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Reinfeldt slammed for 'ethnic Swedes' comment

Reinfeldt slammed for 'ethnic Swedes' comment

Published: 15 May 2012 12:24 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 May 2012 12:24 GMT+02:00

Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is facing a storm of criticism from several quarters after using the term "ethnic Swedes" in response to a question about Sweden's high level of unemployment.

“It is not correct to describe Sweden as a country in a situation of mass-employment. If one looks at ethnic Swedes at the prime of their life, we have very low unemployment,” Reinfeldt said to a reporter from news agency TT on Monday.

The comment was made in answer to a question based on a report carried out by the Swedish Fiscal Policy Council (Finanspolitiska rådet), which had criticized the government’s overly cautious fiscal policy.

Reinfeldt's choice of words soon kicked off a political firestorm with commentators on both sides of the political spectrum questioning his use of the term "ethnic Swedes" and speculating as to what he might have meant.

Two hashtags quickly emerged on Twitter, #ReinfeldtTT and #Svenskarmittilivet, with many questioning whether it was appropriate from the prime minister to speak of ”ethnic” Swedes.

At first it was mainly left-leaning commentators that reacted to the statement and started to question what Reinfeldt's motives.

“The right-wing government’s ethnification of our societal problems is worrisome…” tweeted Daniel Swedin, editorial writer at social-democrat leaning tabloid Aftonbladet.

“Should we interpret FR’s statement as if he doesn’t feel that unemployment among immigrants (even 2nd or 3rd generation) is an especially large problem?,” Social Democrat pollster Carl Melin tweeted.

But several liberal commentators also had something to say about the prime minister’s gaffe.

”It is slightly worrisome if Reinfeldt doesn’t think that a problem is a problem before they occur to his neighbours in Täby,” wrote Liberal commentator Isobel Hadley-Kamptz, referring to the upscale Stockholm suburb that Reinfeldt calls home.

“If you’re only counting middle aged ethnic Swedes, we don’t have one refugee child arriving alone in Sweden,” another liberal, Marcus Bohlin wrote.

Fredrik Federley, an MP with the Centre Party, one of the four centre-right parties that make up the Alliance government which Reinfeldt leads, also expressed his concern over the prime minister's statements.

“It is most unfortunate that the prime minister is choosing to split the population into those who are ethnic Swedes and those who aren’t. We will pay dearly for this in future,” he said to daily Aftonbladet.

According to Federley, Reinfeldt's comments "play right into the hands of the [far-right] Sweden Democrats".

However, other politicians on the right defended Reinfeldt, pointing out that statistics show that unemployment is higher among immigrants and young people.

“That those born outside of Sweden are underrepresented in employment is an important societal problem that needs highlighting. It takes a lot more to reach full employment,” wrote Moderate politician Tomas Tobé, chairman of the Riksdag’s committee on the labour market (Arbetsmarknadsutskottet).

Ann-Charlotte Marteus, a columnist with the Expressen newspaper, explained that Reinfeldt shouldn't be blamed simply for using the term "ethnic Swedes", arguing that speaking of immigration in Sweden is tricky to say the least.

“The Swedish language seems as badly prepared for a multi-cultural reality as the Swedish labour market,” she wrote in the paper’s opinion pages blog, Opinionsbloggen.

She added, however, that unemployment is going defending its record on unemployment until the next election.

"If the message over the next two years is going to be that unemployment isn't really an unemployment problem but an immigration problem, that's going to be uncomfortable for everyone -- except for [Sweden Democrat head] Jimme Åkesson and his entourage," she wrote.

Speaking to the Nyheter24.se website, Åkesson on Tuesday praised Reinfeldt's apparent change of heart in how he viewed unemployment in Sweden.

"It's great news that the prime minister has come to his senses regarding one of the many negative consequences of his irresponsible immigration policies," said Åkesson.

"Reinfeldt seems to want to see mass immigration as a burden that he can't do anything about."

TT/Rebecca Martin

twitter.com/thelocalsweden

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Your comments about this article

13:06 May 15, 2012 by Abe L
Why is this such a big deal? He's just pointing out facts.
13:14 May 15, 2012 by bourgeoisieboheme
How dare the Prime Minister bring up facts to the public!!! For him to highlight that we have a massive problem is unethical and outrageous. We call for his immediate resignation!
13:26 May 15, 2012 by Achilles7
Oh for crying out loud, when will people get off their high horse? We all know what an ethnic Swede is: someone who has had family living in Sweden for many generations, speaks fluent Swedish without any hint of an accent, is white, and may (although not necessarily) have blonde hair and blue eyes. Someone who looks like they have recently emigrated from the middle east is clearly not a native Swede.

Why do people have such difficulty calling a spade a spade?

And as a final point...

"Reinfeldt seems to want to see mass immigration as a burden that he can't do anything about."

Well poor guy, I don't blame him! Sweden kicks up a dust and then complains that it can't see.
14:13 May 15, 2012 by Uncle
Abe L

"Why is this such a big deal? He's just pointing out facts. "

The deal is that moderaternas drive is the will of MAJORITY. So what he pointed out, is that if we take the working age population of Swedes, the unemployment is extremely low.

Socialists drive is the need of MINORITY. So they whine independently of the outcome.

Since one of the actions to reduce unemployment and crime is to tell refugees to seek refuge in the countries that are internationally obliged to take refugees (neighbouring countries to the refugees origin), socialists would whine about racism.

If one would increase the flow of refugees, by that increasing crime and unemployment automatically, socialists would again whine about politics of racism, since apparently it is only immigrants who are unemployed and inprisoned.

