Posts Tagged ‘Sweden’

‘Shoot the Jews’: How Sweden’s Jews Just Became Key Targets for Violent Muslim Anger Over Trump’s Jerusalem Move

December 11, 2017

A synagogue’s firebombed; protestors call, in Arabic, for killing Jews: Be shocked, but don’t be surprised. In Sweden, anti-Jewish hatred among Muslims, themselves targets of intense prejudice, is a recurrent form of racism that’s taboo to discuss

Nathalie Rothschild Dec 10, 2017 5:40 PM

When Molotov cocktails, or similar improvised weapons, were hurled at the synagogue in the Swedish city of Gothenburg Saturday evening, while Jewish youths…

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3 people arrested in fire-bomb attack on Swedish synagogue

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Associated Press

Three people have been arrested for allegedly throwing firebombs at a synagogue in the Swedish city of Goteborg.

No one was injured in the attack late Saturday during a youth event at the synagogue and the adjacent Jewish center in Sweden’s second-largest city. Goteborg police spokesman Peter Nordengard said Sunday it is being investigated as an attempted arson. No injuries were reported.

Officials have increased security around the synagogue and at a Jewish center in capital of Stockholm.

Witness Allan Stutzinsky told the TT news agency he saw a dozen masked youths who threw objects into the garden surrounding the synagogue.

Demonstrations have taken place in Stockholm and Malmo in the past week over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.


Sweden raises issues on human rights with Philippines — Do Foreign businessmen in the Philippines fear for their safety?

November 26, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — Sweden has raised with the Philippine government the issues on human rights, the conduct of the war on drugs and the possible reintroduction of capital punishment.

Oscar Stenstrom, deputy minister of trade and European Union affairs, raised the issues during a meeting with officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) during his two-day visit in Manila on Wednesday and Thursday last week to improve bilateral trade.

During the meetings, Stenstrom also raised developments that concern the Swedish government and Swedish businesses in the country.

“I have raised the issues of human rights, about the possible reintroduction of capital punishment. The questions on human rights and especially how law enforcement has been conducting the war on drugs concern us. It’s an issue which I brought up with the government of the Philippines,” Stenstrom said in an interview with The STAR on Thursday after a meeting with Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Enrique Manalo at the DFA in Pasay City.

Stenstrom said Swedish companies operating in the Philippines are concerned about the developments.

“If they are concerned, we are concerned, and as I said we have a very strong view on human rights, which I have explained to the Philippine government that we disagree here. We would like to see improvement and we are expecting improvement,” he stressed.

The developments that concern Sweden were also discussed during a meeting with Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.

“I can only say that we have different views on the issue. It’s very clear, the position of the Swedish government as well as the EU Commission,” Stenstrom said.

“But I also received an answer that they moved the responsibility from the national police to the PDEA and with the promise that that would improve the situation and this is now to be seen by us,” he added, referring to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

But President Duterte said he needed to give back to the Philippine National Police (PNP) the lead role in the war on narcotics because the drug menace continued to worsen.

The document ordering the return of the drug war operation to the PNP is reportedly awaiting Duterte’s signature.

Last month, Duterte designated the PDEA as the agency in charge of the war on drugs.

The order returning the PNP to the frontline of the war on drugs was not mentioned by Philippine officials during the meeting.

“That was not mentioned to me,” Stenstrom said.

Sweden, he said, would like to see the Philippines keep the GSP+ trade privilege, which the EU had threatened to cancel because of the alleged extrajudicial killings related to the drug war.

In March, the EU was urged to follow a proposal hitting the Philippine government where it may hurt most,  by removing trade incentives for the country.

Members of the European Parliament asked the EU to put pressure on the Philippines by considering the removal of the GSP+ privilege.

“In the future, we would like to see a free trade arrangement between the EU and the Philippines. We also would like to see the Philippines keep the GSP+, the arrangement in which the trade is ongoing right now,” Stenstrom said.


Jee Ick-joo, a South Korean businessman in the Philippines, was abducted by police from his home in October. It took his wife, Choi Kyung-jin, three months to learn his fate. Video: Eva Tam; photo: Jes Aznar for The Wall Street Journal

Philippines: A lot of catching up to do compared to much of the rest of the world

November 20, 2017



STOCKHOLM — After a year of hosting ASEAN meetings culminating in the summits among regional leaders and with dialogue partners, the Philippines should be attracting more foreign direct investments and tourists.

