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Swedish town hopes for Russian revival

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 31 May 2010, 11:44

Published: 31 May 2010 09:04 GMT+02:00
Updated: 31 May 2010 11:44 GMT+02:00

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"The initiative is part of a broad and long term review of our labour market and our needs over the coming ten years," municipal councillor Rune Tovetjärn told The Local on Monday.

"We want to see if we can tempt young people that have moved from Sorsele to return, and we want to see if there is an interest from skilled labour in Russia and other densely populated areas of Europe - such as the Netherlands," he said.

The municipality has suffered from depopulation and an ageing labour force for some time and is currently home to only 2,800 people, the second lowest in Sweden.

Last week a delegation from Sorsele visited the Russian municipality of Apatity on the Kola Peninsula as part of a campaign to attract well-educated families with children.

"Within ten years we need to recruit more than 100 people to various qualified professions: doctors, nurses, teachers, economists, technicians and so on," Tovetjärn said.

Sorsele has chosen to focus part of its campaign on Apatity as it already holds friendship links and aims to attract people used to living in the countryside.

"We have well established links with the area and it is easier to 'sow seeds in fertile land than to break new ground'," he said.

As part of the broad campaign to arrest the slide in residents of a working age, the municipality is also hoping to attract Dutch entrepreneurs to work within the tourist industry.

Tovetjärn told The Local that while no direct funds will be provided to try to tempt families to move to Sorsele, which borders Norway in the Swedish province of Lappland, he is hopeful that the municipality has a lot to offer.

"If you want a relative good life, with cheaper living; if you want to experience a verdant nature, with open spaces and fantastic skiing, then Sorsele is an excellent choice," he said.

The municipality hopes to attract two to four families with children within two years and while the government has described the labour migration scheme as exciting, the municipality can not expect to receive any state financial support.

Story continues below…

"Other rural municipalities will follow suit if it is successful. The municipalities are however independent and can not expect any financing from the state," migration minister Tobias Billström told the local Västerbotten-Kuriren daily.

Sorsele plans however to invest in the education of their prospective residents with language courses and other preparatory programmes planned as part of the initiative to ensure that those seeking to come to Sweden are suitable for the challenge.

"From Russia we are looking for people used to living in the countryside," Rune Tovetjärn told The Local.

Sorsele currently receives state funding for accepting quota refugees, unaccompanied children and boat refugees and has a current agreement to accept 100 arrivals, of which 50 places are already filled.

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Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:50 May 31, 2010 by unt9
Why Russians?
11:32 May 31, 2010 by Marc the Texan
Because you can't pay Swedes to live there.
11:47 May 31, 2010 by DAVID T
Why can't the unemployed immigrants that are already in Sweden move up there thus freeing up the housing shortage and giving them jobs. - Or don't they want to work?
13:20 May 31, 2010 by peropaco
Let the social democrats come up with a plan to bring in new refugees, particularly those that kill helpless 70 something old ladies to populate the area. After all that has been the social democrats intentions isn't it?
13:20 May 31, 2010 by Audrian
It is difficult to stop the demographic trend in Sweden. Swidish population is moving towards three population centres; Stockholm, Gothenberg and Malme. The birth rate might not rise beyond that is necessary to reproduce stationary population size. There is also the problem of the proportion of aging population rising.

Russia scenario is worse than that in Sweden. The only alternative for Sweden is to incourage migeration from Southern Europe, Eastern Europe and the Baltic countries.
13:39 May 31, 2010 by bbeynch
I can't wait to see the road signs pointing to Сорселье. (Hoping Cyrillic translates in the transmission)
13:42 May 31, 2010 by peropaco
@bbeynch. try again ;-)
14:09 May 31, 2010 by Sermobile
Hi, I'm a Russian engineer. I would not mind living in a small town and do my favorite job. What should I do to live in Sweden?
14:15 May 31, 2010 by Lukestar1991
Why the hell would anyone want to attract Russian attention? are they seriously mad?

Money, thats all its about, Money and Greed. How disgusting.
16:28 May 31, 2010 by saar
I bet this small town people have never dealt with Russians before.
21:37 May 31, 2010 by Swedesmith
I had a Russian girl in my SFI class. She was the hardest working student in the class. Better than bringing in more uneducated immigrants that just want to get on the public dole.
22:07 May 31, 2010 by Norrlands Turk
Ok, here goes my rant.

