SR International-Radio Sweden (Stockholm), March 30, 2009
In other political news in this Nordic nation, the leader of the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats party hoping to win parliamentary seats in the next election is dismissing Swedish Radio News reports of racist comments in the party’s closed-door discussions and refuses to make any apologies.
With its roots in the right-wing, anti-immigrant movement here, the party now insists that it is just like all other democratic parties and does not tolerate racist statements–either in public or in internal discussions.
However, Swedish Radio News sent in 3 journalists with hidden microphones to a number of party meetings in major cities–including with those with official positions and candidates for European Parliament elections in June.
Played on both public service radio and television here, the recordings reveal strong condemnation of refugees and immigrants–calling them violence-prone, criminals, diseased, parasites who don’t want to work or integrate into Swedish society and unwelcome into a Swedish home.
The party has made large gains in the last local elections, and tangent the 4% voter support level in the polls necessary to win a seat in parliament.
However, observers predict that this new debate on racism may please those already supporting the party–but could scare off potential new-comers dissatisfied with the established parties.