Sweden Slams UK's Anti-Immigration StanceBulgaria in EU | March 27, 2013, Wednesday // 11:46| views
Swedish PM Fredrik Reinfeldt. Photo by svd.se
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has criticized his British counterpart David Cameron for his plans to restrict migrants' rights to social benefits.
"I believe in a Europe that should be open, where we have free movement, and where we instead ask ourselves how people who come here can get work more easily," Reinfeldt told the TT news agency, as cited by The Local.
Speaking to Sveriges Radio (SR), Reinfeldt also reminded that Sweden, when it opened its borders to greater immigration from Bulgaria and Romania, saw no major influx of people seeking to abuse the country's generous welfare system and benefits.
"We didn't see this big social tourism that everyone warned us about, and it might be wise to share that experience with others," Reinfeldt said.
Swedish Christian Democrat party leader and Social Affairs Minister G?ran H?gglund has also criticized Cameron's stance.
"I think it's a terrible way to express oneself. I think his speech is very, very, unfortunate," H?gglund told SR.
Specifically, H?gglund took issue with how Cameron "pitted us against them" when speaking of migrants.
On Monday, Cameron announced measures to restrict immigrants' access to state support for unemployment, housing and health care.
In his speech in Ipswich, Cameron, made clear that Europeans would lose unemployment support after six months unless they were able to prove that they were "genuinely seeking employment."
Cameron's speech came after serious campaigning on the part of anti-EU UK Independence Party against easing immigration controls for Bulgarians and Romanians.
Controversial claims have been made by a number of British tabloids and politicians that the UK should brace for a massive"influx" of Bulgarian and Romanian migrants after the end of 2013. It has been claimed that lifting the restriction would "put pressure" on housing, infrastructure, schools, and heath care.
We need your support so Novinite.com can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!