So there is no need to pay attention to this senseless whining, since it comes from one reason only - the will to whine.
14:14 May 15, 2012 by Mb 65
The Swedes can't see the woods for the trees. the only reason Sweden is a nice country to live is because there are only 9.5 million living here. It is the same for the ethnic Swedes. What else would you call them???
15:13 May 15, 2012 by theibmsstate
But no only refugees , other highly educated immigrants are suffering, in sweden 90% immigrants are jobless.jobs are only for swedes.if swede dont like immigrants than migration must stop and send back immigrants. and than swedes must only eat potatoes and strawberries, swedes must not get Oil and other stuff from other world. swedes are very polite but inside the heart they dont like immigrants.i am not refugee since 2 years i am applying for jobs but i could not get single job.swedish language is requirement.this is useless.if some1 want to waster their time than stay in sweden.swedes are not social people.in USA and other countries the mentality is very high and they do not think why immigrants will get job.americans says if you work in my company your american. in many recruiter companies they defined that immigrants will not get job.this everything is about high and low mentality. good luck swede and sweden.
15:15 May 15, 2012 by occassional
The cultural hegemony of the pestilent left in action. Not even the subtle, the sub textual or the implied are safe any more. In their obsession with equality in all its pantomimic manifestations they will even control peoples dreams if they could.
15:46 May 15, 2012 by RobinHood
The difficulty for Aftonbladet's Daniel Swedin and Social Democrat Carl Melin is that the figures clearly show a massive disproportion between unemployment amongst immigrates into Sweden compared with "ethnic Swedes" (or whatever you want to call them). Messrs Swedin and Melin would prefer to ignore this inconvenient figure, declare immigration into Sweden a great success, and do nothing to help the hundreds of thousands of hopelessly unemployed immigrants overwhelming the social services and benefit system. Mr Reinfeldt, on the other hand, seems willing to admit the figures, face up to the problem, and is trying to discuss it and deal with it.

If I were an unemployed immigrant into Sweden, I know who I would prefer.
16:11 May 15, 2012 by Great Scott
Reinfeldt's comments are just a huge cover up for Sweden's high unemployment rate, singling out one group to try and distort the figures does not fool anybody. Sweden's under 25's are suffering terribly with over 25% out of work. Today we here of another 400 job losses at Astra Zeneca, Sweden's unemployment is continuing to rise. Reinfeldt's real answer to this is phase 3, put the unemployed out to work for nothing or very little and pay the companies 5000kr per month to take them on. In turn the companies are very happy and don't need to employ anyone, in fact they can fire a few who are getting paid to work.

Yes that's how to hide mass unemployed. Many people are very naive about phase 3 and how it works. Rudderless Reinfeldt cringe's if he hears the word phase 3, it's a huge embarrassment for Sweden.
16:47 May 15, 2012 by Uncle
@theibmsstate

Judging not only by your grammar, punctuation and syntax errors (which are easily understandable for those "highly educated" individuals who arrived here and I myself am not free of guilt here), but also by the inability to break your text into readable paragraphs and the utter helplessness in delivering a simple idea, I would assume that there is no subjective reasoning behind refusal to your employment.

If you tried to prove Swedish racist nature through your example, it is rather a proof to the contrary, as the "high education" obviously never took place in your life.

As for the USA, allow me to assure you that the "highly educated" immigrants as yourself are slaving in car washes, cleaning and ditch digging without any health insurance, child support and free language education, while the "ethnic americans" or those who lived there for few generations, are living quite a nice life. I suggest that you go to the US and do not work there for 2 years. I would say that the chances of survival are minimal.

Also, due to the harsh social conditions in the US, immigrants themselves were forced into action, by opening businesses and hiring other immigrants, whereas in Sweden, one can sit on social welfare with a cute little Apple laptop and complain about racist swedes, who do not hire one. All of this while sipping cup of coffee and lazily watching Oprah on 50" TV.

@Great Scott

All that you wrote does not mean that immigrants are in fact working. NOT to talk about this issue is huge embarassement for Sweden. NOT to say that it takes an immigrant 7 years on AVERAGE to find a job. Phase 3 is better than anyone does and any counter suggestion should be backed by a suggestion on where to take the money from to pay a better salary for those people. Shoot. Healthcare? Roads? Immigration assistance perhaps? National debt? Where?
17:05 May 15, 2012 by theibmsstate
@uncle

i wrote that message very quickly you cannt assume some1 by english language. dual Master degrees plus CCNA, CCNP certified.plus five years of experience and i am not getting social i have my own money if i do not work in my life i do not have money problem in my life. @uncle i am 100% sure your education is less than mine.
17:11 May 15, 2012 by cowboykodp
@ibm

You are actually very correct in your assumptions about the US. Highly educated people in the US are doing just fine.

@Uncle

I guess you would know about unemployment among immigrants in Sweden. How else does one explain all the free time you have to troll websites, not to mention your hate and bitterness towards "Middle Eastern" , "Muslim", "blacks", etc...

Unemployment is a problem among immigrants in Sweden. The question is why?
17:12 May 15, 2012 by theibmsstate
this is fact, 90% immigrants are jobless. people can get job any where in the world but in sweden its 2% chances to get professional job or odd jobs.in USA,UK, Canada, Germany mental level is quiet high. i have wasted my 2 years in sweden.i regret for that.even though immigrants can not get job in McDonald and in sweden just programming jobs are available for immigrants because swedes can not do programming jobs.
17:14 May 15, 2012 by Great Scott
@Uncle

You should have gone to Spec Savers.

