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'Every global citizen should work in Sweden'

7 Jun 2012, 14:31

Published: 07 Jun 2012 14:31 GMT+02:00

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Continued openness to the outside world is critical to our future development. Mobility, both migration and international trade, promotes our economic growth.

It must also be noted that Sweden is a small country on the edge of Europe with a climate that isn't altogether welcoming for part of the year. Sweden has therefore taken a leading role in international migration. When others lower the barriers, we open more roads. In the global competition for labor, Sweden should be able to attract the people who move across borders.

The government's policy is based on getting more people working and creating the conditions for more and growing businesses. At the same time, there is a labour shortage in some occupations and industries, current unemployment notwithstanding.

The increasing proportion of elderly people in the population also represents a serious long-term challenge to the sustainability of our welfare system. To successfully address these challenges requires foresight and political action. Our premise is that mobility is something positive.

Labour migration is a way to, in the short and long term, prevent a shortage of labour. Following reforms enacted in 2008, the prerequisites are in place for meeting the needs of the Swedish labour market by now allowing employers decide what skills are needed at the company.

There's no public authority as well suited as the employers themselves for assessing those needs and therefore there are no restrictive quotas or no requirements for a specific skill or education level.

However, the demands that are very clearly stated are that the pay and employment conditions must not be inferior to collective wage agreements or common practices in the industry. We therefore need to open the supply of jobs to a wider audience, and to widen the supply of labor for firms operating in Sweden.

The OECD noted at the end of last year that Sweden now has the most liberal system for labour migration of all OECD countries. That's good news because a simple and effective regulatory framework for labour migration can help to make it attractive to actually choose Sweden, both for establishing businesses and for those who migrate.

Sweden's demand-driven system has attracted interest from traditional destination countries for labour migrants such as Australia and Canada. The point systems and quotas applied there are not able to meet the labour market's true needs. Meanwhile, labor immigrants' skills and expertise aren't always fully utilized.

Today's globalized labour market means that temporary and recurrent migration, rather than a permanent move from one country to another, has become increasingly common. Past patterns of movement are giving way to what is called circular migration, a movement to a country and then return to their country of origin or another country. Most of us today likely know at least one so-called circular migrant. Nor is it a strictly a new phenomenon, with the great emigration of Swedes to the United States at the end of the 1800s and the subsequent trek back to Sweden serving as an early example of circular migration.

To follow up on labour migration reforms, the government in 2009 appointed a parliamentary committee on circular migration and development. Last year it presented proposals to widen the scope for increased mobility between Sweden and migrants countries of origin. In a globalized labour market, it's about attracting skills and ensuring that working in Sweden become a natural part of every global citizen's CV.

People's decisions and movements across borders aren't only affected by the regulations governing their entry and exit or their work and residence permits.

Story continues below…

Equally important are issues of family, taxation and social security benefits. Labour migrants who come to Sweden today already have the opportunity to bring their families, who in turn are also given access to the Swedish labour market. It's also appropriate to further develop the possibilities for migrant workers to transfer their accrued rights to countries as well as the portability of Swedish social security benefits. We also need to consider our tax system in light of the international competition for labour.

With this openness and positive view on mobility, Sweden can be attractive not only for labour migrants, but also for employers, foreign investors and entrepreneurs. Perhaps we may eventually see even more international corporations headquartered in the Swedish cities.

Tobias Billström is Sweden's Minister for Migration and Asylum policy. This article was originally published in Swedish on the Newsmill opinion website.

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Your comments about this article

15:24 June 7, 2012 by 2394040
No one seems to realize that this is not a good long-tern solution. All Sweden would gain is a gradual lowering in the standard of living. It has happened here in the USA, and it will happen in Sweden. Indeed it will happen anywhere it's tried. We just never learn from history. The long-tern solution to the world's economic problems is to gradually lower the world's population. It would take many years to do this, obviousy. Allowing more people into any country just transfers the problem from one country to another. The only people who benefit is big business, because excess labor will drive down pay scales. The world's wealth is not infinite, regardless of those who argue to the contrary. The more people there are, the more strain is placed on the world's resources. Simply amazing how many people do not understand this very logical fact.
18:01 June 7, 2012 by kirub
9 mln Swedes agree to this new global effort, sir?
19:59 June 7, 2012 by Tarc the Mexan
"liberalize rules governing labour" I.E. import poor bastards from the Baltic countries and Somalian illiterates and have them work for less than half the minimum wage.
20:00 June 7, 2012 by blue2012
Another member of the elite political class who wants to make his own rules.
20:54 June 7, 2012 by planet.sweden
Tobias Billström is a breathtakingly naive fool. He doesn't just look like an over-zealous recent economics graduate, he behaves and thinks like one one as well.

