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Reinfeldt: minister's asylum stance 'wrong'

Reinfeldt: minister's asylum stance 'wrong'

Published: 07 Feb 2013 11:05 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Feb 2013 11:05 GMT+01:00

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has distanced himself from Migration Minister Tobias Billström about the need to reduce the "volumes" of foreigners coming to Sweden, explaining the Moderates' policy review stems from different concerns.

Billström, who is leading a Moderate Party working group tasked with reviewing Sweden's immigration policies said at the weekend that his group would devote "a lot of time" discussing "how we can affect the volumes of those who come to Sweden".

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, however, Reinfeldt disagreed with Billström's framing of the party's policy review.

"That can't be the starting point," said Reinfeldt in reference to the migration minister's comments.

"Immigration enriches Sweden. It's a very important value that people can come to Sweden, and that's meant a lot for Sweden's development."

He went on to say that the Moderates don't think there needs to be a reduction in the number of asylum seekers and immigrants who come to Sweden to be reunited with family.

"In the party governing board's orders to this working group, we don't talk like that. Immigration enriches Sweden and a party like the Moderates that is responsible for governing strives to be a balanced voice between those who never see any problems and those who never see other people," said Reinfeldt.

He explained further that Billström's comments should be seen in light of a recent spike in asylum seekers from the Balkans who come to Sweden after being tricked into believing they will receive asylum there.

Reinfeldt explained that the party plans to look carefully at Sweden's system for dealing with refugees and immigrants when they arrive.

"What we're concerned about is when so many come in a short period of time, and from countries where they haven't come from previously, which leads to a risk that our reception system won't work properly," he said.

If new arrivals don't get off on the right foot, he added, it then becomes harder for them to manage enrolling in school, finding a job, and becoming a part of Swedish society.

TT/The Local/dl

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Your comments about this article

11:30 February 7, 2013 by Terri85
Well, this is stupid and naive ... Dont even want to argue .
12:11 February 7, 2013 by matressmonkey
If you can't argue, vote SD and let them do the arguing for you. Its already working as this conversation is finally being had.
12:31 February 7, 2013 by HelmiVainikka
What a jerk.

He seems to think just because in his family there is some african ancestry in his family that Sweden must be tuned not for the best of the nation and its people but to his little world spinning in his head.

Immigration is great if done right, Swedens approach only makes sure that they will nose dive with almost 100% certainty unless a lot of things change soon.

Its time for you to go, Mr. Humpty Dumpty.
12:52 February 7, 2013 by RobinHood
Either Sweden's social, health, and housing services, are not overwhelmed by asylum seekers and immigrants, and there are jobs for all; or the Local has been misinforming us for years.

The Local and the Prime Minister cannot be both right. Which one is telling us the truth?

Absorbing hundreds of thousands of immigrants and parking them in social housing, on unemployment benefit, and undergoing skills "training" for the rest of their sad lives is not fair on them, or the people who pay taxes to support them. It robs immigrants of their dignity and their hope, and many turn to sloth or crime in frustration.

If Sweden cannot absorb vast numbers of immigrants in a proper and orderly way, then stem the flow until it can. Or, increase the taxes by a significant amount so immigrants can be treated with the hospitality they deserve.
14:02 February 7, 2013 by Scepticion
No wonder that the SD have such a boost in numbers, if none of the "regular" parties from the left to the center want to discuss or deal with the issue. Like this, SD numbers will only go up.
14:43 February 7, 2013 by muscle
Ok I am lost. How is immigrants or immigration defined ? :S are refugees considered exactly the same as students who come here, do phd and then find jobs in different organizations as researchers ?

really ? :S
17:02 February 7, 2013 by dekamikaze
The word "immigrants" the SD is using is mostly meant muslims and some other like africans and gypsies. But the word "immigrants" this fool and his minions are using is meant everybody. Why? Because it's like a grocery clerks they try to mix the fresh fruits and the not so fresh together and put the fresh ones on top and the ugly ones in the bottom so they can lure the gullible customers, in this case the doomb swedes. Understand? Just like they try to showcase few successful immigrants and in the same time try to hide the names and idennities of the criminal immigrants...got it?
18:00 February 7, 2013 by calebian22
Hmm, I sense SD's numbers are about to rise, once again. Love it!
19:18 February 7, 2013 by Morden
why do we need to allow in MORE people when we barely can take care of those we already have? we spend MILLIONS on "taking good care" of "immigrants" BUT not a god darn krona on taking care of the sick and homeless we have HERE! health care, elder care,psychiatric care and schools all have to cut down because the budget is not high enough. where do all the money go? to bring in more "immigrants" to feed them and cloth them and give them everything they want. sverige demokraterna has got a big boost in votes because they are the only ones that actually want to do something about it the rest of the politicians just want to brush it under a rug and forget about it. a very low % people that come here are rotten to the core and ruin the reputation for those that actually are great. same low % exploit the system and ruins it for everyone else. so the bottom line is WE DO NOT NEED MORE! TAKE CARE OF THOSE WE ALREADY GOT FIRST!
20:08 February 7, 2013 by johan rebel
Oh boy, oh boy, will the people who rule this country ever get it?
20:27 February 7, 2013 by godnatt
@ muscle

Well actually, by Swedish logic an illiterate, unskilled radical Islamist Somali family of 12 is better than any PhD.

