Sweden is fast approaching a complete collapse. More and more municipalities are raising the alarm that if the migrants keep coming at this pace, the government can no longer guarantee normal service to its citizens. In addition, ominous statements from government officials have left Swedes in fear of what tomorrow may bring. If the migrant wave keeps coming, in 10-15 years, Swedes will be a minority in their own country.
At a press conference October 9, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said that Sweden is in a state of crisis. However, when asked to clarify what he meant by this, Löfven was unable to produce a single coherent sentence.
Three ministers appeared by the Prime Minister's side at the hastily summoned press conference, which came on the heels of an extraordinary government meeting. The purpose of the press conference seems to have been to convey two messages:
- To explain to the world and the Swedish people that Sweden is facing "one of the largest humanitarian efforts in Swedish history."
- That there is no more housing available, and migrants should be prepared to live in tents.
During the question period after the ministers' speeches, journalist Tomas Ramberg of Ekot Public Radio asked: "You say that Sweden is preparing for a crisis situation, what do you mean by those dramatic words?"
Stefan Löfven's reply was incomprehensible:
"Yes, well first of all we, we are in the middle of what I mean seriously when I'm saying, when I express a, a big thank you to all the people doing such a great job, because it is a humanitarian effort, it's just as the Minister for Justice and Migration just said. What we are actually doing is that we are saving lives when people who come from bombs, from, from killing, from oppression, their lives are shattered. We, we help them and that is a, that is a great humanitarian effort, and of course now that we can see the number of people who need it, that are seeking protection, then it is one of the greatest humanitarian efforts. And that we are facing a crisis situation, that is in part why I, we are outlining today that we are also preparing for a situation where we may need to house people in tents, because we stand up with the humanitarian refugee policy, right of asylum, but we can now also see that we cannot close our eyes to the fact that there are more coming than ever in such a short time, and we need to provide a roof over their heads. Then it is -- other things may be required."
However, the fact that the government is now talking about housing migrants in tents, may be a signal that Sweden, despite everything, may not want to be on the front lines of the "humanitarian" battle anymore, after all. The prospect of spending an ice-cold Swedish winter in a tent may make migrants choose countries other than Sweden. If not, a complete collapse of the Swedish system is imminent.
In 2014, the Danish historian and social commentator Lars Hedegaard prophetically remarked in the book "Farliga ord"(Dangerous Words), that the economic breakdown of a nation always happens quickly and unexpectedly:
"If there is any lesson to be drawn from history, it is that what you do not think will happen, does. Time and again. The final consequence of the West and, above all, Sweden's immigration policy is that the economy will collapse -- because who is going to pay for it all? And economic breakdowns, once they happen, always happen very fast."
Right now, the Swedish government is borrowing money abroad to pay for immigration. But that amount is not enough. On October 8, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL) warned that municipalities need to increase the tax rate by 2%. The average municipal income tax is already 32%, on top of which many Swedes also pay a federal income tax. A 2% rise in the tax rate would mean 15,000 kronor ($1,825) more in taxes each year for the average household.
High-ranking politicians and officials are also saying the situation is extremely grim. On October 1, Minister for Home Affairs Anders Ygeman said that the current wave of immigrants will lead to "huge economic strains;" and a few days later Immigration Service Director General Anders Danielsson explained that "within the framework of the system we all know, we are now approaching the end of the road." Statements such as these have never been heard before in Sweden, especially in connection with the "sacred" issue of migration. Until now, Swedes have perpetually been told that we live in a rich country that has no problem handling all asylum seekers who want to come here.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (left) said last week that Sweden is in a state of crisis. Pictured at right, the results of rioting in a Stockholm suburb, December 2014.
In the shadow the 1.5 million migrants expected to arrive this year in Germany, the EU's largest country (population 81 million), migrants are also pouring into a rather smaller Sweden. Geographically Sweden is large, but consists mainly of forests and wilderness, and fewer than 10 million people live in the country. Until 2010, Sweden took in about 25,000 migrants a year. However, in 2010, then Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt made a deal with pro-immigration Green Party, (Miljöpartiet) -- by his own admission to punish voters for allowing the anti-mass-immigration Sweden Democrats party (Sverigedemokraterna) into parliament.
