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'Well-meaning Swedes treat migrants like pets'

The Local · 9 Sep 2010, 12:36

Published: 09 Sep 2010 12:36 GMT+02:00

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Much has been written and said about the Sweden Democrats and their relationship to immigration. Similarly interesting are the established parties’ views on migration and on people who move to Sweden.

By expressing horror at the Sweden Democrats, someone can still come across as well-intentioned even when expressing other forms of prejudice and actively reproducing constructed group characteristics.

The exotification of immigrants has become a political edifice of ideas which divides up the population and transforms it into an abstract collective suitable for clashes over group-based rights.

The emphasis on immigration is an institutional torment; as second- and third-generation and eternal immigrants, people are never afforded an individual identity, but are rather treated like demanding members of some clan in need of special treatment.

Over the past forty years or so a policy has been formulated, and an administrative system of authority developed, which is based on sympathy for those who move here.

The rest of the world considers the Swedes to be tolerant and generous, and there are obvious economic reasons for why so many people come here. Only in Sweden is this generosity perceived and portrayed as humiliating, discriminatory, and xenophobic. Only here can it be considered problematic to greet a democratic system with domestic, everyday language.

In no other country do people make so many excuses for their achievements and so easily forget that they are based on a long political struggle infused with a strong mixture of social democracy and the women’s movement.

Society’s relationship to new arrivals is shaky, inconsistent, and, in a poor sense, subject to negotiation. Emotionally-charged descriptions – the unaccompanied refugee children, the undocumented, the diffuse refugee concept, and so on – reveal an anxiety about discussing the problem, which quite a few of us will, sooner or later, be confronted with in schools, in the health system, or on the street.

Instead of admitting to the radically altered conditions in schools, for example, and around peoples’ ability to support themselves, we instead talk about social exclusion. The essence of the debate in the media is seldom about how things actually look, but rather about how they should be, and this imagined reality is then formulated into political rhetoric, journalism, and information disseminated to the public and workers.

In our ambition to be compassionate and sympathetic – good ambitions! – we’ve created a special sort of being: the more or less immature newcomer. One can still hear people speak about “our immigrants” as if they were pets or birds that one feeds in the park. A benevolent perspective permeates integration policies and gives satisfaction to those who help and want to be friendly.

But still no one has added up the costs for all the operations, activities, and projects which have been started to provide support, but there must now be so much collective experience from various attempts to help people become self-sufficient and incorporated into society that it’s now possible to explain why so many are still living on public assistance. It is that knowledge and insight which can take us forward. Most people with experience in this area can probably attest to the fact that discrimination is not the main problem.

For those of us who grew up in the left movement of the 1970s, it was natural to embrace prevailing views among journalists and sociologists and other academics regarding the well meaning principles behind caring for others, along with the emphasis on social support for individuals who were in a tough spot or found themselves at a disadvantage. We wanted to express our solidarity.

Can it be that that solidarity within the sphere of public authorities was transformed to self-reinforcing good deeds – that the more we believe that we need help, the more services that are provided – at the same time as those who seek help from society live under different conditions and values than before?

Tens of thousands of public employees spend their days dealing with integration issues, both on the micro- and macro-levels. Why then, is it so anxiety-ridden to talk about the unfortunate circumstances that actually exist? All these people sitting in meetings, participating in projects, getting paid for the work they do, going through training programmes and so on. Does it lead anywhere? Are Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö less segregated cities today than they were 20 years ago?

By systematically dividing up the population, with immigrants as victims of a system created by the natives, a number of fictional clashes are created. These illusory elements are strengthened by the continuing emphasis that it’s the (media) portrayals of unacceptable conditions which are negative and not the conditions themselves.

When the new district head of Rosengård in Malmö takes up her post and says that the most important thing is to change the area’s image, there is an immediate credibility problem: why devote so many resources to the people living there when it’s just like any other place?

And is the media portrayal worse than reality? Journalism is more likely to have a tendency to seek out bright spots expressly to avoid looking prejudiced. The current crop of bosses within Sweden’s social services took part in public debates when they were younger, but social workers have since remained silent for a long time about development conditions and power structures in troubled neighbourhoods. And when teachers in Malmö started speaking on the record last spring about inadequate teaching conditions, it was a long, pent up silence which finally broke.

Story continues below…

After the death of solidarity, we’ve ended up with inflationary goodness rooted in a middle class, which never really needs to deal with the consequences of its moralizing view of those with bad experiences and therefore the wrong views. Structural benevolence dominates. But if people don’t get jobs, it’s often not because they immigrated, but because they lack the training and competence for the job in question.

“Ill fares the land” is the title of the last book that historian Tony Judt managed to publish before he died in early August in New York of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It’s an educational plea for social democracy – a genuine social democracy – and a contemporary description of the left’s wandering out of the meaninglessness of identity politics. The title can also be give rise to a Swedish interpretation: “illfare” as opposed to “wellfare”; a society which gives up on notions of equality and bows to special demands and the rights of disparate groups.

With condescending tolerance and self-gratifying sophistication, a system has been created where both the takers and givers of social assistance can fully and completely assume their expected roles and in so doing ensure that nothing changes.

By Lars Åberg

Editor's Note:This article was first published in Swedish in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper on September 1st, 2010.

