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Sweden's Far Right Is Set To Make History After Sunday's General Elections

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It will not be long before the true anti-Semitic nature of the far-right anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats (SD) party - which won an unprecedented number of seats in Sunday’s elections, is revealed - a leader of the local Jewish community there warned on Monday.This is a neo-Nazi party…articulate, and talented…but very dangerous,” said Lena Posner, President of the Official Council of Jewish communities in Sweden, an umbrella organization of Jewish groups in the country. “We know where these people are coming from. They are Nazi sympathizers who, under their jackets, are still wearing their brown shirts.”

The previously marginal party, which just a few years ago was considered nothing more than a motley collection of racists and fascists on the fringe of society, ran a campaign focused on the need to cut immigration and featured ominous ads showing burka-clad Muslim women shoving aside white Swedish pensioners in order to take away their benefits.The party’s leader, a clean-cut 31-year-old named Jimmie Ã…kesson, described Islam as Sweden’s biggest national security threat since the Second World War, and presented skewed statistics ostensibly to prove that immigrants were five times more likely than native Swedes to be convicted of rape.

They are no longer a 45 percent party; they're now a 30 percent party, and that reality forced them into this alliance with the Green and Left parties, which was an experiment the voters didn't like," he said. "The leader of the Social Democrats, Mona Sahlin, was also considered by the public to be a weak leader, whereas the leaders from the Alliance were considered strong leaders who managed the financial crisis very well."Now we are in the Riksdag! We are in!," exulted Jimmie Aakesson, the 31-year-old leader of the Swedish far-right, as he addressed supporters at the party's election headquarters.

Jenny Madestam, a political science professor at Stockholm University, said the campaign's focus on taxes, which worked in favor of the tax-cutting Mr. Reinfeldt and came at the expense of the Social Democrats' traditional priorities of unemployment and the welfare state, shows "the agenda-setting power has switched hands from the Social Democrats to the Moderate Party."The party wants to put the brakes on immigration in Sweden, where more than 100,000 foreigners take up residence every year.

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