Reinfeldt's deal opened the immigration floodgates. In 2014, 81,000 people sought asylum in Sweden; and 33,500 were granted asylum. However, as many of the immigrants subsequently brought over their relatives, that figure substantially increased. Last year, 110,000 people were granted residency status in Sweden. One should add to this figure an unknown number of illegal aliens.
There is now talk of 180,000 asylum seekers coming to Sweden in 2015. That number is more than twice as many as the year before. If half of them are granted asylum, and they each bring over three relatives, we are talking about 270,000 new immigrants to Sweden -- within one year. Over 8000 people arrived just last week, 1,716 of whom were so-called "unaccompanied refugee children."
Swedes who only follow the mainstream media get the impression that all the migrants arriving are war refugees from Syria, but the number of Syrians is actually less than half of the total: 2,864 people last week claimed to be from Syria. 1,861 claimed to be from Iraq, and 1,820 from Afghanistan. Clearly, many people from countries that are not at war are taking their chances and applying for asylum in Sweden; but this is something about which the mainstream media does not see fit to inform its followers.
That there is an exchange of populations going on, should be clear in any sober assessment. The Swedish economist Tino Sanandaji (of Iranian-Kurdish descent, and therefore tougher than most Swedes, who, if they criticize the immigration policy, are immediately accused of racism) writes on his blog that Swedes could soon be in the minority in their own country:
"1,000-1,500 asylum seekers a day for 15 years equals 5.5 to 8.2 million asylum seekers. At the end of 2014, the Statistical Central Bureau, SCB, calculated that 21.5% of the Swedish population were of foreign descent: 2.1 million, out of 9.7 million. The number of people of Swedish descent -- born in Sweden with two parents born in Sweden -- has been stable at about 7.7 million and is expected to remain stable or increase slightly due to birth surplus. If those of foreign descent increase their number by about 5.6 million, they will become the majority."
One of the municipalities that has been flooded with migrants is Trelleborg (population 43,000), located on Sweden's southernmost coast. Over 100 "unaccompanied refugee children" arrive from Germany via ferry on a typical day. During the last two weeks, more than 1000 such youths have been registered; more than half of them have now vanished and are listed as missing. No one knows why, or where they have gone. Add to this 13,000 adult asylum seekers.
Impromptu temporary lodgings have been created in sports centers, ice rinks, and at the Sturup airport hotel, to name a few.
Trelleborg has written a desperate letter of appeal for help to the government, just as, a few weeks ago, the Örkelljunga municipality did in vain. The mayor and the Municipal Director of Trelleborg, who signed the letter on October 1, wrote:
"In the past, many asylum seekers have taken the route through Denmark to Malmö, but this changed about two weeks ago. From September 10 until the morning of October 1, 14,100 asylum seekers arrived in Trelleborg by ferry. There is no indication that the pace is slowing; if anything it is continuously increasing. On Tuesday, September 22, Trelleborg received word from the Immigration Service that the municipality where children and young people arrive is by law the authority that is required to provide housing, care and living expenses, until such time as the Immigration Service decides upon a designated municipality. ... Trelleborg has quickly ended up in a situation where the regular services to the community are at great risk of being affected. ... By writing this letter, we would like to bring to your attention the enormous strain we now find ourselves under."
Apparently, the Minister for Justice and Migration, Morgan Johansson, has since been in contact with Trelleborg's mayor via telephone to discuss possible solutions. On October 9, the Immigration Service decided that Trelleborg should be exempt as a designated municipality for unaccompanied children. However, it is unclear how this will alleviate Trelleborg's plight as far as the new arrivals go. The only concrete help so far has come from some of the neighboring municipalities, who have opened up facilities to house some of the Trelleborg migrants.
Malmö, about 18 miles from Trelleborg, is also in dire straits. For the last few weeks, the central train station in Sweden's third largest city has been overrun with migrants, and the volunteers that showed up for the first few days with food, water and clothes now seem to have lost interest. The daily Sydsvenska Dagbladet summed up the desperate situation in Malmö, where even the city's empty jail was considered (and rejected) as possible housing for refugee children. It now looks more like a possibility for adult refugees.
The Social Democratic mayor of Filipstad, Per Gruvberger, also recently raised the alarm that his municipality of 6,000 people will not be able to provide schooling and childcare for the 1,100 asylum seekers now assigned to his municipality.
The reply of the Minister for Justice and Migration, Morgan Johansson, to this cry for help was: "If need be, Filipstad will just have to expand its operations."