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Your comments about this article

23:21 September 9, 2010 by Dr Love
I as Dr of love Disagree with report\'s head line.

This is not true, Swedes are not the low class. Swede and Sweden treats Immigrants more better than any country in the world!
23:59 September 9, 2010 by peace voice
Being an Immigrant I never been treated in any kind of bad ways by swedish governmnet or public, rather i found them always helping. If some individuals have rasist thinking, it happens every where in the world, they don't represent the whole swedis society.
00:22 September 10, 2010 by Da Goat
At last someone has woken up even if it took the SD party to do it!

we never do treat immigrants as normal people

we need to settle them in and then leave them to get on as normal people

trouble is they get used to the pampering and get annoyed when it stops!
09:19 September 10, 2010 by flintis
@Da Goat: the immigrants only come here becasue they KNOW they will be pampered.
10:14 September 10, 2010 by vaninaheuser
I worked in Sweden during two years and always had good treatment. However, although I think it is not easy to be a refugee in Sweden, I truly believe it´s better then to be a normal imigrant worker. That was my feeling during the time I lived there.
11:03 September 10, 2010 by Jes
Obviously , Lars Åberg is not a very well-informed journalist as he thinks he is .

It NOT TRUE that immigrants don`t get jobs because " they lack the training and competence- -".

The reason is not lack of training and compentence ; it is DISCRIMINATION !!!

If Lars Åberg cared to find out what happenes to immigrants that move from Sweden to England, Island , or USA , he would find that 90 % of these people get jobs within less thana month . It does not make any sense that someone who is considered "untrained" is Sweden suddenly becomes employable after a 2hour flight .

Is it comprehensible that Lars Ålberg has not seen TV documentaries where very educated immigrants have been interviewed on this very subject ?

Personally , I have seen one lady from Iraq , an economist who used to work in the Central Bank in Iraq. She now cuts hair after failing to find any job in her profession . I know an African engineer whith a Masters from a European University, who now sorts out letters in the Post Office of Stockholm.

I have met several dentists who have been denied to chance to work in Sweden only to move to UK and start working the next week.

Lars Ålberg`s remarks are both patronizing and insulting . He should know that one does not to have a degree to wash plates , or clean the floor in a hospital.
11:29 September 10, 2010 by flintis
@jes: Island? do you mean Iceland? yeah they've got a enormous immigrant population.

"90% of immigrants to England get jobs within a month", gi's a break, 90% of the immigrants go to England because they know they get welfare, they claim benefits, work in a family business & pay no taxes, that's why the country's in such a state.

I know lots of Europeans with BSc's, Masters degrees etc that can't get jobs, 2 of them are Taxi drivers in London & one works in a restaurant.
11:59 September 10, 2010 by Jes
@flints ,

I am talking about immigrants who have the right to live in Sweden ( PUT ) but opt to move to other countries , where they don`t qualify for the social benefits to are refering to .

Also , Lars Ålberg does not seem to know the definition of an "immigrant" , He probably thinks that all immigrants are refugees and that all the unemployed (in Sweden) are immigrants.

Oh , so you know a lot of Europeans with BSc´s who can`t get jobs ?

Maybe , those are the ones Lars was talking about as in " lacking training and competence" - unless , of course , you think that a black citizen of Germany ( example) who moves to Sweden is not considered an immigrant if he lived in Västerås .
12:11 September 10, 2010 by skatty
Interesting article; somehow, avant-garde for Swedes! Swedes view immigrants like household pets, because they can't find other kind of identity for the majority of immigrants in the recent two decades. This treatment is more adoptable with Swedish morality and their understanding about themselves! Why?

Partly depends to history; I mean the resent immigrants are actually refugees and not the ordinary working class immigrants in 50s to 70s! Refugees with very different backgrounds from low educated to very advance educated people, something not very much usual in here. And actually there is not any particular connection between recent immigrants and Sweden in anyway. In contrast there are some connections between the major Europeans countries and their immigrants (they had colonies around the world).
12:15 September 10, 2010 by Åskar
All I can say is "We Shall Overcome".
13:08 September 10, 2010 by witsltd
A bit weird article that said nothing new.

One has to admit that Sweden doesnt have a regulated immigration for professionals, like they have in Canada, Australia and US to some extent. Most of the foreigners that cam to Sweden for last 30-40 years, came due to calculated swedish policy. They were brought to Sweden out of love. Sweden opted to protect human rights and allow people from all troubled places.

It is immature to think that Sweden did it to get highly qualified professionals. It was done to avoid severe demographic crisis.

So, its not surprising that many of those early immigrants(assylum seekers and refugees) were treated extremely well with social workers. And the system continued doing it.

Was it made clear to them that they must stand on their two feets and work hard for a life? Absolutely not.

Professional immigrants, that come to Sweden for career is a different story. Its not surprising that qualified foreigners dont get jobs easily. There is no such culture here, even though legally there is no problem. But many can and are working, so its possible. If you want to see actual obstacles for foreigners to work, check Russia. Employers in Russia need to pay 5 time more tax if they employ foreigners. That is discrimination. Absence of culture where Swedes and foreigners work in same environment, is not discrimination.

I think its big time for Sweden to start thinking about skilled labor migration. Sweden is one of the most competitive economies in world, only second to Luxemburg. There is huge potential.