Yes Mr Billström, dry textbook economic theory, of the sort hero worshiped by technocrats with limited life experience, states that mass Labour mobility is the cure to many an economic ill.

Unfortunately the technocrats who dreamed this theory up, didn't take into account cultural, religious, ethnic or educational differences among populations, but rather ignorantly assumed that all people are equally employable and capable of integration.

Back in the real world this has already proven to be utter nonsense.

There is very little evidence that mass immigration brings benefits to anyone other than the migrants themselves (or bosses looking to drive down wages) and a whole lot of evidence that it has quite devastating consequences on the quality of life and real living standards of the native working classes in particular - who can't afford unlike the Billströms and Reinfeldts of this world - to move themselves and their children, and a more widespread erosion of quality of life fr everyone else.

Billström and Reinfeldt and the rest of their merry band of free market naivetes are set to destroy the social fabric that binds Swedish society together and replace it with the sort of them-and- us, rich and poor, winners-and-losers, muslim-and-'infidel', and a hundred other tribes all jostling for position and attention amid a spirit of mutual loathing.

I suspect they guess that such competitive and hostile diversity will also spell the end of the Swedish welfare model, as research proved 12 years ago that peoples support for welfare falls sharply the more ethically and culturally diverse a society becomes.

All in all a disaster for Sweden.

Worse, unlike the lefts ideological stupidity of the 1960-70s, the free market rights arrogant stupidity of today can not be rolled back or undone. Once you've divided Sweden into a thousand bickering tribes, you're stuck with it.

And at least the left had a mandate for their agenda, Moderaterna never made any mention at either of the last two elections that if elected it would give Sweden most liberal immigration system in the OECD.

If Billström behaves like others of his ilk elsewhere, he will sow the seeds of Sweden's destruction, then ultimately make his excuses and quit the country, to carry on telling the world how marvellous, and economically and morally superior he is from the safety of some pleasant land that bears more than a passing resemblance to how Sweden was before he utterly trashed the place.

For those of us who've seen this all before know that long after the responsible ministers have departed, the stench of their hypocrisy lingers amid the rubble of the society they destroyed.
22:06 June 7, 2012 by godnatt
Yes, because Sweden has such a great track record putting immigrants to work... Insanity.
23:42 June 7, 2012 by Uncle

Spot on.

Billström knows about Asylum and migration only from dry numbers of his history books. After all, two degrees in history screw up one's brain and turn everything into a pile of idiotic statistics. I am sure he never even entered an asylum shelter or visited the countries that eject these asylum seekers into Sweden.

Instead of banging on about bringing EVERYBODY to work in Sweden, he should concentrate on the integration levels of the rivers of mud he managed to bring so far in the best of socialist traditions (although he himself claims to be a moderate).

In addition, I would really like to know how he performed as a temporary minister of Employment. Because on one hand there are what... 75K unemployed in Sweden? How about employing THEM first and then discussing foreign labor possibilities?

Also, given that he did not pay his television license for 10 years "out of his political standpoint against public service", it is obvious what kind of a public servant he is. "Changing his opinion" the moment he took a minister office also does not add to his credibility, nor political determination.

And frankly saying, he even has a face of a sleazy ba$tard.
04:21 June 8, 2012 by jomamas
A) nobody with any education will want to live in Sweden and pay 70% of their salary in taxes. Swedes are completely insane to think that Sweden is 'attractive' in any other way than your hot blondes.

B) the people that will come? poor migrants. As a Canadian, I can assure you that you will create some kind of economic GDP growth out of this - but it will come at the cost of the complete evaporation of your culture. Visit Toronto or Vancouver. In what identifiable manner are they 'Canadian'? They are not.

C) All this will come at the high cost of reducing wages for working class Swedes.

Your policies will turn Sweden into yet another pathetic, bland, cultureless suburb of America.

I don't know why the Western world is so bent on destroying itself for a few points in GDP.
07:56 June 8, 2012 by RobinHood
The minister seems to have lost touch with reality. Unemployment in Sweden is extremely high, especially amongst immigrants. Social services, health and housing are clogged trying to absorb tens of thousands of immigrants. And the solution to these problems, says the minister, is - more immigrants.
10:09 June 8, 2012 by towns
@ #3 ("Tarc the Mexan")

Did you seriously just put labour migrants from the Baltic States in the same camp as Somali asylum seekers?!?

