Jimmie Åkesson, the chairperson of the populist Sweden Democrats party, was arrested in Turkey, near the town of Edirne close to the Greek border.
He was handing out leaflets to refugees trying to get in the EU, which read “Sweden is full and cannot accept more asylum seekers” and were signed by “the Swedish people and Sweden Democrats”. Following his arrest, he was escorted to a plane and sent home.
Henrik Gustafsson, the Press Secretary of Sweden Democrats, has strongly criticised Turkey’s actions, saying that “Turkey is a rogue state which should have absolutely no influence on the European immigration policy.”
Åkesson’s manoeuvre has caused an outcry across the political spectrum and he has been accused of utilising the refugee situation to his own political purposes.
Sweden Democrats, currently in the opposition, came on top in a recent survey at the end of February. The party now has a popularity rate of 23.4% among the electorate, 0.2% more than the Social Democrats sitting in government.
(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)