Sweden tightens asylum policy
Sweden's ruling Social Democrats plan to tighten the country's asylum policy by introducing harsher measures against asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected. Under a proposal presented on Friday, among other measures eight years must pass before those rejected can reapply. Swedish commentators find these steps incomprehensible.
Don't stoop to our neighbours' low standards
The daily paper Aftonbladet warns of the consequences of such a policy:
“Prolonging the suspension of family reunification is not just unworthy, it also puts up massive hurdles to integration. Even more absurd is the idea of preventing the children [of rejected asylum seekers] from attending school. It may be that Sweden cannot pursue an asylum policy that is fundamentally different to those of our neighbours, but we must not distinguish ourselves by stooping to the lowest standards. And we should never call into question the right to asylum.”
Social Democrats dreaming of yesterday
In their asylum policy Sweden's Social Democrats cite the "Folkhemmet", a political metaphor used in the 1930s and 40s to evoke the welfare state. But precisely for that reason the plans are not viable for the future, Dagens Nyheter criticises:
“There is a danger that the Social Democrats really do believe that the future lies in the past. ... Prime Minister Löfven even talks of a return to traditional social-democratic policies. ... The strong society. The Folkshemmet. Order and security. But the idea of the Folkshemmet emerged at a time when it still seemed possible to create a homogeneous society on the basis of tightly guarded borders. Luckily those days are long gone.”