As for refugees and assylums, they will continue to feed on the Swedish social system. Its an evil that Swedes created themselves.
16:07 September 10, 2010 by tadchem
We forcibly vaccinate and neuter pets; we feed them scraps; we make them sleep on the floor; we tolerate no end of ill behaviour from bad hygiene to public sex. I fail to see the similarity.
16:09 September 10, 2010 by skatty

I should mention the history of immigration in Canada and USA is different with Europe and, the history of immigration in Sweden is different with Europe as well.

In Canada or US, you can find immigrants in all level of social structures from toe to the top (janitor and judge), but Swedes prefer to see immigrants as janitor and not judge (I mean this is the rule), however for political reasons some may come on the scene.

If I ask you what makes Sweden to be different from Europe; then just remember that it has never been in a war in modern history, not even first and Second World War, which has boosted its economy and humanitarian principals! However, the same fact has created a bizarre situation for refugees in the last 30 years. Refugees know how to stand on their own feet but Swedes prefer to push them to the bottom of the society and there is systematic treatment for it!
16:27 September 10, 2010 by Buccaneer
Sweden is a poor example of an INTEGRATED SOCIETY. The possibilty of an educated and qualified foreigner getting a professional job in Sweden is too low to talk about.

I have a masters degree from Handelshogskolan and I only got a professional job with a British company in Stockholm. Some of my foreign classmates moved abroad to get professional jobs after trying to get one in Sweden without success, while the others who remained in Sweden are employed in areas that need no qualification - post delivery. I should also note that ALL my Swedish classmates (the bright and the not so bright) have professional jobs.

Like I said time and time again, Sweden is a society of us(Swedes) Versus them (foreigners). I just do not understand why the rest of the world think that Sweden is a just society. Anyway, all that would change when the SD are voted into power.
16:53 September 10, 2010 by Nika-NM
skatty: Those two countries are immigrant countries (despite the gruesome experience that America had with its so called ''immigrants'' when they themselves, who harassed relatively newly arrived, weren't thoroughly integrated) and therefore it's somewhat easier to get a foothold in there, whereas Sweden has indigenous population that's never even engaged in colonization and mostly remained within their borders.

But it goes without saying that if you pamper your immigrants no end they'll won't badge towards any kind of integration, it's not because of someone being from a certain or other country, it's the human nature, if you don't pit them into some sort of challenge and strain out from them the best they can do then you'll have a majority of your immigrant population that leads sedentary life spoiled with your munificent hand-outs. Believe you me, you have to put up some tough hurdles in order to make them pay back for the services you have provided them with, and this a fact of life that applies to everyone not only to a certain group of immigrants.
18:55 September 10, 2010 by skatty

Exactly, as I have mentioned, it would be hard to compare Canada and US with Sweden, because these two countries are and "WORK" for immigrant and toward integration!

"Integration", I don't think can be possible in Sweden. I mean there is not even a suitable understanding of distinction between immigrant and refugee (conscious or unconscious) in her, and what is the expectation of integration? I mean right now Sweden can announce that it has already reached to its ultimate goal for integration and the country is integrated. What is integration anyway!? To find job, to get Swedish friend, to be involved in social activity, to pay tax, why Swedes and immigrant don't think that there is integration? According to Swedish political definition of integration to pay tax means to be integrated, then I suggest the government to put everybody in a cleaning job and announce the Swedish integration with immigrant to the world!
19:57 September 10, 2010 by Youdee
@Jes, you wrote " It not true that immigrants don`t get jobs because " they lack the training and competence. The reason is not lack of training and compentence ; it is DISCRIMINATION!"

Unfortunately Åberg left out your reason and mine: LACK OF CONTACTS and Swedish networking know-how. Just today I helped a Central American student find someone to interview for a research project. On my part, all it took was one short email (due to tons of contacts after 27 years in Sweden) and good networking know-how.
20:39 September 10, 2010 by RobinHood
Sweden's attitude to immigrants is: stay where you are, (on benefits, on eternal SFI, and living in a ghetto) and we will look after you. Sweden keeps it's side of the bargain, no immigrent goes hungry, uneducated, or cold here. But Lars Åberg is correct, Sweden does treat it's immigrants like pets, but it's not racism, it's ignorance.
20:52 September 10, 2010 by Toffee_apple
I find many aspects of this article abdolutely insulting. Just as someone else said here, the author doesn't seem to know much about what an immigrant is. Also, I understand that there has been a lot done to intergrate immigrants in the past but not all immigrants want to intergrate. Yet, Swedes seem to take all immigrants from one same group i.e we have same beliefs and demands.

I come from a "western" country but because I have a surname of eastern European origin I find Swedes treat me like a nobody until they have the courage to ask where I come from (and not many do if they're aware of my name!). Once they know, I'm suddenly their new best friend.

In the 12 years I've lived here, because of my name I get treated like a second class citizen by Swedish doctors and I found it impossible to find a job (and I have 2 degrees). It was only when I changed back to my maiden name (which I could get away with being Swedish) that I got called to interviews. When I accepted the job I was offered I changed my name back to my married name. But why should I have to take such measures in the first place just because Swedes are ignorant?

I've come across a taxi driver who come from the Middle East who is actually an engineer, I know a primary teacher from Iraq and a pharacist from Syria, but they have to accept working in alternative jobs because they don't even get interviews to the jobs they're qualified for.