Those are supposed to be among the dividends of hosting international gatherings, with preparatory meetings held the entire year.

Hosting a global event such as the Olympic Games or the World Cup means a nation – particularly the city chosen for the event – can compete with the best in the world. It’s a coming-out party, and in many host cities, the improvements undertaken to make the party a success become permanent: better roads, mass transport facilities and telecommunications services; cleaner, greener surroundings; more professional services.

This was the case when China hosted the Olympics in Beijing and the World Expo in Shanghai. There has been no turning back from being world-class.

The idea is not just to serve as gracious host, but to make the experience so memorable guests will keep coming back, and invite others to do the same. While taxpayers always gripe about the massive price tag for hosting any international event, the long-term return on investment must be so attractive that most countries that have already hosted events such as the Olympics keep vying for more chances to host them again.

The mark of an advanced economy is when it can host such events at the shortest notice, with minimal improvements required. Paris can host any global event with its eyes closed; so can New York, Tokyo and Geneva.

We’re still waiting for a chance to host our international coming-out party, prudently limiting ourselves to regional events. The rotating chairmanships of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum have provided good practice in hosting world leaders and organizing supporting meetings throughout the year.

Unfortunately, many of the improvements for these events are as ephemeral as the trimming of the greenery along Roxas Boulevard for the recent ASEAN summit. And even if ministerial meetings in preparation for the summits are held around the country throughout the year, it doesn’t seem to help us catch up with our neighbors in many areas such as tourist arrivals, foreign direct investment and overall prosperity.

Here we are, one of the five founding members of ASEAN, and we’re trailing much of the rest of the region in several human development indicators. Never mind oil-rich Brunei; why are we now lagging behind Vietnam?

Last month, Alibaba Group’s Jack Ma came visiting, and was remembered for noting that our internet is “no good.”

Image result for jack ma, photos

How can we expect return business when even internet service, now one of the most basic human needs, is spotty? The service improved around the ASEAN venues during the summit and related meetings, but now it’s back to its “not good” quality. As I wrote, the improvements from hosting events are not sustained.

*      *      *

I’m in this lovely Swedish capital for an international sustainability forum. Before I left Manila, Sweden’s Ambassador Harald Fries told me that 27,000 of his compatriots visited the Philippines last year. I asked: and how many Swedes visited Thailand? Fifteen times more, he replied. Bilateral trade is also “too low,” he said ruefully, as he promised to work on improving the situation.

Air connectivity would help, the ambassador said. I had to stop over in Taipei and then enter the Schengen zone through Amsterdam before the final hop to this city. Bangkok, on the other hand, has direct flights to all the major European cities, just like the other top ASEAN travel destinations, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

We already suffer from the quality of our airports when compared with the gateways of several of our neighbors. Executives of about six Swedish companies are holding a joint seminar in Manila with representatives of the Department of Transportation and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to discuss safety and efficiency of airports.

We’re now too far behind some of our neighbors in terms of airport facilities, but maybe we can end those chronic flight delays and improve air conditioning at the NAIA.

*      *      *

At least the airport now has free wi-fi. Mon Isberto of Smart Communications told me that the company is gradually replacing its copper wires with fiber optic cables, which make internet speed 10 times faster. Optical fiber also works best with 4G LTE.

Smart has also started installing smaller cell sites to dispel health concerns over telecommunications signals, although smaller sites also mean weaker service.

Copper was a compromise technology, Mon said. The speed of replacing copper wiring depends on the support and efficiency of the local governments. Last year Cebu’s Toledo City became the first completely fiber optic service area for Smart; the latest is Naga City.

Transformation is slow. Mon said installing one cell site, from processing of documents to completion of the project, requires an average of 36 permits from the national and local governments, the barangay and homeowners’ association. The entire process could take up to a year, after which Smart must secure a separate set of permits for transmission.

Mon says other countries consider internet service as a public utility that qualifies for fast-track processing. This is not the case here. The result is the kind of service that, when visitors compare with those in much of the region, becomes another disincentive to visiting the Philippines.

Internet speed is on my mind because Sweden happens to rank third after South Korea and Norway in having the fastest internet on the planet. As rated by Akamai in the first quarter of this year, Swedish internet speed is 22.5 Mbps for fixed broadband, way above the global average of 7.2 Mbps. Hong Kong ranked fourth, Singapore seventh and Japan eighth.

