• Sweden edition

Reinfeldt: EU must open doors to foreign labour - and new members

Published: 07 Mar 2011 16:09 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Mar 2011 16:09 GMT+01:00

The European Union must attract labour from other parts of the world if it is to function in future, according to Sweden's prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. In a policy speech at Europahuset in Stockholm on Monday, Reinfeldt claimed that Sweden has already prepared itself for such a scenario.

"Otherwise, the way forward is inevitable. The EU's member states will need to raise their taxes drastically, with negative effects both for growth and for welfare," said Reinfeldt, who also demanded a more streamlined EU budget.

Reinfeldt called for Europe to become a "beacon of freedom" towards the east as in previous decades but now also towards countries in North Africa.

"It is about inspiring, and that means giving support," said Reinfeldt, claiming that "democratic values" are one of Europe's most important and most valuable export products. These values are shared with the US, he emphasised.

"In the light of the political and economic shakeup in the world it is more important than ever that the EU and the US stand together to uphold these universal values and together speak up for freedom and democracy," said Reinfeldt, who stressed that the EU must also stand up for its values when dealing with countries such as China and Russia.

The prime minister also argued that countries in the Balkans, as well as Turkey and Iceland, should be welcomed as full EU members as soon as they fulfil the conditions.

"I am convinced that it will be barely possible to conceive of the EU as a strong global player without Turkey as a member," he said.

Earlier he said that the sixteen years Sweden has been a member of the EU has influenced not only legislation in Sweden but also the country's mindset and that membership is now more or less taken for granted.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:12 March 7, 2011 by calebian22
Good grief! 2014 can't come fast enough.
17:16 March 7, 2011 by Kalyissa

And surely they should make sure that everyone already IN europe has jobs before allowing in even more people ?

Or is that to much common sense?
17:25 March 7, 2011 by Rishonim
Bald-boy Reinfeldt need a reality check and realize that EU is already running at full with foreign labour. First we need to change the way the system work if we are to attract more foreign work-force. You cannot just say bring them in without a concise plan for including them in the work market. I know a great deal of qualified foreign professionals without jobs in Sweden. What will you do with them?
17:47 March 7, 2011 by Nemesis
What is wrong with Reinfeldt's head?

There is massive unemployment all over Europe. There is at least 21.4 million people unemployed in the European Community. The true figure is assumed to be a lot higher than that.



That is more than twice the actual population of Sweden.

What the hell would we have to import more people into Europe for, with unemployment that high. There is no job that can not be filled from the present ranks of unemployed in Europe.

Does Reinfeldt or for that matter the Swedish, have a pathological hatred of Spanish, Irish, Scottish, Italians, French, Portuguese and Greeks?

The Swedes voted Reinfeldt into power to speak for them.

The Swedes need to accept responsibility for his actions, on their behalf.
18:07 March 7, 2011 by uunbeliever
About a third of us voted for him and I was not one of them. I left North America to get away from idiots who want to privatize everything. I will accept responsibility for the party I voted for, Socialdemokraterna all the way!
18:19 March 7, 2011 by hammad674
Reinfeld though seems interesting but there is one problem, Sweden is not a well suited place for foreigner till they have (Svenska) language barrier as in other part of Europe, Now even in low profile job they are demanding Swedish language, B (Car driving)license. Kommuns advertise professional jobs but left them vacant but don't call foreiger for even Intervier call. There is no way to get any professional job for foreigner except in IT field where they are compelled to hire foreigner because Swedes are not much into IT. Even some Multinational (E.g. McDonalds) are operating and demanding Swedish language which is quite unprofessional as almost all Swede (as customer) knows Engelska (English) to good level and can understand and speak English without any hazzel but compelled to conduct business under Swedish Enviornment. There are foreign professionals in Sweden, but either forced to go back or ultimately compelled to go back after seeing nothing for futer. If Sweden can operate within its own then no need for foreigner in Sweden.

