Swedens New Immigration Law

Have they just blown their chances of re-election?

Have the Alliance for Sweden made a mistake?

 

The hot political topic in Sweden right now is the new immigration laws passed this week. Whilst the financial crisis spreads like wildfire, Sweden wants more workers and wants to make it much easier for them to get in.

I had a right ‘ding dong’ with Ms Palin on this, she started off by calling me a Right Winger (or was that a right whinger?) as I said I was against the policy, then ended up calling me a ‘Leftie’ when she realised what I was getting at.  Her sister called me something else which I can’t remember in Swedish but basically means ‘Social Democrat in disguise.’ Charming!

The Wall Street Journal has a great article on this Sweden Bucks Trends on Immigration Labour. Its true whilst every other country is battening down the hatches, the Swedes are open the doors to all.

Well so I thought.

My concern was that this would lead to even more hardship for the working classes as it’s inevitably the ‘blue collar’ workers who end up competing for jobs. It would be great news for business and particularly unscrupulous employers.  It would of course drive down wages and career opportunities.

However on a further reading it appears this is mainly geared at skilled workers rather than mass labour.

The new Swedish immigration laws include:

 

Swedens New Immigration Laws

Swedens New Immigration Laws

 

 I still think the above will be abused and there will be loopholes.

I still think it’s crazy that Sweden is opening its doors when there is economic uncertainty.  Indeed Sweden’s Finance Minister Anders Borg says Sweden’s economic growth is at its weakest for 30 years. 

Also the state-run National Institute for Economic Research (Konjunkturinstitutet – KI) said on Friday that Sweden’s GDP would fall by 0.9 percent in 2009 and grow 1.9 percent in 2010. Unemployment

is expected to increase from 6.1 percent this year to 7.9 percent in 2009 and 9 percent in 2010.

Some 135,000 jobs will be lost over the next two years, KI predicts.

“The number of layoff notices has increased dramatically, at the same time, newly reported job openings have continued to decrease, and firms have cut back on their hiring plans,” the report notes.

I still find it amazing that the Government has enacted this law.  My enthusiasm for the Alliance for Sweden government is slightly less this week, not for any xenophobic reasons, but purely on the basis of a economic concerns.  I like the fact its allowing business the chance to recruit in foreign talent much easier. Remember I am an immigrant myself, brought in because of a skill set which wasnt available in Sweden.

It will however, give ammunition to the extremists, you would expect the far right to be ‘milking’ this issue but what tickles me is that all the Lefties are against the law!!!

In the UK this is very different, the Unions rarely protest against more liberal immigration laws and are usually the first to dust off their placards and hit the streets on such issues.

What do you think about the new Swedish immigration laws? Is this good or bad news for Sweden?

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Swedish Politics -The Centre Party

Swedish Center Party

I can hear some of you moaning already 😉

Although my Swedish isnt good enough to listen to political debate I try and keep abreast of what the Swedish Political Parties are saying.

I was looking at their websites last nights to see who, if I had the vote I would go for.

There was no point me looking at the Social Democrats or the Left Party so my first port of call was the Alliance for Sweden site. The Alliance is a coalition of the Moderates, Christian Democrats, Liberal and Centre Parties.  Basically the Swedish SDP have run the country for most of the last 100 years apart from the odd blip. We are now in the middle of one of those blips as the Alliance for Sweden got a majority in 2006.

I checked out the Centre Party first. Luckily they had a section in English.

The preamble appealled to my liberal instincts:

‘The Centre Party has a strong confidence in human will and the ability to take responsibility and be a participant in society. To be able to decide for oneself, quality of life, equal opportunity and business are values that distinguish the Centre Party policy.’

Looking at their policies they come across very Green (but then what Party doesnt thesedays?) and very liberal, more classic liberal than liberal in the US sense of the word. Its funny how life affects you. In years gone by I wouldnt really have bothered too much about ‘work and business’ sections of a manifesto. However employment law, the workplace and business is an important part of my job here so its something that interests me.

I like the Center Partys’ stance on this:

work and business activity:

 

 

 

 

Sweden shall be one of the countries in the world where the conditions for starting and running a company are the best. It is important to us that it becomes more profitable and less complicated to be a company owner. We would like it to be easier to employ persons and that those who work shall retain more of their salary.’

The Swedish Center Party are Swedens third largest political Party, overtaking the Liberal Swedish Peoples Party at the 2006 General Election. Their background is very much rural with the farmers providing it with a solid political base though of late they have been taking votes from the Peoples Party in the urban areas. This is the part that concerns me as I am uncomfortable supporting a Party with a vested interest. Of course its impossible to agree with every single policy that Party believes in but its opposition to nuclear power puts me off them. Unless they are putting forward another solution of course.  Too many Parties are anti nuclear power but then have no answers of their own for the energy crisis.

The Center Partys leader is Maud Olofsson. She is the Minister for Energy and Enterprise in the Alliance Government. She has been involved with the Center Party since her youth and has also served as Managing Director for the Rural Economy and Agricultural Societies. She was elected to Party leader in 2001.

Her standpoint according to Wikipaedia is traditional Centre Party with an emphasis on rural Sweden, though in fairness she describes the party as Social Liberal. I do like a lot of what I read on their site but I wonder if anyone can point out what are the fundamental differences between the Center Party and the Swedish Folkpartiet (Peoples Party)?

More on the topic soon. Next up will be the Christian Democrats who I can tell you now I most certainly would not vote for!