The leader of a political party sometimes described as ‘Sweden’s UKIP’ is tabling a proposal in the national parliament to place a suspension on migrants being made Swedish citizens, remarking at the moment the process is “too easy”.
Jimmie Åkesson told a press briefing this morning the number of new Swedish citizenships created every year is a major problem and needs to be addressed. Becoming a Swedish citizen is presently the quickest route for many migrants coming to Europe to receive generous welfare payouts, but if Mr. Åkesson gets his way there this will change.
In future it will be a “privilege” to be a Swedish citizen, something foreigners will have to earn, he said. Speaking to the journalists on his plans, Mr. Åkesson remarked: “I think it’s too easy to become Swedish citizens today, both in terms of the time it takes but also in terms of the requirements. What I say is instead we should make more demands.
“Citizenship should mean something. It should be something worth striving for. You should feel you have acheived something when you become a Swedish citizen”, reports Expressen. There would be certain barriers to overcome before getting that citizenship, including being able to speak Swedish, and an understanding of social norms and culture.
Those without citizenship should have less access to “certain benefits”, said Mr. Åkesson, who also stated his party were looking at other rights citizens could enjoy while others would not. While citizens would get full access to healthcare, foreigners would only get emergency medical treatment.
Jimmie Åkesson’s Sweden Democrats have for years often been the lone voice speaking out against unlimited mass migration and have enjoyed an unprecedented rise in the polls in the past two years. Much of this success, which has yet to be tested in a general election has been credited to public disaffection over the rainbow-coalition government’s policies and handling of the migrant crisis, which has seen Sweden take more immigrants per capita than any other European country.
Despite their ascendency the party holds less than a sixth of MPs in Sweden and as such the proposal is unlikely to be made into law given that the prime minister has said of the proposal “It isn’t a clever suggestion. It adds nothing”.