11:08 June 8, 2012 by mafketis
planet-sweden put it pretty well, better than I could actually.

I'll just add that to removed-from-life technocrats like Billström, humanity is a fungible mass like potatoes or wheat.

Behind the glib lip-service to 'global citizenry' we're all just grist for the social-experimentation mill...
11:20 June 8, 2012 by engagebrain
The free market turns out to be great for capital, and those who own it, but not so good for the majority of the population.

The increasingly free market has seen lower rates of growth and stagnation in the incomes of all but the 1% - the 1% are living in boom times the rest of us are not.
11:24 June 8, 2012 by towns
@ mafketis

Couldn't agree more! I'm tired of these Billströms and Lööfs of Sweden trying to impose their idea of what a "perfect society" would be on a country of over 9 million people at the expense of their shared history, language and culture. If they want to play the social experiment game, they can find an uninhabited island somewhere in the Arctic Ocean and carve out their "ideal society" there.

I'm going to have to echo jomamas' comment. If they want to see the end result of their game they can pay a visit to Vancouver to Toronto. On another note, It's all fun and games with a good economy but the moment a downturn takes place just wait and see what happens, civilization in decline. It's already happening in several countries in the Western World in case you haven't noticed.

Sorry if I sound like I'm paraphrasing what others have said on here.
12:50 June 8, 2012 by Morenikeji
@RobinHood: For the first time you and I are on the same side on social issue. Bravo! You put it more realistically.
15:14 June 8, 2012 by NyDag
Han är en jävla idiot. Han är en förrädare mot Sverige.

You are destroying our country Billström.
16:14 June 8, 2012 by Tennin
Instead of trying to change the laws to bring in migrant workers. They should focus on hiring the people that are already here. Immigrants already here(people who moved to be with their Swede and refugees) have a lot to offer, but struggle to land a job. Cleaning isn't the type of job I'm talking about. A lot people I've met have degrees or loads of experience in their field, yet have a very difficult time landing a job here.
18:20 June 8, 2012 by Iftikhar_Ahmad
Immigration is overwhelmingly positive for the economy, keeping inflation down and expanding our knowledge base. Immigration is at record highs despite Coalition promises to slash the number of arrivals. Figures released yesterday show that net migration in the first nine months of last year stood at 252,000 - the second highest level ever.The total, which is the number moving here less those going abroad, is higher than in the year before David Cameron took power.The Government has found that it is very difficult to reduce immigration to the UK without imposing significant costs on the economy. The truth is immigration is a global issue and is not confined to the UK. There is no way the UK can go it alone without immigration. That's the truth like it or not. How can people embrace globalisation but detest immigration. Stop living in the past and smell diversity.

Six million Brits abroad? That number seems very high, 10% of the population? And we are lucky enough to have Chinese, Pakistanis, Belarussians, Australasians, South Africans and US citizens too. Many of these people are doing vital, highly-skilled jobs - such as being sales account managers, book keepers, HR managers - which, unfortunately, 99% of Brits are incapable of doing either because they are too lazy or badly educated. I am sure it has nothing to do with these people being prepared to work for salaries that pay next to nothing. Of course, the owners of the business do very well and one of them has just moved abroad for tax reasons.

Vince Cable & the CBI want to bring in more foreign workers as they claim skills aren't available in this country. He quoted a firm which needed 250 workers, out of a country with 2.5 million unemployed they couldn't find 250. Foreign graduates & workers are better qualified & trained than ours.


18:51 June 8, 2012 by astra2thor6
I'm still awaiting a reply to the 14 questions I posed to Tobias Bilström about the government's current immigration policy.

Iftikhar_Ahmad, according to a local representative of the special department within Arbetsförmedling responsible for finding invandrare work most immigrants from the Horn of Africa can't read or write their own native tongue, so how such people can be provide a positive force for the Swedish economy is hard to see. Tobias Billström's representative said that immigrants can add to Swedish culture, but I fail to see how female circumcision, male dominance, and endemic corruption will help us. Further a recent official study revealed that the government spends 50 milliard

kronor per year supporting unemployed immigrants and their families, and on average immigrants are unemployed for 8 years after their arrival in Sweden. I have asked Tobias Bilström if this money could not be more successfully spent to reduce youth unemployment (about 24% I seem to remember), or providing improved services for the disabled and pensioners; no answer!

