In Sweden a far-right anti-immigrant party, historically rooted in Nazism, has become the most popular party, according to a recent opinion poll.
A YouGov poll suggests the popularity of the Sweden Democrats has almost doubled since last September's parliamentary elections with 25.5 percent, beating the Social Democrats currently in government.
The controversial party is known for its outspoken stance against Sweden’s acceptance of asylum-seekers, mostly Syrians fleeing violence at home, which has increased in recent years. The party has advocated for reducing the entry of refugees and cancelling people's residency once the conflict is over.
The Sweden Democrats have been accused of racism for an advertizing campaign vilifying panhandlers and homeless people, saying Jewish people are not Swedish unless they abandon their ethnic identity, and that Black Africans are genetically programed to rape women and children.
According to one of the party's managers, Tommy Nilsson, the polls reveils that some Swedish people are “starting to realize that this is a serious problem for Sweden.”
“There’s too much immigration and too many beggars from Eastern Europe,” he told the Telegraph.
The controverisal party has tried to distance itself from its historical ties with Nazi groups, but has proven unsuccessful when a photo of a municipal candidate was leaked to the press in 2014 showing her with a Nazi swastika wrapped around her arm.
Sweden has traditionally presented itself as progressive country without racist roots, but a U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent reported a different reality after its visit to the country in 2014.
"It is our view that the Swedish philosophy of equality and its public and self-image as a country with non-discrimination and liberal democracy, blinds it to the racism faced by Afro-Swedes and Africans in its midst. No country is free of racism and Sweden is not an exception," the report concluded.