Riots in Sweden Effect Reputation
The stereotype of Sweden as a model country for immigrants from all over the world showed cracks this spring.
Following the murder of a 69 year old Portuguese migrant by a police officer, riots broke out in the country for over one week. “The incident might have worked as a trigger for the riots that followed, but it was certainly not an isolated instance of police brutality in contemporary Swedish society” says Jallow Momodou from the National Association of Afro-Swedes.
Reports show how a gap is opening up between rich and poor. Between 1985 and the late 2000s, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Sweden saw the biggest growth in inequality of all the 31 most industrialised countries.
Erik Ullenhag, integration minister, attributed the violence to high unemployment and social exclusion in Sweden’s immigrant-dominated areas, Husby. In the suburb where the killing took place, unemployment was 8.8% in 2012, compared to 3.3 percent in Stockholm as a whole, according to official data
The Guardinan reports that during the riots, the anti-immigrant party, Sweden Democrats, has risen to third in polls ahead of a general election due next year, reflecting unease about immigrants among many voters.
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