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Somali family reunification worries municipalities

Published onsdag 30 maj 2012 kl 09.08
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag. Photo: Scanpix.

Many local authorities are worried about the costs of accomodating a high number of family members reunited with Somali refugees in Sweden in the coming months. They have told the state they will need additional funds but Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag says the question will not be addressed until the autumn session of parliament.

"The state is burdening municipalities with the financial responsibility," says local Conservative Moderate politician Bo Frank in Växjö.

Nine out of ten municipalities contacted by Swedish Radio said the money is not enough.

Municipalities are also concerned about the cost of educating the new arrivals as decades of civil war has undercut the quality of schools in Somalia.

Local politician Bo Frank says, "I don't see any problems helping them establish themselves in Sweden, even if it could take some time as."

"This is primarily a problem for local government finances," he says.

A ruling by the Migration Court allows the reunification of Somali families in Sweden based on DNA testing, due to the the difficulties of obtaining state records from Somalia proving family ties.

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