As I said "Many people are very naive about phase 3 and how it works."
17:46 May 15, 2012 by Kevin Harris
It is an incontestable fact there are far more unskilled immigrant workers in Sweden than there are available unskilled jobs. This disparity will continue, and get worse, until either the number of suitable jobs for the unskilled substantially increases, or the number of unskilled immigrants substantially decreases.

For every unskilled immigrant admitted into Sweden, the number of unemployed increases by one. Until something changes, immigration and unemployment figures will increase in lock step. The mathematics may be inconvenient to some people's political and social beliefs, but they remain an awkward truth all the same.
17:59 May 15, 2012 by calebian22
"Reinfeldt's comments "play right into the hands of the [far-right] Sweden Democrats"."

Well, for all you SD haters, this is how a dialogue starts. If you want SD to not reach double digit numbers in 2014, you should be encouraging Reinfeldt and the like to take up this issue. It is hilarious though that the PM gets slammed for pointing out that there is a difference regarding demographics and unemployment though. The dissenters, ironically, are the ones playing into the hands of SD; I love it!
18:27 May 15, 2012 by strixy
Could someone please explain to me what exactly was so offensive in pointing out facts? I seriously do not comprehend.
19:01 May 15, 2012 by Uncle
theibmsstate

You misunderstood me with the amount of your degrees. I did not claim that you are not in possession of fancy and shiny papers that tell that you are highly educated. I just said that given the ability to express yourself (without connection to your English skill, but rather the methodology of your writing), I would not be surprised why Swedes do not think that you would be a valuable asset to their company. Logic 101.

cowboykodp

"not to mention your hate and bitterness towards "Middle Eastern" , "Muslim", "blacks", etc...

Yep all of them blacks and middle easterns that I hate... How nice of you mixing racial and geographic origin with islam - a philosophy of life.

In "etc" you surely mean that I hate pregnant women, little cute puppies and peace on Earth. I also tend to hate childhood dreams and rainbows and I feed on baby blood.

Your statements remind who you are cowboy. It is nice to have you back from the little vacation that you had. Were you meeting your beloved islamic, neo-nazi and Red Khmer friends? Surely you did not behead too many nuns at the reunion? It would be a slightly bad taste... Did you tell Al Bashir, Kim Jong Un and Ayman al-Zawahiri about this forum? Is Mugabe in good health?

@Great Scott

"You should have gone to Spec Savers"

WOW, what an undeniable proof that I am naive! What an excellent and pedagogical explanation of all the nuances of Stage 3 that I was totally blind to! Thank you Scott. NOW I definitely am aware of all the problems of the poor non-immigrant people who happen to be unemployed for years at the same time, there are 60,524 jobs right NOW in Arbetsförmedlingen platsbanken.
23:44 May 15, 2012 by KFF
Re: Strixy

"Could someone please explain to me what exactly was so offensive in pointing out facts? I seriously do not comprehend."

In official statistics and official language, swedes as a specific people don't exist. There is no official definition and no official acknowledgement of any swedish people from the governing authorities. In their view, only the citizen-definition exist and if anyone believes anything else then they are vile racists.

That is why the liberals and lefties are upset.

Svenska Dagbladet explains the concept (use Google translate):

http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/faktakoll-rott-ljus-for-reinfeldt_7203940.svd

and follow the twitter stream to understand how the swedish literati think in questions like this.

https://twitter.com/#!/search/etniska%20svenskar
01:25 May 16, 2012 by TheWatchman
Calling a spade, a spade in Sweden is wrong. This doesn't surprise me. However, Reinfeldt is a brave man for stating the truth. I suppose he didn't know this would happen, but still I respect the fact that he calls a spade a spade.

@KFF

An ethnic Swede is someone who is from Sweden, and is of Swedish descent. I don't know about the genealogy of Swedes, but Swedish are their own people. There will never be a time when a man from Somalia is an ethnic Swede. Ever. They are not the same. Ethnic Swedes DO have lower unemployment than non-ethnic Swedes such as Somalis, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians...etc. To argue with that is to argue that the sun revolves around the Earth.
04:19 May 16, 2012 by ericrufinosiah
I am totally aghast that ethnic Swedish can't say that they are ethnic Swedish?

What is wrong with Sweden now.?It's sad that the proud descendents of the great

Vikings are facing ethnic identity questions on their origins.

Next,the natives Swedish can't mention that their ancestors are the great Vikings,

I hope that the natives Swedish learned to be patriotic and don't just sleep and

dream,and when Jimme Akesson's Sweden Democrat tells the truth then he is

being wordly attacked and I wonder where is the spirit and pride of the children

of the the great Vikings.
07:47 May 16, 2012 by lord komnick
You know why there is a problem in describing a group of society as such has a problem? Because the term is not well defined and it has the tendency of inaccurately labeling and profiling people. Let's say two white Germans came here and had children and the children grew up speaking swedish with no accent, they also managed to have no extraordinary qualification. Let's on the other hand think of two black africans came here and had children who also grew up to speak swedish with no accent. And they became highly qualified to the labour market. Don't you think the latter would have a high probability of unemployment and the former to be classified as ethnic swedes and to have a high probability of landing on a job.
08:01 May 16, 2012 by bourgeoisieboheme
Uncle cracks me up, I love his posts, he says what is on my mind. Also I have to add I'm most impressed by his writing and use of the English. You Sir, have a splendid grasp on the English language.
09:37 May 16, 2012 by leontan
From the comments by Reinfeldt, it seems he needs serious historical lessons. What on earth is an 'ethnic Swede'? If we want to speak indigenous 'Swedes' there is no argument that these are not the blonde Nordics, but the Saami. Why there is no mention of the Saami in the comments is intriguing. After all the etymological roots of the term 'ethnic' comes from ἔθνος ethnos or 'nation.' This being the case, the 'ethnic' in this territory called 'Sweden' can only be the Saami peoples, who quite likely might object to the term 'Swede,' for it is the term of the European colonizers. How someone like Reinfeldt comes to ludicrous phrases such as 'ethnic Swede' simply belies his lack of intelligence and proper historical schooling.
10:12 May 16, 2012 by towns
@ leontan

I find people like you amusing. You have no problem excepting that the Sámi are their own unique ethnicity (which they of course are). Yet, you find it unthinkable that such a notion could also be applied to the Swedish-speaking Viking descendants of the Svear, Gute and Geat tribes that have lived in Sweden for over a millennia. Such a notion is simply absurd.

