When most of the world think of Sweden , they have a particular vision in mind. Happy Swedes, beautiful blue waters of the Archipelago, free education, Social medicine, neat , tidy and clean cities with clean, fresh healthy air to breath. This vision of Sweden is not so very incorrect. But what is not known of Swedish society, is the treatment and handling of immigrants who are either placed here in Sweden through UN or having arrived seeking asylum. Sweden’s political policy is to accept immigrants and there is, apparently no roof on the number of immigrants that can cross the borders. This , on the surface sounds like the ideal way to approach the suffering and frightened people of the world who are entering Sweden. The problem is NOT that they are being admitted to this country, it’s all about what happens once they are here.
There has been a brewing feeling of disenfranchisement and the feeling of non acceptance into Swedish society, by many immigrants. This is an unfortunate feeling and now it has crossed over to the next generation of immigrants. Immigrants can partake of the most minimal of the Swedish Social Package, yet there is rampant unemployment. Unemployment amongst the immigrant population has nothing what so ever to do with the national unemployment issues. What Swedes don’t want to acknowledge is that there is an underlying discrimination pervading nearly all the kommuns of Sweden.
Swedes will use language as an excuse not to hire an immigrant. Even when the language is not an issue. To give an example, when I first came to Sweden and applied for a position of which I was qualified in a Veterinary Animal Surgery in Stockholm. I was interviewed, in English by 4 Veterinarians. I am not sure if everyone was trying to impress me or what , but every employee in the surgery, were speaking English. At the conclusion of my lengthy interview, I was told that I was more qualified than anyone in the surgery, due to my education and experience, but that I could not be hired until I was 100% fluent in Swedish. This happened to me 12 yrs ago and I can never forget it. I was not applying for a front desk position to answer phones and accept patients, I applied to work in the back in surgery with animals, for a job I was trained for.
Swedish is the national language, but as everywhere else in the world, English is also spoken, by all. But still the language is used as a way to discriminate. There is a practice here in Sweden for all immigrants and Swedes alike and it’s called praktik, you can work like an internship, without pay. I know of a woman with 3 children who was sent to Sweden after her countries involvement in war and she lost her husband.She is from Burundi and every time I speak with her , she is at a new praktik. She has been to at least 10 that I know of and still not offered a permanent position. Her work and previous education and work experience in her home country is not valued here in Sweden. One of my dearest friends is from Eritrea and spoke to me about the situation in Rinkaby an immigrant community outside of Stockholm. There are families living there and waiting for job opportunities, for years. Years ! The head of families who had positions in their countries and who were able to support their families have been just receiving monthly contribution money from the Kommun with no hope for a better future. There are suicides on a daily basis as the husbands and fathers see no way to contribute to the welfare of their families and all pride and self-worth is lost. Swedes would like to blame the immigrants for the drain of the “social pot” when if the truth is told , there are Swedes who systematically abuse the system , a system they know so well. This wonderful social system we have here in Sweden will implode one day and they will not be able to blame the immigrant on this.
What has been happening for the past 6 days is the result of a pressure cooker exploding. It was bound to happen. You can not just open your boarders to people and not take any further responsibility for them, beyond cramming the language down their throats and placing them on the outskirts of your major cities and society at large.
A BBC link: