Home | Friday 24th September 2010 | Issue 740
Thousands hit the streets of Sweden this Monday (20th) after election results on Sunday showed that far-right party, the ‘Sweden Democrats’ had managed to slither their way into parliament for the first time.
A populist xenophobic party with Nazi-fringe roots, the party now clasps the balance of power between the two larger factions of centre-right and left. With neither the opposition party nor the government with a majority, the bigoted anti-immigrant bunch are looking to demand influence or cause congressional mayhem. But as Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, currently trying to form an uneasy coalition with the Green party, announced, “There is no need to use words like chaos”. Right you are.
Spontaneous protests erupted in Stockholm as the announcement went out that 20 parliamentary seats had been allocated to the racists. The vexed crowds, an estimated 6,000, waved the obligatory banners and shouted the required slogans, “No to racism!” but lamentably lacked projectiles. There was a smaller similar protest in Gothenburg.
During elections, the two main parties chose to ignore the far-right’s existence. This gave the Sweden Democrats the opportunity to play upon public unease over immigration policy and put forward their nationalist “solutions”. Following the Dutch elections earlier this year, which saw Islamaphobe Geert Wilders’ ‘Party for Freedom’ became the third largest party in the Netherlands, it seems that even Europe’s perceived liberal bastions are falling foul of efforts to infect them all with Islamaphobia.