Stockholm (Dagbladet): – Frp leader Sylvi Listhaug tells Dagbladet that only the Sweden Democrats have dared to point out the obvious problems.
The Swedish election campaign enters the run-up side. On Sunday, Swedish voters will once again decide what has turned out to be a referendum on the controversial party, the Sweden Democratic Party (SD).
In recent polls, the party is now the second largest party, beaten only by Prime Minister Magdalena Andersen’s Social Democrats and the largest opposition party.
Again, the debate about gang crime in immigrant communities has become a central theme in the election campaign. But since the last election, the Social Democrats (S) have sharpened their tone.
– Absolutely necessary
FRP President Sylvi Listhaug says it is interesting to see how the Swedish debate has developed in recent years.
– In Sweden, those who have long believed that if no one talks about the problems they will go away, you will be met with fierce resistance if you dare to criticize the failed immigration and integration policies pursued by successive governments. This approach led to a completely irresponsible immigration policy, for which Swedes are now paying a heavy price, says Lystock.
The FRP leader believes that the Sweden Democrats have the party to thank for changing the debate.
– This has finally led to more Swedes opening their eyes and even other parties starting to talk about immigration. It is absolutely imperative that someone takes up this fight in Sweden.
– Infinite sadness
In 2017, when Listak was Minister of Immigration and Integration, he visited the immigrant-dense Ringeby district outside Stockholm.
The aim is to learn from police, politicians and researchers. It all ended with a media circus and canceled meetings.
– This triggered an avalanche of denial and condemnation, as Swedish politicians did not want to be reminded of what was about to happen in their country. After this, more than just the Sweden Democrats woke up and slowly but surely, law and order became a more pressing issue. It’s high time! Listock says.
This year, among others, the city of Eskilstuna has become a symbol of the debate about rising gang crime, where a four-year-old boy was recently attacked during a shooting incident.
– It is infinitely sad that it has gone this far and that innocent Swedish citizens continue to be victims of crude and reckless crimes. Problems like these are hard to fix once they go wrong, so we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be sidetracked when it comes to hard questions about immigration and integration, says Listak.
He insists there are big differences between the Sweden Democrats and his own party.
– The Sweden Democrats have policies in many areas that differ greatly from the Progress Party. The FrP is a liberal people’s party that is concerned with reducing taxes and fees and favors greater freedom for the individual, while the Sweden Democrats call themselves a socially conservative party.
Still, Lystock admits they agree on a desire for tougher immigration policy.
Unge Høre: – Understanding is important
Ola Svenneby, leader of Unge Høyre, believes Sweden Democrats need to understand why they are leaning towards snap elections.
– Of course, I want nothing more than for Høyre’s sister party to do well and see them pick up more voters from SD and S. At the same time, I think it’s important to understand why SD works so well. They are, says Svenneby.
The young Conservative leader largely agrees with Listak’s analysis.
– Some believe that the SD’s prominence is a frightening aspect of Swedish society, and former Prime Minister Löfven even called the SD a far-right party. I don’t agree with that. I don’t think it’s worse than when SD was the first party to describe a society and social problems that many Swedes recognize, says Svenneby.
– Both cases are about immigration and integration, but also about crime and punishment structures. Other parties have been unwilling or unable to participate in these same discussions – until this year. With gang crime being the most important political issue in this year’s elections, it is not surprising that SD is doing well.
– refuses to believe
Svenneby says he is glad Høyre’s Swedish friends in the moderates are now open to working with the Sweden Democrats, even if they are not in government.
– Other parties now really want to associate with SD, so many Swedish voters, I think smart. Ignoring them has been going on for over ten years. That gave them the opportunity to become a major party.
The Sweden Democrats continue to face accusations of being right-wing extremists. In the election campaign, the Social Democrats highlighted the party’s neo-Nazi roots.
Svenneby still doesn’t think this is what draws Swedish voters to the party.
– I am concerned about all the forces that want to pull our society in an anti-democratic direction. At the same time, I refuse to believe that more than 20 percent of Swedes are anti-democratic or racist, says the youth party leader.
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