Sweden, Finland and Immigration – Some Thoughts

By the Editor in Chief

Sweden has one of the highest proportions of foreign immigrants in relation to its own population. The country has had a generous and open immigration policy for refugees for decades after the second world war – Finns arrived on their shores in hundreds of thousands and it is estimated that first, second and now third generation Finns number some 700 000 living in Sweden. Others have arrived from Chile, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc… 

Humanitarian ideals and having able-bodied workers to man their factories, workshops and services sectors have been the driving force support this type of open immigration policy.

But the last surge, as in Germany, has led to that inevitable growth of nationalism that we have seen in so many other parts of Europe and in the USA.

Freedom of movement within the EU has been challenged like the refugee policies, and now we have climate change fears and the Corona virus stirring up concerns even more.

The head of the nationalistic political party, the Sweden Democrats, actually travelled to Turkey this week to deliver printed leaflets to potential immigrants personally saying that they are no longer welcome to come to Sweden! The leaflet was “signed” in the name of the people of Sweden.

He also published the letter below in the main newspaper in Stockholm which readers can see here translated into English.

This party now has a following of some 30% of voters according to recent polls – and one can be pretty sure that another rather significant slice of the population is inclined to agree with limiting immigration to those in dire need of protection in addition to highly qualified staff that have been offered high paying jobs in keys companies.

The True Finns in Finland, and some of the other parties here in Finland, also want to keep a tight lid on immigration. The problem for Finland is that we have too few workers and too many oldies like your correspondent who are well past the best buy date – 72 this year, but still working… 

It is important that voters see, listen and read what these two parties (Sweden Democrats and True Finns) do, say and write. It is a democratic right to vote in the way that benefits you the most, but both of these parties have fielded members of parliament and senior position holders within their respective parties who have incited others to violence or been involved in disgraceful behaviour. In our countries there are large numbers of the population that find this behaviour as unacceptable. Such behaviour only leads to bad things happening and wasted resources.

You can see from the letter below that the Sweden Democrats are complaining about violence, a lack of trust, a weakening of the Swedish welfare state for “ordinary Swedish families”, and a poor understanding of local cultural values as they want to define them. Although they do present some solutions to solve the present crisis at the Greek/Turkish border, they say nothing about solving the current problems in their own country.

It is only through integration and education that these local problems can be alleviated. You cannot solve these local problems by shipping immigrants home or by being belligerent towards them. 

The letter is worth reading for understanding better that selling fear and negative ideas is not what we need political parties for!

Europe cannot take endless numbers of people from Asia, Africa, India, Bangladesh, Russia, Afghanistan, the Middle East, etc… Other political solutions must be found to relocate them in their own countries or nearby where weapons, human, trafficking and drugs are stopped at the borders. Education and work must be arranged and paid for until they can support themselves – that requires money, help and guidance, not soldiers and armed police. 

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DEBATE – MIGRATION POLICY – first published in Sweden’s newspaper, SvD on 6.3.2020. by Jimmie Åkesson (SD), Sweden Democrat Party leader

(This is an opinion text and the views expressed are the writer’s own.)

The failed migration policy and the subsequent refugee chaos in 2015 have torn deep wounds in Swedish society. Now that thousands of people want to force the border into Europe, we can be sure of one thing. If the external border is not kept, the welfare state of Sweden risks to succumb. You ignored our warnings last time. For the good of our country and our citizens; release the prestige and now listen for once to the Sweden Democrats.

Thousands of people are pushing to break through the EU’s external border. Sweden, with its inferior border control, is one of the most attractive targets. The history of the country in the north that arranges free housing, free jobs and eternal happiness has established itself as a walking tale.

At the same time, the government is falling short. The pull factor that was formed due to Stefan Löfven’s refusal to project a tougher migration policy is still intact. The level of ambition is low. The tools are blunt. There is no will left.

For us, this slack-handed attitude is completely unacceptable. The Swedish Democrats act when the government fails. This week we have submitted a special motion to the Riksdag with several proposals that should be implemented as soon as possible. Among other things, we suggest:

  • Keep the boundaries.
    Both the EU’s external border, as well as the Swedish internal border, need to be strengthened. The ID checks at the border that expired in December 2018 need to be restored. At the same time, we need to provide Greece with the support they need to maintain the EU’s external border.
  • Stop Turkey’s power play.
    Turkey holds hostage to the European Union. The country is using the refugee streams to extort EU Member States in order to serve the Turkish regime’s own interests. Therefore, we should immediately stop all forms of support and assistance, from both the EU and Sweden, which accrues to the Turkish regime and its authorities.
  • A sharper first-principles.
    The fact that migrants without protection are free to choose which country they seek asylum in has contributed to creating incentives for dangerous and illegal roads into Europe. We therefore want, in line with current conventions and international law, that Sweden should quickly investigate a strong first-principles. Such a principle means that Sweden only accepts asylum seekers in a situation when war or deeper crisis has erupted in one of our neighboring countries. Migrants who travel from Turkey, through Europe to Sweden, should not be given the opportunity to test their protection grounds here. These must be rejected directly at the Swedish border.
  • Renegotiate the international asylum system.
    Sweden and the world need to reformulate asylum law, which is currently based on an outdated model formulated after the Second World War. The main rule of the new system must be that asylum is sought in the first safe country. Both geographical and cultural proximity need to be taken into account. The task of the international community should be concentrated on providing basic protection and support for those in need, regardless of where they are.

Sweden is once again facing a clear pathway. Should we learn from history or turn deaf ears again? If Sweden does not act resolutely and vigorously in this situation, the problems that already exist today will grow in scope and risk being completely degenerated. The government’s irresponsible migration policy has already led to:

  • Impaired security.
    Today, Sweden is facing huge problems in maintaining the security of our nation’s citizens. Explosion and shooting have more or less replaced each other during the fall and winter. Welfare has been eroded to such an extent that the country’s elderly and the sick are forced to face a reality on a daily basis that does not befit a welfare society. We have a police department that is desperately demanding more resources to fulfil its mission. Housing is not enough. People are being blown out of the wind by waves in municipalities without an opportunity for their own livelihood.
  • Increased risk of terror.
    It should be clear to us that those who have the ultimate ambition to go to Sweden are a diverse group. Turkey has received 3.6 million refugees, including from the Idlib province, the last strong rebel stronghold. Here, al-Qaeda-linked jihadist alliance houses Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the al-Nusra front, in parallel with other jihadist and Islamist groups. The groups consist of tens of thousands of experienced and well-armed terrorists. The risk of potential terrorists and cold-blooded killers embedded in the refugee streams is obvious.
  • Damaged trust.
    Sweden today is a telling example of how bad things can go when responsible politicians do not understand the importance of a firmly rooted value community. When the cultural divide daily exposes the social kit to tension, abysses are created between people. In Sweden, entire shadow communities have now emerged where oppression of women, honor-related violence and medieval values have become a common feature of everyday life. The smallest common denominator needed to hold together a nation is gradually being chiseled down. The consequence is that cohesion takes serious damage, which in turn leads to widespread distrust. Not just against people in everyday life or against the ability of the authorities. Even worse, it undermines confidence in democracy and erodes its legitimacy.

Our society is on the verge of rupture and we must now prioritize the Swedish people and Sweden first. Sweden is full.

Jimmie Åkesson (SD)
Sweden Democrat Party leader

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

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