In Sweden, Isabella Lövin (Greens) and Migration Minister Morgan Johansson (Social Democrats) announced at a press conference last month that there would be new measures included in the Migration Committee's previous proposal. If the Riksdag approves this proposal, it could mean a new large influx of migrants.
The government is now sending out a migration policy bill for consultation, which includes a number of measures to ease asylum legislation. According to observers, it is obvious that the Social Democrats have given in to the Green Party, and the proposal received strong criticism from the parties that are said to form the “conservative bloc”.
“This means war,” said Sweden Democrat party leader Jimmie Åkesson.
After the so-called Migration Committee, in which all parliamentary parties participated, had their last meeting on 7 August, it became clear that it had not been possible to agree on a joint proposal on immigration. The two governing parties, Socialdemokraterna and Miljöpartiet, [Social Democrats (S) and the Greens (MP)] could not agree either.
On October 7, the government therefore presented a joint proposal, with additions to the original list, which according to most observers means that S has given way to the much smaller MP who has increased immigration to Sweden as a core issue.
To begin with, the rules for permanent residence permits laid down in the Upper Secondary School Act, which already entailed a special exception for mainly Afghan men who should actually have been deported, were introduced.
In addition, a kind of amnesty was introduced for those registered as under 18 years of age, but are now considered to have turned 18 and have no grounds for protection. The demands coincide with calls from the extremist activists who have committed themselves to keeping this particular group in Sweden at all costs.
The change that is likely to have the greatest consequences, is the introduction of protection for “particularly painful reasons”, for persons who have been in the country for some time, but do not have grounds for a residence permit.
These measures would undoubtedly lead to a migrant influx comparable to what had happened in 2015, when 163 000 people applied for asylum in Sweden.
The conservative SD’s party leader Jimmie Åkesson immediately condemned the proposal on Twitter, where he explained that “this means war” and that “Stefan Löfven shows once again that it is the Green Party that holds the baton in immigration policy”.
Åkesson continued: “Now they are about to repeat the same mistake once again. You have obviously not learned anything. Sweden needs considerably less asylum-related immigration, no more. There, both reality and public opinion are clear. This means war, in the Riksdag and in the upcoming election campaign. The Social Democrats must not escape this betrayal.”
Other parties in the supposed “conservative bloc” were also very critical. Ulf Kristersson, the Moderate’s party leader, told the news agency TT: “The Social Democrats repeatedly bow to the Green Party. They want to avoid a government crisis at all costs. It’s absolutely incredible, I’m speechless. The Social Democrats have said they want to reduce immigration.”
The Christian Democrats’ migration policy spokesman Hans Eklind told TT: “The Green Party has forced through a measure that the Social Democrats must agree to in order to continue to govern in this country. It’s extremely sad. This is not a way to build a long-term sustainable migration policy.”
The Government’s proposal will now be submitted for consultation, and then submitted to a vote in the Riksdag. There, it could be supported by a majority, if the Left Party and the Center Party vote in favor of the government’s proposal, which they did when the Upper Secondary School Act was initially introduced.
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