As a couple others have pointed out, there are immigrants here who only come to be pampered, but it's not all immigrants. Swedes are just unfortunately ignorant (like the author of the above article).
21:23 September 10, 2010 by Jes
Aj aj ! This place looks like a collection centre for the "ignorants"

Why else should anyone say that USA and Cadana`s immigration policy is all about "skilled labour" !

Fact is that USA and Canada take in more unskilled immigrants than all Scandinavean nations combined . Canada has thrice as many Somalians as Sweden . and we all know that Somalians are not the best skilled people on earth . USA has a large population of immigrants that went in with zero basic education

@Youde ,

Åberg`s World starts and ends in Malmö. He has no clue that even Swedes with no skills immigrate and find jobs in other countries . You may want to ask him to which University did Elin ( Tigers X ) go to trian as a nanny .

You are right on it : CONTACT is the code- word here ! AS you and I know , it is kind of unnatural to initiate contact with someone who has already decided that you are an incompetent unskilled intruder .
21:27 September 10, 2010 by Nika-NM
skatty: I think integration boils down to relativity. A particular country's citizen mightn't be integrated in their own society properly coming out of their character and personal properties let alone a foreigner who's heretofore environment has been something poles apart from the environment he's being introduced to.

But too much generosity will get Sweden nowhere, it'll end up with tiny isles of immigrant posses even more predisposed not to integrate, because some of them don't care about integration when all they want is to be well-provided and not to be made to make an effort and try to learn that's completely incomprehensible for them, for instance the Swedish way of life, I'm sure most of them are repudiated by it. But I wouldn't think that they are anyhow appalled by the open-handed charity of Swedish authorities.
22:40 September 10, 2010 by Deodar
It is kind of confusing to understand their mentality towards immigrants, From outward it looks very friendly, but what do they think really it confusing? If someone deeply mix with them such in any work place..then sometimes u may see their real heart towards immigrants.
10:29 September 11, 2010 by skatty

I believe it's true that integration boils down to relativity, and it's why I ask what kind of integration Swedes are looking for. And why neither Swedes nor immigrants believe there is already integration in Sweden at present (after decades of immigration to here)?

In general, when we ask the question about integration from a Swede, we hear complain about the immigrants who are abusing the social welfare, when we ask the same question from immigrants we hear the complain about the hardness of finding job, the segregation, Swedish attitudes and unwillingness of Swedes to accept immigrants.

In Sweden, the relativity of integration, which you are talking about, has been defined and limited to the frame of WELFARE! In other words to assay the integration is introduced by the ability to pay tax or not, to have job or not; any kind of job no matter of talent or interest! This is not what you should expect from a progressive integration policy, but you do because the social system wants and is limited to this kind of frame!
10:34 September 11, 2010 by darrenj
I can see this being true. Especially with all the private cleaning firms hiring mainly immigrants and the whole nasty business of berry pickers from Asia. But as a fellow immigrant from a non European region, I myself have never been treated badly (at least I don't think so) in the eleven years I have been living here.
11:36 September 11, 2010 by Jes
@darrenj ,

what do you mean "treated badly" ?

Read Ålberg`s silly headline and the whole damn article . To him , if a Swede were to invite you to a dinner and gave a few presents to your kids (as the picture illustrates ) you qualify to be called a PET .

What this chaps is saying is that if you an immigrant that gets along with a Svensson , you are a DEPENDANT , if not , you have REFUSED to be INTEGRATED . To him , there is nothing in between , which means that , as an immigrant in Sweden , you just can´t win .
14:28 September 11, 2010 by mebrex
Put in your minds, one day the immigrants are going to rule this country by whom you are underestimating them. Black people the will rise up over those resists.
16:51 September 11, 2010 by cogito
Cultivating dependency in immigrants keeps a multitude of Swedes in work in the "help the poor immigrant" industry.

Also, allowing ambitious and hard-working immigrants into the workplace would

would highlight how inefficient many Swedish workers are.
17:33 September 11, 2010 by Jes
@cogito , you may have a point there !

Thousands of Swedes are employed by Migrationsverket . These are the people who "sit on" application files for months , to give the impression that there is too much work for them and that is one of the reasons it takes years for applications to be processed.

In small towns where Migrationverket has camps , the small scale retailers make a killing out of refugees that are kept waiting for years . I am told that when one of such camps was closed down in a place called Säter , the small town underwent a business depression .

Interestingly , the camp where over 600 asylum-seekers were kept used to be the largest psychiatry hospital / prison in Sweden.
19:22 September 11, 2010 by bheatrix
the reason these "rocket scientists" can't get a job isn't because of discrimination. hello how many foreign doctors do we have here? i've had my share of muslim, indian, german, russian doctors. hardly any swedes. No the reason is because 1, their education is not good enough. 2 maybe they failed at test here in sweden to prove their skills. I'm sure they would not admit that to anyone, but it's a big lie that academic foreigners are not welcome in Sweden, jesus christ the swedish governments pisses them self of excitement if they would get those types of immigrants, instead of the ones that can't read, drive, swim or speak english, their only talent is giving birth.
20:20 September 11, 2010 by Jes
How about Swedes like yourself who can`t reason ? Are you any better than someone who swim or speak English ?

look , if you have met muslim ,indian , germany and russian doctors , then Lars Ålbergs article and its conclusions are bull dung .

