31-year-old Jimmie Akesson is the new face of Sweden’s extreme right. A committed Swedish democrat since the age of 15, in 5 years he has managed to get the party into parliament – even though it was barely in existence the election before.
With an engaging smile and a clean-cut image, he delivers the party’s agenda in a relaxed but uncompromising manner, committed to his party’s uncompromising position:
“We want our issues to be taken up 100 percent, namely responsible immigration politics, a strong drive against crime and a dignified old age.”
Akesson has changed people’s perceptions of the extreme right by getting rid of the “Keep Sweden Swedish” movement that his party comes from. Labelled a racist by his opponents, the young leader prefers to be called a “conservative”
Within the context of the economic crisis and cutbacks by Sweden’s famously bountiful state, unemployment is still significant in the country, despite growth of 4.7 percent.
In June 2010, it topped 9.5 percent of the population. Among the 20-24 age group, that figure was 21.2 percent.
But the economic crisis alone does not explain the far-right phenomenon which is being felt across many european countries. Controversial politician Geert Wilders’s party entered the Dutch Parliament for the first time in June, while in April, the far-right Jobbik party won seats in the Hungarian lower house.