First we take Hässleholm … Swedish far-right rises

HÄSSLEHOLM, Sweden — When the leader of the Moderates, Anna Kinberg Batra, recently announced that her party would be open to negotiating with the Sweden Democrats, it sent shockwaves through the establishment.

Many accused Kinberg Batra of ripping up the cordon sanitaire which has prevented far-right populists in Sweden from winning the kind of influence they have achieved in neighboring Denmark and Norway, and elsewhere on the Continent.

“You will be sitting and negotiating with a party that you yourself say is racist and pro-Russia,” Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said in response to the news, arguing that his opponent had ”lost her political compass.”

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