Sunday evening, Akesson was debating against Liberal party leader Jan Björklund, who called the EU “the most successful collaboration project in history,” which was all the more necessary to face terrorism, Russian aggression, and to avoid another economic crisis. Liberals had secured 5,4% of the vote in 2014 and they do not seem to be surging significantly on the polls.

(Expressen, The Local, Metro, FT, The Independent)

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