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Sweden Democrat leader joins white power singsong

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07:00 CEST+02:00
Leading members of the far-right Sweden Democrats (SDU) sang racist songs while attending a party conference.

The Sweden Democrats held a conference in January on board a ferry to Tallinn in Estonia. Posing as a member, an undercover reporter from Sveriges Radio's Kaliber programme accompanied the party faithful.

The reporter, with the help of a hidden camera and microphone, also recorded informal interaction in the cabins and in the bar.

One evening, singing could be heard from one of the cabins, and the voice of SDU (Young Sweden Democrats) chairperson Erik Almkvist could be heard singing along to "Folkligt uppror" (literally: "People's revolt" by white power rockers Fyrdung.

The conference delegates also sang songs by the neo-Nazi white power band Svensk ungdom, as a well as a few lines from "Friheten leve" - a song from the Swedish Nazi movement in the 1930s.

Party leader Jimmie Åkesson and other leading members of the main party took part in the singsong. According to Kaliber's reporter it was Åkesson who took the initiative for a rendition of a song about the murder of the Swedish prime minister Olof Palme.

"The shot burned, the blood ran, Olof Palme - he was gone", is a typical phrase in the song.

Jimmie Åkesson, who has gone to great lengths in his political career to distance himself from racism, was not available for comment on Sunday.

The Sweden Democrat's press officer Mattias Karlsson denied that the Palme song was sung on Åkesson's initiative but not that he joined the sing-song.

"It is in actual fact a sarcastic ballad about the mistakes of the investigation into Palme's murder," Mattias Karlsson explained to news agency TT.

Erik Almqvist explained that the conference delegates sang for hours. Aside from pure "Schlager" europop the party also offered up renditions of socialist and communist songs such as "the Internationale" and "Song for Stalin".

"Our young people are political and like music of this nature. It is fun after one has drunk a few beers," Almqvist told TT.

"It is not serious, none of us have put any political value on this whatsoever."

When asked by TT if the party plans to continue using white power songs during conference and meetings, Almqvist replied:

"It can be construed as poor judgement, especially in the current media climate where we are misquoted and exposed for just one type of extremist music, but not another. We will therefore have to apply sounder judgement in the future."

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