Social development in Sweden is heading in the wrong direction and now immigration must be sharply reduced, Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson said, presenting proposals for the party's new platform under the heading "Freedom and responsibility".
"For most people, it is quite obvious that Sweden is facing really serious problems; that the development is going in the wrong direction", Ulf Kristersson said in his speech. “We have daily shootings and explosions. Police, who recommend parents to accompany their children home from school. Criminal gangs that set up roadblocks. This is pure system-threatening crime", he continued.
At the same time, Kristersson suggested that this adverse trend can be reversed. One solution, according to Kristersson, is to reduce immigration.
"If we want to seriously break segregation, stop crime, and ensure that everyone who comes here learns Swedish and becomes self-sufficient, we must greatly reduce immigration. We basically believe in international openness and know that Sweden has a shared responsibility for how things go for people in a broken world. But we have full responsibility for how things go here at home in Sweden as well, and Swedish integration problems are simply too big", Ulf Kristersson pointed out.
In its newly suggested ideological platform, the party addresses the problem of "clans" and points out that a free society must "never accept oppression because of gender, class, or clan". At the same time, it emphasised that Sweden will remain "a country where people seek refuge" even in the future. Immigration is seen as something both desirable and necessary because Sweden is "part of a globalised world".
Ulf Kristersson the listed the group's three major tasks as: restoring security and safety, breaking the exclusion and dependency on benefits, and paving the way for new class escalators. He also described the optimal approach as "a kind of realistic optimism" and "hopefulness, not naivety".
The proposals for the platform will now be referred to the party's county association. Then the Moderates will vote on a final proposal next year.
Dating back over a hundred years, the centre-right Moderate Party (formerly known as the Right and the Conservatives) is seen as one of the traditional heavyweights in Swedish politics and the only one to have challenged the Social Democrats' over a half-a-century dominance until recently. In modern times, the party has led Sweden twice, in the 1990s under Prime Minister Carl Bildt and under Prime Minister Frederik Reinfeldt between 2006-2014, peaking at 30.1 percent of the vote in 2010.
Ironically, it was under Reinfeldt's "open hearts" administration that Sweden embraced mass immigration, which Kristersson later disavowed. Following the admission from Social Democrat Prime Minister Stefan Löfven that the recent spike in gang crime may be linked to immigration, the share of Swedes wanting to put a damper on mass immigration has increased, according to polls.
In the 2018 election, which resulted in a parliamentary crisis and a minority "red-green" government, it came in second with 19.8 percent of the vote and has since been treated as the largest opposition party, despite opinion polls hinting at the rise of the Sweden Democrats.