• Sweden edition
 
Elections 2014
Sweden Dems in Oslo hunt for migrant vote
Sweden Democrat party leader Jimmie Åkesson at a prior stop in Gothenburg. Photo: TT

Sweden Dems in Oslo hunt for migrant vote

Published: 15 Aug 2014 17:37 GMT+02:00
Updated: 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
Pirate Bay
Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison
A 2013 image of Svartholm Warg. Photo: TT

Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison

Swedish "hactivist" Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for hacking crimes. READ  

Royal family
Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback
Princess Madeleine at a previous Nobel banquet. Photo: TT

Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback

Sweden's Princess Madeleine is scheduled to appear at the Nobel Festival in Stockholm in December, after taking time out from her royal duties to focus on looking after her daughter. READ  

Politics
'We knew that Israel would be critical'
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (left), with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

'We knew that Israel would be critical'

Sweden's Foreign Minister has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine, and laughed off comments about IKEA furniture made by her Israeli counterpart. READ  

Analysis
'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'
Doctors say we should make the most of the autumn sunshine. Photo: Shutterstock

'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'

Spending time outdoors this autumn will help you survive a cold, dark Swedish winter. Baba Pendse, Head of Psychiatry at Lund University shares his top tips for battling the seasonal blues with The Local. READ  

Sports
Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid
Skiers hit the slopes in Åre, western Sweden. Photo: TT

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid

Norwegian sports officials have said they want to co-host the winter Olympics with Sweden in 2026. But there has so far been no official response from Sweden. READ  

National
Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

Entertainment
A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

National
Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe
The ship was rescued on Thursday. Photo: Swedish Coast Guard

Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe

After fears a ship carrying around 52 tonnes of oil could sink in Stockholm's archipelago, Sweden's Coast Guard said the vessel had been towed to safety. READ  

National
Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal
A scene from a video of the attack published by Dagens Nyheter

Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal

A policewoman accused of letting her dog attack a drunk man while she repeatedly hit him with a baton, has had her conviction overturned by a court in Stockholm. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Sport
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

31 October

Editor’s Blog, October 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Welcome to our latest 60-second round-up of the week’s news. First, Sweden made headlines around the..." READ »

 

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

989
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
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:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN