Swedish sup­port for mi­grants falls: Poll

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

STOCK­HOLM: A grow­ing num­ber of Swedes want their coun­try to take in fewer mi­grants, a poll showed yes­ter­day, as Swe­den strug­gles to man­age an un­prece­dented in­flux of asy­lum seek­ers. The poll by Sifo, pub­lished in the Sven­ska Dag­bladet news­pa­per, found 41 per­cent said Swe­den should grant fewer res­i­dency per­mits to refugees-com­pared to just 29 per­cent in Septem­ber. Of the 1,000 peo­ple ques­tioned on Novem­ber 2-5, a quar­ter wanted the num­ber to re­main at cur­rent lev­els, while 17 per­cent wanted an in­crease and 16 per­cent were un­de­cided.

Swe­den has taken more refugees per capita than any other coun­try in Europe as the con­ti­nent strug­gles with its worst mi­gra­tion cri­sis since World War II, ex­pect­ing up to 190,000 asy­lum seek­ers this year. “When we polled opin­ion in Septem­ber, the de­vel­op­ments and the de­bate were com­pletely dif­fer­ent. To­day the prime min­is­ter (Ste­fan Lofven) is ask­ing to re­dis­tribute (in the Euro­pean Union) the refugees who have come here,” said Toivo Sjoren, head of polling at Sifo. An Ip­sos poll pub­lished on Satur­day in Swe­den’s Da­gens Ny­heter news­pa­per sim­i­larly in­di­cated a shift in at­ti­tudes, sug­gest­ing 26 per­cent think the Scan­dana­vian coun­try should wel­come more mi­grants, down from 44 per­cent in Septem­ber.

Men and right-wing vot­ers tended to take more neg­a­tive views of mi­grants, with 96 per­cent of the far-right Swe­den Democrats’ sup­port­ers say­ing fewer should be granted res­i­dency. Ris­ing op­po­si­tion to the new­com­ers can also be seen on so­cial me­dia. Ac­cord­ing to a study con­ducted by Sven­ska Dag­bladet, 35 per­cent of the most shared posts on Face­book, Twit­ter and In­sta­gram con­tain­ing the Swedish word for “refugees” ex­pressed a neg­a­tive opin­ion about the is­sue in Oc­to­ber, com­pared to 21 per­cent in Septem­ber.

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