Sweden’s far-right Sweden Democrats party released a video urging migrants from war-torn Islamic countries not to come to Sweden in search of asylum, media reported Tuesday.
In the minute-long video entitled, “Welcome to Sweden,” released Monday, the party claims that there is, “No money”, “No jobs”, “No homes”, “No welfare,” while showing images of mattresses in what appears to be a run down refuge center and beggars on the streets. Their objective is clearly aimed at discouraging refugees and asylum seekers from staying in the country and others from even coming.
Party chairman Jimmie Akesson said the purpose of the video is “to describe that the utopia they want to come to in Sweden no longer exists. Here, it’s tent camps, winter and cold.”
The video is the latest of the party’s ill-conceived advertising campaigns. The SD party bought advertising space in newspapers and television stations in Sweden and in neighboring countries such as Germany. While party activists were seen in the Greek island of Lesbos during the summer handing out leaflets with similar slogans used in the video.
Discontent in some sectors has been growing in Sweden over the country's asylum policy that will allow up to 190,000 refugees in 2015 alone. This is a steep increase from the more than 90,000 granted residency in 2014 and three times the number expected to arrive by the government this year.
But that discontent is reduced and limited to minority sectors of the country, as Swedish news website The Local said the country would actually benefit heavily from immigrants because most of them are highly educated and that the vast majority of elderly and youths agree immigration is actually beneficial to the country.
“With a large population of educated immigrants, Malmo could become Europe's Silicon Valley - but only if Sweden opens up its jobs market to foreign-born professionals,” said integration expert Sylvia Schwaag Serger, according to The Local, who also said the vast majority of elderly Swedes and those in the younger age brackets, are aware of the benefits immigration has brought to the country.
Experts believe the country’s immigration policy has allowed the Sweden Democrats, which emerged from a neo-Nazi movement to become the country’s third largest party with 49 representatives in parliament via 17.6 percent of the vote share.
Sweden Democrats party signs at Ostermalmstorg subway station, Stockholm. | Photo: Reuters
Earlier in November, the German government launched a campaign to dissuade migrants from Afghanistan from entering Europe illegally and making the often dangerous trip to Europe. Billboards erected in Kabul read "You are leaving Afghanistan: Are you certain?" in Dari and Pashto, the two main languages in Afghanistan