I am actually shocked that people would question Reinfeldt's choice of words in this manner. But then again, nothing surprising me coming from the socially engineered, historical revisionists of the cultural marxist camp. Just because a few extremists (who really seem to have been successfully able to tap into mainstream psyche in Sweden) would question the validity of an identifier like ethnicity doesn't invalidate the fact that ethnicity does and will always exist as an expression of collective identity for a specific group of individual sharing the same historical, linguistic and cultural background.

I would seriously like to see you go to your average African American or Native American in the United States and question the fact that they are African American or Native American to their faces, because in your words "What on earth is an ethnic anything". I'm willing to bet you would be beat up.

We all know what Reinfeldt meant by "ethnic Swede" and it doesn't matter if a few people have their heads in the sand.
10:20 May 16, 2012 by EP
Funny how many of these comments imply that non- ethnic Swedes are of Somali, Iraqi, etc. origin. Fact is, most of the people on these boards are non-ethnic Swedes and are immigrants to this country from other countries in Europe (or wait, some don't like the term immigrants so they prefer to use the term ex-pats ;-)). Fact is Reinfeldt separated all of us into ethnic Swedes and all others.

As for the great Vikings. I wouldn't be too sure if the Swedes were ancestors of the great Vikings. The Vikings were supposedly strong and fearless … wheras most Swedes are pretty cowardly and always stressed out in a non-stressed country.
10:33 May 16, 2012 by KFF
Re: Leontan

"If we want to speak indigenous 'Swedes' there is no argument that these are not the blonde Nordics, but the Saami. Why there is no mention of the Saami in the comments is intriguing."

This is actually an factoid that is not supported by any historical evidence. If you study the swedish debate then you will realize that a lot of the concepts are direct imports from the US. That's one reason why the swedish governing narrative from the outside seems so insane. The fit between the liberal dogma from US universities and swedish reality is usually far from perfect.

To compensate, factoids have been created and spread. One argument imported from the US is that everyone are an immigrant. The only way to make that fit in Sweden is to actually strip the ethnic swedes from their history and assume that they are invaders.

The real history: Between 8000 and 12000 ago after the ice age, what became the swedish landmass started to become settled and especially the coasts. 6000 years ago, agriculture arrived. What became the nordic peoples settled the barren land from the south while we also had a finnish-ugric people moving in from what is today northern Finland. These were mostly finns (became swedes through history since they lived a settled lifestyle) but also the Sami. The sami are today 20000 people and back then in the hundreds (tough time being a nomad) compared with hundred of thousands of the agricultural peoples that became the swedes. The sami continued their lifestyle in the northern inland while the germanic swedes continued in the southern part. The sami weren't even known as Sami but "skrid-finnar" that can be translated as finns on skis.

5000 years later on, the competition from the christian kingdoms in the south forced the creation of Sweden that before that was more of decentralised Viking

settlements. That is, Sweden was created by the existing ethnic group of germanic scandinavians. We never moved into Sweden but was already here and created the state as a vessel for our protection in competition with the powers of the east and south.

It's pretty stupid to start arguing about who was fist in the settlements of a vast empty landmass. Especially since it wasn't either the Sami or the germanic scandinavians as we know them today. The people that created Sweden on the other hand is known and that is the same people as could be described as ethnic swedes.

Anyway, to fit into the US university understanding of ethnic groups that has been imported, the Sami has to be exactly like the native americans, the germanic swedes as the invading anglo-saxons, the third worlders exactly as the african americans and so on. That is why the factoid of the Sami as the only native people and the germanic scandinavians as invaders with no more right to Sweden than the no documents Somali with a fake name has arisen. It is needed for ideological reasons and as a legitimizing principle of the policies that govern us.
11:38 May 16, 2012 by Uncle
@bourgeoisieboheme

Thank you, Sir. I appreciate it.

@lord komnick

Don't you think that "defining" an ethnic swede officially, would be hardly an answer to the problem that you described? Do you really believe that a child of an African, who speaks fluent Swedish and is "defined" as an ethnic swede, would not have a problem with employment?

Note however that you did not bring an example of an Asian for some reason. Apparently, thousands of adopted Asian kids in Sweden do not face an employment problem in Sweden, but rather to the contrary - appreciated as hard and dedicated workers with high moral work standards and management skills beyond the common person. I would even say that Asians face less employment problems in Western Europe than, say, Eastern Europeans, who hardly look very different.