Ahmad, what about uneducated immigrants from Pakistan, India, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Afghanistan? They've gone to the UK for hand-outs in the same way that people from those countries come to Sweden
18:55 June 8, 2012 by Freelife
There are some important issues to consider before arguing for or against immigration to Sweden.

I take China a case study.

There are a lot of Chinese immigrants in Europe and the USA. A lot of American and European companies are eager to do business with China. Hence in return Chinese obviously ask for "Student programs", labor movement and allowing Chinese businesses ( with its workers) into Europe.

This happens with several countries with which Sweden does commerce.

I am always astonished by this chat comments against immigration here. The minister is a part of a democratically elected government. Hence the government in the rule in Sweden support these policies. If the majority of the people do not like this, then they do have the option 2014 to vote for the party which adheres to their wishes. Still the Moderates have come to the power the second time.

The ruling Moderates have made these changes in their first term of governance. Still they won the second time. And the largest party which sits in the opposition , the social democrats are no different than the moderates when come to immigration.

I think some foreign people who are neither residents of Sweden nor Swedish citizens write some negative comments, which is kinda sad.

The concept of globalization is a western concept. Hence in a globalized world labor migration is inevitable. Sweden is an export oriented economy. Sweden imports a lot of basic stuffs and exports hi-tech goods.
19:06 June 8, 2012 by skatty
I think Sweden is too boring to be considered as an obvious choice for every global citizen; but may be it can be considered as an unobvious choice, when there is no other alternative; after all, the country is on the edge of the globe!
20:44 June 8, 2012 by Uncle

First of all, people vote for a PARTY. Whoever this party has as a minister of specific department is not up to people. Usually a COLLECTION of negatives causes people to start shifting from one party to another and not one idiot.

Secondly, it is a democratic right of the people not only to vote for one party and the STFU, like it is done in eastern european "democracies", but to constantly CONTROL and CRITICIZE the decisions of their elected representatives. THIS is the essence of the real democracy.

Thirdly, claiming that chinese workers improved the economical situation of any developed country in the world takes a lot of guts or little brain, because this shall be PROVED. Please provide a link explaining direct benefits of chinese immigration on economical situation of an economy similar to that of Sweden.

Finally, one needs to understand what kind of immigration came to Sweden in the latest 20 years to understand the "negative comments". It would make your "sadness" disappear. Hope that it was clear for you.
23:07 June 8, 2012 by Freelife
@ Uncle

You have missed the point that globalization is a western concept. If Sweden wants to sell its goods then it must be ready consequences.

Ask Swedish businessmen and their lobby in the Swedish govt.

Immigrants come because Swedish govt. allows them and Swedes do business with those countries. Stop doing business with countries from which you don't want immigrants ex: China.
01:20 June 9, 2012 by Uncle

"Immigrants come because Swedish govt. allows them and Swedes do business with those countries"

What the heck are you banging on about, may I ask? If am not mistaken Japanese have an EXTREMELY restrictive immigration policy. To stay in Japan for life is among the most difficult things one could do bureaucratically.

Correct me if I am wrong, but Japanese seem to trade with the world through the small and unknown companies like Toyota, Hitachi, Sony, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Canon, Fujitsu, Toshiba, Sharp, Sanyo, Matsushita, Nippon Express, Olympus. Fuji, Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki, Mazda, Bridgestone and a few more.

So let me ask again. What are you getting your wonderful theories from? Can you please back them with real life examples? Thank you. Sincerely yours.
07:58 June 9, 2012 by Kevin Harris
Did Sweden's dreadful unemployment figures suddenly get better, or has the minister gone completely bonkers?
13:25 June 9, 2012 by Max Reaver

Well said in #19. It seems like most ppl here are too drawn into themselves, that they failed to realize that other countries/global actors/governments also play important rules in shaping the policy of a nation. The China-based Huawei has offices in Sweden. Some criticize the way Huawei manages their employees, while others blatantly claim that Huawei steals jobs and market shares from Ericsson. Meanwhile, it's important to understand that the allowance of Huawei to conduct business in Sweden signifies that Ericsson can do the same in China. Because as you said, governments demand for exchange instead of the one-direction flow. By being able to open up sales/manufacturing/RD in China, Ericsson gains more market shares and thereby profit.

