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Sweden Democrats: Focus on Russia threatens freedom of speech

Published fredag 31 mars 2017 kl 11.02
Stefan Löfven and Isabella Lövin at a press conference
After briefing the opposition parties, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven of the Social Democrats gave a press conference together with Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lövin of the Green Party. Credit: Jessica Gow/TT

On Friday morning, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven met opposition parties to discuss the progress on stopping foreign powers from influencing the 2018 election.

The main point of the meeting, in which the opposition parties as well as the Sweden Democrats took part, was a briefing from the Swedish Security Service (Säpo) on the current threat level.

Löfven also said he wanted to "create a shared image of how to strengthen our resistance against attempts to unduly influence the election campaign."

Moderate Party Secretary Tomas Tobé told TT news agency the most important issue ahead of next year's election was to have a broad approach to security matters.

"It could be about for instance wanting to reduce the faith in the political system and in safety in society. This is long-term work. But of course it could also be about wanting a specific election election outcome," Tobé said.

Löfven had invited the opposition parties after writing an opinion piece in Dagens Nyheter last week, in which he warned that Sweden could be subject to attempts to influence the election campaign, similar to what is suspected to have happened ahead of the elections in France and Germany this year. Russia was mentioned by the prime minister as a suspected culprit.

Jimmie Åkesson, party leader of the Sweden Democrats, said he thought the focus on Russia could become a threat to freedom of speech in Sweden.

"If you describe reality and what you're saying in some way coincides with what the Russian regime is saying, you're accused of being Russia friendly," Åkesson told TT.

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