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PM: ‘We will not give an inch to violence’

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PM: ‘We will not give an inch to violence’
Swedish prime minister, Stefan Löfven, speaking on Sunday afternoon. Photo: Christine Olsson
17:00 CEST+02:00
In a keynote summer speech in Vasaparken in Stockholm, Swedish prime minister and Social Democratic leader Stefan Löfven took a hard line against the recent spate of crime and violence in Sweden - what he called “the summer of unrest”.

“Our society has been marked by horrific acts of violence recently”, said Löfven.

“Although statistics show that security has increased and that crime against individuals has decreased in the last 10 years, we cannot have organized crime that terrifies families.”

He spoke specifically about the summer grenade attacks in Malmö, and directed a special message to residents of the city in southern Sweden.

“This will not be tolerated in our Sweden. The community should be safe for you and your family. On this we will not give one inch.”

Löfven said it was time to meet force with force, and pointed to a series of measures the government had already taken by increasing police resources and changes in legislation.

“The weapons should be removed from Sweden's streets, nothing else will do,” he said.

Löfven also talked about the increasing polarisation of the public debate. He asked everyone to stand up against hate speech, whether during a coffee break or on Facebook. “Stand up for the Sweden you believe in, do not stand silently,” he said.

Löfven also introduced a new measure for the autumn budget - a major investment in vocational training to address imbalances in the labour market.

“There is no shortage of jobs, but there is a lack of proper training,” he said. “If we come to grips with this problem, we can have the EU's lowest unemployment rate,” Löfven said.

The increase in investment means that places at vocational colleges will increase by 2,500 places in 2016 to 6,000 per year from 2017 to 2019. The investment is planned over four years and will cost 2 billion kronor ($235m).

“It is absurd that we have 400,000 unemployed, while companies can not find the right skilled staff,” concluded Löfven.

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