This insensitive statement from Johansson caused the Mayor of neighboring Årjäng, Daniel Schützer, to go ballistic. He wrote about his fellow party member on Facebook:
"Pardon my French, but Morgan Johansson is totally f---ing stupid. 'Expand,' he says. It is not f---ing bricks and planks that we are lacking, it is teachers!!!!"
The Immigration Service, which is tasked with reviewing the asylum seekers' reasons for immigrating, is understandably swamped with work. Even before the latest "refugee crisis" -- and despite 1,200 new employees being hired last year -- its staff is struggling. The employees' union is now raising the alarm, concerning more and more incidents of violence, vandalism and suicide attempts -- this year (up to August), 1,021 such incidents were reported.
"The work situation for the entire authority is very strained. The pressure is enormous. The work environment has deteriorated severely," said Sanna Norblad, local chairperson of the ST union, to daily Norrköpings Tidningar.
While all this plays out, large portions of the Swedish people watch in horror from the sidelines and wonder when the unavoidable collapse will occur. At the same time, a surprisingly large portion of the citizenry still overconfidently believe that "Daddy State" will make everything all right. This a very Swedish view, like the wishes of children, that Peter Santesson, head of polling institute Demoskop, wrote about on the website Dagens Opinion. Santesson states that the Swedes have an unusually high level of trust in the social order, and that they are convinced that "somewhere higher up, there is always someone smarter and more informed, taking responsibility and making sure everything works." If the government officials turn out to be incapable of handling the refugee chaos they themselves have created, it could be disastrous. Santesson continues,
"Responsible decision makers need to ponder the trust the people have now bestowed on them, and they need to handle this trust with care in this difficult crisis. If the people's confidence is betrayed by them turning out not to be able to handle the situation – if 'Sweden' turns out to be insufficient as a miracle cure and the crisis becomes too much to handle -- the outcome could be political and social consequences reaching far beyond the issue of immigration."
The blogger Johan Westerholm, a Social Democrat who is critical of the government, points out in an October 7 titled "System infarction in the Immigration System," that in addition to those who are already in Sweden, we need to add those who are not granted asylum in Norway and Finland, and will therefore be sent back to the last country they were in -- Sweden. Considering that Finland rejects 60% of asylum applications, it is fair to assume that during the coming weeks, the chaos will only escalate.
Westerholm writes that the situation in Malmö is "out of control," and states that we do not have any idea who those arriving in Sweden are:
"A very large group of administrators [at the Immigration Service] do not even know the designated terror organizations, and then there are the sympathizers -- people who, on principal, would never file a report to the Immigration Service security department, for ideological reasons. A large group consists of those who are scared into silence. In an organization characterized by fear and stress, to do nothing is a surefire way to keep your job. If a report of suspicion is filed anyway, typically nothing happens. If the life and health of the terrorist is threatened, as is often the situation, the person gets to stay. Initially he is given a temporary residence permit, but in practice, this turns out to be permanent."
The 152 asylum seekers reported to the Security Service so far this year as possible threats to national security, are thus most likely just the tip of the iceberg.
The Swedes who have already lost faith in the authorities and the politicians are now preparing for the unthinkable -- that their once so secure society is about to collapse. On the website 72timmar.se, the Civil Contingencies Agency informs the public on "our five most basic needs: Water, food, heat, sleep and security." The readers are told to keep water and canned goods at home, and make sure they can stay warm.
"Prepping" is becoming more common in Sweden. Last summer, the daily Svenska Dagbladet ran a story on the first Swedish online store for preppers, and that interest was huge. According to the polling institute Sifo, until recently, seven out of ten Swedes have been completely unprepared for a crisis that knocks out the power supply and thereby the infrastructure. The owner of the online store, Fredrik Qvarnström, told the paper that, in his estimation, the Swedes are the worlds most poorly prepared for a crisis:
"There is lot of talk about the greenhouse effect and economic crisis. People seem to be aware that there are problems, but I do not think they know how vulnerable we really are. We rely on the state to take care of us, as it has in the past."
It will not be long until the Swedes realize that the state will not look after them. The country that just 20 years ago was considered one of the safest and most affluent in the world, is now in danger of becoming a failed state.
Ingrid Carlqvist is a journalist based in Sweden, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow of Gatestone Institute.