Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has laid out a number of practical steps to be taken by his government to curb neo-Nazi activity and demonstrations, as well as to increase protection of the local Jewish community.
“Let me reiterate what I said publicly on [May 1]: It is a disgrace that the scum of history is rearing its ugly head today again,” he wrote in a May 18 letter to World Jewish Congress CEO and executive vice president Robert Singer, who wrote a letter earlier this month to Löfven, calling for the ban of the Nordic Resistance neo-Nazi party as “there must be zero tolerance for such manifestations of evil.”
While the country’s criminal law forbids all racist sentiments, said Löfven, “further legislative action might be needed the threats posed by organized groups.”
He went on to announce that there will be a government inquiry to look into “a ban on racist organizations and the criminalization of participation in such organizations.”
Löfven also mentioned steps that have been taken to combat hatred, including the Swedish Security Service receiving more resources “to prevent foreign and domestic terrorism” and recently establishing “the new Swedish Centre for Preventing Violent Extremism, which will have greater powers to lead the work throughout the country.”
As of 2016, 15,000 and 25,000 Jews are estimated to reside in Sweden, the largest Jewish community in Scandinavia, according to the World Jewish Congress.