• Sweden's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3

Sweden Dems in Oslo hunt for migrant vote

The Local · 15 Aug 2014, 17:37

Published: 15 Aug 2014 17:37 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"It does sound like a bit of a contradiction," Jörgen Hermansson, political scientist at Uppsala University, told The Local. "You would expect that he would want them to go home. It definitely sounds interesting."

The Sweden Democrats party describes itself as "the party for real jobs", and one of the top job goals listed on the party's website is to "stop labour migration to low-end jobs".

Oslo is home to some 50,000 Swedes, many of whom left their home country to take advantage of free immigration laws to work in catering and menial jobs. Nevertheless, Jimmie Åkesson defended the stop as a natural part of election campaigning.

"Many Swedes live in Norway and we think it's a good idea to visit Oslo on our election tour," Åkesson said in a statement before his stop. "It will be exciting and interesting."

Martin Kinnunen, press secretary for the Sweden Democrats, said that the move was mostly aimed at increasing numbers of voters among the Swedes living in Norway. Indeed, only one of five Swedes living abroad votes in elections.

And given that one in five young people living in Oslo is Swedish, it's not remarkable that Åkesson is out after the votes.

"It's more of a rule than an exception that youth in this region look for their first job in Norway," Elisabeth Andersson at the Karlstad jobs agency said in a statement. "It's nearby, the availability of work is much better, and the pay is much higher."

Nurses can earn twice the salary in Norway as they do in Sweden. But highly-ranked jobs aren't the only ones shifting to Norway. The vast majority of Swedes working in Oslo work in hotels, shops, and restaurants - precisely the type of labour immigration the Sweden Democrats have said they want to prevent. 

But Åkesson probably doesn't view working in Norway as such a negative thing, Hermansson said - simply because it's Norway.
 
"When it comes down to it, it's a question of culture and identity for Åkesson. He believes there is a deep-rooted connection and cooperation within the Nordic countries. Nordic people, and particularly Norwegians, aren't strangers."
 
Kinnunen confirmed his musings. 
 
"We have no problem working with Norway. We would like an even more encompassing cooperation within the Nordics."
 
Simultaneously, Kinnunen said it's concerning that Swedes are going to Norway to get jobs which are available in Sweden.
 
"It's remarkable because we have significant labour migration to Sweden from countries outside of the EU to fill service jobs, and yet Swedes are going to Norway for the same jobs," Kinnunen told The Local "It's a troubling situation which creates problems for both the Norwegian and Swedish labour markets."
 
Kinnunen also said that the Sweden Democrats are hoping to attack at the root of the problem,  increasing pay and improving the work environment in Sweden "so that Swedish youth don't have to leave for work". 
 
Youth unemployment is about 9 percent in Norway, compared with 24 percent in Sweden.
 
Åkesson's speech on Friday, held at Stortinget in Oslo, was met with mixed responses - and multiple protests. 
 
"I'm against Swedes of the nationalistic type," demonstrator Martin Tjersland told Norwegian TV2.
 
Tjersland stood with his back to Åkesson throughout the speech. Other protesters stood with a large black banner proclaiming "No racists on our streets", and a drawing of a man with a baseball bat running towards SD's symbolic flower.
 
But supporters were also in place, with several people waving signs saying "Heja Jimmie" (Go Jimmie). 
 
Of the three experts The Local asked, not one was aware of another Swedish party leader who had included international stops on an election tour. Hermansson said that the other parties could learn something from Åkesson's "tactical visit". 
 
"It would be worthwhile for the Alliance to fight for votes from Swedes abroad," Hermansson said. "Politicians don't usually include Swedes abroad in such an active way."

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
No fire, but: Gävle's baby yule goat run over by car
The tiny goat before the attack. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Not a great Christmas tradition, guys.

Swedes give low marks to pupils' performance
A classroom in Sweden. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Less than a fourth believe that Swedish pupils learn what they need to in school, a new poll suggests.

My Swedish Career
'Hats off to the Swedish, I've learned a lot from them'
Miss Clara head chef Daniel Guest. Photo: AWB

The Local speaks to Daniel Guest, head chef at Stockholm's Hotel Miss Clara about working in Sweden, Swedish Christmas food, and why he has strong opinions on sugar.

Swedish Lucia advert sparks love and hate online
Photo: Janerik Henriksson / TT

An advert for Sweden's Åhléns has unleashed a heated online debate after the department store chain unveiled a new campaign featuring a dark-skinned child, whose gender wasn't obvious to all, dressed as a Lucia.

IKEA founder Kamprad suffers broken hip
Photo: Thord Nilsson / TT file picture

Ninety-year-old IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad has suffered from a broken hip, which temporarily resulted in him being hospitalised, but is now in good recovery, his assistant said on Sunday. He may have to skip the traditional IKEA Christmas celebrations in his native Älmhult though.

What are Swedish values? Many Swedes are unsure
Photo: Erik Johansen / TT

Although perhaps one of the hottest potatoes in the Swedish political debate right now, many Swedes still find it hard to pinpoint exactly what Swedish values are, a new study shows.

Swedes protest cutbacks in personal assistance budget
Demonstrations were held in 25 towns and cities across Sweden on Saturday. Photo: Janerik Hansson / TT

Thousands of people staged demonstrations across Sweden on Saturday to protest recent cutbacks in the budget funding personal assistance for people with disabilities.

Police launch manhunt after deadly Stockholm shooting
No suspects have yet been arrested over the attack. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Swedish police have launched a massive manhunt after masked gunmen barged into a Stockholm café and shot two people to death late on Friday.

Sweden has fourth happiest workers in the world: report
Is Swedish fika the secret? Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden is home to the fourth happiest workers in the world, an international survey has claimed.

Here's how much Ikea staff are getting for Christmas
Christmas comes early for Ikea staff. Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt/NTB scanpix/TT

Staff at Ikea are getting an early Christmas treat in the form of millions of euros to share between them.

Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of New York
National
Final proof that Sweden has NOT banned Christmas lights
Sponsored Article
18 Stockholm innovations to keep an eye on
Travel
IN PICTURES: Stockholm's new myth-busting Viking museum
The Local Voices
Job market matchmaker hooks up 1,300 newcomers and Swedes
Blog updates

14 November

Hello darkness, my old friend (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"I started thinking about November’s blog for The Local at the end of October, as the…" READ »

 

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Smart songwriters: Sweden's next big music export?
Gallery
People-watching: November 30th
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so much talent from abroad
National
This is how cold it's going to get in Sweden this week
Gallery
Property of the week: Skellefteå
National
Inside Sweden's perilous Sami reindeer pilgrimage
Sponsored Article
Sweden to Hong Kong: The Local guide
The Local Voices
'My name is Sami and I am a proud Swede - it hurts when people say I'm not Swedish'
Sponsored Article
We visited 5 'murder spots' in Malmö
National
Swedish Advent 'less popular than Christmas Eve'
Gallery
People-watching: November 25th-27th
Sponsored Article
Programmers' bootcamp: Change your life in 12 weeks
Swedish city to put all workers through LGBT course
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm startups are teaching kids to program
National
The five weirdest attacks on Sweden's giant straw yule goat
Gallery
People-watching: November 23rd
Sponsored Article
Smart songwriters: Sweden's next big music export?
The Local Voices
'Swedes are stylish: you need to dress well if you want to fit in'
Sponsored Article
'Learning to trade gave me the life I wanted'
National
Critics slam Swedish paper's Donald Trump cartoon as anti-Semitic
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: leading the way in clean energy innovation
National
Men call Sweden's mansplaining hotline for mansplaining tips
Sponsored Article
Michael Björklund: 'Being a chef is crazy work'
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
Sponsored Article
HIV in Sweden today is not like it was yesterday
Gallery
People-watching: November 18th-20th
Sponsored Article
Mette Helbæk: ‘We have a basic human need to connect'
Culture
Shooting starts on The Bridge 4
Sponsored Article
Terje Håkonsen: 'I try to make everything count'
Travel
Sweden's ten most beautiful places
Sponsored Article
Lina Thomsgård: 'I try to break down barriers every day'
The Local Voices
Having a Swedish girlfriend didn't help this Egyptian evade culture shock
Sponsored Article
'We wanted to turn ideas into action'
Gallery
People-watching: November 16th
Culture
What the world of Harry Potter would look like... set in Sweden
National
Here's where Sweden's best non-native English speakers live
The Local Voices
This new book by a Syrian writer gives refugee children their own hero
Politics
Do Swedish polls underestimate support for Sweden Democrats?
3,496
jobs available