A specter is haunting Europe;the specter of neo-Nasism: Sweden’s election signals a surge of Fascism in Europe

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A specter is haunting Europe;the specter of neo-Nasism: Sweden’s election signals a surge of Fascism in Europe

Marine Le Pen dreamed it, and ultimately, Jimmie Åkesson made it happen. The Sweden Democrats (SD), the far-right party with fascist tendencies he leads, have become the second political force in the Scandinavian nation in the legislative elections held on September 11 following a fierce campaign centred on pervasive social crime, immigration, and soaring inflation.

Le Pen, the leader of the French “Le Front National,” hailed the victory of the Sweden Democrats, describing it as the revival of nationalists across Europe.

Meanwhile, the outgoing Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson of the Social Democratic Party, who gained 30.33% of the vote (107 seats), admitted defeat and tendered her resignation.

Following the protracted process of tallying votes, the right-wing alliance of Democrats of Sweden, Christian Democrats, Moderates, and Liberals emerged victorious with 49.59 % of the vote (176 seats out of 349).

The left-wing coalition, consisting of the Social Democratic Party, Left Party,’Environmental Party the Greens’, and Center Party) was defeated with 48.87% of the vote (173 seats).

Experts in Swedish politics agree that the Swedish Democrats, who received 20.54% (73 seats) of the vote, should be regarded as the true winners of the parliamentary election, a seismic political upheaval.

After almost four decades of political activity, the neo-Nazi party has become the first right-wing force in the Swedish parliament, the Riksdag, and the second biggest party in the 2022 elections. [1]

Since 1988, the Sweden Democrat (SD) has evolved from the openly racist and neo-Nazi “Keep Sweden Swedish” [“Bevara Svenskt”] movement. The Swedish Democrats spent the years after 1988 purging their ranks of ultra-extremists. However, they remain a coherent anti-immigration party whose members incessantly propagate xenophobia and incite racial hatred, particularly against Sweden’s Muslim community.

Conservative Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson, whose party received 19.10% of the vote (68 seats), is widely expected to become the next Prime Minister. Kristersson has previously vowed to “restore order to Sweden.”

Despite his party’s landslide victory, Åkesson is deemed incapable, even by his allies, of taking the helm of a nation with deep sociopolitical schisms. [2] However, Åkesson’s party retains power as a kingmaker.

According to political commentators, Sweden’s traditional left parties failed to employ incendiary electoral rhetoric to galvanise the moderate Swedish voters, which led to their collapse after eight years in power. This opportunistic strategy has undoubtedly proven to be successful for the Sweden Democrats.

Moreover, there was enough room for the SD’s populist manoeuvres, regardless of how incongruous its campaign promises were with those of its conservative allies.

The Swedish political scene should prepare for four years of fascist populism and its precarious economic and social implications. The SD will undoubtedly launch a full-fledged onslaught on Sweden’s democratic institutions and foment antagonistic nationalism against ethnic and religious minorities.

The EU was utterly flabbergasted by the SD’s triumph in parliamentary elections. Until recently, cooperating with the SD or endorsing its radical views were frowned upon and regarded as taboo in Swedish domestic politics. The victory of the neo-Nazi SD party in Sweden and the anticipated success of Giorgia Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia (FDI), who have close ties to the Kremlin and their belief that Europe should not pay for Ukraine’s conflict with Russia, raise a looming scenario in which the European Union’s pillars and founding principles begin to crumble.

[1] https://voxeurop.eu/fr/les-anciens-neonazis-suedois-vont-au-pouvoir/


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