Jämtland is a historical province in the center of Sweden. It borders to Härjedalen and Medelpad in the south, Ångermanland in the east, Lapland in the north and Trøndelag and Norway in the west. Jämtland covers an area of 34,009 square kilometres, 8.3% of Sweden's total area and is the second largest province in Sweden.
Although the area is huge, Östersund is Jämtland's only city and only the 24th most populous city in Sweden. And people increasingly move away from the district.
Now the County Administrative Board of Jämtland wants to solve the problems of depopulation in Norrland by bringing in as many immigrants as possible to replace the declining Swedish population. Therefore, they now want to find ways to double the number of asylum seekers that has been designated by the government.
In fact they are so frustrated that they get so few asylum seekers that they will now circumvent the law to get more, reports Svenska Dagbladet.
The reception of asylum seekers in Jämtland has decreased from 964 persons in 2015 to 237 in 2016, which has has led to that eight municipalities have "protested strongly".
- To all municipalities' despair, that figure has been reduced. Because of the Instruction Act, we do not receive as many as we want, says Jenny Edlund of the County Administrative Board.
The so-called Instruction Act means that all municipalities in Sweden must receive asylum seekers who are distributed across the country, and it can sometimes mean that the number decreases in some places.
The reason why Edlund dreads the declining number of immigrants in certain municipalities, is that parts of Norrland are being depopulated. But she believes that the statistics can be reversed if they can get enough immigrants to stay there instead of the vanishing Swedes.
- In recent years, we have finally begun to see positive population figures due to immigration.
Now they will try to find ways around the Instruction Act to receive twice as many immigrants that they have been assigned.
Just saying, part of the problem could lie here:
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Migrants refusing help from Maltese patrol boats
Because that would make it difficult for them to proceed to Northern Europe.