• Sweden's news in English
 

Sweden Dems in Oslo hunt for migrant vote

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

"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 stories about Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
The Local investigates
Brits in Sweden face NHS access clampdown
British Prime Minister David Cameron during a visit to a British hospital in Whitby, England earlier this month. Photo: TT

Brits in Sweden face NHS access clampdown

UPDATED: British people living in Sweden and other EU countries could find themselves forced to take out private health insurance, due to a fresh clampdown on expats using the UK's National Health Service. READ  

Sweden passport ranked most powerful in world
A Swedish passport issued in 2014. Photo: TT

Sweden passport ranked most powerful in world

UPDATED: Having a Swedish passport in your pocket when you go abroad is more beneficial than having travel identification from any other country in the world, according to a new study. READ  

Neo-Nazis spread unrest at school Holocaust talk
Members of a Swedish neo-Nazi group at another demonstration. Photo: Fredrik Persson/SCANPIX

Neo-Nazis spread unrest at school Holocaust talk

A group of neo-Nazis marched into a school and took pictures of the audience during a lecture by a Holocaust survivor in Varberg in southern Sweden. READ  

Sweden's Eriksson joins England foreigner row
Sven-Göran Eriksson at a press conference in Shanghai last year. Photo: TT

Sweden's Eriksson joins England foreigner row

Former England manager, Sweden's Sven-Göran Eriksson has said he supports proposals to limit the number of foreign players allowed to play for football teams in England, even if that means fewer Swedish stars joining the Premier League. READ  

First Swedish spring strawberries at auction
Swedish strawberries snapped in 2014. Photo: TT

First Swedish spring strawberries at auction

Sweden's annual strawberry crop contest has a winner, with Lars Jacobsen from Skåne in southern Sweden the first to produce the fresh fruits in 2015. READ  

Opinion
'Security Council needs Sweden's soft power'
The Swedish government is lobbying for a seat on the UN Security Council. Photo: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

'Security Council needs Sweden's soft power'

Sweden is needed on the United Nations Security Council, but it should not forget its soft power values as it lobbies for a seat, Aleksander Gabelic, chairman of the UN Association of Sweden writes in this week's debate article. READ  

'Sabotage' sparks train chaos for commuters
Train commuters waiting at Solna rail station north of Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

'Sabotage' sparks train chaos for commuters

Swedish police were investigating suspected sabotage on Tuesday after more than ten thousand passengers were left stranded across Sweden amid train chaos on several lines. A signalling fault was behind some of the problems in the capital. READ  

Migrant boat tragedy
Swedish government split on embassy asylum
People look on as survivors of this weekend's shipwreck are carried off a coastguard boat. Photo: AP Photo/Carmelo Imbesi

Swedish government split on embassy asylum

The devastating shipwreck disaster in the Mediterranean has put the question of allowing EU embassies to process asylum applications back on the table, as the UN upped the death toll to 800 in the latest tragedy. But the Swedish coalition government remains divided on the issue. READ  

Sweden builds future as EU construction falls
Sweden's Prime Minister (centre) and Green Party co-leader Åsa Romsen. Photo:TT

Sweden builds future as EU construction falls

The building industry in Sweden is experiencing a boom as the country's housing crisis continues, bucking the trend for a dip in construction across the EU. READ  

No charges after 'attack' at Swedish rail station
A screenshot of the controversial incident from YouTube.

No charges after 'attack' at Swedish rail station

Two police security guards filmed having a controversial altercation with a refugee child at Malmö train station in southern Sweden in February will not face charges. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Swedish Hasbeens
Sponsored Article
Is the world wrong to connect Sweden with sex?
National
Refugees in Sweden fear for families lost at sea
National
Get set for a sunny week in Sweden
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
"You may only do something once, but do it 100%"
Blog updates

17 April

Editor’s blog, April 17th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, After several days of social media buzz about an upcoming announcement from Abba’s Björn Ulvaeus,..." READ »

 

15 April

Gång, timme, tid & dags (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! In this article I will talk about “gång”, “timmar”, “dags” and “tid”, because they all translate..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Syria claims ‘most dangerous’ Isis leaders are Scandinavian
Gallery
People-watching: April 18th
National
Swedish researchers pore over link between coffee and cancer
Features
What you can buy in Sweden for the price of a London shed
National
What's on in Sweden this week
National
Swedes launch first donut into space
Politics
Is Sweden returning to 1990s social democratic welfare politics?
National
Mamma Mia! Abba entertainment venue set to open in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching: April 15th
National
Why Sweden is top place in the world for expats to raise children
National
Swedish 'submarine' was civilian boat
Sponsored Article
Want to study in Sweden? Read why Stockholm is the best choice
National
Why has a US town got pulled into a Swedish spelling row?
Gallery
Property of the week: Hovås, Gothenburg
National
What does Zlatan think of his ban?
Sponsored Article
Does far-north Sweden have to punch above its weight?
National
Swedish teenagers help rebuild Breivik massacre island
National
Would you live in a steel box?
National
How an act of kindness by one Syrian immigrant went viral
Gallery
People-watching: April 8th
National
Swedish bids for Billboard fame
National
Swedish monkeys denied Saudi visas
National
Sunny spring weather predicted
Sponsored Article
'Impossible' to run Skanska without Bromma Airport
National
Half of Swedes want begging ban
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
National
Why are expats less likely to settle down with Swedes?
Sport
What does Sweden think of Zlatan's recent outburst?
Society
Get to grips with Sweden's most bizarre Easter traditions
Gallery
People-watching: April 1st
National
The Local's best April Fools' gags
National
US spy agency to feature in new 'Stieg Larsson' book sequel
National
Beaver bite at Swedish bus stop
Gallery
Property of the week: Åreda
National
How this Syrian travelled to Sweden
Was Swedish TV host too harsh on nationalist leader Åkesson?
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
Scandinavian airlines change cockpit rules after Germanwings crash
National
Sweden remembers Nobel laureate Tomas Tranströmer
Politics
Why petrol prices are going up
Gallery
People-watching: March 28th
Stieg Larsson's partner blasts Millennium trilogy sequel
Society
How to never miss your favourite weekly features on The Local
Gallery
People-watching: March 25th
Sponsored Article
Ten tips for succeeding as a start-up in Sweden
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

3,351
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