Swedes think integration and immigration is a big problem
According to a new survey by Novus Opinion, Swedes don’t trust experts on integration and immigration. A majority of the Swedish people believe that researchers and other experts have the knowledge necessary to help Sweden cope with integration and immigration, but at the same time, there’s a pronounced misgiving towards these experts. Camilla Modéer (Secretary-General of Vetenskap and Allmänhet – Public and Science) and Arne Modig (Consultant at the Novus Group), call this “alarming” in an article in daily Dagens Nyheter. Racism and questions about democracy have become hot issues in Sweden since the Sweden Democrats were elected into parliament last month. Some feel that the success of the Sweden Democrats is due to the fact that journalists and politicians kept mum on both facts and problems with immigration. Others say it’s nothing but a myth that there are “taboos” in the immigration debate. People discuss what is really Swedish and warn against the Sweden Democrats kidnapping the Swedish cultural heritage.

The survey
According to Novus’ survey (done September 30 to October 5, 2010, where 1000 Swedes were asked how they view immigration and integration): A large majority (73%) thinks integration and immigration is a major problem in Sweden today. At the same time, the survey shows that there’s a huge amount of uncertainty among Swedes relating to these issues. Only 35% feel they have the knowledge necessary to have a say in how Sweden best can handle these questions. Somewhat surprisingly, the survey shows that people expect a lot of experts. 74% believe that researchers and other experts know how to deal with these questions. However, 4 out of 10 Swedes believe that these experts aren’t giving the Swedish people a good picture of what the problems surrounding immigration really look like. Of the people who believe integration and immigration is a major problem, 65% doubt experts are giving Swedish people a clear picture of what’s going on. Modéer and Modig further say in the article that education isn’t a “vaccine” against racism, and though knowledge is important in a democracy, much gets lost in political rhetoric. Lack of education creates fear and fear is the perfect foundation for suspicion, which in the long run may lead to racism, the authors write and argue for a way to discuss these issues.

Trio receives Nobel Prize in economy
The Royal Academy of Sciences of Sweden selected for the Nobel Prize in Economics for “their analysis of markets with search frictions” the Americans Peter Diamond and Dale T. Mortensen and the Cypriot-British Christopher Pissarides, who dedicated a research of labor markets and unemployment. The Academy noted that “the laureates models help us understand how unemployment, vacancies and wages are affected by regulation and economic policies.” Peter A. Diamond, New York, was born in 1940 and is professor of economics at the MIT. Dale T. Mortensen, Enterprise, was born in 1939 and teaches at Northwestern University. Christopher Pissarides of Nicosia, born in Cyprus in 1948, teaches at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Reindeer dispute to EU court
Many reindeer keepers in the Sami minority in north Sweden are unhappy with the border treaty between Sweden and Norway which was signed in October last year. They claim that the treaty deprives them of rangeland for their reindeers to Sami reindeer keepers on the Norwegian side of the border. They have now managed to have the issue taken up in the EU court. It will be tried if the border treaty goes against human rights.

The Sami people
are one of the indigenous people of northern Europe inhabiting Sápmi - parts of northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia but also in the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway. Their ancestral lands span an area the size of Sweden in the Nordic countries. About 10% of the Sami are connected with semi-nomadic reindeer herding and an estimated just under 3000 are actively involved with full-time. Sami have their own Sami languages, which differ from region to region. Most of the Sami 60-100,000 live in Norway with a total estimated population in all areas of 80-135,000. The national day of the Sami, the 6th of February has been celebrated since 1992. More info: http://www.nordstjernan.com/news/traditions/1119/