In a debate article, November 5, Swedish journalist and opinion editor Teodor Stig-Matz on the news site Nyheter24, blasted rural and working class Swedes saying that Sweden should be filled with Islamic terrorists so that people negative to immigration would be forced into exile.
” I used to be proud of Sweden”, he writes in an open letter to Sweden Democrat parliament member Ken Ekeroth .” But I despise you and the Swede’s voting for your party — you all speak with disgusting dialects, and I would like to put all small cities in Sweden behind walls and throw away the key!”.
I used to be proud of Sweden too Mr. Stig-Matz, the country was by many seen as a beacon of light and social innovation, an example on how to solve and deal with societal problems in a fair way. But your blatant disdain for democracy – about 25% of Swedes today identify themselves with the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats making it the country’s largest political party – is frightening, so is your prejudice of rural Swedes.
Growing up on the small rural island of Gräsö I can assure you my friends and family are thoughtful people worried about Sweden’s future. They come from all walks of life, and from different political ideologies. But although countries such as France and Germany in absolute terms receive more asylum seekers, Sweden has the largest number of asylum applications per capita in the European Union, and it has had a both cultural and economic impact on the country populated by 9.64 million people.
In October, for example, the country’s migration agency raised its forecast to as many as 190,000 people arriving this year, and 170,000 in 2016. The agency also warned the cost will rise to 60 billion kronor 2016, doubling its earlier forecast, and reach about 70 billion kronor in 2019.
The strain on the system is already visible and it is no doubt that the Sweden Democrat leader, Jimmie Åkesson, has tapped into a massive anger over the country’s high youth unemployment, deteriorating quality of healthcare, elderly care and public education, plus the traditional political parties unwillingness to address the problems.
” I neither trust the politicians, nor the media”, says my friend Sven-Olof Larsson, a retired dentist.
The sentiment is not unique. A day after the brutal knife attack at an IKEA in the the country’s fifth largest city of Västerås, where one refugee allegedly killed a 55-year old mother and her 27-year old son on the same day he had been denied asylum, one of Sweden’s largest newspapers, Aftonbladet in an article, denied rampant social media rumors that they had censured or misrepresented information concerning the case.
That is as troubling as Mr.Stig-Matz’s open disdain for democracy, and points to one of Sweden’s biggest problem — the media. Historically tied to the political parties and state-run until the early 1990s when satellite technology paved the way for privatization, they are not in a habit of scrutinizing politicians or public policies, except when it comes to the Sweden Democrats.
Copyright, 2016, Caroline Calais. All rights are reserved.