As the case for Japan, anybody who has basic understanding of the country knows that their brands are not made entirely within their country. Take Toyota for example, below is a list of all their manufacturing plants, the ones abroad vastly outnumbered the ones within Japan.


Furthermore, Japanese government do allow a steady flow of 15,000 new Japanese citizens by naturalization (帰化) per year. The number might seem low, but it's rationalized by the high population density of the nation. It doesn't mean you can't move into Japan at all, but the influx rate must be regulated to avoid overpopulation.

14:09 June 9, 2012 by Uncle
Max Reaver

I am sorry, I must be either blind or nuts, because it seems to me that you consider foreign R&D departments (R&D for Volvo owned by Geely) an "immigration". Also it crept into my mind that you mix temporary expatriates within your pool of immigrants. No, I MUST be wrong...

In the case of Japan, one (who is not me) may also assume that you count foreign japanese factories as immigration. What a dummy this one would be.

Being this dummy, this one would surely assume that justification of low immigration through overpopulation proves your assumption that "trade=immigration", when in fact it rather proves the opposite - namely, Japanese have world's third GDP through trade and without immigration.

I would propose for you to check what amount of these 15K are actually specialists and what are refugees from Indonesia and Malaysia, who never saw a toilet sit in their entire life.
14:36 June 9, 2012 by 15U
I like the spirit of new Sweden - full of diverse people..different cultures.

Especially Malmo area.All those nice couples - Swedish guys and Chinese girls.

This is awesome!

I don't think that migration is the cause of your unemployment issues. Unemployment is everywhere now. It's the feature of new industrialized economy with stupid iPhones and etc.

I doubt if typical Cool Blond Swede in the scarf and glasses would like to have a job as a sales man or the cleaner.


From Russia with love.
15:43 June 9, 2012 by Max Reaver

I'm not talking about immigration related to war refugees and asylum seekers with you. My focus is elsewhere. So yes, you are blind and nuts, congrats to you.

The ones you call "temporary expatriates", as far as I know, some of them are not that temporary as you'd like to think. Many of them do end up gaining the citizenship of their host country after working for enough many years. Furthermore, in many countries, "temporary expatriates" are required to report themselves at the migration office upon arrival, so you'd better consult with a migration officer whether they technically count as "immigrants" or not.
16:40 June 9, 2012 by Freelife

As said by Max Reaver, Japanese have there manufacturing centers all around the would.

Recently Sony mobile opened a big office in India. Same with Samsung. Toshiba etc etc A huge number of Koreans live in India, if you don't knnow.

If you are Swede or stayed in Sweden for long or has learned about Sweden, then you should know that Nobel prize presented at Stockholm for economics has gone mainly people like Christopher A. Sims who are main proponents of globalized and unregulated free market.

You have consistently shown ignorance and immaturity about the modern economics and trade,

The world is not in the tribal mind-set stone age. any more, I hope.
17:48 June 9, 2012 by Uncle
Max and freelife

To argue with you is like to argue with children: "Opening factories abroad encourages immigration. Well, maybe not immigration, but expatriation. Well maybe these expatriates stay, well maybe they do not stay, but they are getting REGISTERED as immigrants, well maybe not in Japan - the third GDP in the world. but japanese open factories in other countries, which is practically almost immigration. Well your mama is fat"

Everything just to pull one moronic statement after another. Quite funny to observe.

freelife - there are currently 8,337 Koreans in India. Mostly expatriates who are not immigrants. A wooping 0.000690% of the Indian population! WOW! Surely the lives of Indians changed forever. No, surely it is me, who is ignorant and immature.

And Max - EVERYONE who lives in the country has to register with migration authorities including diplomats ( I am sure that even if some diplomats asked for asylum in western countries, you would not encourage to establish diplomatic relations with a country "because it contributes to the immigration of diplomatic officials).

Now expats and others are required to register with the immigration office BECAUSE migration services want to make sure that these do not stay. You'd better consult with migration services about what expats are "technically accounted for".
18:54 June 9, 2012 by TheWatchman
Immigration works when you let in educated Koreans, Japanese and Chinese. Immigration doesn't work when you let in illiterate violent Somalis, Pakis, Lebanese and Palestinians. That sums it up pretty well.
19:36 June 9, 2012 by mafketis
Golden rule of immigrants: If they don't behave well in their own country then they won't behave well in yours.

