It had to happen sooner or later: A Swedish municipality is almost broke due to the flood of immigrants. As far as it is known, it is the first time a municipality has resorted to such drastic measures that Hultsfred now does.
The flow of immigrants was more than Hultsfred Municipality could manage. The solution was to cut off assistance; new immigrants will receive no money for at least six months.
The message is clear: Immigrants are no longer welcome to the municipality.
The municipality is among those who have accepted the most refugees in Sweden, and that says a lot. But now it stops. Just before Christmas, there was no more room at the shelter. And then the refugee reception center was simply closed.
After chief of the refugee reception center, Robert Andersson (pictured) had told that his employees were pushed to the breaking point, social manager Ann-Gret Silén (pictured) decided to shut down the entire reception center, writes Dagens Nyheter.
The municipality also cuts all social benefits to immigrants in what must be called a desperate attempt to stop the flood of migrants. Those who still want to settle in the municipality receive a letter from the municipality. It says in short that they are not wanted:
"We recommend that you seek to one of Sweden's 289 other municipalities."
The letter is in Swedish, English and Arabic.
Those who despite this clear message still moves to the municipality, receive no contributions from the municipality for at least six months. They do not get to meet any employee at the social security office or submit an application for any kind of social contributions. Not even if the immigrants are in acute distress, and even if they risk starvation, no help will be given from the municipality.
Hultsfred Municipality is situated in idyllic Småland, and has 14,000 inhabitants, 5,000 of whom live in the town of Hultsfred. The figures are not fully updated - since the municipality has received more than 2,000 immigrants from the Third World.
According to the agreement with the Migration Board, Hultsfred should receive only ten (10) immigrants per year. But in addition, 800 immigrants with residence permit have chosen to settle in the municipality, and thus the burden of welfare to these is put onto local taxpayers.
In addition, 1,300 asylum seekers stay at reception centers the Migration Board has in the municipality. Many of these will remain in Hultsfred when they receive their residence permit fears the municipality, which then has to cover the costs.
Dagens Nyheter has interviewed two Arab women in Hultsfred who do not understand why they do not get any social contributions. They instead go to a local activist group that distributes food.
To DN, Ann-Gret Silén explains that it is an act of signalling policy:
- This is how we talk about it. It may not be possible to stand on the county border and refuse entry, but we are actually talking in terms that we should close the Hultsfred border, just as we closed Sweden, she says.
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