Swedish Greens abandon their principles just to remain in government

In the face of the massive stream of asylum seekers, the decisions by the Swedish government to now only offer temporary residence permits, to insist on identity checks at the borders and to return those without identification to the EU country they are coming from (Denmark and Germany in the main), are only just common sense. But even these common sense actions have long been considered much too tough by the Greens and the far left. But when the Social Democrat led government announced its decision today, their Green party partners stood by their side. They abandoned their previous principles, and did not leave the government or the position in the limelight they so desperately crave. They put forward the flawed argument that they are remaining in government because without them there it would be even worse for the refugees.

But – in my opinion – the only reason they did not do the right thing and leave the government is that their leader Åsa Romson and her other Green party ministers, have been so seduced by the trappings of power that they cannot give them up. Goodness gracious! They couldn’t possibly not be at the Paris Climate Conference now, could they?

The GuardianSweden needs “respite” from the tens of thousands of refugees knocking at its door, the government has said, announcing tough measures to deter asylum seekers in a sharp reversal of its open-door policy towards people fleeing war and persecution.

The country’s generous asylum regime would revert to the “EU minimum”, Sweden’s prime minister, Stefan Löfven, said on Tuesday, revealing that most refugees would receive only temporary residence permits from April. Identity checks would be imposed on all modes of transport, and the right to bring families to Sweden would be severely restricted, he said. ……

The reversal in refugee policy, which follows the imposition of border controls two weeks ago, marks a policy choice the ruling red-green coalition would have considered unthinkable until asylum seekers began arriving this autumn at a rate of 10,000 a week. Official estimates suggest up to 190,000 could come to the country of 10 million people this year.

The rise in refugee numbers has caused a frantic scramble to place roofs over their heads. At the weekend refugees arriving in the southern city of Malmö were forced to sleep on the streets because no beds could be found. …….. 

The Greens’ deputy prime minister, Åsa Romson, broke into tears as she announced the measures.“This is a terrible decision,” she said later, admitting that the proposals would make life even more precarious for refugees. But quitting the government would have made a bad situation even worse, she added.

Crocodile tears.

And yet Åsa Romson, while claiming that the Greens had reached their limits,  would not commit to leaving the government if even stricter measures were introduced.

Dagens Nyheter:

…. But now the limit has been reached for the Green Party. Åsa Romson said to DN that there is no question of the Green Party going along with the Moderate party’s proposals in practice to close the border to refugees.

“For the Green Party’s part, I see no room whatsoever today to take further steps in terms of a restrictive asylum policy”.

DN; Would you leave the government in such a case?

“I did not say so”.

DN: But how else should we interpret it?

“I said I did not see any opportunities for my party to make any further deterioration. Now we have gone down to the minimum level required by international law and EU law. To go beyond means not even meeting international asylum law. There is of course an upper limit that is not possible to go over”.

I don’t expect much logic or rational thinking from the Swedish Green party. But the lack of rational thinking here is particularly obvious.

In any event the decisions taken today are quite rational and necessary – even if they don’t quite go far enough. The reality is that something between 60 and 80% of those arriving at Sweden’s borders destroy their own ID documents so as to be eligible for being considered for asylum. A normal immigrant has no right to state support but an asylum seeker does. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but in the present wave of “refugees” the rules are being manipulated by some.

But the Green party has demonstrated quite clearly today that they are opportunistic, have very flexible principles (and values), and like being in power.

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