Sweden's PM says integration of immigrants leads to violence

Sweden's PM says integration of immigrants leads to violence

Riot police watch a city bus burn on a street in Malmo, Sweden, April 16, 2022. JOHA NILSSON STOCKHOLM - Sweden has failed to integrate the vast number of immigrants it has taken over the past two decades, leading to parallel societies and gang violence, as she launched a series of initiatives to combat organized crime, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Thursday.

More than 100 police were injured in a violent riot earlier this month, and Swedes were shocked. The violence erupted after a Swedish-Danish politician burned the Quran at a rally and tried to hold more in several immigrant-dominated neighborhoods.

Andersson blamed criminals and said Islamism and right-wing extremism had been allowed to fester in Sweden, in unusually frank and self-critical comments.

There are parallel societies in Sweden that have been allowed to go through the process of segregation. Andersson told a news conference that they live in the same country but in completely different realities.

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The number of people born abroad in Sweden has doubled in the last two decades to 2 million, or a fifth of the population. Andersson's Social Democrats have been in power for 28 of the last 40 years, including the last eight.

Andersson wanted to introduce local youth crime boards where social services and police could collaborate. She also proposed tools to make sure that youths don't stay in schools and on the streets without the consent of their parents.

Integration has been too poor at the same time as we have had a large immigration. She said that society has been too weak, and resources for police and social services have been too weak.

Sweden, which holds a general election later this year, has tightened its immigration policies because it took in more people per capita than any other European Union country during the migration crisis in 2015. It has one of the most restrictive policies in the bloc.

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Human rights organization Amnesty International has criticised Sweden's tightening of policies, claiming that it is making integration harder for immigrants and cause human suffering.