Åkesson will put immigration aside to try to break isolation
Sunday, 17 November 2013
The leader of the Sweden Democrats Jimmie Åkesson is prepared to tone
down the party's focus on immigration, to avoid being isolated ahead of
next year's election, according to an interview in the daily Svenska
Dagbladet. Police to investigate SD politicians (16 Nov 2013)
Åkesson says he is reaching out a hand to the two men hoping to be
prime minister after the election, the Conservative Fredrik Reinfeldt
and the Social Democrat Stefan Löfven. "If you have a problem
discussing immigration policy, we can talk about something else. If
there is a difficult parliamentary situation after the election, we
have a joint responsibility to solve it," says Åkesson.
Asked if the party will not demand influence regarding policies on
immigration, in exchange for support of a certain prime minister,
Åkesson replies: "if the positions are stuck and this is the reason
given, there could be an opening for long-term dialogue if we start by
talking about something else. I think everyone will benefit from that.
But of course I will not drop the immigration issues, as they are the
most important ones for our voters".
The Sweden Democrats got 5.7 percent of the votes in the election
2010, but are hoping to become the third biggest party in parliament
after next September. Åkesson says they want to be in an "absolute
position to tip the balance of power". In a Sifo poll on Sunday, 9
percent of those polled said they would vote for SD.
So far, the other parties have been clear they want nothing to do
with the Sweden Democrats. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has warned
voters with the words "to those who care about Sweden: don't vote for
the Sweden Democrats. Don't release the hatred".
Åkesson says Reinfeldt and Löfven would be "irresponsible" if they
continue ignoring the Sweden Democrats. "Both these gentlemen want to
be prime minister. If I were their situation I wouldn't care about the
small-minded pride that there is towards us," he says in the interview
Political commentator Jonas Thunberg from the left-wing weekly
Flamman told Swedish Radio's Godmorgon Världen on Sunday that he
believes Åkesson is hoping to get a situation similar to that in
Norway, where the ultra-right-wing Fremskridspartiet has entered into a
government coalition with the conservative party Höjre. But Thunberg
doubts that the Swedish parties to the right of the centre are prepared
to do what the Conservatives have done in Norway.
This report comes from Radio Sweden