• Sweden's news in English
 

'The bridge made Malmö a suburb of Copenhagen'

Published: 25 Jun 2014 08:59 GMT+02:00

Just over 40 kilometres separate Malmö from Copenhagen and thanks to the Öresund Bridge, made famous in the hit television show The Bridge, the cities have never been closer.

Out in the plush Malmö suburb of Bunkeflostrand, near to where the bridge begins, there are lots of Danish registered cars and flags with the white cross on the red background on display. Indeed, Danes are now the third largest nationality group to live in Malmö according to figures released by Statistics Sweden.

But it wasn’t always this way.

Pre-bridge it took a long and complicated journey by boat and then bus to travel from Sweden’s third largest city to the Danish capital. These days you can go from Malmö to Copenhagen in barely 30 minutes by train.

“When Danes used to come here it was to get a cheap car and that was about it. ” Maibrith Bredvig Lørup tells The Local at her home in Bunkeflostrand.

Lørup has lived in Skåne for the past seven years with her husband Søren and their two children. She says it wasn’t a difficult decision to up sticks and move to Sweden.

“At the time we were living in Copenhagen and looking for something bigger that was also a bit cheaper. We could find that in Sweden and it was also very easy to get to work in Denmark,” says Bredvig Lørup who commutes daily to her job in Copenhagen.

Along with cheaper housing and lower car taxes it was Sweden’s famed social benefits that convinced the Lørups to make Malmö their home for the foreseeable future.

“What you pay for daycare in Sweden would cost you three times as much back home. For example in Denmark children over the age of three have to bring their own lunch to school whereas here it is free,” says Bredvig Lørup.

Fellow Danish expat Tine Danielsen adds; “The bridge has made Malmö a suburb of Copenhagen. You can get a better deal on things in Sweden and the daycare system is superior.”

The Danish krone is stronger than the Swedish Krona with 100 DKK netting you around 120 SEK. Your money goes further, particularly when shelling out for a new car.

Want to know more about Copenhagen? The Local is now reporting from Denmark.

Denmark’s infamous 180-percent car tax has certainly been good for the Swedish automobile industry. While the tax mainly hurts those buying new cars the trickle-down effect means even second-hand motors are sold for eye-watering prices.

“I came to Sweden because at that time I was a young guy and wanted to buy a fast car,” the aptly named Kim Ferrari tells The Local.

Ferrari moved from his native Copenhagen to Malmö in 2007. 

Of the 8,450 Danes who live in Malmö many have made the switch due to the vastly different marriage laws which exist on both sides of the bridge (pictured below).

In 2002 the Danish government introduced the ‘24-year rule’ which prohibits marriage between a Dane and a foreigner if one or both are under the age of 24. The law is not without its critics and highlights a fundamental divergence in migration policy between the two Scandinavian neighbours.

“After 2002, when the rule came in, things changed,” Danish academic Garbi Schmidt tells The Local.

Schmidt, an expert on migration studies based at the University of Roskilde, is in a good position to compare the two countries. She studied in Lund in the early 90s and is currently a guest professor at Malmö University.

“If you were to ask the average Dane what they think of Sweden’s migration policy they would say the Swedes are naive. In Denmark the idea of immigrants is treated with scepticism.

“You have an elite in Sweden that suppresses the common man’s view. In Sweden political correctness rules and Swedes stick to that. There is definitely a different tone in that debate between the two countries,” says Schmidt.

Kim Ferrari, who was previously married to a Tunisian woman in Sweden, is forthright on Denmark’s 24-year rule; “It’s awful. You should be able to marry whoever you want.”

Despite the close proximity between the Scandi cousins there is much that makes them different, especially the people, says Maibrith Bredvig Lørup.

“Swedes are definitely more private and difficult to get to know. There is a reluctance to want to change things, like you always have to take lunch for one hour. Do I really need that long? Danes are a bit more open to new things,” she says.

Kim Ferrari adds; “Danes are more curious and like to interfere. If you scream on the street a Dane will react whereas the Swede will just carry out on with their business. I prefer the Swedish approach.”

Then there is the Systembolaget, Sweden’s state controlled liquor store which bolts up for the weekend at 3pm on a Saturday. Suffice to say it won’t be exported to Denmark any time soon.

“There would be a revolt,” says Garbi Schmidt.

“In Denmark there is a binge-drinking culture which isn’t on the same scale in Sweden. Danes can’t comprehend the Systembolaget. It will never happen here,” she adds.

In southern Sweden the links to Denmark are strongly evident. The province of Skåne was part of Denmark until 1658 and the local Scanian dialect has much in common with Danish.

All that being said, regional rivalries still endure.

“You are still in another country and you have to ask yourself if you want your kids to become Swedes. One of the biggest things I noticed was when my daughter started speaking English with a Swedish accent! That took a bit of getting used to,” says Tine Danielsen.

After hosting back-to-back Eurovisions and creating a joint international TV series hit the Swedish/Danish connection is strong. They could still learn from each other though, concludes Bredvig Lørup.

“The Danish government should look at the Swedish social system and see how well it works,” she says.

And as for the Swedes.

“They could be more open-minded and learn to relax a bit more.”
 

Patrick Reilly (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedish sub wreck an imperial Russian vessel
A Som class submarine similar to the one believed to have been found in Swedish waters. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Swedish sub wreck an imperial Russian vessel

UPDATED: A wrecked submarine found off the coast of Sweden is likely a Russian vessel that ran aground a century ago, the Swedish Armed Forces told The Local on Tuesday afternoon. READ  

Analysis
Why are Swedes so scared of Russian subs?
Not the Russian submarine mentioned in the article. Photo: AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky

Why are Swedes so scared of Russian subs?