Duh , listen to yourself buddy ! You are saying that not all immigrants are untrained and incompetent"pets" . Lars is saying the opposite.

If you knew a bit of simple economics , you would know that even someone who can´t drive can drink milk .
20:22 September 11, 2010 by Grubb

Same problem in Sweden lots of immigrants that are working illegally in "family bussinesses", while claiming huge welfare checks. That they then ferry out of the country by the millions, probably to fund al-Qa'ida.
09:50 September 12, 2010 by insect
@ bheatrix

What has the ability to swim got to do with being ann academic immigrant? Just wondering....
10:56 September 12, 2010 by Uncle
What Swedes should do is to wave all niceties. Migrants shall be treated for what they are. Are you a doctor from India? Which university? What is the rating? Placed above 200? Start studying here. Don't want to study? Welcome to the cab.

Teacher? University Swedish exam (especially verbal one) . Cannot pass? Welcome to the cab. Engineer? Speak swedish or english enough to be an effective presenter? Have a good Uni diploma? No? Welcome to the cab.

Did not educate yourself to EU standards and therefore cannot find a job for 5 years? Welcome to the airport.

Make the refusal of jobs based on dry facts and exams, not on color of the skin or the last name. Market will decide who stays and who goes back.
13:21 September 12, 2010 by Jes
Uncle , what happens if you put this "questionnaire" before a Swede who is unemployed ? He/ she fails "Welcome to AA centre" ?

You see , arbetsförmedling was not created for only immigrants . There are all kinds of people stuck in the system . Some rely on A kassan and Insurence benefits , others are forced to pretend to "study" or join a project here and there in order to qualify for financial assistence , while many end up on welfare . Surely , it is idiotic to suggest that all these people should be "deported"

" Market will decide who stays and who goes back " ?

No Sir !

Rights & laws decide that .
19:51 September 12, 2010 by Uncle
Jes. Why are swedes responsible for unemployed immigrants?

So swedish swedes who were born in Sweden must have same responsibility as those who immigrate here? If your guest comes to your place and breaks your TV, he is OUT. If YOU break the TV that you paid for, should you go out too?

Get the parallel?

And I am proposing to define rights, RESPONSIBILITIES and laws.
13:15 September 13, 2010 by jacquelinee
Comment: I find this article offensive. I am an educated Canadian who emigrated to Sweden to marry a Swede. Canada is on par with Sweden in many ways, ie: FREE health care (no "visit fees") good social programs, an excellent education system, while not free, has a higher standard of acheivement, and less "do as little as you have to, in order to get by" attitude that I have witnessed first hand in the Sweden education system. In Canada, I was a corporate executive. In Sweden, I feel it necessary to meld into my new country by educating myself in my new "språk", getting a job as soon as possible and being a contributing member of society. I enrolled in SFI and buckled down to learn. I was "pushed through". I passed all my classes and came out " fully educated in Swedish" and while I can form a kindergarten level of speech, I can not understand 1/10 of what is spoken to me. Places available to help immigants (ie: http://www.immi.se/irf/irfeng.htm ) were never suggested or resouces made available at all. Of course, this has crippled my prospects of working in the field I am educated in, as it involves a high level of language skills, both spoken and written. So, I decide to abandon my profession and open my own cleaning business. Yes, I now scrub floors. I got an F-scatt to work within the legal constraints. Swedish students have mandatory English in school, for the most part are bilingual. However, when dealing with a large percentage of swedish agencies (Skatteverket included) I found many of the employees cold, unhelpful and rude. When I ask (in Swedish) if I can explain something in English as my vocabulary is limited often I am ignored, dismissed or hung up on. I can only sympathise with the immigrants who speak chinese or somalian etc. I am determined to force myself to do the painstaking, frustrating, unaided job of trying to work legitamately in Sweden. Even then, contributing to the taxation system and pension, an immigrant has to have lived here 40 YEARS to qualify for a full pension! So, I TOTALLY understand others who rely on the system, or work "black" as the level of decent aid given to us as immigrants is, quite frankly, PATHETIC!! despite what the popular swedish consensus is. Many websites that have an "English" link have a watered down paragraph overview and no actual substance. How sad that an immigrant in Sweden has to use "google translate" to figure out their new life. I wish good old Lars Aberg could spend a year in Sweden as an immigrant. Treated like pets? Saying immigrants are coddled is like saying the people in Ethiopia picking oatmeal out of a pail are coddled because it is a new pail. I love the swedish public for the most part have made friends with Swedes and other immigrants alike. The country is beautiful and, in theory, the programs are good. But the Swedish government needs to open their eyes. Theory and reality are worlds apart. Being an immigrant in Sweden is no picnic!
14:02 September 13, 2010 by Uncle

I understand what you are talking about and have a lot of the same feeings that you have described here.

However, from your decription, you have passed only SFI and well... expect a non-english speaking country to have full translations for websites and people who sit in government office to speak english freely. Isn't it a bit too much to ask?

Would you like to compare the English language knowledge between Swedes and say, Finns, French, Spanish, Italians, Czech, Belgians, Russians, Poles and Germans? Btw, in the mentioned above countries, immigrants get a grip of the language way faster BECAUSE the locals cannot even get the word "beer" in English, whether Swedes are absolutely impressive in their language skills?

