Sweden

Sweden: 2014 Neo-Nazi Landslide Victory

Europe

The September 2014 parliamentary elections provided a landslide victory for the right-wing and anti-immigrant anti-immigrant party of the Swedish Democrats, which went 29 seats up to 49. The progress was paid for by the bourgeois parties. The moderates went 23 seats to 84. For the center-left there was little progress. The Labor Party (the Social Democrats) went up for a mandate to 113, thereby regaining the seat as the largest party of the Riksdag, and the Vänsterpatiet went 2 mandates up to 21. The election result created a parliamentary crisis. The former government coalition Alliance had lost 32 seats and had only 141. The center-left had a total of 159 seats, but in order to form a majority government, 175 were required.Stefan Löfven as prime minister. The government had just 138 votes behind, and would therefore need to involve other parties in order to govern. The government only lasted 2 months. On December 3, the government’s draft state budget for 2015 fell when the Swedish Democrats, along with the Alliance, voted against. Löfven then declared that he would print new elections for March, but formally the election could not be printed until December 29. On December 27, the election was canceled as the government had agreed with the Alliance to vote for the budget. In return, the Alliance received a number of concessions in the areas of immigration, defense and pensions.

On October 30, 2014, according to topschoolsintheusa, Sweden became the first Western European country to formally recognize the state of Palestine (a number of Eastern European countries had already made this recognition decades earlier). The Israeli Foreign Minister suffered a rage attack and recalled the country’s ambassador to Sweden. Swedish recognition triggered a stream of accolades across Western Europe. The accolades expressed dissatisfaction with Israel, which countered peace in the region and whose recent bloody war against Gaza had cost more than 2,200 lives.

At the end of December 2014, Eslövs Islamiska Kulturförening was slightly north of Malmö exposed to vandalism. It was the 14th attack on an Islamic association or mosque during the year, and the attacks had become increasingly dangerous. On Christmas days, the mosque in Eskilstuna was exposed to a fire attack. Right-wing radicals in both Sweden and Denmark openly praised the criminal activities on their websites.

In March 2015, the Ombudsman strongly criticized the Skåne police for establishing a database of names of 4,000 Roma in the region. This was not a criminal record, but merely a registration from ethnic origin, which is prohibited in Sweden.

Sweden

After neo-Nazis set fire to 21 asylum centers in 2015, authorities decided in October to move to secrecy the location of the centers. Säpo had been investigated, but unsurprisingly did not reach anyone’s arrest. As in Denmark, the Swedish intelligence system has a long tradition of working with right-wing radical groups. Neo-Nazis continued the attacks on refugees and immigrants around Sweden into 2016. In January 2016, 100 masked black-clad right-wing radicals attacked immigrants around the Central Station in Stockholm.

Sweden together with Germany was the country in Europe that received the most refugees in 2015. Unlike the other EU countries, the country wanted to comply with the UN Refugee Convention, but in December the system collapsed due to the massive pressure. Around 900,000 asylum seekers had entered the EU during the year, and most countries chose to turn their backs on refugees and violate the convention. The EU was therefore also unable to devise common solutions. In December, Sweden had accepted 163,000 asylum seekers and simply had no more accommodation options. The government therefore announced that from January 1, 2016, border controls were being introduced and that refugees who had not been allowed to enter would be rejected. The decision caused tensions in the government because the Environment Party was opposed, but was nevertheless implemented.

In April 2016, the Minister of Housing and the Environment Party Mehmet Kaplan had to step down. The reason was that he had attended a dinner with representatives of the Turkish right-wing radical group, the Gray Wolves, and partly compared Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians with the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews during World War II. The departure also triggered an internal crisis in the Environment Party.

Also in April, the Swedish TV program, Uppdrag Granskning, helped topple the Icelandic prime minister. The program’s journalists had participated in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ (ICIJ) analysis of the leaked Panama Papers documenting global tax fraud through the law firm of Mossack Fonseca in Panama. One of those who cheated was the Icelandic Prime Minister. Together with an Icelandic journalist, Uppdrag Granskning interviewed the prime minister, who ended up emigrating to the open screen, after the reporters had revealed his criminal activities. Two days later he was set aside.

Sweden took in almost 30,000 refugees in 2016, while xenophobic Denmark took 1,000. In 2017, the figure in Sweden was expected to be approx. 25,000. The total immigration to Sweden was approx. 6 times higher. An indication that most of the immigration came from other EU countries.

The government aligned itself closely with NATO in the demonization of Russia and in March 2017 reintroduced ordinary military service. The provision comes into effect from 2018, and since the executive order is gender neutral, both young women and men must do military service.

In October 2017, the unemployment rate in Sweden was 6.3%. For young people it was 16.7% – almost 4% higher than in India, but significantly lower than the 37.2% in Spain. Sweden was one of the countries in the OECD where the ratio of youth unemployment to general unemployment was highest. An indication that the country had special problems in getting employers to hire young people.

From the European refugee disaster in 2015, both the Social Democracy and the bourgeois parties moved to the right in the view of refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants. The consequence of the right-leaning of the bourgeois public was that the neo-Nazi Sweden Democrats (SD) and the militant right-wing radicals were strengthened (expo.se). The groups increased influx, conducted more demonstrations and appeared more violent. In the Riksdag, the largest opposition party, the Moderates, opened up that a future bourgeois government could rely on votes from the SD. An attitude the other bourgeois parties did not share.