Advanced search

To think Sweden's inability to cope with the consequences of its open-door immigration policy was both tragically predictable and a lesson to other countries not to follow suit?

(146 Posts)
BackToTheNorth Tue 10-Nov-15 18:14:52

As reported in the Guardian (so this can't be dismissed blithely as 'Daily Fail propaganda'):

'Sweden’s army is to help manage the fallout from the country’s refugee crisis, with the civilian administration struggling to cope with an unprecedented surge in arrivals and a top official claiming there is no room left, in the short-term, for migrants reaching Swedish shores.'

'“We don’t have any more space,” the agency’s lead spokesman, Fredrik Bengtsson, said. State-owned accommodation has been full since 2012, he said, and now officials cannot find any more affordable private housing. “For the time being, all of these are finished as well, so for the last three or four nights we’ve had people sleeping in our [non-residential] centres across the country. Right now we’re just looking for people to have a roof over their heads."'

'Sweden is bearing a disproportional burden of the European refugee crisis, due in part to its pledge in 2013 to provide permanent residency to almost any Syrian who reached Swedish soil. Of the roughly 800,000 people to have arrived in Europe by sea this year, at least one in seven have ended up in Sweden, even though the country accounts for just one in 50 EU citizens. So far in 2015, more than 120,000 people have applied for asylum in Sweden.'

'This struggle to provide something as basic as accommodation has led to fears about Sweden’s ability to handle more complex refugee needs, such as education and healthcare. “How will they manage doctors and schools, and how will [refugees] learn Swedish?” asked Enar Bostedt, one of Sweden’s most experienced asylum lawyers. “That’s totally another issue that no one has had time to think about yet.”'

'Some refugees have lost patience with the backlog. “In Sweden the process is so slow, so I’m going back to Iraq,” said Hassanein, a 29-year-old technician, waiting at Stockholm central station, before his attempted homewards journey.'

AIBU to think that the naive utopianism of open-door advocates will lead to social and economic disaster in Europe, and that Britain's policy of taking 20,000 of the most vulnerable - and no more - is an infinitely-preferable compromise?

BoboChic Tue 10-Nov-15 18:18:13

I agree. I think open door immigration is a recipe for disaster.

Lauradarko Tue 10-Nov-15 18:20:39

The guardian never mention immigration in relation to the UK housing crisis. I sometimes think they are one the most biased and closed minded publications.

CarriesBucketOfBlood Tue 10-Nov-15 18:24:19

I know that it's not really the point of the article, and that there are thousands of desperate migrants all over Europe at the moment who need shelter, food and asylum.

But surely if this man is considering returning to Iraq because the process is too slow in Sweden, he shouldn't have been eligible for asylum in Sweden in the first place? Asylum is for those who are unable to stay in their country of origin, not those who would just prefer it somewhere else.

DonkeyOaty Tue 10-Nov-15 18:26:45

I cannot pretend to understand even a tiny proportion of the issues but would essay that it's not a simple straightforward dichotomy

Will content self with admiring OPs username.

BackToTheNorth Tue 10-Nov-15 18:31:25

Thanks, DonkeyOaty - I just realized the joke in your username!

Booyaka Tue 10-Nov-15 19:08:14

Considering how many people are dying in the med still, I think the time has come to say that the 'come one, come all' policy of some EU countries has failed. A lot of it was prompted by the awful death of Aylan Kurdi, and it seems to have just created even more Aylans rather than reducing them. I think we need to start looking at stopping the boats and supporting people in the countries surrounding Syria.

Since the ISIS bombing of the Russian plane, I think we've seen the beginning of the end for ISIS. I really want us to put aside our differences with Putin and Assad and just for the whole world to unite against Assad. Them hopefully they'd have a home to go back to soon.

FyreFly Tue 10-Nov-15 19:16:09

Open-door policy not good idea. Shocker.

If you suddenly have thousands of refugees turning up with no proper planning then all that happens is the refugees swap being homeless in Turkey to being homeless in the EU. The trouble is that planning, building, and preparing takes time, and the refugees don't have time and aren't going to wait.

What's the answer? There's only so quick you can build houses and schools and hospitals, assuming you can afford to do so of course.

Rainbunny Tue 10-Nov-15 19:37:15

"Impractical morality is no morality at all" (Aristotle).

Of course this crisis is complex, as will be any realistic solution but at a basic level Aristotle is right.

