Friday

22nd Sep 2017

Focus

Public disclosure unkind to Swedish nationalists

  • Swedish parties are becoming more transparent (Photo: Peter Gibson)

The presence of a populist, nationalist party in their midst has belatedly convinced Swedish political parties to legislate for compulsory disclosure of party contributions.

From 1 April this year, all political parties will need to publically declare any donations of over €2,000. And any anonymous donations will exclude the party in question from public financing.

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The only party to vote against the reform was the Swedish Democrats (SD), the nationalist party whose presence triggered the sudden zeal to find out where everybody is getting their funding from.

The Swedish Democrats were newcomers in the Swedish Parliament in 2010 and have almost doubled the support they had in the elections from around 5 percent to just over 10 percent.

Lately, however, the numbers seem to be going the wrong way for the party. A February poll showed support for the SD had dropped to 8.7 percent.

This could be because the SD Party secretary Bjorn Soder highlighted the fact that there is a loophole in the legislation that he is interested in exploiting. Only anonymous donations to the national organisation fall under the scope of the legislation. Donations to local entities are technically still allowed.

Or it may have been the appearance of the SD leader, Jimmi Akesson, on a recent TV political show.

Akesson told the audience about growing up in a small town that was suddenly flooded with immigrants. He spoke of not being listened to when he wanted to discuss the problems he felt this caused.

Unfortunately for Akesson, the very next day old school friends of his popped up to say there was no immigration to speak of when they were growing up.

A check of the statistics confirmed their account. The flood arriving in Akesson’s hometown in his youth consisted of one hundred non-Swedes in a population of 7,000.

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