The Sweden Democrats – arguably Sweden’s answer to the UK Independence Party – has confidently declared that they expect to the run the country against a backdrop of increasing immigration tensions, and after taking the outright lead in a number of national polls.
The party’s leader, Jimmie Åkesson, made the bold claim during his summer keynote speech, alongside a claim that the party would put the immigration issue to a national referendum.
“We have come a long way – but we’re going even further. We’re about to show how we’re able to run the country,” Åkesson said.
“Sure, it’s a long way to the election, but it is obvious that we need to start planning to be prepared to take real responsibility for the country. We should be the establishment. We should dominate the public debate.”
“What is it that causes people to risk their own and their children’s lives to come here? I dare say that it is down to other parties’ lax policies on welfare,” he told a crowd of 2000, according to The Local.
He also remarked that the country should hold a referendum on immigration “as soon as possible.”
The country has suffered from a spate of attacks on government buildings in recent months, as well as tensions mounting following Eritrean migrants stabbing Swedish citizens to death in an Ikea store.
The country has one of the largest problems with inward migration, according to European Commission data, with the blame being laid at the feet of the nation’s overly generous welfare state.
The Sweden Democrats recently took out English-language adverts across its public transport system, apologising to tourists for “the mess here in Sweden”.