It has been one week since the national elections took place in Sweden but what the final outline of the government will look like is still uncertain. The largest parties in the country are, according to some sources, now joining forces to try to minimize the influence of the newcomers. The Sweden Democrats (SD) have been called both racist as well as neo-Nazi and their introduction to the Swedish government has not only caused a stir in Sweden but also in the international media.
For the first time the Swedish Democrats have managed to get into the Swedish government after they received no less then 5.7% of the country’s votes. As a result Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, recently ran an article with the headline “It won’t be long until the Swedish Democrats show true Anti-semitic nature”.The Haaretz article , featured an interview with President of the Official Council of Jewish communities in Sweden, Lena Posner.
In the article, Posner claims that “this [SD] is a neo-Nazi party… articulate, and talented…but very dangerous,” She further states: “We know where these people are coming from. They are Nazi sympathizers who, under their jackets, are still wearing their brown shirts.”
Yet, as noted by the author of the Haaretz article, the Swedish Democrats “did not include any anti-Semitic messages in its platform. On the contrary, it has two Jewish members among its top ranks and has actually come out in support of Israel at times.”
Still, according to Posner, “the vast majority of the approximately 20,000-strong Jewish community is nonetheless “devastated” by the results”.
Also the UK based daily The Guardian has decided to bring special attention to the introduction of the new party. The Guardian headline proclaims that the new elections ultimately mean that: “Sweden joins Europe-wide backlash against immigration”.
The article reads: “Against this troubled background, Sweden has long seemed aloof and immune, an oasis of civility and openness, with the most generous welfare, asylum, and immigration policies in Europe. But with about 100,000 immigrants entering a country of almost 9 million every year, Åkesson's (party leader of the SD) breakthrough suggests there has been a shift in the public mood.”
As noted by the Guardian, the introduction of SD in to the Swedish government may signal that now Swedes are opting for policies which will be much less tolerant to multiculturalism. Swedish opinion is beginning to oppose the current immigrant-friendly policies. The fact that a political party which allows for racism might end up in the Swedish government is a disgrace for Sweden. Still, it can only be understood as the result of the many policy failures for which the long-governing Social Democrats and their allies are responsible—and intolerance with these failures has now manifested itself in a public outcry.
On late Tuesday or Wednesday the final results of the national elections are expected, and this is also when most probably we will see what the final outline of the government will look like.