Integration Minister in Rosengård move

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Integration Minister in Rosengård move

Swedish Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag is set to spend a week in Rosengård in Malmö in an attempt he says to understand the immigration and anti-Semitism issues which have affected the city in recent years.


Ullenhag will travel down south on Monday and work out of Rosengård for a week. A similar move to the Rinkeby district of Stockholm in 2012 to tackle discrimination was dubbed "lower class safari" by critics but the minister is optimistic his week in Rosengård will yield positive results.

"I'm looking for in-depth knowledge that will have an influence on policy," he told local newspaper Sydsvenskan.

"We are going to have an open house and meet people from the local community, the police, municipality, synagogue, Islamic centres and schools. We have a pretty intensive program," he added.

Rosengård, which is four kilometres outside Malmö city centre, has frequently made headlines for crime and integration issues.

It is estimated that 86 per cent of residents of the district have immigrant backgrounds.

"Rosengård is in many ways a symbol of alienation but there are also other neighborhoods in Malmö which have serious challenges," said Ullenhag.

In a recent interview with The Local, new Malmö Mayor Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh said Rosengård gets a disproportionate amount of attention from the national government.

"Rosengård became a symbol for a lot of things which isn’t really fair. It is very diverse and it’s too easy. Different ministers always want to go there and it is not good to just focus on one area," she said.

Ullenhag, who recently gave the green light for a five million kronor ($755,000) program to welcome new immigrants, is also keen to speak with the city's Jewish community. He took part in a kippah walk in Malmö last year.

"Ilmar Reepalu (former Mayor) made ignorant statements which confused the state of Israel with Jews in Malmö. He showed an inability to see the structures of anti-Semitism. I intend to talk a lot about anti-Semitism during my week in Malmö which is something I take very seriously."

He added; "I've been in Rosengård seven or eight times before so the idea is to stay longer in order to get a broader knowledge."

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