‘It’s incredible: We have effectively got through the Sweden Democrat migration policy’

A new documentary from Sweden's SVT broadcaster has shown the surprise and delight of the far-Right Sweden Democrats' leadership when they realised the extent of the policy the rest of the right-wing bloc were willing to concede.

'It's incredible: We have effectively got through the Sweden Democrat migration policy'
A still from SVT's documentary Maktspelet, or The Power Play, on the run-up to the formation of Sweden's new government. Photo: SVT

The documentary, called Maktspelet (the power play), shows a meeting of the Sweden Democrat leadership on October 13th, the day before the Tidö Agreement was made public, where Gustav Gellerbrant, the party’s chief negotiator details the policies that the party had managed to get into the deal. 

“It’s actually quite incredible,” Gellerbrant tells his colleagues in the documentary. “We have effectively got through the Sweden Democrats’ migration policy. This is a paradigm shift on a grand scale which is happening and we also have a budget that will soon be complete. 

Party leader Jimmie Åkesson describes himself as “more than satisfied” with the deal. 

The Tidö Agreement is the deal through which the far-right Sweden Democrats agreed to support a three-party government of the Moderate, Christian Democrats and Liberal Parties. It is named after Tidö Slott, the medieval mansion south of Västerås in Västmanland where the details of the deal was hammered out between the parties. 

“Taken as a whole, it has exceeded all our expectations,” group leader Henrik Vinge, who led negotiations alongside Gellerbrant, tells the meeting in the SVT documentary. 

The party, he said, was now being taken much more seriously. 

“We have done it well, we have impressed the others. That’s something we’re hearing from every direction. This picture there was of SD that we are inexperienced, and also irresponsible. No one says anything like that anymore.”

“It’s hard to remember anything else like this in modern times, such an enormous transformation in such a few years as what is going to take place,” Vinge continues.  

“It’s unbelievable, actually,” agrees Gellerbrant. 

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‘Islamist dictator’: Swedish far-right leader rejects further concessions to Turkey

Jimmie Åkesson, the leader of the far-right Sweden Democrats, slammed Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as an 'Islamist dictator', as the latter maintains his objections to ratifying Sweden's Nato application.

'Islamist dictator': Swedish far-right leader rejects further concessions to Turkey

Jimmie Åkesson, whose party is currently propping up the Swedish government, made the comments in an interview with the Dagens Nyheter newspaper published on Wednesday.

There are limits on how far the country would go to appease Turkey to secure its Nato membership “…because it is ultimately an anti-democratic system and a dictator we are dealing with,” Åkesson told the newspaper.

Åkesson also questioned whether Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who prides himself on having never lost a national election over 20 years of rule, could be called democratically elected.

“I’m the party leader for the anti-islamic party SD and I have strong views on an Islamist dictator like Erdoğan. He is elected by the people, yes. But so is Putin in that sense,” Åkesson said.

The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats (SD) rose to be the country’s second largest party in the September general election with 20.54 percent of the vote. Their support is crucial in order to prop up Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson’s right-wing coalition government.

Turkey and Hungary are the only two countries who have yet to ratify Sweden’s Nato membership.

Ankara wants Stockholm to crack down on activists close to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) before it will approve Sweden’s Nato aspirations.

It also wants them to go after people accused of ties to Fethullah Gulen, a US-based preacher it accuses of involvement over a failed 2016 coup, but who Washington has refused to extradite.

Åkesson’s comments come a week after pro-Kurdish activists hung an effigy of Erdoğan by its legs outside Stockholm city hall. The display was meant to evoke the fate of Italy’s dictator Benito Mussolini, whose body was strung up after he was shot dead in 1945.

Both the Turkish and Swedish governments condemned the act, but that sparked a debate in Sweden about the need to avoid making sacrifices on freedom of expression.

Turkey and Sweden signed a memorandum of understanding at the end of June, paving the way for the membership process to begin. But Ankara says its demands remain unfulfilled – in particular for the extradition of Turkish citizens Turkey wants to prosecute for “terrorism”.

The Swedish government has stressed that the Swedish judiciary has the final say in these cases – and that the courts are independent.

On Saturday, Erdoğan’s foreign policy adviser Ibrahim Kalin told reporters that the country was “not in a position” to ratify Sweden’s Nato membership.