Swedish Premier Calls for Resistance Against White-Power Threat

  • Lofven says tolerance of Nazi groups is a slippery slope
  • Premier vows never to cooperate with Sweden Democrats

Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven called for people to stand up against the growing threat of Nazism and white-power movements to protect democratic values.

Fascist groups are moving forward their positions “step by step,” the premier said in a speech in Eskilstuna, Sweden, highlighting local demonstrations across the Nordic country as well as “Nazi groups, the Ku Klux Klan and white power protesters in Charlottesville.”

Stefan Lofven

Photographer: Erik Simander/TT/EPA

“It may be easy to try to laugh away these angry men with big words, small hearts and closed fists,” he said. “But all fascist movements were small when they were founded and were able to quickly gain followers during difficult times.”

The prime minister’s call for vigilance comes as U.S. President Donald Trump is being criticized by U.S. lawmakers, business leaders and others over statements he made after violence at right-wing protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one counter-protester dead. Trump cast similar blame on the neo-Nazis and white nationalists who organized the events and those who mobilized against it.

Lofven, who leads Sweden’s Social Democratic Party, said it could be easy in times like these to “get lost” and “start tolerating the unacceptable.”

“It’s a slippery slope where the border between the Nazis, the xenophobic and the decent people is erased,” he said.

The prime minister is facing an election next year after over the past few years accepting a record flood of migrants. The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats could stand to win as much as 20 percent of the vote. Lofven on Sunday vowed to never cooperate with party, which has neo-Nazi roots.

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.
    LEARN MORE