French President Emmanuel Macron has blasted populist Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Åkesson claiming he is “not compatible with Swedish values” during an interview one week before the country’s national election.
The comments from the French president came after the Sweden Democrats leader was asked in a debate whether he would choose to side with either Macron or Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Åkesson responded, “I do not want either of them,” prompting a reply from the French leader, SVT reports.
“I do not have to choose,” Åkesson said. “Nobody needs to hesitate about what I think of Russia’s aggressive foreign policy or about Putin’s aggressive imperialist regime in Russia, but that does not mean that I only have to choose a left-liberal imperialist who goes through the EU.”
On the Swedish programme Agenda, Macron responded by saying: “It says that this party leader cannot decide how to rank values.”
“If you cannot choose between the French or Russian president, then it shows that the person is not compatible with the Swedish values,” he added.
Macron Tells Denmark ‘No Such Thing as a True Dane, True Frenchman’ https://t.co/9wYdfcdHUW
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 30, 2018
Following Macron’s response, Åkesson doubled down on his comments saying: “For what reason should I choose between these two heads of state? One is an aggressive imperialist and the other is a left-wing EU federalist.
“So I do not have any deep sympathies for either of them, and therefore resigned from choosing.”
Macron’s comment comes after a number of recent controversies while travelling to other European Union member states including telling Danish people in Denmark that there were no “true” Danes or Frenchmen.
Widely considered one of the foremost globalists in the EU, Macron has also declared his opposition to anti-establishment populists like Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán who met last month for the first time and vowed to unite against the globalist bloc typified by Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
While Macron has recently seen record polling lows in France, Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats look to greatly increase the number of seats in the Swedish parliament with polls consistently showing them in second place or tied for second with the Moderate party.
Sweden, Sifo poll:
S-S&D 26 %
SD-ECR 18 % (+1)
M-EPP 17 %
V-LEFT 11 %
C-ALDE 9 % (-1)
L-ALDE 6 %
MP-G/EFA 5 % (-1)
KD-EPP 5 %
— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) September 3, 2018