The Somalis win the lottery and get supported by Swedish taxpayers for rest of their lives.

The latter can't get a visa to come work.
21:14 February 7, 2013 by Bilskrot
'Immigration enriches Sweden'. OMG, it's like I'm listening to the Dutch labour party 25 years ago. We have learned our lesson the hard way in Holland. Why does Sweden have to make the same mistake? I hate to see such a beautiful country ruined by massive immigration of people who don't give a f*ck about being part of a western society and just want to benefit from social security.

Immigration only enriches when done right. Immigration of people from countries without a western tradition is not an enrichment at all, but a source of big problems of all kind. It even can be a bomb under the pillars of your great nation.

Ignoring that is naive and very stupid.
21:23 February 7, 2013 by Flygger
Puppy Boy should look to Germany for a bit of advice,

Some people may find a solution that is acceptable which involves a strong leader, instead of a balding little wimpy nancy boy. A huge broom and the Baltic Sea.

Those people can only dream about returning Sweden back to the most coveted country to live in..
23:12 February 7, 2013 by johan rebel
Sweet dreams all Swedes, pappy ponce is watching over you.
23:54 February 7, 2013 by InterceptorZone
@Bilskrot

I have a question for you. Following what you wrote:

"Immigration of people from countries without a western tradition is not an enrichment at all, but a source of big problems of all kind. It even can be a bomb under the pillars of your great nation."

If I'm coming from one of these countries that don't have any western traditions (assuming that I understand what do you mean by such a big label that you suggested)

assuming that..

and assuming I prefer to go to bars where they have large selection of dutch beer, enjoy hanging out with dutch friends who get crazy once drunk, love bob marley and enjoy Frank Sinatra, work in cutting-edge electronic construction for IT and broadcast systems, dream about society where respect of humans and constitution takes over religion and color... assuming all of that and much more.. Do you really think I should go back to where I am coming from? (to reduce somehow the big source of problem)
03:00 February 8, 2013 by Marc the Texan
"Immigration enriches Sweden. It's a very important value that people can come to Sweden, and that's meant a lot for Sweden's development."

That is a completely unqualified statement. How exactly? Can he point to any real data that shows this to be true. What is the real economic cost/benefit to Sweden of immigration. What is the net cost benefit of specific immigrant groups, especially asylum seekers. These are all things that can be calculated. I'm guessing that most asylum seekers on average never become a net economic benefit to Sweden and that multiple generations are required to bring the initial asylum seeker's net cost to society back to zero.
08:33 February 8, 2013 by ericrufinosiah
I do agree that immigrants are for the good of countries that are really in need,

but it also depends on what type of immigrants you are talking about " if those

who are seeking only economic benefits and those who wanted to bring along

their primitive cultures and customs to one's country for example Sweden,then

it's better to decline such immigrants for good.
11:18 February 8, 2013 by fikatid
I very much agree with @ericrufinosiah. If you read the Feb 7 issue of the Economist, it explains very well. I don't think Sweden should take all of the refugees who will be completely dependent on us who are the tax paying residence.

"The ins and the outs" Feb 2, 2013 Economist

"...Mass immigration is posing serious problems for the region. For the Nordic countries to be able to afford their welfare states they need to have 80% of their adults in the workforce, but labour-force participation among non-European immigrants is much lower than that. In Sweden only 51% of non-Europeans have a job, compared with over 84% of native Swedes. The Nordic countries need to persuade their citizens that they are getting a good return on their taxes, but mass immigration is creating a class of people who are permanently dependent on the state..."
13:35 February 8, 2013 by dekamikaze
If you need people that are hard working, highly educated and not shy away from defending their territories, then I can talk to my chinese, japanese, vietnamese and korean friends, how many do you need? 100,000? 500,000? 1,000,000 or more? Just say the word, that's right just say it! And your problems will be solved, period!
14:41 February 8, 2013 by Bilskrot
@ InterceptorZone

I should have explained myself better, sorry for that. Of course I don't mean that every immigrant from a 'non-western tradition' country is a hazard for the nation and undermines the welfare state.

Assuming that you are the person that you describe, you are a person that cherishes western values and probable love the society that you live in. Persons like you should be very welcome in Sweden.

The fact is however that the major part of immigrants from those countries are underprivileged to saw at least. Another (smaller) part rejects western values and prefer go on living the lives they lived in their own country. They continue to transfer this way of living to their children. It becomes a multi decade problem....

People should be selected on their objective capacities to contribute to Sweden. That is not racist or discriminatory. Just common sense.
15:37 February 8, 2013 by tadchem
Maybe the Minister only wants to allow skinny immigrants and asylum seekers in. ;)
15:38 February 8, 2013 by godnatt
@dekamikaze

Yes, sticking to educated hard working Asians and Indians would likely enrich the country.

Continuing with more unskilled, welfare-loving, misogynistic, sociopathic Muslims not so much.
15:58 February 8, 2013 by elina.stene
@ InterceptorZone

Yes, that is exactly what you should do! Go home.
17:52 February 8, 2013 by Max Reaver
the #23 post is a true SD-supporter and xenophobe! wow!

yeah, i agree with dekamikaze. import more asians and make sure they get the good job where they can maximize their talents. thats the way to go!
18:04 February 8, 2013 by InterceptorZone
@elina.stene

I can't blame you a lot on that for several reasons. One thing for sure is that you won't have enough balls to tell me that right at my face. You will probably be busy playing with your gadget with your earphones on, pretending beauty, living inside your own bubble and acting as humans beings around you are non-existents. Do you recognize this? A good thing about this country is that you can find patterns in pretty much everything. Even in simple human relationships known to be highly random as feelings get involved.

It isn't your mistake to think that way. It is clearly the mistake of your government which failed on establishing efficient migration policies to the point that you can't distinguish between an engineer and a rapist. You see with this kind of comment you show how narrow-minded you are. You probably need to read again what some reasonable people wrote here before. Do you love your country better than they do? You can't pretend that can you?

However, there comes the time when I leave, not back home, but to a place where I am sure I will find esteem for the content of my mind and for what I am capable of.
20:41 February 8, 2013 by ragdoll
Immigration with assimilation may enrich Sweden and it certainly may be the acceptable thing to say. However, Mr. Prime Minister, how on earth does having foreigners sequester themselves within Sweden help Sweden?! How can they enrich a society they do not interact with? Huh?

The answer is to take as many as you can assimilate and then help them assimilate. The idea of opening the floodgates to masses who will only isolate themselves and languish in relative poverty doesn't help Sweden, it doesn't help the new immigrants, and it doesn't help existing immigrants who want to be here but may be struggling. All that does is help selfish politicians feel that they are very wonderful people.
00:07 February 9, 2013 by Max Reaver
@ragdoll

You brought up an interesting point. On one hand, the politicians claim that immigration can enrich Sweden by bringing different culture and mindsets to the country. On the other hand, as you said, "assimilation" is needed for the well-being of the country. Basically assimilation means you want to make Swedes out of foreigners, with complete disregard to the culture of their origin. Dont you see a contradiction there?
12:58 February 9, 2013 by InterceptorZone
You can't expect people to turn Swedes just like that, it never happens. Actually it is absurd to even go in this direction of arguing. People can't change their culture. They will travel, meet other people, get degrees, go through life experiences, but the culture is still there: highly manifested or just hidden. However, what you have the right to expect from immigrants is that they take the help provided to them seriously. Means:

- They try to be fluent in the language as soon as possible to facilitate their presence in the society

- Respect the laws of Sweden

- Respect democracy

- Forget at some points the middle age habits they raised up with in their home countries because it doesn't simply work in a modern country such Sweden

- Work hard on finding a job, opening a business in any thing they are good at to boost the economy and make more jobs for people from their countries/family members/similar culture.

- Raise their children to love their country (Sweden), to be patriotic, and to be successful in life.

- Forget about trying to change some laws because they don't get along with their religion/beliefs. It just kills every tolerance a Swede may have for a different culture.

How much of the above is really happening? Very little!

Here is a link for new article:

http://www.thelocal.se/46096/20130209/#.URYzyPKHRmc

Can anybody tell whose fault is this?

Dear Swedes,

When you give your approval to your government to bring massive amount of illiterate immigrants, by chaotic means, showing the to world how humanitarians you are, counting on feelings of love for the others, without reasonable and thoughtful approach regarding the consequences of this act, or any idea how in the world you are going to afford a respectful life for 50000 Syrians asylum seekers per year (figures in migrationsverket.se) and

at the time when the experience's shown you over two decades that these peeps can't fulfill any of your expectations you aren't only going into a suicidal dive but you are betraying first the immigrants you bring and then the public opinion across the world. If you have the slightest doubt about the words I am saying, move your arse from in front the screen and go pay a visit to the nearest refugees camp!
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