UPDATED: News a wrecked Russian submarine had been found in Swedish waters stirred debate in Sweden on Tuesday - nine months after another high-profile hunt for a mystery underwater vessel. The Local asked an expert about the Swedes' seeming obsession with Russian submarines. READ  

More jobs going to foreigners in Sweden
The number of immigrants getting jobs in Sweden has increased from 11,200 in January to 16,800 in June. Photo: Henrik Trygg/imagebank.sweden.se

More jobs going to foreigners in Sweden

Increasing numbers of new jobs are going to people born outside of Sweden, as the country’s native working population continues to shrink, new figures have shown. READ  

Swedish ice hockey club launches LGBT appeal
The ice hockey club at the Stockholm Pride Parade in 2014. Photo: TT

Swedish ice hockey club launches LGBT appeal

A Swedish ice hockey club which frequently campaigns for gay rights has told The Local why they are appealing to sports clubs to join them at the annual Stockholm Pride Parade this weekend. READ  

Swedish serial rapist released from prison
The Skogome prison where Niklas Lindgren has been kept locked up. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Swedish serial rapist released from prison

One of Sweden's most infamous serial rapists who kept a northern Swedish town locked in fear for nearly a decade was released from prison on Tuesday. READ  

'I try to shape my boys into something'
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, right, and his partner Helena Seger. Photo: AP Photo/Francois Mori

'I try to shape my boys into something'

Swedish star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has spoken about how he is trying to raise his sons to walk in his footsteps. READ  

Opinion
'We can't spend a whole year waiting for summer'
What Swedish summer? Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

'We can't spend a whole year waiting for summer'

This year's rainy summer has dampened the spirit of many a Swede. But in this week's debate article Swedish-Iranian comedian Zinat Pirzadeh explains why her love for the Nordic summer remains solid. READ  

Sweden footballers claim another Euro triumph
Sweden celebrates after beating Spain. Photo: AFP/TT

Sweden footballers claim another Euro triumph

Sweden was still celebrating on Tuesday after its under-19 women's team triumphed against Spain in the European championship final, claiming the Nordic country's second such title. READ  

Lisa Holm murder
Lisa Holm suspect to remain in custody
Lisa Holm disappeared after her shift at a café. Photo: TT

Lisa Holm suspect to remain in custody

UPDATED: A Swedish court has ordered a 35-year-old arrested on suspicion of murdering 17-year-old Lisa Holm to remain in custody after a hearing on Tuesday. READ  

Swedish royals share new snaps of prince
Chris O'Neill, Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Prince Nicolas. Photo: Brigitte Grenfeldt/Royal Court

Swedish royals share new snaps of prince

Sweden's youngest royal – six-week-old Prince Nicolas – melted the heart of many a Swede as a smiling Princess Madeleine of Sweden showed off her family on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Free bus cards for refugees in Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Simrishamn, Skåne
National
Why has Snoop Dogg said he will never return to Sweden?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Princess Leonore through the years
Sponsored Article
Getting pregnant the Swedish way
Blog updates

24 July

Editor’s blog, July 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Dear readers, Our most read story this week was our tongue-in-cheek guide on how to become a..." READ »

 

15 July

Climate Change: A New Risk Assessment (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today.   The UK is..." READ »

 
 
 
Features
Five outrageously harsh tourist comments about Sweden
Sponsored Article
Why is Sweden still working with Russia?
Gallery
People-watching: July 24th-26th
Travel
Seven ways to beat the Swedish rain
National
Should Sweden's alcohol stores be open on weekends?
National
How to become a Swedish man
Gallery
People-watching: July 22nd
Lifestyle
How to never miss your favourite features on The Local
National
Royal husband on 'breadwinner' role
National
Stockholm to ban all cars for one day
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Gallery
Property of the week: Sölvesborg, Blekinge
National
Questions over who would replace Swedish PM in a crisis
Gallery
IN PICTURES: July summer snaps
Gallery
People-watching: July 17th-19th
National
Why are Swedish women joining Isis?
Travel
Ten Stockholm streets you just have to walk down
Sponsored Article
'Swedish women must demand their partners use a condom'
Sport
Did UK football parents threaten Swedish kids?
Technology
Stockholm scientists find world's oldest sperm
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th
National
Angry Swede uses bird nest as fake speed camera
National
Meatball row as Ikea changes recipe
National
Sweden's new princess in spotlight
National
Slimy slugs go on sale to raise cash for EU migrants in Sweden
National
Crown Princess Victoria turns 38
Sponsored Article
Harstena: Life in Sweden's secret archipelago
National
Is this the best marriage proposal story in Malmö's history?
Sponsored Article
'Biofuels critical for climate-friendly flights'
Sponsored Article
Gaps don't have to kill your Swedish CV
National
Why summer could be the best time to invest in a Swedish property
Gallery
Property of the week: Bollnäs, Hälsingland
National
Swedish house on sale for one krona
National
Would you give this ugly food a home?
Gallery
People-watching: July 10th-12th
Travel
Foreign hikers in Sweden set to get more help in English
National
Prince Nicolas enjoys first summer
National
Meet the amazing Swedish granny who loves theme parks
National
Stockholm to host Eurovision 2016
Travel
Five quirky summer tours in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: July 8th
National
Is this Sweden's biggest burger?
Business & Money
How Greece is affecting Sweden
Sponsored Article
'Swedish industry needs US trade deal'
National
Hundreds mourn teen Swedish murder victim
Sponsored Article
Sweden's 'incredible' chance to connect
National
Sweden's salmonella scare grows
Sponsored Article
'Today's refugees could be tomorrow's Zlatan'
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Sponsored Article
‘I don’t feel Swedish, I feel international’
Sponsored Article
VIP Mingle at Almedalen's hottest event
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,291
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se