The Philippines’ average internet speed was 5.5 Mbps as of the first quarter. We’re way behind Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

We have a lot of catching up to do, and the task keeps getting more challenging as our neighbors do better.


Mass Migration Forces Sweden Police to Install Hundreds of No Go Zone Microphones to Detect Crime

November 17, 2017


Stockholm police announced a plan to place hundreds of microphones in the Järva area of Stockholm in order to automatically alert authorities to crimes in progress as they can identify screams and other sounds.

The project is the first of its kind in Sweden and will see hundreds of microphones placed in Järva, a heavily migrant-populated suburb of Stockholm considered to be a no-go zone by many.

The microphones will be able to automatically differentiate various sounds and when they hear particular sounds, like a woman screaming gunshots or explosions, the microphones should automatically alert police in the area through text or email Sveriges Radio reports.

Police expect that the system will be fully operational at some point in 2018 and claim that the new project could reduce their response time by an average of two minutes.

Authorities also made a note to mention that the system would not be used to record private conservations of individuals and that all the recordings would not be saved.

The Järva police force has been plagued with problems in recent months due to a lack of personnel. A report from 2016 found up to 80 percent of Swedish police had considered switching careers and that as many as three officers quit the force every day.

Earlier this year it was revealed that the final remaining police station in the troubled area was forced to close its doors. Swedish terror expert Magnus Ranstorp said the move was a “disaster” and added, “They should open four more instead!”

Last December, migrant residents of the area protested the epidemic of criminality in the suburbs with many of them claiming that the real problem was “colonisation” despite Sweden never historically being a colonial power.

In other areas, like the suburb of Rinkeby, the government has put forward plans to build a new, and more secure, police station in the area but the plans have been hindered by the fact that no construction companies are willing to take on the job due to the danger of the area.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)

4 reasons why US health care is so expensive (America Spends The Most On Healthcare But Isn’t the Healthiest Country)

November 9, 2017

Why is health care in the US so expensive?
Why is health care in the US so expensive? 02:15

Story highlights

  • Higher costs for health services contributed $583.5 billion to the total $933.5 billion increase
  • Of 155 conditions, diabetes showed the greatest increase in spending: a $64.4 billion rise

(CNN)Health care spending in the United States increased by about $933.5 billion between 1996 and 2013, according to an analysis published Tuesday in the medical journal JAMA. More than half of this surge was a result of generally higher prices for health care services.

Joseph L. Dieleman, lead author of the study and an assistant professor at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, gathered information on 155 separate health conditions and six possible treatment categories: inpatient, outpatient (hospital), emergency services, dental care, prescriptions and nursing facilities.
The researchers also analyzed changes in five factors — population size, aging, disease incidence, use of services, and service price and intensity — as they relate to health care spending in the study period, 1996 through 2013.
“Intensity of care” refers to service variety and complexity. “It’s the difference between a relatively simple X-ray as a compared to more complex MRIs and other forms of diagnostic services,” Dieleman wrote in an email.
The analysis resulted in four main takeaways about why US health care costs rose.

Rising price of services


“Price and the variety and complexity of services is the largest driver of health care spending increases,” Dieleman noted.
In fact, more than half of the total spending increase was due to price and intensity increases, which contributed $583.5 billion to the $933.5 billion total increase. Dieleman said price and intensity increased for most conditions “and especially for inpatient care.”
By comparison, the growth in population led to $269.5 billion of the total expenditures, while aging of the population equaled $135.7 billion of the total.

More spent on specific conditions


Diabetes was the condition with the greatest increase in spending, rising by $64.4 billion between 1996 and 2013. Most of this money went to pharmaceuticals prescribed to treat it.
The single most important risk factor for type 2 diabetes is obesity, noted Dr. Patrick H. Conway of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina in an editorial published alongside the new analysis.
Spending on low-back and neck pain surged by $57.2 billion in the 17-year time period, followed by hypertension ($47.6 billion), hyperlipidemia or high (“bad”) cholesterol ($41.9 billion), depressive disorders ($30.8 billion), falls ($30.4 billion), urinary diseases ($30.2 billion), osteoarthritis ($29.9 billion), sepsis or bloodstream infection ($26.0 billion), and oral diseases or disorders ($25.3 billion).

Outpatient treatment


Spending on ambulatory care, which includes ER and outpatient hospital services, also played a role in increased overall costs. Annual spending on ambulatory care swelled from $381.5 billion in 1996 to $706.4 billion in 2013. This increase, about $324 billion, was higher than any of the other five types of care analyzed.
There’s a “significant payment differential” when a procedure, such as a colonoscopy, is performed at an outpatient hospital center compared with when it is performed in a physician’s office, “with the former being far more expensive than the latter,” Conway noted.

