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Make Swedes mentors for immigrants - minister

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19:27 CEST+02:00

A fifth of the Swedish public would consider being a mentor for newly arrived immigrants, according to a report from the Swedish Integration Board.

Now, Minister of Equality and Integration Jens Orback says he wants to harness this enthusiasm to boost integration.

"For me, this is about a reciprocal mentorship, where native Swedes should also be integrated in the new Sweden, and not just the opposite," wrote Orback on Svenska Dagbladet's debate page, Brännpunkt.

In the Swedish Integration Board's report, The Integration Barometer 2004, which was presented on Thursday, it also emerged that more than half of the Swedish population is ready to contribute to helping immigrants establish themselves in society.

Just 14% of Swedes say they feel negative about immigration. According to Jens Orback, that is the lowest in Europe, with 50% of Danes and 59% of Finns saying they are opposed to immigration.

"This great interest in getting involved with the work of change is an important base and starting point for the ongoing task of integration," wrote Orback.

"I want to urge the hundreds - if not thousands - of political organisations around Sweden to harness the will which exists and act as ambassadors between new and old Swedes."

Sources: Svenska Dagbladet

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