So is the problem in racist approach, or simple clash of cultures? It is impossible utopia, where a company that got "burned" by 10 different immigrants, would readily employ an 11th. It is also utopia where this company would not spread the "rumor" about unreliability of certain immigrants and this would not spread on those who LOOK like those immigrants. Morally it is totally wrong, but still very natural and cannot be fought against with definitions.
12:25 May 16, 2012 by towns
@ Uncle

I'm curious as to what you mean by "Eastern European?" If you're talking about Russians, sure there are some Russians who have Tatar and Uralic in them and look slightly, shall we say "Eurasian" but still more on the European side. If however you're lumping Eastern Europeans West to East from Czechs to Russians or North to South from Estonians to Bulgarians I think you'll find there's nothing "Asiatic" about Balkan peoples like Serbs, Albanians or Bulgarians (more Mediterranean or Levantine if anything). In Poland and the Czech Republic there are Vietnamese people (predominantly working in markets or owning restaurants) who arrived when these countries still had communist governments. If you travel to Prague or Warsaw and see your average Pole or Czech next to a Vietnamese and suggest they look similar, you'll find the comparison is just silly (no offence).

As for you're question about clash of cultures, yeah that's what it is. Just look at the new article on the Local "Mosques' advice: 'don't report abusive husbands'" which the Local has disabled commenting for.
13:27 May 16, 2012 by Uncle
@towns

Mate, reread what I wrote. I think that you misunderstood.

I meant that in my purely personal opinon (admittedly not backed by any facts), Eastern Europeans generally face more job discrimination than the asians in western europe, IF we measure discrimination by the amount of unemployed (Jews and Asians in the US just established their own businesses over time, so while there was discrimination against them, there was still a very low unemployment rate there).

So the point being that the generalization on behalf of swedes is of racial origin is incorrect, as a "european looking" person from specific area could face more problems than non-european looking person from other areas.

As for the last comment - 100% correct. They started to block these wonderful news about these guests in this country, as they whine about racial discrimination, when someone opposes THEIR discrimination of women, children, gays, Jews and what not...
13:36 May 16, 2012 by towns
@ Uncle

Ah, so I did misinterpret what you meant in the first part of my comment, no worries ;)
15:31 May 16, 2012 by Dinaricman
@ Uncle & Towns

The people of Southeastern Europe....Croats, Serbs, Czechs, many Austrians and Northern Italians are classified as members of the Dinaric Race. A very old and Indigenous people of Europe. They are Caucasian. However they are a little darker as compared to the Swedes. Just saying.
15:47 May 16, 2012 by towns
@ Dinaricman

Yep, Dinaric is a much better term than Mediterranean and (especially) Levantine. I was going to use it, but didn't because I didn't feel like arguing with any potential knee jerk reflex racist accusers on here (they always accuse people who bring up the "races of Europe" terms like Nordic, Alpine, East Baltic, Dinaric, etc as "racist"). Sorry if I offended you!
17:41 May 16, 2012 by lord komnick
@uncle

You still didn't address my concern here. Don't you think that the children from the German family i just hypothesized would be labeled as ethnic Swedes? And then don't you think that this kind of profiling is inaccurate if not in appropriate.

About the other points you made, I think those are sound arguments but yet I still have reservations to make generalizations of any kind. One fact supporting my reservation is found right in the middle of your argument. Like you said ppl from east asia are characterized by their work ethic and their fairly high employment. But still they are immigrants here. So we have found ourselves an exception from the group: mass-unemployed-because-immigrated.

Also, there are a lot of ppl I personally know who are doing all sorts of unskilled jobs while they are certified and most importantly skilled far beyond the qualification needed by the a lot of jobs here in sweden. These ppl are doing those 'all sorts of jobs'. They are not just sitting and whining. They are trying while still doing what is available. Some of them might end up doing those jobs for the rest of their lives. And that is no fault of their own. They should not be unfairly labelled as lazy ass immigrants.
18:09 May 16, 2012 by KFF
Re: lord komnick

Both germans and swedes belong to different germanic peoples and have moved between each others territories since long before either germans or swedes were considered and their respective states were formed. If you look on genetic maps then northern Germany and Sweden overlaps substantially.

http://bigthink.com/ideas/21358

Ethnicity has got both a racial/genetic and cultural aspect. Genetically germans and pretty much all other northern germanic peoples fit. Culturally, that's something derived from growing up and living in Sweden. We shouldn't focus too much on exact boundaries when it comes to the definitions of northern belonging. People that are swedes pretty much know by instinct that they are and the germans that settles here are genetically as close as any swede will ever be and become swedes culturally very quickly.

That is, ethnicity is somewhat open for newcomers but within limits. And yes, it is coupled to race. At least that's how I see it.
18:33 May 16, 2012 by Uncle
lord komnick

"So we have found ourselves an exception from the group: mass-unemployed-because-immigrated. "

Mmm, you sound like a reasonable person, my lord. However there is something wrong in your logic here. Here is a parallel -

Statement 1 - Swedish cars are generally very reliable.

Statement 2 - Koeningsegg is not a reliable car.

Conclusion of lord - Swedish cars are generally not reliable.

The point is that Swedes do not accept immigrants to work not because of racist considerations, but rather because of cultural considerations. The assumption of an average swedish employer is that an african will not be prioritizing schedule, as time in his culture has different meaning than in Sweden. Also, a swede would assume that a muslim may not be smooth around the corners with customers.. etc.

This is not based on race, but rather cultural clash. Interesting to mention that when it is clear to an employer that the candidate is an ADOPTED person by swedish family - even african chances even out, since it is obvious that CULTURALLY the person is adapted, whereas asians are naturally have a culture that fits the needs of employers.

The problem is that employers are not allowed to ask about the origin of the person and therefore they are more assuming and careful if it is not clear.
19:41 May 16, 2012 by lord komnick
@uncle

Well, I can see circular arguments going endlessly. You are engaged in cherry-picking my arguments for the sake of argument or taking things out of context and making fallacies.