SFI was designed for ALL immigrants, including those who just got out of the bush. It is designed to teach people how to ask for wine in Systemet and call 112. That is it. Where is your "next step"? Where is SAS G, SAS A, SAS B? Where are courses in Uni? Where is the nagging on your Swedish friends to address you in Swedish? Too boring? Too difficult?

Where is requalification? Where are sleepless nights over grammar? Where are the books in Swedish and a dictionary just by these books? Where are radio programs in Swedish, while washing the floor? Where is the repeating of Swedish pronounciation, while scrubbung toilets?

Being an immigrant EVERYWHERE is difficult. That is why not so many do that. But in Sweden, it is quite easy, frankly. Education is free, parental leave is crazy, buying a house is easy... Come on. If the job requires good swedish, "buckle down" for WAY longer! I have couple of french and american friends who never were, but BECAME corporate executives here, just by working hard on the language skills.
16:41 September 13, 2010 by skatty

Don't worry; actually your chance to be accepted in the Swedish society is very high. I can tell you mostly there are two groups, who might actually enjoy living in Sweden, one is a married couples, who one is Swede, especially if the husband is Swede. The other one is immigrant, who most of their relatives and families live in Sweden, especially if they are living near each other or at least in the same city.

Even if you learn the language, it would not be easy to come in touch with Swedes outside of the work or educational environment, so to be married with a Swede is like to have a link to the society. Immigrants with lot of relatives in Sweden don't feel to create any link with the society and don't feel lonely either, they keep themselves in their own circle and if they are employed and not dependent to the system, then they don't even care what is going on in Sweden at all, why they should!
16:52 September 13, 2010 by Jes
Uncle ,

I don`t recall saying that the swedes are responsible for unemployent of immigrants . You can remind me with a quote if you want.

In the meantime , I will say that YOU - @Uncle , seem to think that being unemployed is crime . You recommend deportation for those immigrants who cannot find a job .

Needless to mention that your other timid personality is going to instruct your fingers to write that employed immigrants are GUILTY of stealing your jobs.

As a consequence , your own prejudice is always going to play games with your mind .

Here is the point to ponder : immigrants who have earned the legal right to stay and live in Sweden are exposed to the same elements as any Svensson or any Brigitta . You simply cannot drive them to Arlanda and deport them because , ( as you say ) they have broken your TV .

What you are proposing to define is "primitive law" .
08:45 September 14, 2010 by Uncle

I am sorry, could you remind me when did I blame immigrants of stealing jobs? Oh, I am sorry. I mesread. You are PREDICTING that I am going to write it. You are Gandalf, Jes. Whose mind is a bit overactive here?

You are wrong again. As a matter of fact this is in my opinion the only thing that SD is doing wrong.

Now, Jes, let's think about who immigrants are. These are other EU citizens and cannot be deported.

These are those who are married to swedes or come here to their family member. These could be also those who came with some company and got temporary allowance that could grow into permanent one. And of course asylum seekers.

Now what I say Jes is that when people do not find ANY job or basically refuse to take ANY job like building roads, digging ditches and wiping arses in elderly home, but what they want is whether to be a doctor, like back in Nowheristan without studying extra or to be a teacher without the ability to say "Fredags fika" because they were teachers back in Congo, THEN I would like them out.

Why would I sponsor a person who sits on his arse and complains that his papers from University ranked #23123 in the world are not recognized? Or better still, is that his 3 years of school apparently do not qualify him for a cool job at the bank?

What else, is that a lot of these immigrants are actually working in cousings kebab house or paining other homes and receiving cash payments? These people collect their social bidrag, or A-Kassa AND drive BMW 7 series.

At this very time, some old people cannot go to the bathroom in elderly home because of lack in budget for workers (as SVT showed recently). I would like these people to pay taxes and stop taking the money that could save some more kids from criminal activities or let them be with less kids in class.

If a person after 5 years is STILL living on taxes of others, he surely does not have an incentive to work and I offer this incentive.
11:24 September 14, 2010 by skatty

I just mention that there is not a global standard for evaluation of university papers at least not less than PHD, however some top universities in US, Canada and EU have remarkable knowledge and experience from different universities around the world and these Universities know how to evaluate the papers from different students. There are some countries, where have similar education system and it's easy for them too.

As an example, evaluation of an Indian and Pakistani student can be done easier and better in UK, US, Canada than for example Sweden, because there is more educational similarity and lot of students from Indian and Pakistan in UK, US and Canada. In contrast the evolution of Swedish paper has always been hard anywhere in the world except few countries in EU until 2008 (Sweden has changed its system and adopted more EU friendly system in 2008 for the Swedish students).
13:58 September 14, 2010 by Uncle

Since most of the US, Canadian and EU unies diplomas are recognized here, I do not see a reason for the Unies that are recognized in US, Canada and EU would not be recognized in Sweden. If US=Pakistan and Sweden=US, then Sweden=Pakistan.

Rating of Universities is often very reliable and is based on many factors. Most of all - published papers, amounts of awards, implemented research patents and average success of graduates in their field.

