What's to blame for the riots in Sweden?

 

Tuesday 28 May 2013 14:41
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Police officers search young men lined up against a wall in a suburb of Stockholm (Fredrik Persson/AFP/Getty Images)
Police officers search young men lined up against a wall in a suburb of Stockholm (Fredrik Persson/AFP/Getty Images)

You might have missed it last week but Sweden, lauded around the world for its tip-top society - happy, equal, diverse - has been convulsed by riots. Classrooms gutted; far-right extremists seen chasing immigrants around a suburb. So what's the cause?

In the Guardian, Aditya Chakrabortty sees a combustible mix in the rightward swing of Sweden's politics and growing youth unemployment (both of which are, of course, far from unique to Sweden...):

"Think about Britain: vastly more unequal, and getting worse in the slump. The inferences we might draw for what could unfold here over the next few years are worrying."

Mishra Mrutyuanjai - writing in Russia Today - thinks Sweden's immigration policy is to blame:

"This very generous and open immigration policy has resulted in a kind of ghettoized suburbs. And these problems emerge from these suburbs.

So, first and foremost, there’s a need of a very realistic immigration policy which means that when there aren’t so many jobs that there’s a need of some restrictive and selective immigration policy. And this is in the interests of immigrants."

Restrict immigration? That's not the problem, says the Wall Street Journal:

"Rather, the main culprit has been Sweden’s inability to adapt to its new residents."

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