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Thursday February 29, 2024

Sweden to limit social benefits for non-European immigrants

By AFP
October 21, 2023
Hairdresser Hasan Derek, 36, from Syria, cuts the hair of a customer in Akalla, Rinkeby-Kista borough, Stockholm, Sweden, April 28, 2020. Daily Sabah
Hairdresser Hasan Derek, 36, from Syria, cuts the hair of a customer in Akalla, Rinkeby-Kista borough, Stockholm, Sweden, April 28, 2020. Daily Sabah 

STOCKHOLM: Sweden´s right-wing government said on Friday it would make it harder for non-European immigrants to receive social benefits, saying it wanted to dissuade migrants from arriving, and better integrate those who do.

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson´s minority government came to power a year ago with -- for the first time -- backing from the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD). It has vowed to crack down on immigration and crime.

Sweden had previously taken in large numbers of immigrants since the 1990s, primarily from conflict-torn places including the former Yugoslavia, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iran and Iraq.

But it has struggled to integrate them. “Since 2012, more than 770,000 people have immigrated to Sweden from countries outside the European Union and European Economic Area (EEA),” the leaders of the three-party coalition and the far-right SD wrote in an opinion piece in newspaper Dagens Nyheter.