The Daily Telegraph

New Swedish government plans to cut immigratio­n

- By James Crisp EUROPE EDITOR

SWEDEN’S new government, the first to be propped up by the far-right, has set out plans to cut immigratio­n and force asylum seekers to pay for processing their claim.

Ulf Kristersso­n, the Conservati­ve leader, was elected prime minister by just three votes yesterday and will lead a minority coalition, supported in parliament by the Sweden Democrats (SD).

The SD, which has neo-nazi roots, is not in the coalition because of a cordon sanitaire among mainstream parties to keep it from power, but was influentia­l in the drafting of a crackdown on immigratio­n.

“It is what the government does that is important, not what the government looks like,” Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Akesson, whose party emerged as the second-largest after September’s general election, told parliament.

The SD took a record 20.5 per cent of votes behind outgoing prime minister Magdalena Andersson’s Social Democrats, which has dominated Swedish politics since the 1930s.

The Right-wing bloc now has 176 seats in parliament, to the Left’s 173.

In a 62-page plan, the government aimed to cut the number of refugees resettled through the UN from 6,400 last year to just 900 per year during its four-year mandate and would consider plans where asylum seekers would pay part of the costs of their claim.

Other measures to be considered include setting up a network of “transit centres”, where migrants must stay for the entire processing of their asylum claim or be stripped of their rights as asylum seekers.

Compulsory DNA testing when granting residence permits on the basis of family ties will also be considered, alongside compulsory civic orientatio­n classes for asylum seekers with a greater emphasis on gender equality, women’s rights and freedom of religion.

The document also suggests making foreign aid conditiona­l on countries agreeing to accept returned nationals and calls on the EU to freeze aid to those countries not co-operating on returns.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom