Many of us choked on our morning coffee this week when reading an interview with Sweden Democrat party leader Jimmie Åkesson in the business newspaper Dagens Industri. He praised the leader of the National Front and suggested that the Sweden Democrats could collaborate with the French party's representatives in the European Parliament.
Åkesson issued a denial the same day, claiming that he had been misquoted, but on the website of the party's own newspaper SD-Kuriren readers can take a look at a transcript of the interview. Åkesson says in black and white that he thinks National Front leader Marine Le Pen is leading her party in a "modern, quite fresh direction" and that he does not rule out collaborating with them.
The Sweden Democrats are holding an elections conference in Stockholm this weekend. Jimmie Åkesson must give Swedish voters an answer in due time before the European elections: Will the Sweden Democrats, if they are elected to the European Parliament, ask to become members of the parliamentary cross-national party group that Le Pen intends to create?