I would like to know of any strong counterexamples....
00:39 June 10, 2012 by Enjoyourlife
@ no. 18, if you do not know something, do not say it. Most of the native languages in Africa are not written. how do you expect them to read and write what is not written? they use this local languages for communication olny. English and French are the languages use in education in most African coúntries, espcially in west and central Africa. Those Africans that cannot read or write are simply illitrates.

All the haters if immigration are mostly racists and selfish people. Live your short life on earth while you can and stop thinking about things you can never stop.
01:11 June 10, 2012 by Uncle
"All the haters if immigration are mostly racists and selfish people. Live your short life on earth while you can and stop thinking about things you can never stop. "

First of all can do! Australians did, Japanese did, Canadians did and even Swedes can do! Just a matter of NOT issuing documents to a wonderful newcomer (if he/she came by some miraculous way without a visa). Easy.

As for the racism, I would not blame the west for racism, as the same wonderful africans enjoy the benefits of racism to a bit wider extent. Take Berbers, take Tuaregs, take Hutu, take Tutsi, take Pygmies, take Bushmen, take the tribes of Niger, Ivory Coast, Sudan, Somalia and Tanzania. Angola, SA, Zimbabwe.....

Hell, take ANY country in Africa and one could find you examples of racism and/or xenophobia expressed by burning tires on each others heads.

Now, how exactly can this wonderful population improve the economical situation of ANY country? Please provide an example that excludes "contribution" by slavery. Slaves were not exactly immigrants (unless they are REGISTERED as such, eh, Max?)
07:42 June 10, 2012 by cmbsweden
As an "immigrant" here I can say that working in Sweden has generally been a positive experience. Maybe not 100% so, positive overall.

The point of this article was about attracting "trained and skilled" workers to Sweden; the best of the best, if you will:

Why any country would NOT want that is beyond any logical thinking to me. Rising tide lifts all boats. Highly skilled individuals from other countries bring broader exposure and experience to those they are surrounded by (native Swedes for example), greatly enhancing their skill set. That's a win/win in my mind.
10:25 June 10, 2012 by Iraniboy
Well Tobias is reflecting his party's position on immigration. But there is one very obvious reason why Sweden has and will have difficulty being an obvious choice for every global citizen, and it is its distinctive working culture. Many people outside Sweden assume that Sweden is like a typical western country maybe like the US or UK and at least like Germany but it really isn't! In all developed countries and even developing countries, a good worker is the one that delivers the best product and works in most efficient way. The better you are in the result and the efficiency, the more you promote in your job. But if you expect such a culture in your job in Sweden you will be deeply disappointed because those credentials basically give you no merit! In Sweden it is important that you as an employee follow the process, pay attention to the details and be helpful and cooperative. Whether it leads to any result or not is not an issue. Working hard, out of time etc is often frowned and discouraged.
11:43 June 10, 2012 by muscle
Decisions taken at any point in time, are correct for that very moment. If the person has the power to decide, he can and he will decide based upon the good he or she sees in it, at that very point in time. They may be proved wrong or right later on.

So its useless to spit over here, whatever you have learned with the passage of time. If you were so sincere in giving advice, then you guys better should join the bureaucracy, instead of saying stuff from here!

So either shut up all you or just join the govt!
13:43 June 10, 2012 by leontan
This man is completely away with the fairies. As a global citizen who has lived in several countries, now including Sweden, I can say that Sweden has been reluctant to use my skills (I hold a masters and PhD), and furthermore, have failed to find employment here. Fortunately, I have had recourse to contracts external to Sweden and have worked OUTSIDE Sweden rather than in it, while being resident in Sweden... not by choice but because Sweden prefers to hire Swedes. I can provide an example of this: an institution of higher education gave a job to a Swede with only a Masters without even granting me (with a PhD) an interview!

As for Sweden being attractive to investors and international corporations... perhaps this wet behind the ears chap ought to ask why IKEA is not headquartered in Sweden, and why it is not attractive in the least to invest in rental property... the tax rates are simply not competitive.

Finally, Sweden has over-committed itself to granting residency to asylum seekers (relative to other nations such as the US, who incidentally is the cause of much migratory movements through their foreign policy 'interventions'), thus introducing a massive drain on taxpayers dollars, with the result that many ordinary Swedes become resentful (and naturally worried about their cradle-to-grave care) to ALL immigrants.
13:58 June 10, 2012 by muscle
By the way, for all of you who are complaining about asylum seekers, DO NOT FORGET that the number of applicants for asylum seekers increased drastically when the world powers and NATO started to mess up the affairs of poor nations!.