What I'm saying is

-ethnicity is vaguely defined and can not accurately be interpreted.

-generalization of any sort is wrong

what we are talking about is much greater than two ppl exchanging mean comments on a paper. We are not going to be sold to each others' logic anyways.
20:16 May 16, 2012 by Uncle
Lord komnick

I actually did not see any mean comments, but rather a quite civilized discussion. The simple fact is that immigrant unemployment problem is a fact. We could discuss the reasons (whether it is racist swedes who are guilty or the immigrants who are not adapting to the society), but it IS a fact that should be voiced.

Is generalization wrong? I am not sure. Generalization is the basic instinct of every form of life, where rabbits do not become friendly with crocodiles, because the NEXT crocodile could be friendly. Security forces are effectively acting on the basis of statistical probability. Insurance companies and casinos are profitable because of generalizations. Serial killers are eventually caught thanks to generalizations. Marketing strategies are based on generalizations. I could continue with many other positive examples.

When immigrants are not accepted to work, is not a random event, based on blind "unknown". Cultural "perks" are clear and known in today's global world with all the available info.

IMHO, Instead of complaining about swedes, immigrants should first of all impact their own MINORITY that ruins it for the rest. This subjective opinion could be argued with.
21:51 May 16, 2012 by lord komnick
@uncle By the way, does your name have anything to do with 'uncle sam'. Yes I can argue with your 'subjective' opinion, infact with your objective one also for that matter. We can have plenty of blame to go around as to why immigrant unemployment is unusually high. I will spare you the pain and just go with the former. I have to point out first what I think immigration is about for Sweden and countries alike. It is not a mere posture of good will and deed as it is erroneously pointed out here and there. It's a global geo-political and social phenomenon that every state can not prune. In it, both parties are mutual beneficiaries. States like Sweden where the population especially the working force is shrinking benefit from the boost in number. It's not only about quantity, it's also about quality. Homogeneous societies like that of Sweden can profit from the diversity that immigration renders. I hope you don't argue with the need for diversity in a society-be it for socially or economically. I understand it has its own flaws, yet the problem brought by the alternative can not be more starker. This brings us to the question who should be indebted to who? And should we expect to change what is in these immigrants that we needed in them in the first place-being different. Now the question is: should the question of immigration be about appeasing the critical electorate or addressing the fundamental issues like long term prosperity, stability and sustainability?
22:12 May 16, 2012 by Uncle
"Now the question is: should the question of immigration be about appeasing the critical electorate or addressing the fundamental issues like long term prosperity, stability and sustainability?"

No, the question is whether immigrants are unemployed or not... Look at the theme of the article. Nobody is discussing benefit or detriment of immigration. There is an argument whether unemployment per CAPITA is a greater problem among immigrants and whether it is OK to SAY so.

I believe that I could argue with you until this forum is long from being relevant on whether the immigration that Sweden brings is in fact beneficial, or not. My summarized arguments would be that financially THIS immigration never pays for itself because of increased crime and unemployed females in addition to the men.

I would also say that "gene improvement" is irrelevant in a case where the locals are demanded to convert into the immigrant religion, before a diversity is even possible. Until then, there is no diversity, but separated groups of people, contributing to the country precisely as roma people "contribute" to the diversity and economy of Eastern Europe.

However I will drop that and press on that it is OK to SAY the facts, instead of discussing the moral feasibility of these facts.
23:10 May 16, 2012 by Cornelius Hamelberg
The level of hypocrisy is disgusting!

More - or less polite in the Queen's English etc. so they say, but please, don't be so touchy!

Bill Shakespeare asked "What's in a name?" - and to be honest, things have to be called by their names, and if need be, with precision. As Torbjörn Säfve once asked me, - it was at the junction of Rådmansgatan and Holladegatn, "Is it so holy that we can't call it by its proper name - or even talk about it?" (This was during the time when the fatwa put out, required Salman Rushdie's blood, dead or alive)

What on earth has the prime minister said wrong in a conversation about unemployment a - as we say in Swedish - a "problematique" in which the immigrant (the non-ethnic Swede) for many reasons (background and skills, culture shock and lack of basic acculturation etc) is a distinct category with its own special, attendant problems when he's trying to find a way into the employment market….

So the non-ethnic Swedes who also contribute significantly to the unemployment statistics and its realities which Stefan Löfven is honking on for all he's worth - and will be honking upon some more until at least the next elections (and don't forget that the Great Fredrik says that he's looking forward to unemployment being one of the altar pieces that the Social Democrats would like to feature as the main election issue.

Alas! For many a poor immigrant (many a non-ethnic Swede) may be a nuclear scientist or a high profile engineer alright, but this is not Baghdad!

Problems: for instance what are the prospects of employment for the 17 000 Somalia family members - relatives of some currently employed, others unemployable?

More Swedish? More acquisition of job-oriented skills?

What else?
23:22 May 16, 2012 by Swedishmyth
Opposition against mass immigration from Africa and the Middle East, and support for the SD, will increase so long as this insane experiment in social engineering continues. This is largely a top-down initiative led by political power lusters; the public does not desire, to the extent of the political elite, a conversion of Sweden away from a Western society.

However, Sweden's culture is not rational enough to stave off racism in the face of this threat. People will oppose it in the only way their bankrupt culture has taught them: by targeting the races of immigrants. Swedes can see that the road they are being forcibly lead down by their masters will end in ruin, but their own ideology of collectivism leaves them unarmed to oppose the roots of this multiculturalist policy; fundamentally, they agree with it.

