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Swedish Prime minster, Fredrik Reinfeldt, responds to his "ethnic Swedes" utterance

Monday, 21 May 2012
If there are some things that have disturbed the Swedish government and its prime minister, at this moment, two stand out - the persistently high unemployment among the country’s 9 million people (7.7 percent) and the rise and rise of the opposition – Social Democrats. These are the things that put such politicians under pressure and force them to make mistakes that can cause them dearly.

It is not clear if this is one of those issues that made the Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt to say last week that Swedish high unemployment is driven by the immigrants or Swedes of immigrant background who are unemployable. This has to do with the view that data of middle ages “real” Swedes i.e., white Swedish people, their unemployment rate is lowest compared to those with immigrant – looking characteristics.

He has been making rounds in the various media houses trying to “clarify” what he said as it might have been taken ‘out of context.’ Though not apologizing, he told Swedish television yesterday Sunday, that no one has to turn a blind eye from the problems.

Reinfeldt was trying to respond to criticism after his "ethnic Swedes" utterance last week which he said “...what unemployment? Middle Swedes have the lowest unemployment but unemployment in this country is driven by immigranst,”  This is similar to what the former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown said two year ago of “British jobs to British people” when he came under intense pressures close to general elections. Gordon Brown lost that election but it does not look like what Reinfeldt said could cause him his job given that the general feeling in Sweden is anti immigration anyway and racism is a way of life here.

This is why the Prime minister, Reinfeldt, did not apologize for using the phrase. In countries such as the USA, Canada, France or the UK, he would have gone down screaming and apologizing.

“Sometimes you say "foreign born", sometimes "of foreign origin." It's a way to show that people from other countries have difficulty in entering the Swedish labour market.
According to Fredrik Reinfeldt, it is important that someone who does not draw the conclusion that Sweden's borders should be closed recognize problems as they look.

“We have opened up for labour immigration, have adopted more liberal rules on asylum and immigration policy and put on policy so that we get an introduction guide in integration policies,” said Fredrik Reinfeldt.

He adds that if saying that problems don’t exist, a bit like Stefan Löfven, leader of the Social democrats then it becomes very difficult to do anything.
According to the prime minister, Swedish immigration approach has changed. Now the problem is not just well-educated that can not find work at the level of their expertise, also people, mainly from Afghanistan and Somalia, with limited secondary education who are in the mix.
But the prime minister did not try to disintegrate the educated from the non - educated. He would have said that due to wonton discrimination in the Swedish job market, labour resource lay idle even if they are properly trained and qualified. But because of the colour of their skin or accent in speaking Swedish they are repudiated from the job market.
By bundling both educated and non - educated into the basket of immigrants make the prime minister lack know – how in dealing with the problem of integration in Sweden and also out of touch with the real Swedish society.
By Team

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