Sweden increasingly inclined towards right-wing win in elections
The Sweden Democrats, a right-wing group, is gaining momentum for the coming elections.
The rise of the right in Sweden is becoming increasingly brazen and visible, from the country's gradual accession to NATO, to the rise in popularity of right-wing parties, notably the Sweden Democrats which have been betting on unseating the Social Democrats current in Stockholm in Sunday's general election.
Crime in its many forms has been subjects of contention in the race between the two rival parties, especially against the background that anti-immigration and nationalist Sweden Democrats have for long been treated as pariahs - however, with time, they were welcomed into the right-wing bloc. The Sweden Democrat's political isolation is slowly becoming undone.
The party sprung from a neo-Nazi ideology in the 1980s, entering parliament in 2010 with only a meager 5.7% of votes.
However, according to recent opinion polls, the Sweden Democrats could become the second-largest party in the parliament, which would entail that if the right were to form a government, their backing would be necessary.
Since 2014, Stockholm has been governed by the Social Democrats, which have been directing the winds of Swedish politics since the 1930s. The current prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, is greatly supported by Swedes.
Around 55% of voters want Andersson to remain in position, while 32% support her rival, Ulf Kristersson, of the Moderates, which is a conservative party, according to an August poll.
For a government to be formed, the Social Democrats will need the support of the Greens, Left and Centre parties. On the other hand, the Moderates, Christian Democrats, Liberals and Sweden Democrats constitute the right-wing bloc.
Not much of this order comes as a surprise, especially since Sweden looks to join NATO, an intercontinental violent, reactionary force of imperialism. Sweden, for two centuries, had been militarily non-aligned until this year.
Along with this alignment comes a plethora of issues that have brought up controversy: gun violence and crime, immigration, and energy prices which have been on the rise.
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"Inflation has soared and the same is true for crime and shootings, and these are contextual factors that should benefit the right-wing opposition," said Patrik Ohberg, a political scientist at the University of Gothenburg, to AFP.
In terms of death by firearms, Sweden has been topping the statistics in Europe. Gang shootings and other forms of armed violence, which have also been attributed to drugs and weapons market, have plagued public spaces, such as parks and shopping centres.
Since the beginning of 2022, firearms have claimed the lives of 48 people in Sweden - that is three more than the entirety of last year. Grenade attacks and frequent bombings of homes and cars have also been on the rise.
Anders Lindberg, an editor at left-wing news outlet Aftonbladet, noted that the Sweden Democrat's warming up to Stockholm is "an enormous shift in Swedish society."
"We want to have a maximum of influence, so it's clear that our point of departure is to be in the government", the Sweden Democrats' leader Jimmie Akesson told AFP. "Otherwise it's going to be costly for the government to have us on board."
Europe's widespread racism, Islamophobia, and bloodshed
European fascism comes as no surprise: In June, what seemed like an "unfortunate event" on the Morocco-Melilla border was, thanks to videos circulated by the media, a massacre that brutally killed 37 mostly-African refugees coming from Chad, Niger, South Sudan and Sudan. Over 150 were injured in the violence, which included charges and beatings by security forces coming from both the Spanish and the Moroccan sides.
The continent has been taking on an increasingly anti-refugee concept – rigid and violent. Last winter, Poland left refugees to freeze to death in the forests on its border. In 2019, Italy’s Prime Minister, Matteo Salvini, called on the EU to suspend all naval rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea, which left thousands of people to drown. “Progressive” Finland, with its application to join NATO, declared its intention to begin constructing barriers along its border with Russia to guard against any refugees being used as “hybrid warfare” by Russia.
Sweden, itself, has been experiencing waves of Islamophobia translated into social aggression and violence. In April, violent clashes with police and protesters over insistence on burning Qurans resulted in the injury of 26 police officers and 14 civilians.
According to police, up to 100 people, mostly youth, threw stones, set fire to cars, tires, and garbage cans, and erected a barrier fence in the town of Landskrona after authorities moved a demonstration planned there by the Danish party Stram Kurs to the nearby city of Malmö, about 45 km to the south.
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