So now bear it and stop barking about the high number of asylum seekers. You created them and now you will bear them!
14:03 June 10, 2012 by leontan
@muscle good point that asylum seekers are created through the foreign policy interventions of powerful nations. However, I would say the US has the greatest obligation to take in the highest number of asylum seekers (at least over the past few decades) given its crucial role in fomenting conflict the world over... Sweden has much less of an obligation...
21:45 June 10, 2012 by Uncle

"DO NOT FORGET that the number of applicants for asylum seekers increased drastically when the world powers and NATO started to mess up the affairs of poor nations!. "

Well, first of all, if I remember correctly, Sweden is as related to all of this as Djibouti. Strangely, there are no demands towards Djibouti to accept asylum seekers because of NATO.

Ah, sorry, NATO are also WHITE... My bad. The same RACE should be responsible for the actions of it's racially similar people. Applies to the whites of course. Otherwise it is racist to mix one african with another and one arab with another.

Secondly, I would LOVE to see the statistics in regards to NATO produce of asylum seekers. Most asylum seekers are/were flowing from Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, Iran and Iraq (Iran-Iraq war of course), Syria, Tunisia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Niger, Mali, China, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, Chechnya, Kurdistan and many more where NATO did not invade.

As for the Bosnianks and Kosovo asylum seekers, it seems that NATO happened to actually save them.

Also, the poor little victims Iraqis produced quite a few asylum seekers themselves when invaded Kuwait and burned Kurdinstan. Also, there is a huge amount of Berbers, bengali, turks and afro-carribeans, who did not happen to clash with the evil NATO lately. Turks actually ARE NATO. And one happens to forget that Afghanistan actually started a war against US, by supporting an attack that killed 3K civilians. So I would not claim that NATO "created" these refugees. Call Taliban with any questions.

so actually muscle, I believe that it is the poor nations who MOSTLY create asylum seekers.
07:08 June 11, 2012 by SecondGen
Well, if this keeps up you'll probably see headlines like we have here in the melting pot.

This is todays headline and the weekend isn't over for us yet;

"Weekend violence kills 6; about 40 hurt"

A few weekends ago our news was this;

Or "10 Dead, 41 Hurt in Violent Chicago Weekend"

Actually, it seems we are averaging around 50 shot most weekends when it's warm.

Welcome to the melting pot.

If you go to youtube and watch "Derrion Albert - Louis Farrakhan's View", Louis Farrakhan is a Black Muslim leader in the United States and I'd say I don't agree with much of what he says, but that video, I gotta agree with him.

We have a boatload of trouble coming to us!
17:15 June 11, 2012 by prince T
I did not bother to read the story because there no job at all. He should do d following

Create job for swedes.

Stop replacing pensioniars with another one. Use young people instead.