Pharmaceutical drugs


Another key driver of the total increase in health care expenditures between 1996 and 2013 was spending on pharmaceutical drugs. For example, $44.4 billion of the total $64.4 billion increased expenditure for diabetes was spent on medications meant to treat, as well as to prevent, the disease.
Part of the high price paid for pharmaceuticals “is a regulatory problem,” said Robert F. Graboyes, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Graboyes, who was not involved in the research, said that the FDA drug approval process makes pharmaceuticals far more expensive than they ought to be.
“The FDA has a very powerful motive to take things extremely slowly and extremely carefully,” he said. Although slow and careful has its virtues when it comes to something as “sensitive” as pharmaceutical drugs, Graboyes noted that the United States lacks something the European Union has.
“There is a counterweight in the motive that says you also don’t want to be too slow about it,” he said.
In Europe, rather than a single agency, there are a number of “quasi-private entities approved by the governments of the EU,” and so there is a somewhat “competitive system.” The result: “They do tend to get things to market quickly without — as far as I can see — any loss of safety and security,” he said.
Graboyes described the overall spending report as “well-done.”

Household perspective best


Based on official US records, total health care spending reached $3.2 trillion in 2015 and constituted 17.8% of the US economy, Dieleman and his co-authors noted.
Graboyes said that when it comes to health care spending, it can be misleading to focus “on percentage of GDP rather than a percentage of household consumption.”
He suggested we look instead at what Americans spend on health care as a percentage of household consumption expenditures.


“It turns out that we’re not very far out of line with other countries,” he said.
This is not a criticism; “it’s more of an addition to the paper,” Graboyes said. “It’s an interesting factor to overlay on the work they’ve done.”


Sweden to get Europe’s biggest car battery factory

October 19, 2017


© AFP | A Swedish start-up joins the race to supply electric cars with batteries
STOCKHOLM (AFP) – Start-up company Northvolt said Thursday it had picked its home country Sweden to build Europe’s biggest factory for electric car batteries, rivalling Tesla’s American “Gigafactory”.

The company said it had selected Skelleftea, a coastal town in the country’s industrial north-east, for the site which will employ up to 2,500 people.

Sweden’s main nickel, cobalt, lithium and graphite deposits are nearby.

An associated research centre employing 300 to 400 people will be located in Vasteras, some 150 kilometres west of Stockholm and the original headquarters of Swedish-Swiss ABB, which has partnered up with Northvolt for the project.

“Europe is rapidly moving towards electrification,” said Peter Carlsson, Northvolt’s founder and CEO.

“Sweden has a unique position to establish large-scale battery production to support this transition with its clean and affordable energy, proximity to raw materials, and a strong industrial tradition deep in its DNA,” he said.

Sweden’s economy minister Mikael Damberg said it was “a great day, not just for the two chosen cities but also for Sweden and for Europe”.

Construction of the factory is to start in the second half of 2018, and it is expected to raise production progressively between 2020 and 2023. Once fully operational, the site is to produce lithium-ion batteries totalling 32 Gigawatt hours (GWh) per year.

The project requires an investment of four billion euros ($4.7 billion) over six years for which financing is already covered.

The factory comes in response to Tesla founder Elon Musk’s “Gigafactory” in the US state of Nevada where production debuted in January and which Tesla hopes to eventually ramp up to 150 GWhs.

In addition, Tesla is mulling plans for another such factory, this time in Europe, with several countries happy to have it, including Sweden and France.

Northvolt’s factory will be aimed not only at electric cars and other vehicles, but also at renewable energy producers looking for electricity storage, as well as industrial companies.

Expect Israel To Feel Threatened By Austria’s New Far Right Leaders

October 17, 2017
 OCTOBER 17, 2017 05:20

Jerusalem will have to tread carefully as it calculates its reaction to the rise of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party, which holds views that are not supportive of the Jewish state.