Few of these ratings are rating Indian and Pakistani Universities at quite low levels and therefore, completing the studies may be required.
14:22 September 14, 2010 by skatty

My point is that there is not such a thing "… papers from University ranked #23123 in the world…" it sounds like you have a world standard to rank a paper! A paper might rank high or low in different Universities in different countries by different people!
14:34 September 14, 2010 by Jes
Uncle , I fail to see any sense in what you write .

like Swedes , immigrants belong to different classes of intellectual or professional levels . For that reason , it kind of daft to insinuate that immigrants want to be doctors or teachers . I would recommend that you cantact the labour office ( arbestsförmedlingen) and fist educate yourself on what kind of data they have for job-seekers . You just should not base your whole argument on guessing .

As we write , the record is that more than 30% of staff that work in old peoples homes are immigrant women . You can also find out how many immigrants distribute ads or do cleaing work. These are not "cool jobs" exactly , but they take them

That about academic evaluations is neither here or there . If you are a holder of a IT bachelors from any University in Sweden and you went to Canada for an interview job with a post.graduate candidate from an Indian University , chances are that they will pick him before you .

You don`t need to take mine or Skatty`s version for it . Find out for yourself .

And - - it is not correct to say that one can live in welfare indefinately and without good reasons . This is not UK where one fills in application and waits to cheques to fall in every month .

Are there some immgrants that abuse the system?

Definately - just like a few Swedes who claim sick -allowances from the Insurence while the earn money from some other sources . Millions have been recovered if you must know .

On deportations , the law is that one who has a parmanet residence cannot be just deported . It matters not under what circumstancies that status was aquired or where they come from .

Sorry for the typos . I always have ver little time
15:33 September 14, 2010 by Uncle
We are not even arguing here. The thing that I support is to evaluate immigrants for what they are. Dry facts. Diplomas+Experiencerequirements for work.

Do not give a permanent residence to people just on a basis of whatever time they spent within the borders of the country. Make their work/studies a factor in whether they should or should not receive citizenship or permanent residence status.

Immigrants (myself included) must be a more effective force on average than the local population. What is the point in bringing in immigrants who will only hang on the society's neck? Are you claiming that these are not a lot of people? Very good. In that case there will be only few who will get under pressure of taking whatever job comes.

In many cases it is more profitable not to work at all than to work in a low paying job. This must change.

In regards to deportation. Murdering and raping swedes should not be deported, whereas immigrants who do the same - should. Why ? For the same reasons of host country.

Now, tell me, assuming that an immigrant does not have a permanent residence after 5 years (my proposal) - what is the benefit of having him here AFTER 5 years? There is no multicultural experience. there is nothing but cost. Why ? WHY? You know what? I say - cut the costs. Don't wanna go back, no problem...

Total cut in social bidrag and you are welcome to do whatever you see fit doing. If you are a thai wife of a rich swede, you would not care. If you are a lazy bum who came to sit on the neck of Europeans, you WOULD care.
15:59 September 14, 2010 by flintis
@jes: ANYONE from Germany who moves/emigrates to västerås is considered an immigrant, makes no difference what colour skin they have.

Yes I do know several people with BSc's who cannot obtain employment in their field of expertise & are either unemployed, taxi driving or working in restaurants & no they are not coloured immigrants they all are anglo-saxon.

There are Brits in Sweden for whom the Swedes do not acknowlegde their vocational qualifications & are therefor working below their capabilities.
17:12 September 14, 2010 by skatty

Your point is to evaluate immigrants for what they are! I agree, and Sweden doesn't give permanent resistance just on the base of time, they deport many as well, they study the cases and consider facts and give residency and citizenship, they can refuse to give it if they like! They receive immigrants base on work/study, and refugees base of political/humanitarian reasons, many developed countries do.

To hang on society's neck is partly for economical reasons. There will be employment (not for immigrant always) when there is a need, and there is not always a need. I suggest you to read "How the economy works by Roger E. A. Farmer", otherwise it takes long time to explain the economical reasons, you seem very obsess about it.

Actually sometimes, it's more profitable not to work at all than to work, and sometimes it's even crucial to have high unemployment, however for political reasons somebody should be the scapegoat, and in Sweden usually immigrant and refugees would be blamed! I mean refugees can be blamed for anything (it's a tradition). And it would be very expensive for the state to put a high educated guy, whose education coasted thousand of Kr to do a cleaning job, which anybody can do without that cost, then tell me why anybody should go to University!

To deport murdering and raping immigrants; if immigrants are citizen then should be treated as Swedes, at least it's according to law. Swedes can change the law if they want. Immigrants have no influence and juridical power in Sweden.

I have never heard anybody stay in Sweden (openly) without permission for 5 years. It should be some kind of permission even in refugee camps. Anyway, I say cut the cost too, and start it with fat cats on top!

About the bidrag; you take away bidrag from Sweden, then nothing will remain for it. I mean who is coming to a country near the North Pole with long dark winters, cold people, and high tax, with a language which nobody can use anywhere and has no interest to come in touch with immigrant. To live here is to be in exile!
17:44 September 14, 2010 by Jes
Hej Uncle !

I was going to educate you , but then I see that @skatty has done a good job at that .

I will only emphathize that immigrants have different levels , just like Swedes . Some can can be evaluated , while others must be met where they are at-academically .

Maybe you have already forgotten that you claimed that you don`t generalize ? ! ?

Don`t you know that not all immigrants don`t come into Sweden as refugees or job-seekers ?

How do you evaluate an illiterate wife whom Lars had just brought in from Thailand ? Are you going to deport her if she fails to speak good Swedish within 5 years ?