Allow skilled and qualified immigrants to come in


For my usuall spelling and grammar mistakes. Note that english is not my original language. I only take it serios during english exams.
17:30 June 11, 2012 by hjoian
This bloke is living in Cuckoo land. The whole sytem is stacked against ANY non Swede,no matter how good an education or experience. To attract any professional workers here something will have to be done about the tax issue, there are far too many attractive places to work with better tax breaks than Sweden.
18:40 June 11, 2012 by prince T
I agree with u. If not for family committments, i will be living in Norway or UK
05:46 June 12, 2012 by nathan45
I belive that the bad out weighs the good when it comes to immigration. The birth rate is close to replacemet levels in Sweden and with some comprehensive plans to raise the birth rate a bit and spend tax money giving free training to unemployed people immigration wouldn't be needed certainly not at the current levels.
07:55 June 12, 2012 by Marc the Texan
Be careful what you wish for. The Swedish nation will soon get a flood of Eurozone economic refugees. How many German, Spanish, French, Greek, Italian immigrants will it take to change Billström's mind? Yep that's gonna be a lot of Germans in Sweden. Enjoy.
12:05 June 12, 2012 by edphillis
if you think in the very long term, this is inevitable. It is not highly relevant that we think in terms of states any more. The state is an administrative body and any sentimental thoughts of 'destroying our beloved culture and the country going to the dogs' are old fashioned and quite frankly a little bit Breivik. Economy drives the world and this is not going to change. Capitalism is an unstoppable force and we, for good or bad, are all becoming globalized. In reality not very many people actually care about their cultures. Most people across the world like mobile phones, games, TVs, films. If you offered concerts of Swedish folk music people wouldn't come. If you offered people Sean Paul - they will come. People need to start getting on with each other and we have to start dropping these arbitrary lines on the map. Anyone who believes in some sort of 'glorious motherland' is a total sott in my opinion. Answer this question: If the King of Sweden was in a shipwreck and there was only space for one more passenger and had to choose between Queen Elizabeth or a Swedish pauper...who would he choose? To anyone who has bright, intelligent friends from other countries and looks around at the dullards in his own country this argument is totally ridiculous.
19:57 June 12, 2012 by Domhangairt
WIth respect, Tobias Billstrom smoked far too much of the good stuff while he was at college. I live in South Africa. He has got to be joking if he thinks that "global citizens' and other "circular migrants" have any intention of returning to their home countries. They don't come to Sweden because of it's climate or it's job opportunities, they come to Sweden to latch onto it's benefit system. We here in South Africa are swamped with people from other parts of Africa because we are developed and have a liberal constitution. These socalled "global citizens" will f*** your country up within thirty years. DON'T DO IT. The educated global citizens want to to go to more sunny countries like Australia, America, etc. I think Sweden is a beautiful country with a great culture, but not everybody thinks the way I do. Don't liberalize your immigration policy- you will regret it. We are under seige here in South Africa with destitute Zimbabweans, Nigerian drug lords, Somali traders, and Mozambican housebreakers- and the locals want to kill them, God help us- I'm glad I don't have children-they have no future here with the rubbish that is coming into our country. Why don't the Swedes get their unemployed back to work, pay taxes, and encourage Swedish people to have more Swedish children-more Swedes, not more immigrants.
14:01 June 13, 2012 by alecLoTh

You over generalize. Im not Swedish born, but not here for a job, as Iam self-employed engineer... I'm not here for the weather either, yet it is my purpose to move once again when the time is right.

I have lived in the antipodes, as well as in your country and several other African nations too but neither have I taken a cent from this government nor from that ofany other place I have worked/lived in my entire life. In some I was actually an employer.

So to peer from afar and project your immediate world-view on people who may not be in a similar circumstance is myopic.

The problem here seems to be that people do not quite know who this minister is targeting this statement to. He is talking of the modern skilled worker - the backbone of Sweden's current economy, but the immediate thought people have is 'refugee'.

This is a well documented psychological knee-jerk response to people immersed in a situation to take any new input or stimuli and only attribute it to their current circumstance.

The Swedish economy is largely in high tech. If you knew how hard it is to find the people who make the current software and technology then you would know exactly who the Minister is addressing. Sweden will most definitely lose if they 'hope' they're way out of this next decade. This particular time has been named "the decade of the developer".

Without delving deep, a software developer only needs a laptop an internet connection and knowledge.This is also how I have won my freedom on this spherical pile of dirt.

If Sweden wants this kind of worker and Im guessing they do, as it is the backbone of their economy - then they have to evolve faster than Silicon Valley.

Russia has already begun building a silicon valley, the UK is faltering a start in that direction - so to sit back and 'hope' would be suicidal at worst and masochistic at best.

Already Brazil, India and China are almost equal players in terms of knowledge accumulation in technology. Added to that fact is another that they have larger populations. It is an educated guess which leads to the uncomfortable, yet inevitable conclusion that if Sweden doesn't do something, then they too will be trodden over.

Moving closer to your home - SA was the hot bed of innovation at one point ( Wits heart transplant, nuclear research etc)Your failure to evolve and broaden your skill base and populace (by exclusion) ensured your demise.

So dont be so quick to hand out advice to others who may be only acting with the certainty a history student knows that events simply repeat - that there is nothing new under the sun.

This is a problem which does not require critical thinking, it's simple arithmetic - more skilled workers = more output and a higher probability of innovation.

Yes there is an employment issue of immigrants here - I couldn't get a job here, even with skill, but there is also a continuous need to evolve the skill of a nation.
15:49 June 13, 2012 by 4254
>Every global citizen should work in Sweden

yes, until he/she turns 75 as mr Reinfeldt suggested.
16:59 June 13, 2012 by Rebel
Toby looks like the robot in Prometheus. Probably as exciting as well.
00:32 June 14, 2012 by Navras
It's easy to get a software job in Microsoft,Amazon,Yahoo or any other top tech company in usa but It's tough to see your resume shortlisted by swedish company.

Sweden runs on references and needs asylum seekers.
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