STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- In a seismic upheaval in Swedish politics, an extreme-right movement accused of being Islamophobic has won seats in the country's Parliament, observers say.
Election victories by the Sweden Democrats, a party widely denounced as "racist and neo-Nazi," have probably saddled the country with a fragile minority government, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported.
Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Akesson, 31, celebrated his party winning nearly 6 percent of the vote by declaring: "We're in."
Sweden has long had the most generous welfare, asylum and immigration policies in Europe. But with about 100,000 immigrants entering a country of almost 9 million every year, Akesson's breakthrough suggests there has been a shift in the public mood.
"We will not get as tough on immigration as Denmark, Norway or the Netherlands," Professor Jan Ekberg, a national expert on the economics of migration at Linnaeus University, said. "But the Sweden Democrats will increase their vote if we don't succeed in our immigration policy. That's the main issue."
Cecilia Hallstrom teaches 7-year-olds in a primary school in Malmo -- and is the only native Swede in the classroom.
"Of course, the school is open to everyone, but it is only Muslims who come here," she said.
The children, taught in Swedish, are native Arabic, Pashtun, Kurdish and Bosnian speakers of a dozen nationalities.
Hallstrom is a firm supporter of multiculturalism, but says, "People are just getting fed up. The far right is not new here, but it is gaining ground. We've taken in so many new immigrants that people are saying we need to slow down and take proper care of the ones that are here."