Man , you don´t seem to know a lot about the subject you have chosen to sink your teeth in !

As someone has mentioned to you , immigrants that donnot qualify to stay , or those who commit crimes before they are cleared to stay , get deported almost everyday . You should vist a one of the dentention centres and see for yourself .

The immigration police sometimes uses a private jet to deport one rejectee ; they deposit their human cargo somewhere and book themselves in a 5 star Hotel . This costs your government millions , but you only talk about about welfare because you have been programmed to not look very far .

I agree with the remark that you need to read a book or two . Welfare is one way of distributing money in order to stimulate growth which , in turn , helps to create jobs .
21:38 September 14, 2010 by Uncle
Jes, you are getting into an idiot state again. One example:

Uncle: "Total cut in social bidrag and you are welcome to do whatever you see fit doing. If you are a thai wife of a rich swede, you would not care."

Two posts later:

Jes: "How do you evaluate an illiterate wife whom Lars had just brought in from Thailand ? Are you going to deport her if she fails to speak good Swedish within 5 years ?"

Therefore I switch to discussion with skatty, who does not seem to be drunk:

First, the argument that high unemployment is necessary for suppression of inflation (that you probably are referring to) is talking about a country that has economical activity that is adjusted to its population. Natural growth (or shrinkage). When you bring in immigrants, who according to SVT are finding a job after 7 years on AVERAGE, you are creating conditions where the country starts to fail on it's long term commitments like pensions, infrastructure planning and health and educational facilities.

Why? Because when pensions are planned within the investments of the country (often 35 years investments), it is not counted with projections of possible good hearted party that will take 200 thousand asylum seekers in one strike. In order to compensate for deficit and since budget is usually quite a fixed number, the country could start selling natural resources for lower prices (increasing demand). It could also worsen the overall quality of life and increase taxes.

Whenever invalids, pensioners and children cannot take responsibility for the fact that they cost the country and can do little about, immigrants are usually strong people who had the guts to move, leave their loved ones and start a new life. THESE people should start working. If they are not educated, they should start digging ditches. If they are educated, they whether could take the easy way of digging ditches or the hard way of studying again.

Like Reinfeld JUST said on TV, A-Kassa became a mean of revenue and not emergency pot.

I repeat, the problem with failing immigration is not the nationality of it, but the messing up with the NATURAL growth of the country with its long term planning, precisely like adopting children without looking at your own budget and without calculating.

If there is no deportation of ummmm unsuccessful excess (given that they are not citizens), it is easy as hell to calculate what would happen to a 9 million people Sweden who accepted 1 million immigrants, of which 30-40% are unemployed at any given time. Hopefully you learned something here....
00:57 September 15, 2010 by DAVID T
Be careful with pets - they can bite the hand that feeds them
07:10 September 15, 2010 by flintis
@David T: Nice one!!
07:51 September 15, 2010 by Uncle
I just saw an error in my post. Obviously when you increase SUPPLY of natural resources the prices drop.
11:43 September 15, 2010 by Jes
Uncle ,

one of us was drunk - - and it was not me .

Hoping that you are now sober , I suggest that you read what I write -properly . That first quote about cutting welfare was not written by me .

Besides , your insults don`t bother or surprise me .. When a skunk starts kicking , you know that it has lost the fight to stay alive .
13:14 September 15, 2010 by Uncle
Haha, this is funny, Jes. Headache?

Look at my post. OF COURSE the quote was not written by you. It was written by me. You know how I know that? There is a hint in the beginning of the quote that says "Uncle:"

Then comes your quote that starts with "Jes:". Names are usually an indication of a person.

The point was that I answered your question about thai women 2 posts BEFORE you asked it....

It was a good laugh though.
02:14 September 22, 2010 by jacquelinee
In reply to Uncle Post 38

I understand completely the inferences you are making and can also agree in theory. I watch swedish tv, speak it often, had a program "how to learn swedish" shipped to me from Canada with lessons and cassettes, have Swedish novels I try to read, grammatic books and so on. I realise that I live in a Swedish speaking country and must aclimate myself appropriately so. I do not have a problem with this. Where I DO have a problem is in an instance when I am dealing with a department or specific agency that is directly designed to assist immigrants and when I am in a position that I MUST explain myself correctly for taxation purposes or help with forms etc. for example AND I am speaking to someone who has been educated in English and they refuse to assist me or redirect me.

Although Mandarin is the most widely spoken language with Englsih secondary, according to Wikipedia,"Modern English, sometimes described as the first global language is the dominant language or in some instances even the required international language of communications, science, information technology, business, aviation, entertainment, radio and diplomacy" and is the basic language for 80% of all computer and internet language. After some research, I could not even FIND Swedish listed on any primary language charts I explored.Thus being said, it would seem a benefit to Sweden economically to conduct more business in English. Of course, the old line holds true. "While in Rome, do as the Romans" So the Worldwide Economic Structure, I will struggle away to translate to Swedish and it will be SVIN BRA!
18:10 November 24, 2010 by Mus
I don't even like the fact that people are classified. "Immigrants". Disturbing to hear this word. Although I'm not an immigrant in this country (studying master's) -as having a Middle-Eastern heritage- there were times I felt that some people disguise me at the first look, without even having a conversation.
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