I guess in Europe, Germany is better option for finding some job, but no doubt, English speaking counteries are still best for foreigner for any purpose (job,study)
19:37 March 7, 2011 by Syftfel
Reinfeldt is of course correct! But that's not equal to an excessively liberal asylym open door policy where throngs of "family reunifiers" end up on the dole at the expense of Swedish tax payers. Sweden does need entrants, but useful ones. Not useless ones who are only a burden to society, economically and culturally. I haven't seen much publicity about what Sweden intends to do with these non-assimilating hordes streaming across the Öresund Bridge, and then feeding off the Swedish public trough. As for EU, it is my opinion that the five Nordic countries should exit it, and form its own union free from the bureaucratic whip in Brussels. I wish my vote had gone to SD last September.
19:42 March 7, 2011 by uunbeliever
@hammad64, c'mon how hard is Swedish? I am not Swedish but in 4 years I acheived university level Swedish and have never had a problem getting a job. Of course you have to speak Swedish in the service industry, regardless of the fact that most Swedes can speak English. And the IT industry is mostly English because it is dominated by the English speaking post industrialized nations. Go to SFI, Get Svenska B, get a job... Easy.
19:49 March 7, 2011 by byke
My speculation on this is its all about cheap labour.
20:28 March 7, 2011 by Nemesis
@ byke,

My sentiments exactly.
20:59 March 7, 2011 by hammad674

I know Svenska is not that difficult language but learning Svenska means killing English and its pronunciation, And except that can you expect some student to join SFI daily 4-6 hour for consistent 4 years while being full time student in Sweden. The only possibility is to join SFI after university completing Education which is not possible as Swed Government kick the student out soon after studies completed. Arbetsförmedlingen never helps students in finding jobs and straight forwardly say we only help and arrange jobs for immigrant or work permit holder. This is what Sweden helps student who ultimately becomes professional. What can you expect more.

Second, the other aspect which i didn't mention earlier is Racism (Specially for Non EU) which is quite common is all over Europe, even after learning Svenska most of the foreigner are still unemployed just because their last name is not Björn or Svan. Even the C.V's never been scanned further after reading the name. Always foreigner get the same pre-typed courtesy msg in Svenska (We had many qualified people including you unfortunately service gone to other person - And whose that other person is no need to mention).

Reinfeled though have a very good thoughts but Swedish System is a Failuar. Any foreign professional who will come to Sweden in search of Job until the system remains the same must rethink more than 100 time before making such decision. Sweden is only suitable for Immigrant (who receive grants from Kommun) and not for professional in any case.

Any Sorry, i didn't mean to offend any one (Specially Swedes), I am here just because of Swedes taxpayer and very thankful to them to give me such opportunity to live in peace. All i expressed was my personal opinion and some of the people i met and discuss the matter.
22:11 March 7, 2011 by JLondon

this is why Europe is ****ed. Your saying "swedes taxpayer and very thankful to them to give me such opportunity to live in peace". In otherwords your living off my tax and other Citzens.

MANY are unemployed, not to mention the lost generation. Do you realise because of people like you...exploiting, UK,France, Sweden, Germany, and Italy that we are being squeezed left, right, and centre!

We have no use for you. Why not make your own country better? Oh I know...WELFARE/BENEFITS.
22:19 March 7, 2011 by SOUTHLONDON
Here here Hammad674

You hit the nail on the head,Sweden needs to wake up if it wants to open its doorsTRUST me Sweden has ALOT to learn,i'm sure sweden means well but the system is very sterile,interms of integration you are well England was in the 50's.

The country needs to be flexible,i agree about Svenska,just to sweep the floor you have to learn Svenska RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!
23:14 March 7, 2011 by planethero
Hey freddie, what about massive youth unemployment?

how about we work 35 hours instead of 40, consume and earn less, and spend more time in cafes with our mates and playing with our kids.

Last year they were paying us to buy cars to keep the endless consumption fire burning to "protect jobs".

How is stealing labour from other countries fair? Leaving them with their own old and infirm but noone to pay taxes to look after them. Moronic selfish attitude.
23:28 March 7, 2011 by HYBRED
Put the refugees that living of the system to work if you need workers. But with the unemployment rate at a fairly high level, there is certainly no need to import labor.
00:06 March 8, 2011 by hammad674

Thanks to God, I am not at Social Benifit nor will like to, Your words represent the Exact behavior behind the decessive smile of some of the Swedes, that what they think of immigrants. I am amazed that when Swedes are not happy with the immigarants, then whynot they come to roads,condemn the government policies and demand for the xenophobic SD party at the decisians authorities. My country is much more better in term of social integration and welcoming people. Atleast our people respect the foreign professional and students, and are not xenophobic. I will prefere to go back after completion of education asap rather than living at social benifits and listening to the Swedes burden complaints.

I know all Swedes not think the same, but if most of Swedes people thinks to condemn immigrant and have hate against them, then government should listen to them and act accoringly, If Sweden can live at its own then immigrant should not enter Sweden. I hope and pray the Swedish government listen to majority of people.
02:47 March 8, 2011 by jackx123
Has Reinfault had a drugs test recently or worse brain check?

