Sweden realises the danger of its open-door policy
HOW the Swedish Left enjoyed itself in February when Donald Trump mistakenly suggested that Sweden had suffered a terror attack the previous evening.
Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking?” tweeted former prime minister Carl Bildt.
The incredulity was not limited to the Swedish Left, either.
Historian Simon Schama tweeted: “The real Swedish message – 200,000 refugees, no terrorist attacks”.
It turns out that the Uzbekistani perpetrator Rakhmat Akilov had his application for asylum rejected in 2015.
He evaded deportation first by submitting a drawn-out appeal and when that failed he changed his address and disappeared from the authority’s radar.
We also take 20,000 refugees directly from camps
In 2015 Sweden took in 163,000 migrants – one for every 59 of its existing population.
While the country’s politicians went round calling themselves a “humanitarian superpower”, ordinary Swedes began to see a very different picture.
Schama should also look up the case of eight-year-old Yuusuf Warsame, a British boy killed in a grenade explosion while on a visit to the Swedish city of Gothenburg last August.
A year earlier a young girl was killed in a car bomb explosion in Gothenburg, believed to be a skirmish in a war between Somali gangs.
Last January a female employee at an asylum centre was stabbed to death by one of the “children”.
Schama might also like to recall the car bombing outside Stockholm central station in 2010 when, thanks only to good fortune, the only death was that of the perpetrator himself, an Iraqi granted Swedish citizenship in the 1990s.
Extend a welcome mat, fail to vet arrivals and it is certain that you won’t just be welcoming desperate refugees: you will be taking in criminals too.
If the Swedish government thought that its high living standards could easily be extended to migrants with low skills and who do not speak the language it has been disappointed.
Many think of Sweden as a country which leads the way in social standards but that can’t be how it seemed for the 18 migrant boys found sleeping rough in an abandoned building in Gothenburg.
Every wealthy nation could and should do what it can to help refugees but the Swedish approach is doing far more to help healthy, fit young men fleeing from trouble spots than it is doing to help women, young children or the elderly.
On most things the UN can’t stop bleating about discrimination against women and girls and yet it is happy to give Sweden a big pat on the back for a policy which ensures just that.
It isn’t Sweden which leads Europe on a sensible policy on refugees, it is Britain.
True we make many of the same mistakes as Sweden when it comes to failing to deport failed asylum-seekers but the direction of British policy is right.
We contribute £2.3billion – more than any other country – into dealing with refugees in Syria and neighbouring countries.
By doing so we are doing what we can to dissuade people from falling victim to people-traffickers and making dangerous journeys across the Mediterranean.
By trying to turn away bogus asylum seekers we are concentrating limited resources on those who really need our help.
Slowly Sweden is coming round to the same conclusion: that simply putting out the welcome mat is a recipe for disaster.
Mr Lofven’s government is not so much a “humanitarian superpower” as a slow learner.