Photo:Fredrik Karlsson/TT
Moderate Party leader Anna Kinberg Batra at the conference in Karlstad. Photo:Fredrik Karlsson/TT

Moderates take new tougher migration policy line

The opposition, conservative Moderate Party wants to introduce temporary residence permits for refugees seeking protection in Sweden. The proposal received a majority backing by party members meeting in Karlstad, Saturday. 

The Moderate Party leader Anna Kinberg Batra laid out what many saw as a new, tougher immigration policy, in her closing speech to the party faithful on Saturday afternoon.

"The Moderates take responsibility for Sweden," she said.

With former leader and prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt signing copies of his book in a corner of the hall, his successor thanked the party members for their backing of a new immigration policy. The new stricter requirements on border controls, temporary residence permits and tougher security requirements are in clear contrast to Fredrik Reinfeldt's immigration policy, writes news agency TT, 

Anna Kinberg Batra pointed out in her speech that Sweden is in an "untenable situation" where municipalities are approaching breaking point, with the large influx of refugees. At the same time she criticized the red-green government for not having control of the acute situation.

"It is obvious that the government lacks the ability to take control of the situation. Therefore, we in the Alliance have initiated talks with the government, so that we can immediately put in place a restructuring of immigration policy," she said.
 
She said that she wants the time shortened for those denied the right to stay in Sweden and their expulsion.

"It is not fair to taxpayers to continue to support those who should not be in the country."

Earlier in the day, the Moderates' party conference in Karlstad spent the entire morning debating migration and integration policies, and, according to some speakers, it was a long overdue debate.

"It's too long ago we discussed these issues in depth," said Moderate MP Erik Ottosson to Dagens Nyheter.

After local politicians described the strain of taking in so many refugees, some pushed for support of the Red/Green government's call for all muncipalities in Sweden to be required by law to take their fair share of refugees.

However, when put to the vote on the meeting floor, there was a clear majority against the requirement, reports DN.

Also, 172 to 31 voted in favour of the party adopting a stance of temorary residents permits for refugees seeking protection in Sweden, as opposed to permament permits, wanted by some younger members of the party.

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