On this note he will not be the PM after next election and SD will, IMHO, reach 20% mark.

This dude is unreal. he should STFU with comments like this. Unemployment in Sweden is high, albeit not comparable with Europe, and there are many Swedes in less advantageous position. Remarks like this will only make people turn to SD.
08:18 March 8, 2011 by technoviking
Well apparently, the Swedish government no longer cares about getting jobs for the actual SWEDES who live here.

Only the poor helpless immigrants who hate them and call them racists no matter how generous they are. So much for the so called "moderates".

Perhaps a SANE immigration policy that lets in SKILLED foreign workers could be useful but the current policy of letting in every illiterate, useless, unskilled knuckle dragger from the cess pools of the world clearly isn't going to help anyone who cares more about the fate of Sweden rathera than their "multicultural" fantasy utopia.
09:10 March 8, 2011 by Iraniboy

Cheap for you can be expensive for some others ;)
11:25 March 8, 2011 by Gurkhan
Reinfeldt has put it realistically and can see the way to revitalization of EU's economic growth. Without newcomers, the "old guys" can not really function or reset the economic growth.

If there were enough work-force in Europe that were ready to do the jobs that the immigrants do, then the unemployment problem would have been solved but the jobs are there, unemployed are there so why is it not solved yet in the past so many years??

Face it EU, without Iceland, Crotia, Turkey, the EU will eventually lose its strategic power...
11:41 March 8, 2011 by engagebrain
importing cheap labour is good for those who own businesses but is not good for Europe's existing workforce.

Sweden may be following the US and UK into the them and us world.

Note in the US and UK it is now the middle income group whose wages and conditions are being squeezed while the wealthy pay less and less tax and get richer and richer.
12:17 March 8, 2011 by Angst
Have we been reading the same news item? It would seem not! Reinfeldt criticised the EU agriculture policy for being far too expensive, and said Sweden will not join the Monetary Union in the foreseeable future. Check out the SVT recording of Reinfeldt's speech below!

Here is the link:


This is what he said in the clip!

Reinfeldt kritiserar EU´s jordbrukspolitik

Sverige kommer inte att gå med i EU´s valutaunion inom överskådlig tid ,det sa statsminister Fredrik Reinfeldt, på en pressträff idag. Han kritiserade även Eu´s jordbrukspolitik.


Kolla på SVT Rapport - Sveriges största nyhetsprogram. Nyheter dygnet runt i SVT1, SVT2, SVT Forum och SVT Play.
12:43 March 8, 2011 by BrittInSweden
"It is about inspiring, and that means giving support," said Reinfeldt, claiming that "democratic values" are one of Europe's most important and most valuable export products. These values are shared with the US, he emphasised.

Yeah, the US does love to bring in Mexicans to work in the States. Oh wait...
13:13 March 8, 2011 by jackx123
"Face it EU, without Iceland, Crotia, Turkey, the EU will eventually lose its strategic power..."

Utter BS dude look up the GDP of each country before open your gobber and remove all doubt about your intelligence.

Germany had the largest trade surplus in the world before china and US. WHat are iceland, croatia etc gonna bring to the equation? More countries that have to be bailed out by germany. Schmuck
13:13 March 8, 2011 by Nemesis
Once the workers come to Sweden, this is what they will be faced with.

20:34 March 8, 2011 by technoviking
If they exclude Muslim immigration it's possible a generation of hard working immigrants could come from other parts of the world and assimilate and contribute something to Sweden.

But since Sweden is in denial over the nature of what the Koran actually teaches: hate of non-believers, sexism, intolerance of all other ideologies, willful ignorance and non-assimilation, they'll simply continue destroying their own country with this toxic cultural poison.
21:13 March 8, 2011 by Ormandy
This is the same kind of New World Order newspeak we in the USA have been bludgeoned with for over three decades. My brother and I have visited your beautiful country three times in the past decade and have enjoyed ourselves immensely. However, as many ordinary Americans continue to do, resisting the "political class's" (read: global elites) insistence on our own self demise regarding culture, borders, sovereignty requires forceful push back. At 22.5% unemployment -- this is the method which was used prior to the Bill Clinton administration massaging the "inconvenient" rate of unemployment -- this country is in a decade-long or longer jobs depression. My advice is to never believe what any government promotes via a co-opted media. There many millions more people, legal and illegal, than there are jobs, and it has been such for more than a decade. No government would ever admit to such an utter failure in public policy.
22:33 March 8, 2011 by imz1
valid point.
23:56 March 8, 2011 by SWOT
Sweden is not as competitive as before. Because the Swedish labour force are not as competent as before. People are getting lazy and less productive. The trade unions asks for more and more. Employers cannot employ more people to be productive due to the high personal cost. That is the reason why people are lossing jobs. Foreign labour does not ask that much benifits as Swedes do. Actually, most of the cheap jobs have been done by foreigners. the berry picks, the farmers, the drivers, most of them are foreigners in big cities. More and more Swedes especially young Swedes believe they are born to be managers, scientists, engineers, they refuse to work on something lower than their expectations. This is why Sweden needs people to feed their labour market.
00:17 March 9, 2011 by Jannik
"Reinfeldt called for Europe to become a "beacon of freedom" towards the east as in previous decades but now also towards countries in North Africa"

