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EMPLOYMENT

Swedish fire service sued over affirmative action

Södertörn's fire department, just south of Stockholm, is being sued for actively choosing to hire women and people with foreign background, according to Sveriges Radio (SR).

Swedish fire service sued over affirmative action

The fire deparment’s gender and ethnicity quota became an unpleasant surprise for Simon Wallmark, who was informed that despite having trained as a firefighter, he was not encouraged to apply for a summer job, on account of being Swedish and male.

“The response I got from Södertörn was that I wasn’t qualified to apply for the summer jobs, because the jobs were reserved for women and people with an immigrant background,” said Simon Wallmark to SR.

He agrees that there is a need for more women and immigrants in the field, but argues that the recruiting should be done some other way.

Out of the 32 people finally hired by the fire department, 10 lacked the relevant education for the job.

The case is now being taken to court by Stockholm-based Centre for Justice (Centrum för Rättvisa).

“This is a case of a Swedish man who has been denied the same chances as others, just on account of being a Swedish man” Anna Rogalska-Hedlund, lawyer at Centre for Justice, told SR.

The agency has past experience of cases against affirmative action, and are now demanding 100,000 kronor ($16,000) for the discrimination, on Wallmark’s behalf.

The fire department’s manager Anders Edstam has no regrets about the recruiting, explaining that they made a conscious choice to include women and immigrants, and that those recruits lacking the necessary education will be receiving it through the job.

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CRIME

Police in Sweden block Danish extremist’s new demo

Police in western Sweden have rejected an appeal by the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan against a decision to deny him permission for a Koran-burning protest in Borås.

Police in Sweden block Danish extremist's new demo

“Rasmus Paludan has a rhetoric which is intended to create disorder and chaos,” Emelie Kullmyr, the police officer in charge of protecting this year’s General Election in Western Sweden, said in a press release.

“We have seen how the public has been exposed to serious danger and police officers have been injured. The task of the police is to ensure security and we will do that, but all positive forces need to be helped to maintain peace and order.” 

In the press release, the police emphasised the importance of the public’s right to demonstrate and express their opinions freely, but said that the right to hold public demonstrations could still be curtailed in “exceptional cases”. 

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Paludan, who aimed to hold the demonstration on April 29th, can now appeal the police’s decision at the local civil court in Borås. 

He has now applied to hold on May 1st rallies in Uppsala and Stockholm for his far-right party Stram Kurs, or “Hard Line”. 

Koran-burning demonstrations held over the Easter holidays in the cities of Norrköping, Linköping, Malmö, Örebro, and in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby, led to the worst riots Sweden has seen in decades, with 100 police officers injured.

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