SLASH taxes, curb immigration, support free enterprise, back President Reagan. If that sounds like the agenda from a Republican Party precinct meeting, guess again. It's part of a rising political battle-cry in Scandinavia - Denmark and Norway, specifically, although anti-tax sentiment is also on the rise in Sweden - and it has many northern European politicians shaking their heads in disbelief.
In Norway this week, the populist, right-wing Progress Party posted impressive gains in local elections. The party already holds the balance of power in parliament, a factor hardly overlooked by the ruling Labor Party, as well as the second-place centrist Conservative Party. Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland is understandably concerned about the rising impact of the Progress Party on next year's national parliamentary elections - and her own leadership.
In Denmark, meantime, the Progress Party doubled its vote in elections Sept. 8. Prime Minister Poul Schlueter, who initially resigned, is attempting to forge a strong new center-right coalition, but without the pivotal Progress Party.
Nationalism has always been a factor in Scandinavia. Still, the gains of the right now appear to be coming from first-time voters and urbanites tired of the high tax rates propping up the region's welfare-state governments. Could such a shift in voter sentiment, if it continues, force changes in Scandinavia's touted ``middle way'' welfare programs?