Tension is simmering in the town of Hörby after the election of a far-right Sweden Democrats Mayor whose party wants severe restrictions on immigration and dramatic cuts in government spending on migrant support programs and want the money to be redirected towards repatriating migrants.
The election of the far-right Mayor is the first in Sweden.
His party has blamed lots of ills to migrants who are in their numbers in the town.
Sweden Democrat supporter Tobias Lindblad says the party is telling the truth.
“Today there are immigrants wherever you look. There are many of them who are great, but there are many who are doing stuff like drugs, assaults, vandalism,” Lindblad was quoted as saying.
But migrants say there were just being used as scapegoats.
Enes Mehmedagic, who moved to Hörby as a young boy, his parents escaping the Balkan wars of the 1990s in his home country of Croatia, says : “Immigration and immigrants are a scapegoat. Today in Sweden, there’s always been lots of immigration, but especially in a place like Hörby, it’s more visible than in a city. They don’t think of me as Swedish, despite the fact that I have lived in Sweden from many years ago, I pay taxes, and I didn’t commit any crime.”
Tensions over migration, democracy and the role of the EU are being played out in Hörby and across Europe, as the continent wrestles with its identity and its future.