Tag Archives: Eurosceptics

EU chaos as Swexit becomes reality while eurosceptics gain ground: 'Changing rapidly'

Sweden slams EU on call for states to determine minimum wage

Sweden‘s political landscape is changing at rates never before seen. This week, the country plummeted into a full-blown crisis after a clash over housing policy resulted in a fragmented parliament. Social Democrat Prime Minister Stefan Löfven saw 181 lawmakers vote against him.

He now has a week to decide whether to call a snap election or resign and move towards building a new governing coalition.

As the country’s once stable political position crumbles, the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD) have made serious gains in both influence and attention.

Countries Europe over have seen right-wing, nationalist parties gain traction in recent years, with the coronavirus pandemic having sped-up the process.

SD are, like other right-wing parties on the continent, vehemently opposed to the EU and increasingly confident in voicing criticism.

EU news: Brussels could be left red-faced as Sweden's anti-EU party gains ground

EU news: Brussels could be left red-faced as Sweden’s anti-EU party gains ground (Image: GETTY)

Sweden: The country's parliament descended into chaos this week

Sweden: The country’s parliament descended into chaos this week (Image: GETTY)

In return for this SD and its leader Jimmie Åkesson have gained a surge in popularity from the public and a handful of Swedish politicians.

Mr Åkesson recently persuaded three other opposition party chiefs that they will need his support to take power from Mr Löfven in an election.

If successful, SD could push an anti-EU agenda to the heart of Sweden’s parliament, raising fears among Brussels top brass.

Speaking to Politico, Tommy Möller, a political scientist at Stockholm University told of how immediate change could arrive.

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Stefan Löfven: The Prime Minister's place in Sweden's politics is now unclear

Stefan Löfven: The Prime Minister’s place in Sweden’s politics is now unclear (Image: GETTY)

He said: “This is definitively a formative moment within Swedish politics.

“The landscape is changing rapidly.”

SD first entered parliament in 2010.

Back then, the party looked doomed to fail.

As Mr Åkesson gained momentum, former Moderate Party leader Fredrik Reinfeldt, Sweden’s prime minister from 2006 until 2014, called SD a “xenophobic force” and refused to discuss policy with them at all.

It is true that SD was previously a messy mix of unsavoury elements.

When Mr Åkesson joined the party in 1995 it included several neo-Nazi figures.

Since becoming leader in 2005 he has purged the party of people who have made racist statements.

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Jimmie Åkesson: The SD party leader has soared in popularity in recent years

Jimmie Åkesson: The SD party leader has soared in popularity in recent years (Image: GETTY)

Sweden Democrats: Åkesson delivering a speech at a party conference in 2018

Sweden Democrats: Åkesson delivering a speech at a party conference in 2018 (Image: GETTY)

SD really gained popularity in 2015 amid Europe’s migration crisis and a resulting spike in the number of asylum seekers entering Sweden.

This caused a change in approach for the Moderates, as well as their long-time partners the Christian Democrats, and the Liberals.

Ulf Kristersson, who became Moderate leader in 2017, initially rejected collaboration with SD.

However, since narrowly losing an election to Mr Löfven in 2018, he has slowly shifted direction, becoming increasingly clear over recent months that he is now ready to seek SD backing to avoid another defeat.

Brexit seats: Sweden gained an extra seat within the European Parliament following Brexit

Brexit seats: Sweden gained an extra seat within the European Parliament following Brexit (Image: Express Newspapers)

The series of events falling into SD’s hands look grave for the EU.

In 2018, Peter Helmut, a local Swedish Democrat warned that the bloc’s behaviour over Brexit may trigger Sweden’s own departure.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, he said: “We don’t have any faith in the EU.

“We don’t think they should tell us what to do in Sweden, the laws and so forth.

Brussels: Löfven pictured with Emmanuel Macron in Brussels

Brussels: Löfven pictured with Emmanuel Macron in Brussels (Image: GETTY)

“Yes, we want to leave the EU. You call it Brexit, we call it Swexit.

“Why are there problems in the talks? It’s not Britain. It’s the EU that makes the problem.”

According to Politico’s ‘Poll of Polls’, SD is currently in third place at 19 percent, compared to Mr Löfven’s Social Democrats which is on 25 percent.

Mr Kristersson’s Moderates trail slightly behind at 22 percent, revealing just how small the margins are between the vastly different parties.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

Finland election polls: Eurosceptics on course to make huge gains spelling trouble for EU

The 2021 Finnish municipal elections are due to be held on June 13, 2021. Finland’s municipal elections were originally scheduled to take place in April, but were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to one of the latest polls, the right-wing Finns Party could more than double its vote share compared to the party’s previous election performance.

The last municipal elections held in Finland took place in 2017.

The National Coalition Party won the most votes of any party, with 20.7 percent of the vote.

The Social Democratic Party won 19.4 percent of the vote, while the Centre Party of Finland gained 17.5 percent.

The Green League Party won 12.5 percent of the vote in the last elections, while the Finns Party won only 8.8 percent of the vote.

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As per the Helsinki Times, Tuomo Turja, the research director at Taloustutkimus, told YLE: “The Finns Party’s challenge is not so much the other parties, but whether it can get its own supporters to the polling stations.”

The Social Democratic Party, headed by Finland’s Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, are set to get 17 percent of the vote according to the poll.

But the right-wing opposition party, the National Coalition, appeared to have the lead over all rivals in the poll.

The National Coalition could win as much as 19.6 percent of the vote according to the poll, almost a fifth of the vote.

According to the Helsinki Times, Elina Kestilä-Kekkonen, an associate professor of political science at Tampere University, told YLE: “It shows the European trend where confidence in the powers to be was exceptionally high during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Now that the epidemic is losing momentum, the SDP has to step before the public also in regards to other issues.”

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Politico reported that a party ad campaign was recently pulled for discrimination, by suggesting immigrants can jump the public housing queue in Finland’s capital of Helsinki.

He said: “There is no influence in being quiet and nodding.”

After the UK’s exit from the EU in recent years, there have been growing rumblings of anti-EU sentiment elsewhere in Europe.

Anti-EU parties in places like Sweden and Estonia have gained momentum recently.

If momentum continues to grow, other countries could potentially opt to leave the EU behind in the future.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed