‘No homes, no jobs’: Swedish far right ‘greet’ migrants with controversial ad
The 60-second video called “Welcome to Sweden” appeared on the web on Monday. It shows dozens of mattresses lying on bare floors, very basic utilities at what could be a refugee shelter along with burning cars and beggars on poorly lit streets. Those are accompanied by flashing phrases “No money”, “No jobs”, “No homes”, “No welfare” - all designed to discourage incoming migrants and refugees to Sweden.
Earlier in October, the Sweden Democrats (SD) launched a massive advertising campaign in foreign media under almost the same slogan: “No money, no jobs, no homes”. The far-right party bought space in newspapers and TV in countries such as Germany and Denmark, the transit countries for some migrants coming to Sweden. Launching the campaign, the party leader Jimmie Åkesson said: “We want […] to describe that the utopia they want to come to in Sweden no longer exists. Here, it’s tent camps, winter and cold.”
In November, SD activists were spotted at the Greek island of Lesbos wearing party-branded jackets and distributing flyers among prospective migrants. The leaflets, also entitled “No money, no jobs, no homes” claim massive immigration has caused “grenade attacks in public spaces” and “a very high number of shootings and gang related violence.” They also said Sweden has nothing to offer except “tents and camp beds,” and all migrants will “eventually be sent back home.”
Due to the migrant crisis, the Sweden Democrats’ influence has skyrocketed over the last months. A recent opinion poll by Swedish polling company Sifo conducted after the Paris attacks found the SD would seize 17.6 percent of the vote, marking a 4.6-point rise in support since national parliamentary elections in 2014. This is a conservative estimate of the SD’s popularity, with other polling companies putting it as the largest single party in Sweden.
The Sweden Democrats is a far-right party believed to have its roots in the country’s white supremacist movements. The SD is now the country’s third-largest party with 49 representatives in parliament. It says on the “Welcome to Sweden” website, it will “steer Sweden on the right track again” by seizing “the responsibility of cleaning up the political mess caused by others in order to rebuild our once thriving nation.”
Sweden has a population of less than 10 million and is expecting some 190,000 refugees to arrive in 2015, three times more than the number predicted by the government. Last week, the Swedish government took the exceptional measure of commissioning border checks. Refugees arriving at the Swedish border will still be able to get asylum, but anyone without documents will be prevented from traveling to other Nordic countries.
Earlier in November, Germany also launched a campaign in Afghanistan to discourage people from trying to enter Europe illegally. The German campaign started with several billboards in Kabul. "You are leaving Afghanistan: Are you certain?" they say in Dari and Pashto, the two main languages in Afghanistan. The billboards also have links to a Facebook account called “Germany in Afghanistan” run by the embassy in Kabul and a #RumoursAboutGermany hashtag.
“Do not believe the rumors and false information deliberately spread by human traffickers about the allegedly easy trip and the easy life in Germany,” reads one the latest posts. “Do not risk your lives by trying to flee to Europe. Human traffickers are criminals who are only interested in money. They don’t tell the truth and don’t care about human lives.”