Norbert Hofer (L) and Austrian Freedom Party (FPOe) top candidate Heinz-Christian Strache attend the

Norbert Hofer (L) and Austrian Freedom Party (FPOe) top candidate Heinz-Christian Strache attend their party’s final election campaign rally in Vienna, Austria, October 13, 2017. . (photo credit:MICHAEL DALDER/REUTERS)

Israel has not yet reacted to Sunday’s elections in Austria that will likely catapult the far-right Freedom Party into the government, but this outcome poses a clear challenge to Jerusalem: Should it engage with European far-right parties if they become a part of a government? Jerusalem has avoided having to face the issue this year, thanks to the National Front’s loss in the French elections and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s position of not including the AfD in her governing coalition.

Austria’s Freedom Party, however, will bring the issue to the fore.

Under Jorg Haider in 1999, Austria’s Freedom Party – a party formed in 1956 by former members of the Nazi party – became part of the Austrian ruling coalition. Israel responded by recalling its ambassador and downgrading its relations with Vienna for more than three years, until the coalition fell apart.

But that was then.

In 1999 Israel could boycott Austria’s government because there was little chance that by doing so it would lead to a need to boycott other governments joined by right-wing parties – because that prospect seemed remote. But that is no longer the case, as the European far-Right is on the rise.

In other words, it is one thing not to engage or to boycott parties in the opposition; it is quite another if those parties may soon be ruling various countries.

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Israel’s unstated but clear policy up until now has been to break up the European far-right parties into three distinct categories.

The first are the fascist and neo-Nazi parties, such as Jobbik in Hungary, Golden Dawn in Greece, and the NDP in Germany. These are parties with which Israel will not engage, even if they become members of the ruling governments.

The second category includes parties – like Austria’s Freedom Party – that have a Nazi or fascist past, and which currently have antisemitic and racist tendencies. Other parties in this category include the National Front in France, AfD in Germany – which did surprisingly well in that country’s elections last month – and the Swedish Democrats in Sweden.

Up until now, Israel’s formal policy has been to avoid contact with those parties and not to engage with them or their members at a diplomatic level. This means that neither the prime minister nor the foreign minister meet their leaders if they visit Israel, and that Israel’s ambassadors in those countries do not meet with the party heads.

At the same time, Jerusalem cannot do anything about errant ministers, MKs or politicians who do meet with members of these parties from time to time, as was the case when the Freedom Party’s leader Heinz-Christian Strache visited Israel last year.

In the third category are populist parties with some racist elements in them, such as Geert Wilders’s Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, UKIP in Britain and the Vlaams Belang Party in Belgium. These parties, which are different from one another, do not have Nazi or fascist pasts. Israel’s policy toward them is generally not to boycott but, rather, to deal with each party according to the particular situation and each party’s merits.

For instance, Israel does engage with Wilders’s party, and has normal relations with UKIP.

This set of policies has emerged over the years amid a sense in Jerusalem that Israel – as the state of the Jewish people – has a unique standing on these matters, and that its position on these parties is carefully watched by many inside Europe. For example, that Strache has made efforts to distance himself from his party’s past and put forward strong pro-Israel positions has been interpreted in Jerusalem as an effort to get Israel’s “stamp of approval,” something that would help him gain legitimacy elsewhere.

Another element that has guided Israel in its policies toward these parties has been the position of the local Jewish communities, and these Jewish communities have – in all cases of those parties in the second category – come out against Israel engaging with them.

Jerusalem is not expected to comment on the Austrian elections until after a coalition is formed, and even then, it is unlikely to be among the first to comment or formulate a policy.

Rather, it will likely wait to see how countries like Germany, France and Britain respond.

Ironically, the candidate who won Austria’s election, 31-year-old Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, is considered in Jerusalem as pro-Israel. Jerusalem has no problem with him, but, rather, only with his potential coalition partner.

Even so, there are three reasons that Jerusalem is unlikely to boycott the Austrian government, as it did when the Freedom Party was a member from 1999 to 2003.

Firstly, the success of parties like the Freedom Party is a phenomenon increasingly evident throughout the European political system. Secondly, because Strache, as opposed to Haider, has professed pro-Israel positions.

And thirdly, because the party has – at least to a certain degree – tried to moderate itself.


Neo-Nazis and anti-fascists clash in Sweden on Yom Kippur

October 1, 2017

More than a dozen people were arrested in Sweden’s second largest city as the Nordic Resistance Movement, an openly anti-Semitic group, marched on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.

Neo-Nazis wielding transparent shields and their green and white flags clash with police in Goteborg, Sweden.

Swedish police arrested more than 20 people Saturday as they tried to keep neo-Nazis and anti-fascists from clashing in Sweden’s second largest city.

The Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR), a right-wing extremist group that is openly anti-Semitic, received permission from police to hold their rally on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.

The NMR originally sought to march past a Jewish synagogue but a court rejected their proposed route, and shortened it to little more than half a mile (1 kilometer).

About 600 people wore all-black outfits as they marched in formation. Some waved the movement’s green and white flag, and some wore helmets and carried shields, as they went through Goteborg about 250 miles southwest of the capital Stockholm.

Authorities posted fliers ahead of the rally warning demonstrators against behaving like German Nazi’s “National Socialist demonstrations in the 1930s and 1940s.”

The end time for the march was also scaled back by one hour to prevent potential clashes with attendees of a nearby football game.

Neo-Nazis and anti-fascists

Anti-fascists, the counter-demonstrators, tossed fireworks and made several attempts to break through police lines in an apparent effort to confront NMR members who also tried to get past riot police. Some were arrested and charged with rioting, according to police.

Among those arrested was one person accused of kicking a policeman in the face and two others who were detained for carrying knives.

“Stones, bottles and sticks were also thrown at us,” police spokesman Hans Lippens said.

Neo-Nazis march in Goteborg, Sweden prepared for a fight, brandishing shields as they face-off with policeNeo-Nazis wielding transparent shields and their green and white flags clash with police

Riot police eventually encircled the NMR in a city square, preventing them from finishing their march. Officials said the police action was intended to keep the neo-Nazis and anti-fascists from a direct clash. The number of anti-fascist protesters was not immediately clear, but pre-march estimates indicated they could outnumber their neo-Nazi counterparts by as much as 10-1.

The NMR subsequently demanded that their leader Simon Lindberg be released from police custody before they would leave the square.

Read more: Auschwitz theft linked to Swedish neo-Nazis

About 20 people, mainly from Denmark and Germany, were detained as they arrived in Sweden ahead of the rally.

Law enforcement officials anticipated violence and called in police reinforcements from across Sweden before the protest. They alsoconverted a police garage into a temporary detention center, and added 350 beds.

Read more: German firm wins trademark lawsuit against Swedish neo-nazis

Goteborg was rocked by violent protests during a European Union summit in 2001.

bik/jlw (AP, Reuters)

Dozens Arrested in Sweden as Neo-Nazis, Anti-Fascists Clash With Tear-Gas Shooting Police

October 1, 2017

GOTHENBURG, Sweden — More than 30 people were arrested on Saturday as both neo-Nazis and anti-fascists clashed with police during a march by the extreme right-wing Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, police said.

The NMR gathered hundreds of people for the march, many armed with shields and helmets, while many thousands of counter-protestors also hit the streets of Gothenburg.

Police had prepared for violence to break out and had called in reinforcements from all police districts in Sweden and added 350 temporary jail beds in a police garage.

Membership in Nazi organisations is not illegal in Sweden and the NMR had a permit from the police to march.

Swedish police said on their website that 35 people had been arrested during the day. At least two people were injured, including one police officer who broke his arm.

“Given the intent that many had here today, the scenario could have been much worse,” commanding officer Emilie Kullmyr told daily Dagens Nyheter.

The neo-Nazi march was halted in the early afternoon, before it reached its designated starting point, after a clash with the police. Police put up a ring around the NMR demonstrators to keep them apart from anti-fascists.

The neo-Nazis clashed with police several times and during speeches they singled out politicians and the media as responsible for high levels of immigration in Sweden.

At 1600 GMT the neo-Nazi demonstrators had been escorted by police to their initial meeting point in the outskirts of Gothenburg. The many cordons in the central city were lifted.

Sweden has taken in more immigrants per capita than any other EU-country in recent years, much to the dismay of right-wing groups.

The extreme-right groups have become more active in Sweden, according to police. Three former members of the NMR were convicted earlier this year of a series of bombings targeting immigrants and political opponents.

(Reporting by Johan Ahlander and Johannes Hellström; Editing by Stephen Powell)



A neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) demonstration in central Gothenburg has ended, two hours after police permission for the march expired.

The neo-Nazi group was forced to bring its march through Gothenburg to a premature end but has reportedly threatened new demonstrations – possibly without police permission.

A huge effort by police was successful in keeping the NRM and counter protestors separated, although two people are reported injured and 60 detained by police as a result of the day’s events.

Several hundred NRM supporters began the march along the route for which authorities issued permission, but several protestors tried to break out of the designated area near the Ica Focus shopping mall and Svenska Mässan conference centre, which was hosting a Book Fair on Saturday.