So they are left with only one option: desperately lash out, not against the state that upholds the suicidal combination of mass immigration and welfare statism, but against the immigrants themselves.

When a productive Western or Asian immigrant suffers years of Visa issues and abuse from the Migration Services, yet an African or ME family of dozens are granted free entry, stay, and support, people conclude that to the government, race matters. And the government specifically favors the least productive and the least Western.

Yet government is Sweden's particular brand of God. Swedes will not side against it until a complete civic breakdown is at hand. Perhaps not even then.
04:53 May 17, 2012 by godnatt
If the immigration policies had some sort of standards, any for that matter, this wouldn't be an issue.

Bring people with skills in shortage, help them learn the language, match them up with jobs or DON'T LET THEM IN. End of story.

Continuing to flood the market with a surplus of knuckle draggers only makes it harder for the current batch to ever get going. Supply and demand.

The continuous influx of charity cases serves no useful purpose other than to assuage bored liberal Swedes white guilt.

There are not enough jobs to go around and continuing the flood the market only makes the situation exponentially worse and a day of reckoning is inevitable when the number of unwashed, unemployed cave men reaches critical mass.

Try to fix what's here and stop exacerbating the problem by flooding the market with unneeded labor supply.
05:49 May 17, 2012 by bells on the knight
oh man.

throw these ill willing people out. the residency for my wife was recently rejected by the migration board.

Guess what:

I'm at least 9 generation Swedish, my kids are Swedish and my wife EU national. She now has to leave Sweden every 3 months or she face charges for illegal immigration and deported and will be refused entry ever.

Totally screwed up system.
08:35 May 17, 2012 by lord komnick
@uncle

Yes I acknowledge that I drifted from the theme of the article. But like I said I was trying to lay down my vies on immigration. And I was gonna come back to the point. -(submitted it accidentally and could not make consecutive comments, that explains why the comment was not well structured)

I can see that the two of us look at things from a completely different perspective. I am an immigrant from Ethiopia and I am not sure about you but you seem to be from the group who have dominion in this society.

I admit that the level of unemployment in the immigrant society is attribute to, among other things, the incompetence and lack of determination from them, so they can not escape blame. Nonetheless, it will be wrong to think that somebody needs to be perfect to speak against something they believe is wrong and broken. Every party should step up on their duty to fix this rather critical issue more than throwing blame around.

Broken politics which is about appeasing the critical electorate cannot and would not fix it. Neither would short-cuts like the phase 3. As far as I know there is nobody who came up with a game changing solution. Everybody seem to be engaged in chasing the rat and ignoring the elephant in the room.

As I mentioned in the above note I am not for any attempt to sell to you my notions, you would not buy it anyways. I am just trying to give you my context. And I understand how complex it is and every body has their own stand on it. Take my note as an explanation to what I believe and not as an effort to present a logic that makes sense to you.

It is obvious that there is a problem of high unemployment in the immigrant society. Nobody can argue with that and i didn't dare deny it. Nor did I that a stick should be called a stick. What i said is that everybody is to blame for the problem and we can not point fingers to a specific group. We can not, also, use terms that are not well defined and not part of a solution.

About the financial soundness of the whole thing. I guess you are talking about the welfare these ppl live on. Well I just say 'There's no rose without a thorn.' When you talk about it, you have to think about the 100s of thousands of ppt toiling day in and day out and contributing immensely to the economy, and what would other wise be without them. Think of the super stars, the soldiers and the sportsmen and sportswomen representing the country.

One other thing, where do you think the money those ppl get from the government will go. They spend it. These ppl are the most likely to spend since they will not have more to save. That is what drives the consumer market. You can consider this as a government stimulus for the small businesses and the consumer market at large. I hope you don't question the benefit of this.
08:53 May 17, 2012 by rise
To spare himself the fuss Reinfeldt should have used the words "native Swedes" instead of "ethnic Swedes". In Sweden people hooks up on words and are finding meanings in the words the speaker never had intended - twisting its content so it becomes unrecognizable. If one says "Negerboll" he/she immediately gets the racist-label even though the only thing on his/her mind were the delicious chocolate pastries.
09:07 May 17, 2012 by Uncle
@bells on the knight

That was a seriously awful story you told. One thing I did not get. If she is an EU citizen, why does she need any papers? Brits and Germans can work and live here with no limits. That is the point of EU or did I miss something?

@lord komnick

We agree on major points there.

In regards to the government spenditure. You agree that investing into healthcare, crime, education is ALSO coming back into the economy in form of cash?

You agree that increasing immigration that uses these funds takes funds away from the above? So the money is spread in the economy, but not channeled through better teachers, more doctors that will make lines in hospitals shorter or better roads.

I would even say, this money is not improving the immigrants situation, since the amount of immigrants increases FASTER than the budget per capita allocated. So they actually do worse off. So we need to dry the budget from other things and increase the spending with immigrants, who are getting not much, but enough to make not working profitable. More than 60% able immigrants of Malmö are unemployed because it is an excellent business compared to their conditions beforehand. It cripples the economy and helps SD to go up as a reaction.

As for sportsmen and singers, these are countable on two hands and hardly a factor.
09:37 May 17, 2012 by lord komnick
Yes I agree!

That is why we need a political solution for this. We all have seen business-as-usual will not solve it. Neither would pointing fingers. This solution should not overlook the condition these immigrants have had to endure. I can list a whole lot of it at that. What is important is there should be an inclusive approach on the issue. I am aware here that government can not be the solution to every societal problem. Any sustainable effort is born from a paradigm shift from the public including we the immigrants.
16:23 May 17, 2012 by bells on the knight
@uncle:

So i thought. But reality is you can enter any EU country for ONLY 3 months the you must leave. There are two provisions. 1) if you get employment no worries you can stay BUT so can most nationalities from outside EU. 2) if you seek recidency as a housewife as in my case you stand in line with the rest from somalia, china and god knows. It takes at least 10 months to process.

