There is a link between increased migration and spiralling gang violence in Swedish cities, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven told party leaders during a debate and then on Swedish Television on Wednesday (9 September).
Careful not to make connections between religious faith, skin colour and criminal activities the prime minister said the country has failed to integrate newcomers to society.
The Green Party, which currently holds five of 30 ministerial posts in government, interpreted Löfven’s comments as a possible U-turn on Sweden’s immigration policy. Next to climate change, liberal immigration policy is a cornerstone of the party’s identity.
With general elections approaching and the popularity of government and its prime minister on the slide, Social Democrats are showing that they need to toughen up their rhetoric, as well as their actions.
A parliamentary committee is currently preparing a white paper on immigration which includes making residence permits temporary and subject to language skills and income levels, which are issues that are difficult for the Greens to accept. (Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)