“We are experiencing a population exchange. You can think of that what you want… But it is simply a statement of fact that this is actually what we are going through and we have to deal with it”, Jim Frölander, integration manager in the Filipstad municipality, says in the documentary.
Between 2012 and 2018, 640 native Swedes left the town, and 963 foreign-born people moved into the town. Those leaving are people of working age (20-64), which means that the municipality’s tax revenues are shrinking, exacerbating town’s financial crisis.
“These new Africans, they don’t work, they don’t pay taxes, what are we to do with them make strudel?” said a local townsperson.
The largest influx of immigrants came during the migration crisis in 2015. Filipstad, according to the documentary, was one of the municipalities that received the highest number of immigrants as a percentage of its population. Claes Hultgren, head of the municipality, wrote in Filipstad’s latest financial report:
“In Filipstad, there are around 750 adults from Syria, Somalia, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Iraq…. In this group, unemployment and dependency are very high, while education levels are very low. This group runs the risk of ending in an eternal exclusion that is already heavily burdening the municipal economy.”
“You must embrace our new friends” said Mayor Singah Subramanan, an immigrant himself.
“Many of these people do not really have the conditions to enter the labor market”, says Claes Hultgren.
The mayor replied “- No, you are too old maybe and are illiterate, or have very low educational level. We must then accept that there will be some people who will need the support of society for their livelihood.”
“And never get to work?” asked Claes astonished!
“I think you have to realize that it is.” said the Mayor
Civilian Minister Ardalan Shekarabi (S) promises state support to Filipstad.
But what do you say to the municipal politicians who have basically almost given up?
– Yes, I have daily contact with those politicians. What they are looking for is more resources and better distribution – it will come into effect as early as January. It will not solve all the problems. We will need to increase resources over the coming years, there is no doubt about that.
More resources to the Africans, less for the Swedes. The Swedish welfare system is facing collapse.