For me personally I HAD to leave Sweden to work abroad for this reason since my wife wishes to remain at home to look after the kids and not work.

As a Swede I think this is totally unacceptable and I will certainly vote for SD from now on since no one else can take a stance for my cause.

My only recourse is to go to court against the government. Guess who will win.
17:13 May 17, 2012 by Navras
He said it so true.

It's difficult to get any good qty of job in services sector.

There are many brilliant students with high GPA but 90% of them cant get a job here.

Surprisingly you have more probability to get interview calls from american companies for jobs in usa(Without having any kind of visa) .But with swedish student work permit,it's impossible to get interview calls.

Swedish job system need references for non swedes.
19:43 May 17, 2012 by Uncle
bells on the knight

God, man. I am shocked now. So you are telling me that your european wife comes here and does not take a "swedish" job, as well as not milking this state for benefits and they REFUSE her?

So being a jihadist, who skinned people alive in Somalia and does not know how to read and has no plan for his future in Sweden, except "studying language" the next 7 years, REALLY has a better case than a european that does not burden this land in any way, except raising well behaving kids...

I seriously do not know what to say to that.
22:29 May 17, 2012 by Navras
@bells on the knight I am a software engineer with few years of experience ,finishing my study @Sweden. I have a pretty good GPA. I heard a lot from many friends complaining of the racial issues involved with job application.

I wanted to give it a try ; hence I (half heatedly) applied for jobs in selective companies where I would score in top few % of the profile;but none of them even wished to call me for the interview. I doubt ,they even looked@my resume :).Swedish people are very polite,sober but there is virtually no transparency in recruitment procedure. Coming back to my story;in the process of 1 of my application ; I had done my homework properly;The company wanted me to solve a programming puzzle verified on their servers(which I did in the very 1st attempt) ; later sent me a small proposal document which I compiled it very elegantly. I received the "same automated rejection letter" . I confirmed with the HR to know about the reasons for rejection :whose only reply was that " the right candidate is already selected and I was late with the appliction". Its the scripted tale which many other good students faced with job application in their domain.

Well after finishing my study; I'm thinking of job application in usa where I have some references. Sweden is just for swedes . But if you desperately want a job here in any bullshit services company;you need to be ready to apply for 400-500 applications;ring up the HR;show them how despo you are;how nice you can speak their language and bla..bla..bla..

The country only seeks asylums seekers dwelling on tax payers money ..They need the toilet cleaners & other unskilled workers striving to work in restaurant, for doing other trivial jobs.
23:16 May 17, 2012 by J Jack
If there is such a thing as an 'Ethnic Swede' (oops I said it) he was talking about then it's only "Ethnic Swedes' that need to comment. Thank you. The rest of you can go put your heads back in their bungholes.
00:00 May 18, 2012 by esvahnt
all those " worried" people should not care so much

we may be the last generation of white swedes

since the childs at school are being brain washed to love and have non white sons themselves

whites will be soon a museum piece
21:20 May 18, 2012 by Dan in Halmstad
I have a simple solution for FR's flapping gums problem: form a state run bank and start spending money into the economy instead of lending it, which only creates more debt and profits for private banks. Employ everyone in the country overnight on projects that benefit the society as a whole by having the government create the credit out of thin air like the banks do and then funding the project with the credit created. There. Unemployment solved. "Ethnic Swedes" problem solved and FR goes down as the greatest politician in history since Marcus Aurelius. Maybe even greater.
19:04 May 21, 2012 by bells on the knight
maybe if i told you that the "name" that took the decision to decline my wife's residency has muslim origin.

I'm truly ticket off by this affair with the migration board. I cannot marry and live with the woman of my choice.

Now, the really peculiar thing is that you cannot talk to them over the phone so I had to call and send an e-mail to the court. They then forwarded my concerns to the donkeys in Solna. Using the backdoor through the legal system they MUST take up the case.

The two people I spoke to at the court felt that it was a very strange decision indeed, ESPECIALLY since we have children together, not even mentioning that she was a EU citizen and these people are lawyers.

If this does not help I will send an open letter to our PM and ask what a comedy show he's running.

Stay tuned to animal farm.
10:49 May 22, 2012 by skylarkpilot
Kevin is spot on about skilled jobs and an unskilled workforce. And Uncle does have a point as well.

There is a rather thorny issue which is relevant. That is, Swedish people do not always recognise qualifications obtained abroad. In fact they will dismiss them without regard if at all possible. I am an English immigrant to Sweden myself. Fortunately I have a pension from the UK and so I am setting up my own business rather than trying to get into a rather closed Swedish jobs market.

There are plenty of people in my SFI class who are decent, educated people. They are offered jobs as cleaners or home help as their hard earned credentials from their countrys of origin are not deemed worthy.

If Sweden is truly going to integrate immigrants they need to work a liitle harder on their open-mindedness. I am not for one moment suggesting that every degree issued in some dodgy university should be recognised. But where there is good evidence that a person is educated and skilled, they should be given a practical chance to prove it. Sweden will otherwise end up with a fractured society in which violence and unrest will fester.

It's all pretty redundant because with current levels of immigration "ethnic Swede" will be a minority within twenty five years, but it may make it easier on Swedish minority kids of the future if you are nicer to immigrants today !
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