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Politics

More Local Councils Must Accept Refugees: Social Democrats

Social Democrat spokesman, Luciano Astudillo

Sweden’s main opposition party, the Social Democrats, has proposed new rules to force more local councils to accept asylum seekers.

The proposal is part of the party’s new integration policy, unveiled just over six months ahad of Sweden’s general elections, in which immigration issues are expected to play a significant role.

Speaking to Swedish Radio News, the party’s spokesman for integration, Luciana Astudillo, said that newly arrived refugees should be more evenly distributed throughout the country, even if it means forcing local councils to accomodate them.

“The way it works now, just a handful of districts in large cities take all responsibility for Sweden’s asylum policy,” he said. “It can’t continue like this.”

Under the proposals councils would receive additional funding to provide reception services for refugees, and lack of available accommodation would not be accepted as grounds to refuse them.

Migration minister Tobias Billström replied that the proposal would not change the fact that people do not want to move to certain areas.

“The problem is that you’re assuming there would also be forced settlement [of refugees]. If you just say that a council has to accept people but then no one moves there, what would that achieve? Nothing.”

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