My sarbo lives in a kommun of 25k people in Gavleborgs lan, and even though I really wanna move there I can't. You know why? Because even though I have an mba from a rather reputable American university plus some IT knowledge I can't find a job in the fricking town. Let me put it this way, there is almost no job to be had in the kommun other than caretaking and pizza making ones.

Now, how am I suppose to find a job in a kommun of 2.8k?

Explain this, pay better than Arjeplog, then count me in..
01:29 June 1, 2010 by Icarusty
There's a reason why people move from the countryside to the cities - and it's not exclusive to Sweden either, it's a worldwide problem

And remember the level from Modern Warfare 2... No Russian.
03:19 June 1, 2010 by Kr0n
Norrlands Turk:

If your occupation permits remote work then you have the answer. IT makes a lot of things easier. You can use Skype for face-to-face virtual meetings. An online phone number can keep you in touch regardless of where you actually are. For meetings in person, you can travel when necessary. To be honest, the whole Sweden is a bit too small for a good-paying job requiring an MBA degree...
09:23 June 1, 2010 by J Jack
disenfranchised Russian hookers from Amsterdam?
13:57 June 1, 2010 by Rustex
Well, I'm experienced software engineer from Russia - this article looks really interesting for me. I would like to relocate my family to this corner of Sweden. My wife has more than 10 years in business administration. Our son is looking to apply for medical school in Sweden in th nearest future...

Is the any relocation program in Sorsele we can use?

rustex @ mail . ru

P.S. Place on a picture looks really nice !
23:29 June 1, 2010 by nick gustaf of sweden
Bullshit! Who will let russians to live there? On what legal ground? As assylum? How they will force them to stay there and not move to Sthlm for example? Should they stay there as bound slaves? Sounds like discrimination. Is it legal to force people to stay in one place in Sweden? Do you really believe that this article is true?????
09:54 June 2, 2010 by Taxalien
The socialdemocrats killed off the countryside in the late 1950s.

This has nothing to do with demographics, lack of opportunity in the wilderness or culture.

This has to do with taxation. There is no way any part outside of the 3-4 major city areas can survive with the current tax regime.

Effectively, wealth is taken from them and given to the administrative centres, forcing people to leave their homes and live like rats in heavily populated areas if they want to earn a living.
09:02 June 9, 2010 by hjoian
as usual,a lot of russiaphobes on this forum. If you read the article you will understand WHY the kommun is seeking immigrants from Russia.
00:05 June 16, 2010 by gentle wind
Dutch citizens; farmers, specialists from overpopulated country(including and compressed, crowded internal market with reduction capabilities for self-realization and also are usually due to competition). This is impossible, relatively impossible or perhaps possible, but limited. In Federation is much lower taxes(13%) and leasing for individuals, businesses and LLP's than in Sweden. Also, Canada does not sleep, of course(not to mention the immeasurable and ubiquitous USCIS...). Not so simple..

It is common practice in border areas. Russian citizens with federal citizenship or naturalized in Finland on specialties, foreign contractors from EU in Norway(especially Statoil and affiliated), Danes in Federation(agriculture, farming) over last decade.
15:44 June 24, 2010 by joic
Hej alla.

Jag är ryska och jag bor i Omsk. Jag läste era kommentarer. Jag bestämde mig för mig själv att inte i något fall kommer att flytta till sådana onda människor. Vi är goda människor, men du är mycket ful talar om oss.
19:29 June 28, 2010 by Dmitry G.
Dear sirs,

I'm 45, russian and native muscovite. Was in Stockholm this January. Read - millennium Stig Larsson trilogy and charmed of Widerbergs (Lust och fägring stor)… Maybe You are right : why You should chose Russians ? There are thousand crowds of people in Africa, Middle East etc who's merit are more suitable for Your wonderland. Why this swiss's forbid the minaret buildings and french's annoys of yashmak …. Was really interesting to listen soliloquy of one Afro-Swedish person about his Swedish roots and the priority of social guarantees for such naturals…. As a joke we call our country the country of Advises , it's the untranslatable pun with the ex name of Russia - USSR. Your people in Sorsale are elderly and wisely. Please be patient for their chose, cause it's their land.

Good luck and best regards !
18:54 October 17, 2010 by krupa3
Hello everybody

A lot of opinions are here.

Russophobes - don't afraid. It is not so easy to get an answer from Sorsole!))

Those of you who has a MBA degree and can't find job)) try to find good job in Russia.

And much more important thing - try to live in Russia first and then you will understand all advantage of living in Sweden county side. ))) In any case ecology and nature much more important then city with smoke and noisy. ))believe me, Russians in Sweden is not a problem!
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