ShortcutButton Tue 10-Nov-15 19:42:05

I dont think you can draw any conclusions from one article

Stripyhoglets Tue 10-Nov-15 20:05:45

The rest of the article went on to say (immediately after the extract posted by the OP) that the bloke was returning home to get his family and then come back, because it was taking too long to process him as a single person and then bring his family over and he is scared for them to stay there alone.

Lndnmummy Tue 10-Nov-15 20:11:38

I am extremely proud of home country and what they do to help OUR FELLOW HUMANS in need. If more countries followed suit, the world would be a better place.

Lndnmummy Tue 10-Nov-15 20:11:55

**my home country".

Lndnmummy Tue 10-Nov-15 20:13:58

Silly to say there is no room for any more immigrants though. Sweden has an enormous amount of unbuilt land. There is plenty of room.

hedgehogsdontbite Tue 10-Nov-15 20:25:50

I'm very proud to be a Swede just now. The word on the street here is still 'life first, practicalities second'. Not so proud to be a Brit. I find Britain's 'I'm alright Jack' attitude shameful and inhumane.

beardsrock Tue 10-Nov-15 20:37:08

“In Sweden the process is so slow, so I’m going back to Iraq,”


Iraq is better than poor administration?

Or is Iraq not actually that bad?

FyreFly Tue 10-Nov-15 20:46:07

But life won't come first if refugees freeze to death this winter due to lack of housing!

120,000 is one hell of a number to deal with. Even assuming that all unbuilt land is a) suitable for building and b) isn't being used for agriculture, it takes months to build houses to hold over 100,000 people. And don't forget the roads, businesses, shops, schools, public transport and hospitals to service those households.

I'm not saying we shouldn't help, I'm just saying that we're not exactly helping if we invite people here and then leave them high and dry. That's not help.

BackToTheNorth Tue 10-Nov-15 20:47:27

Lndnmummy and hedgehogsdontbite: I would never seek to deprive you of your national pride as your nation sacrifices itself for its bizarre ideals. Have you seen the polling numbers for the far-right Swedish Democrats? Or the French FN? When mainstream politicians fail to address the public's concerns, the only people who benefit are those on the extremes.

yeOldeTrout Tue 10-Nov-15 20:58:53

If you use the Listen Again feature on Radio5, Doton Adabayo was on this morning (on and off for ages, roughly 10am-noon) interviewing many Swedes and refugees in Gothenburg (where DA went to Uni). The picture created in that broadcast was not negative.

juneau Tue 10-Nov-15 21:06:07

Asylum is for those who are unable to stay in their country of origin, not those who would just prefer it somewhere else.

Like those traipsing across Europe to cherry-pick the most favourable destination, you mean? Oh, then that would be all of them!

And OP I agree. Open-door migration is a disaster that encourages more and more and more to keep coming - often risking their lives to do so. I'm very glad our own government has done nothing to encourage this exodus, which shows no sign of abating.

hedgehogsdontbite Tue 10-Nov-15 21:53:34

Taking in and sheltering families fleeing war torn countries is not a 'bizarre ideal'. It's basic human decency.

hedgehogsdontbite Tue 10-Nov-15 21:54:54

OP have you ever actually been to Sweden?

Cloppysow Tue 10-Nov-15 21:57:06

Oh yes, rather than actually trying to help more and take our fair share, lets point at countries who are doing more and say "i told you so".

Cloppysow Tue 10-Nov-15 22:01:00

I would never seek to deprive you of your national pride

No. Because you couldn't. Who do you think you are?

TheNewStatesman Tue 10-Nov-15 23:18:01

It's like watching some nice-but-dim woman who says "yes" to everything because she wants everyone to like her.

"Yes, of course I'll babysit your kid, again" "Yes, I'll come and help you move house" "Of course I'll be a volunteer for the school trip yet again." Etc.

Then she flakes out because she is overwhelmed and has too much to do. And everyone is pissed off because they were counting on her coming and helping with this and that, and it would have been better if she had been more honest about what she is and is not able to do.

A poll conducted a few years back found that around 40% of the population of the developing world would choose to move to a developed country if they were able to. So, 40% of, say, 2 billion people. Are western countries prepared to accept those kind of numbers? If not, let's be honest about it, and then base our offers on what we are willing to take.

As for some of the people here, I am tempted to ask how many refugees they would be prepared to sponsor in their own homes....?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now