A roundup of news from Sweden.
Swedish government foots evacuees' bills
The Swedish government on Friday said it was putting up another 50 million kronor to cover all return costs for those who decided to leave Lebanon this week. The government has now promised a total of 107 million kronor of taxpayers’ money for the evacuation.
Some 5,000 Swedish citizens have left Lebanon and many remain.
Usually, those who are evacuated are responsible for paying for their own costs, with the Foreign Ministry’s costs regarded as more of a loan.“But in this situation an exception is being made due to the scope of the evacuation,” Jan Janonius, Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
Visa extensions for Lebanese visiting Sweden
Lebanese nationals who are currently visiting Sweden will be allowed to extend their visas after they expire, the Swedish Migration Board said on Thursday, citing the conflict in Lebanon.The visas would be extended for a maximum of three months, the board said, noting that the extensions would not be automatic and Lebanese citizens would have to apply at Migration Board offices.
The offer was also valid for permanent residents of Lebanon, even if they are not Lebanese citizens, it added.
And on the topic of asylum..
Asylum seekers in Kiruna suicide threat
A couple from Turkey seeking asylum in Sweden threatened to set themselves on fire in the Board of Migration's offices in Kiruna on Monday.After hours of negotiations the pair eventually left the building at around 10pm.
"It was completely undramatic. They came out calmly and have now been taken to a doctor," said Kiruna police spokesman Lage Wuotilainen.The couple were said to be in their thirties. Their two children, a boy and a girl, were released just before 6pm after drawn-out negotiations with officers.
(why is Sweden giving Asylum to Turks?)
Riot after Stockholm Israel protest
Some 2,000 people demonstrated in central Stockholm on Saturday against Israel's offensive in Lebanon, with two people arrested after clashes with police, police said.
The demonstration began calmly in the early afternoon at the Kungsträdgården park, with protestors waving Lebanese flags and carrying signs reading "Israel out of Lebanon".
The demonstrators then marched to the Israeli embassy, chanting slogans. After the demonstration was formally concluded, several hundred protestors clashed with police, throwing stones and objects at police officers. (what percent of the demonstrators would that be?)
"Two people have been arrested," a Stockholm police duty officer told AFP.
Liberals condemn demo swastika
Palestinian groups demonstrating in Malmö on Saturday against the war in Lebanon carried placards displaying swastikas. Now politicians in the city are calling for official funding of the Malmö Palestinian Association to be frozen.
"I think that we should talk to the Palestinian Association's leadership about the values of their members, before they get more subsidies," Liberal Party councillor Iva Parizkova Ryggeståhl said to Sydsvenskan.
One placard at the demonstration compared the swastika to the star of David.
A spokesman for the Palestinian Association of Malmö dismissed Ryggeståhl's criticisms when called by The Local.
He denied that his organization was responsible for the swastikas, adding that the Palestinian Association had not organized the demonstration. But he also dismissed the Liberal Party's attacks on the use of swastikas in the march.
"They believe in freedom of speech when it comes to the Muhammad cartoons, but not in this case. Why not?"
Bomb threat against Malmö synagogue
A bomb threat written on paper was taped to a synagogue on Betaniaplan in Malmö on Thursday evening.“We consider this very serious,” said a source in the Jewish group, according to Svenska Dagbladet.
“This is the second time in a week that we have received a threat of this caliber, compared with more traditional threats”
The note is being analyzed by police.
Security at the synagogue was bumped up last week, but with the latest threat, additional measures will be taken. The source at the synagogue would not comment on what steps would be taken.
Police are discussing increased protection for the church.
"This is the second threat in two weeks and we think this has a direct connection with the ongoing crisis in Lebanon and Israel,” said Göran Billberg, spokesman with Malmö police, according to Sydsvenskan.
[How many Lebanese Hizballah members in Sweden had been threatened?]
Centre politician quits after immigrant comments
A Centre Party politician has stepped down after saying that immigrants accused of crimes should get a “kick in the butt” and leave the country.
Ingemar Pettersson, who was standing in September’s local election in Landskrona, is bowing out even before voting takes place because of an unpublished article in a local newspaper.
Pettersson talked about energy policy, immigration, and crime. He is reported to have said foreign citizens who commit crimes should be deported before trial.
“It’s just a kick in the butt and out with them,” he said in the interview, according to Svenska Dagbladet.