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Political landscape changing quickly as refugees stream in: expert

Published onsdag 11 november 2015 kl 17.04
"Stunned by the sheer numbers"
(1:54 min)
A refugee from Iraq gets fingerprinted in Malmö, as part of the process of registering as an asylum seeker. Photo: Drago Prvulovic  / TT
A refugee from Iraq gets fingerprinted in Malmö, as part of the process of registering as an asylum seeker. Photo: Drago Prvulovic / TT

The growing numbers of refugees over the past few months have shifted the political landscape, and allowed for more drastic measures in order to address the situation, says political analyst Jonas Hinnfors.

The past week has seen several new proposals on how to deal with the influx of asylum seekers, despite that it has only been three weeks since the government and the four centre-right parties reached a political deal on migration.

Jonas Hinnfors, professor in political science at Gothenburg University, says that this is a sign of how fast things are changing.

"I think they are stunned by the sheer numbers and the practicalities about providing housing, giving asylum seekers the necessary registration numbers and so on. I think that's the reason why we're seeing these proposals," he says.

He says that both the Christian Democrats and the conservative Moderates are pressured by their members to come up with proposals and that many of these proposals would have been almost inconceivable six months ago.

"People would have probably reacted with some concern, as these kinds of strict and drastic measures were only proposed by the Sweden Democrats at that point," says Hinnfors, referring to an opposition party that has profiled itself as having a strong anti-immigration stance.

Hinnfors points out that only six months ago, the Swedish Migration Board lowered its forecast for the number of asylum seekers this year, from 80-90,000 down to 70,000. That has since been revised again, up to an expected 160,000 total, coming this year.

This revision has changed the political landscape and made room for parties like the Moderates and the Social Democrats to propose more restrictive policies on migration without being associated with the Sweden Democrats, according to Jonas Hinnfors.

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