Let’s take in a few headlines from the last few days, starting with the New York Times:
COPENHAGEN — More than 60 years of hassle-free travel from Sweden to Denmark has ended after the Danish authorities, struggling to quell a wave of bombings blamed on Swedish gangs, introduced passport checks for the first time since the 1950s.
The measures put in place on Tuesday are temporary and will be applied intermittently, but the Danish police said that most travelers should carry passports or national identification cards. Only air travelers from Sweden will be exempted.
“To counter the threat from serious, cross-border crime, we are enforcing the protection of the border with Sweden,” the Danish minister of justice, Nick Haekkerup, said in a statement last month. . . the Danish passport checks come as its neighbor has been rocked by more than 100 explosions in the first 10 months of this year. Officials have blamed the blasts — up from 39 at the same time last year — on criminal gangs. The explosions have spread to Denmark, where at least 13 have occurred in Copenhagen this year, although the police have not linked them all to Sweden.
Swedish “gangs”? What kind of gangs? Who belongs to these gangs? The ever-sensitive New York Times won’t report this directly, but they more or less give away that these are not gangs of delinquent Lutherans:
Denmark has introduced temporary border controls before. In January 2016, checks were put in place at the border with Germany to deter undocumented migrants from exploiting travel across the Schengen Area. At the same time and for the same reason, Sweden introduced its border checks on travelers from Denmark. Both are still in place.
Asylum seekers are required, under European Union law, to seek asylum in the first country in the bloc that they enter, but many try to leave the Mediterranean nations where they arrive from Turkey and North Africa and travel north in search of relatives or countries with more advanced asylum and integration systems.
So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised to see the UK’s Independent offer this story two days ago:
Sweden’s Far-Right Party Surges Into First Place in Shock New Poll
The leader of a party once shunned for its ties to far-right extremism is now riding a wave of popularity that he says may pave the way to a century of political dominance in Sweden.
Jimmie Akesson, the head of the Sweden Democrats, woke up on Friday to news that his party was now polling as the country’s biggest.
At 24 per cent, it is a few percentage points ahead of the ruling Social Democrats that have towered over Sweden’s political landscape for most of the postwar era. . .
The country’s policy of giving permanent residency to Syrians landing on its shores backfired in 2015, when a spike in immigration became too much for the authorities to handle.
You don’t say?
Flashback: “Those Ugly Nativist Swedes” and the “nativist” New York Times again:
The Nordic Model May Be the Best Cushion Against Capitalism: Can It Survive Immigration?
But four years after the influx, growing numbers of native-born Swedes have come to see the refugees as a drain on public finances. Some decry an assault on “Swedish heritage,” or “Swedish culture,” or other words that mean white, Christian and familiar. Antipathy for immigrants now threatens to erode support for Sweden’s social welfare state.
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