Several of the protestors who tried to break through police lines were arrested, including NMR leader Simon Lindberg, reports TT.

Two hours after the demonstration was scheduled to disperse, the NMR, waving banners and surrounded by police, left the area near the Ica Focus shopping mall and Svenska Mässan conference centre in central Gothenburg.

The group returned to the starting point of the march, according to the report.

Road blocks in the city have since been lifted.

The neo-Nazi organisation’s spokesperson Pär Öberg said in the group’s own online broadcast of the demonstration that he regretted that the demonstration could not be completed.

Öberg said that he expected “this will be the last time [NMR] will ask for permission” to demonstrate.

NMR protestors clashed violently with police during the demonstration, shouting slogans such as “race traitor” (folkförrädare) and “Nordic revolution, no pardon” (nordisk revolution, utan pardon).

Police clash with NMR demonstrators. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

NMR demonstrators also attacked a group of journalists, forcing them towards a line of empty police busses, according to a report by newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

At least two people have been injured as result of the day’s unrest.

The number of counter demonstrators far outweighed the amount of NMR supporters, and violent elements of these attacked police on several occasions, including by throwing stones, reports TT.

Counter-protestors rushed at police near the Liseberg Amusement Park, with horses deployed to keep them under control. According to a statement on the police website, stones were thrown during that flashpoint with a number of people held by police near the main entrance to the amusement park.

“In connection with the disturbances at Liseberg, where we moved away counter-demonstrators, stones were thrown, resulting in injury to one civilian. The person was hit by an object and has been taken to hospital by ambulance,” police press spokesperson Peter Adlersson said.

Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

A police officer was also taken to hospital with minor injuries earlier in the day.

NMR leader Simon Lindberg has been arrested on suspicion of assault, reports newspaper Expressen.

“Simon Lindberg participated at the beginning of the unrest and is suspected of violent unrest and assaulting a police officer,” police press spokesperson Hans Lippens told the newspaper.

Several people, including foreign citizens, were detained prior to the demonstration by police in Gothenburg and other parts of Sweden on suspicion of intending to carry out assault.

Swedish police make arrests prior to Nazi demonstration

September 30, 2017


Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor

Riot police in Gothenburg. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT
Three people have been arrested and several others detained by police in Gothenburg prior to a neo-Nazi demonstration in the city Saturday.

Two foreign citizens were arrested at Gothenburg’s Landvetter Airport on Friday night after knives were found in their luggage. The two were arrested on suspicion of planning assault, the Swedish police confirmed in a message posted on its website.

A further seven foreign nationals have been taken into custody and a third person was arrested at Gothenburg Central Station, also on suspicion of planning violent acts, reports news agency TT.

Police have also taken action in other parts of Sweden in connection with the demonstration due to be held by the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) in Gothenburg on Saturday.

In Helsingborg, a foreign citizen was arrested on board a bus after hitting a policeman in the face.

Nine foreign nationals have been detained and one ejected from the country under Sweden’s Foreign Citizens Law (Utlänningslagen) provision for foreign nationals, according to the report.

Gothenburg city centre is expected to be particularly busy on Saturday due to several other events taking place, including the annual Book Fair and a football match, and its timing as the first Saturday after pay day.

The march also coincides with the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur – a day of atonement observed by fasting and praying – and the route was initially planned to pass close to a Gothenburg synagogue.

However, earlier this week a local court changed the route, cutting its total length by almost half, citing risks to public order and security. Marchers will no longer be allowed to pass by the synagogue or to gather outside the location of the Book Fair.

The route of the march (red) and the route prior to the court ruling which forced it to be shortened (dotted). Graphic: TT

Police in Gothenburg were on Saturday morning present at the designated meeting point of the NMR prior to its planned march, reports TT.

Several other locations in the city are already under police surveillance and roadblocks have been put in place, according to the report.

Some businesses on the march route have chosen to board up windows prior to the demonstration. Photo: Jonas Dagson/TT

The NMR, set up in 1997, promotes an openly racist and anti-Semitic doctrine, and its growing popularity in Sweden has caused concern in neighbouring Norway.

Earlier in the month, about 50 members of extremist group marched through the centre of Gothenburg, an event for which the group did not have a permit. According to media reports, a minor fight broke out between some of the protesters and a counter-demonstrator, but police quickly intervened and did not make any arrests.

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