Demography is king

IN SWEDEN, another general election will take place in the early spring. Given that the last election only took place a few months ago, it makes you wonder what is going on. 

A powerful new voice

AS A BRAND new party, Sverigsdemokraterne (Swedish Democrats) had a terrific election and got more than 13 percent of the votes. They used their balanced position to vote against the budget proposal made by the Social Democratic minority government (red bloc) and the PM gave up and called a new general election. 

The movement is a protest movement. The former prime minister, John Frederik Reinfeldt (blue bloc), boldly said that Sweden could and should receive more immigrants, notwithstanding the fact that Sweden already has more immigration than the rest of the Nordic countries put together. The red bloc supported that to some extent.  

From outside and inside

NEVERTHELESS, Sweden has now joined the group of countries with protest parties gaining momentum and becoming something to be reckoned with. And now we are seeing a growing part of the Nordic population not only oppose immigration from developing countries, but also from within the EU. 

In Norway, there is such a party integrated into the present blue bloc government, and it is fair to say that the country does not look like it will become more liberal anytime soon. 
Kingmakers again

In Denmark, Dansk Folkeparti (DF) has in the latest poll taken over as the largest party – bigger than Venstre and Socialdemokraterne. Whether or not it is ready to take governmental responsibility by September 2015 (the latest the next general election can be called) remains to be seen. The parties do not reject it categorically. 

As things stand, DF looks likely to support a blue block government, but only for a prize and that will be more immigration restrictions, border control and less integration and assimilation.

A recent survey by the Rockwool Foundation estimates that more than 30,000 illegal immigrants are now living in Denmark. The debate is about getting rid of them – not integrating them – although they are probably an indispensable part of the service sector. The issue of the day is the handling of refugees from Eritrea. No matter how that ends, it is clear that Denmark is heading towards a paradox.

Clouding the real issue

THE PARADOX is that in Denmark it is calculated that from 2014 to 2024 the population will grow from 5.6 to 5.8 million people.  However, by that time there will probably be 80,000 fewer people aged 0-50 and 280,000 more people aged over 50 years.  Without immigration this disparity will be even worse.

We hope that Reinfeldt is reinstated without Sverigesdemokraterne. Against sentiments, demography is king. (ES)