The code word is "north africa". Reinfeldt is ready to open the doors wide open to massive immigration of backward and violent muslims. Eurabia is apparently on its way.

This pm is delusional, anti-swedish and a multicultural globalist. Nothing more than a traitor towards Sweden.

Bringing Turkey into the EU will only create havoc, and bring more muslims to Sweden and the rest of Europe.

Sweden seriously needs some sane and loyal politicians. The ones in charge are badly "f*cking up this country.
08:46 March 9, 2011 by Thomas Dolby
The only reason I support this crazy idea... Where else am I gonna find cheap labor to clean My Toilet, and scrub My floors? Certainly not a Scandinavian, but then again...
14:02 March 9, 2011 by Ansgard
@Jannik I would prefer if Sweden became bacon of freedom.
14:20 March 9, 2011 by Birchleaf
Oh, come on everybody! Are the only people posting hear shortsighted Sweden Democrats? Yes, sure, there is unemployment throughout the EU at present. Heck, we're just getting out of the worst recession since the great depression of the 1930's. But we need to plan ahead! The future is quite different. Throughout Europe we're facing a retirement boom! The traditional population pyramids are being stood on their head! Within twenty years or so the number of retired people in Europe may be twice as many as people working. Any idiot should see that that will simply not be feasible if we are to maintain our standard of living. So what can we do? Cancel retirement plans seems like a no go. Killing off old people is also not a savoury solution. Have everyone work longer would help, thus the current ideas of postponing retirement till age 69 or even later. Having more children is simply too late. There won't be enough of them in time to solve the problem. But then there is a wonderful simple solution if you just dare say it. Import the excess youth of Turkey and Northern Africa! You see, these countries have the reverse problem. They have too many young people, whereas we have too few. Turkey is the easiest. They are already a candidate country. Just make sure they fullfill all the remaining criteria and then let them in. North Africa is trickier, because they may. not have the skills necessary to fill the positions where they are needeed. The EU should invest in improving North African schools, and then start implementing generous work visa programmes to bring in engineers, doctors, etc from across teh Mediterrenaen. It's not about cheap labour. Seriously. We have a lack of low end jobs. Look at who's unemployed, it's mostly people with little education and few marketable skills. But there is a serious lack of skilled workers, and it is of course these Reinfeldt wants to attract. We need more engineers, more nurses, more doctors, etc.

Teh decisions we take today are not just about today or next week. We need to plan for the future ten years from now, twenty years from now and thirty years from now. And with this less narrow perspective, Reinfeldt's position on these matters is a no-brainer. I want enough people working in Sweden when I retire twenty years from now to know that there's enough tax money flowing in to the system to pay for my pension.
19:52 March 9, 2011 by technoviking
@ birchleaf

Sweden does indeed need more skilled workers.

What it does not need are more unskilled, illiterate, uneducated, sexist, West hating, socially repressive, unemployed masses to drain the pension money and make the problem worse.
23:36 March 9, 2011 by dan_sparrow

this country is full of red necks, hill-billies ...

and true we dont need more unskilled, illiterate, uneducated, sexist, haters, socially repressive, unemployed masses to drain the pension money

with all those red necks, hill-billies swedes is enough!!!
00:50 March 10, 2011 by patbreslin
What Sweden needs is more babies.

So stop twittering about and go to it.
16:11 March 11, 2011 by skylarkpilot
Yeah bring in Turkey then we can pour euros into another black hole that will bankrupt the EU nations.

Reinfeldt is an idiot.

The answer is not an increase in population. If you increase population they live longer retire and claim pensions. You then need even more workers to pay taxes to provide that. They then live longer and claim pensions so you bring in more workers etc etc. Eventually you end up like the UK where people will soon be elbowing each other into the sea because there's no place to stand.

For gods sake wake up you dimwitted politicians and smell the coffee.
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