In the Swedish general election held on Sept. 9, the only party achieving success has unfortunately been the Sweden Democrats, which is the mouthpiece of the far-right in Sweden. Although the Swedish Social Democratic Party, which made Sweden a world-renowned example of a social state, has received the majority of the seats with 28.4 percent vote share, the party has actually shown a decline if we compare previous election results. The far-right Sweden Democrats, on the other hand, has become the third-largest party with 17.6 percent vote share, which is a great success for them.
Once again, the main issues influencing the electorate decision in an important general election in Europe have been "refugees," "foreigners" and "integration." The Sweden Democrats, a far-right party which forms a stark contrast with its name since it bears no relation to the democrat identity, masterfully manipulated the unsuccessful refugee policies of center parties, including the social democrats. Throughout their election campaign, they used the keywords "refugees," "foreigners" and "Muslims" as propaganda tools and represented foreigners and refugees as the main cause of Sweden's bad trajectory.
Thus, the far-right will have a strong presence in the Swedish Parliament from now on, which is alarming since Sweden was the last remaining Scandinavian country that did not have a far-right government partner. As the results are viewed, it seems that the center party system that has so far existed as two blocs will also suffer a crisis since the chance for a coalition does not seem possible. And if the logic behind the bloc system changes, the far-right might be the main opposition in the Swedish government.
Hopefully, the Swedish conservatives would not attempt to come to power by receiving support from the Sweden Democrats in order to exclude the social democrats from the government and determine the prime minister. This would be a great mistake. Although they have declared that they will not form a coalition with the Sweden Democrats, it is still known that they are considering the possibility of forming a government by receiving the party's outside support. We will see what happens. We only wish that the Swedish democracy will not suffer greater harms in the future.
The unstoppable rise of the far-right is unfortunately ongoing across Europe. Let alone stopping this threat, center parties are worsening the situation with their ineffective policies that lack vision along with non-charismatic leaders. So, center parties need new policies and charismatic leaders that can appeal to large masses against the far-right.
Meanwhile, the refugee challenge continues to stir new incidents in Germany. On Sunday, far-right movements gathered 2,500 people who marched and shouted racist slogans in Köthen in the Saxony-Anhalt state regarding an unfortunate incident in which a 22-year-old German died while interfering with an altercation involving three Afghan refugees. Germany is still dealing with the ramifications of this incident.
We offer our condolences to the 22-year-old German citizen, who was injured by three Afghan refugees but lost his life because of a heart attack. It is very sad that a young person died in such an incident. We are sure that the refugees causing this trouble will receive the punishment they deserve. The state of law will do what is necessary in this respect.
However, it is no surprise that the far-right groups have manipulated the incident although it did not have any political aspect to it. In Germany and the rest of Europe, the refugee challenge is seen as the primary problem of society while far-right groups run racist propaganda by manipulating such incidents. The only way to stop this is to follow more consistent policies regarding refugees and the countries where refugees were obliged to leave. The EU and other European countries cannot resolve this issue only through issuing statements on the civil wars ongoing in Libya and Syria. I keep wondering what European countries would do in the case of new refugee inflows since the number of refugees they are hosting is not high by any means especially when compared to the refugees in Turkey or Jordan. In view of this, they have to cooperate more closely with Turkey on the issue. The EU has to organize the financial aid sent to the countries hosting refugees, such as Turkey and Jordan, much more effectively in order to prevent new refugee flows to Europe from these countries. Besides, had the EU sided with Turkey's suggestions in the Syria case, a secure zone could have been formed in northern Syria in which many refugees would be protected against attacks. Since Turkey's suggestions have not been supported so far, a new wave of refugees has departed from their homeland due to the attacks in Idlib.
I would like to state once again that the only way to stop this trajectory is to closely cooperate with Turkey in the case of Syria and fight against all the terror groups that are active thanks to the ongoing civil wars in Syria and Libya. Otherwise, Europe will have to tackle bigger and more serious problems.