Sweden stunned by third night of rioting

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Hundreds of “youths” have set fire to cars and attacked police and rescue services in Stockholm’s suburbs:

“We’ve had around 30 cars set on fire last night, fires that we connect to youth gangs and criminals,” Kjell Lindgren, spokesman for Stockholm police, said on Wednesday.

Yes, the key feature is that they are youths:

The riots appear to have been sparked by the police killing of a 69-year-old man wielding a machete in the suburb of Husby this month, which prompted accusations of police brutality.

I can see why the youths would feel such strong solidarity with a 69-year-old man and would be baffled by police brutality toward him for the simple act of wielding a machete.

So, what are the real issues?

While average living standards are still among the highest in Europe, governments have failed to substantially reduce long-term youth unemployment and poverty, which have affected immigrant communities worst.

Ah, long-term youth unemployment and poverty. Yes, yes, terrible that this youth unemployment is afflicting these immigrant communities:

Some 15 percent of the population is foreign-born, the highest proportion in the Nordic region. Unemployment among those born outside Sweden stands at 16 percent, compared with 6 percent for native Swedes, according to OECD data.

Among 44 industrialized countries, Sweden ranked fourth in the absolute number of asylum seekers, and second relative to its population, according to U.N. figures.

All this despite Sweden’s generous welfare benefits…

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