Operation Blackout

  • Onsdag 6 Apr 2016 2016-04-06
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by: Johan Westerholm 

The former immigration minister, Tobias Billström (M), has been accused of not taking responsibility in the refugee crisis. Next week he will be questioned by the Constitutional Committee (KU).
 – “The previous government did not take sufficient measures to cope with the sharp increase in asylum seekers” motioned Hans Hoff (S).

Hans Hoff, like everyone else who is trying to cover their tracks, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Migration, Morgan Johansson (S), given his mediocre performance, should guard their tongues. It was not even six months ago that our party colleague Morgan Johansson did not want to express himself in terms of ceilings with regard to immigration number. Three months earlier, Hoff and my party chairman stated in Medborgarplatsen (Citizen Square, Stockholm) that everyone is welcome here; our generosity knows no bounds. 

Copyright Kjell Nilsson Mäki i samarbete med Ledarsidorna.se

Copyright Kjell Nilsson Mäki i samarbete med Ledarsidorna.se

Tobias Billström is, in this context, the person who probably carries a minimum liability of all those involved. Billström is known to be formal and almost slavishly follows the laws, regulations, decisions made and the legal system. Billström is in its touch with the facts more like a zealous servant than a gambling politicians. Sources close Fredrik Reinfeldt’s inner cabinet testified today to Ledarsidorna.se how Billström tried to warn those with deaf ears only to be rewarded with public criticism from Reinfeldt himself when he raised the issue of volumes. The “Hans Hoff” type of politician, with its rhetoric, seems outdated. Large parts of the electorate, and parts of the press corps, are not attracted by this blustering attitude.

Completely clean tables, which Carin Jämtin (S),  party secretary, stated in the Ekot’s Saturday interview radio show, was not evident in the Cabinet Office when Stefan Löfven’s (S) government took office. There were a number of warning signs that flashed red and raised the alarm for a long time and were left as a “legacy” after Fredrik Reinfeldt’s (M) second term in government (2000 – 2014) as Alliance prime minister. Jämtin should be familiar with the chronology, as familiar as Fredrik Reinfeldt. No one can get avoid it.

2011 The Alliance signed the first migration agreement with the Green Party in order to isolate the Sweden Democrats party and try to divide the red-green opposition.

  • 2012 The first effects were felt in the form of the first major purchase of privately run Accommodation. This signal, that the Migration Board’s own resources were not enough, should have been a warning sign that something was not right in the immigration system.
  • During the Autumn of 2012, the first alarming reports began coming in that the Employment Service could not handle its mandated obligation. This information reached the then Finance Minister, Anders Borg (M), according to very reliable sources. What happened in the autumn in the corner room on level seven in Rosenbad, the seat of the Swedish government, there are few who have insight. But it is known that Borg and Reinfeldt’s relationship deteriorated radically.
  • On 6 February 2013 the then Minister for Migration, Tobias Billström (M), received a public reprimand from his boss when Billström spoke about “volumes”. The close connection in time, as well as the area of responsibility, to when the information should have reached Anders Borg and Fredrik Reinfledt should be something that should be examined more deeply.
  • Michael Ribbenvik, form the Swedish Migration Board but then acting as Director of Legal Affairs, stated to CBN his concern about what effect volumes would have.
  • Between 2013 and 2014 more municipalities protested that the Migration Board were “overusing” the agreement on municipal placement of new arrivals. Many municipalities denounced the agreements on the grounds that neither the residential or the local labour market have the capacity to accept more. The need for housing in areas where the jobs are became evident and serious.
  • 2014 election cycle begins with Fredrik Reinfeldt’s summer speech on the theme of “Open your hearts.” This is the first summer speech where he has the press conference before the speech, not after, as is customary. After Reinfeldt urged the Swedish people to “open their hearts”, he did not answer, in practice, any questions about that or the election against an equally remarkable backdrop of polarization. Reinfeldt loses the election, leaving Rosenbad. But left in Rosenbad were all the reports and warning signs. The reports are then taken over by the new red-green prime minister, Stefan Löfven. A prime minister who shows that he has the same passive attitude as his predecessor.
  • In 2015, in early spring, officials working at the Ministry of Justice’s Immigration Unit produced a 20 point list of measures to reduce the “pull-effect”, or the attractiveness, of Sweden to migrants. This list, which Ledarsidorna.se has received, ends up in a drawer when it proves politically impossible to persuade the Green Party to even accept the existence of it. The list is found, however, and taken up again but not until more than six months later. Then comes, more than six months overdue, the first across the political spectrum migration agreement when the situation becomes urgent. The list proves to be too “weak” to control the situation that then developed. The first migration agreement was followed by another one. With dramatic effects.
  • In late summer 2015, Stefan Löfven promised not to build walls while Morgan Johansson assures that the question of migration is not a question of volume.
  • In the summer of 2015 and, as with the beginning of 2014, the UNHCR and NGO’s (relief organisations like the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies) internally reports report that noticeably large numbers of refugees intend to leave the camps in Syria, Jordan and Iran. Empirical evidence has shown that it takes between four weeks and three months before it has an impact on the Swedish refugee system.
  • During the late summer and autumn of 2015 dramatic developments on the Greek island of Lesbos occurred. An effect of, among others, Turkey reducing its patrols and that of Greece refusing to cooperate with its neighbouring country and thus opens up free water for boats transporting migrants. Of whatever type. The scenes on Lesvos are dramatic.
  • 22 September 2015, the Migration Board reduces the space requirement for asylum seekers in accommodation to three square meters per person. A reactive measure when most places “asked” to increase density much earlier. At the resort accommodations in Blinkarp, Svalöv Municipality, two square meters per person is standard, and 18 people share one toilet. By comparison, dogs with a shoulder height of more than 65 centimetres and kept in cages have at least a 5.5 square meter area per cage. Each additional dog needs three square meters added. Four dogs live in the same area as six adult men.
  •  In December 2015 the Government worked out a proposals aimed at closing the Öresund Bridge between Sweden and Denmark. The proposal, however, was withdrawn as it would not get a parliamentary majority but we still ended up having Europe’s most restrictive immigration policy, along with three other countries. The decision makes ripples throughout the migration chain, breaking families leaving some “stuck” halfway through Europe.
  • In March 2016 the government was forced to accept that the Migration Board’s budget for 2016 and 2017 is under-funded and was then forced to borrow to maintain operations.

The only reasonable approach to clarify the responsibilities is to let an independent commission, preferably led by people, such as Inga-Britt Ahlenius that have testified diligent and impartial, or others with similar profile, examine both Reinfeldt’s second term and Löfven’s first term in office. A person without political and emotional hindrance or black marks.

It must, in particular, examine what happened in the Department of Justice’s migration unit as well who watered down the bases for the coordination with the Prime Minister’s office and what then was later sent to the Ministry of Finance. Both during the Reinfeldt administration and, perhaps especially, during the Löfven’s term. There are a number of documents and management decisions that undoubtedly will change a number of people’s reputation and careers for good that day that things will come to light. That day will come. Sooner or later.

What we see is nothing more than “Operation Blackout”.

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