Åkesson:"Guilty for being Swedish"
In his traditional summer speech on Saturday, the leader of the extreme right-wing Sweden Democrats Jimmie Åkesson told listeners he does not want to feel guilty for being Swedish.
Adressing a few hundred listeners in his hometown of Sölvesborg, the anti-immigrant party leader criticised what he says is a trend in Swedish politics of telling Swedes they should feel lucky they were born in a well-providing welfare state, reports Swedish Radio.
"I'm so sick of being expected to feel guilt and shame for being myself. For being Swedish and for being comparatively well-off and safe", said Åkesson.
According to Åkesson, Swedes are not at all as lucky as the government makes it seem.
"I could call myself lucky, but what does that say about my respect for the thousands and thousands of people who have fallen in battle throughout centuries defending our country and our freedom?", said Åkesson.
Other main points in Åkesson's speech were criticisms of profits made in the welfare sector, and promises to lower taxes for pensioners.
Åkesson criticised the centre-right coalition government for what he called its failures to meet integration goals. According to news agency TT, he criticised the proposed idea of free economic zones to boost employment in depressed neighbourhoods, and called it an indicator of this failure.
"It shows how desperate they are. It also shows that they have given up", he said.
Åkesson also reminded listeners of prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's statements linking unemployment to people born outside of Sweden that caused a stir earlier this year. He claimed this was further proof that the government had given up on its goals to integrate immigrants into the Swedish labour market, reports TT.