01:06 GMT23 October 2020
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    According to Feminist Initiative leader Farida al-Abani, Sweden needs a repetition of the 2015 migrant crisis, when 163,000 asylum seekers entered the Scandinavian country, challenging its welfare system.

    The Feminist Initiative Party has stirred up emotions with its reply to the new nascent migrant crisis on Europe's borders.

    In a clip spread virally on social media, Libyan-born party head Farida al-Abani addressed “millions” of migrants in Arabic and invited them to Sweden.

    The video appears to be a reaction to national-conservative Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Åkesson, who recently distributed flyers on the Greek border informing migrants that “Sweden is full” and cannot provide them with money or housing. Al-Abani attempted to disprove this statement by calling the Sweden Democrats, Sweden's largest party, racists.

    “Flights cost money and climate, and flyers also cost money and only reach a few. Luckily, I know Arabic and the fact that the web can reach millions. In short, I say 'A racist party spreads lies, don't listen to them, welcome here, we're not full”, al-Abani tweeted in a prelude to her video.

    ​In a related Facebook post, al-Abani contested that Sweden needed a repetition of the 2015 migrant crisis, when the Scandinavian nation of 10 million led the whole of Europe per capita by taking in 163,000 asylum seekers. The influx challenged Sweden's welfare system and left its mark on the Swedish economy and society at large. A 2018 study by economist Joakim Ruist estimated lifetime costs associated with a single immigrant at an average of SEK 3 million ($320,000), possibly higher for migrants from Afghanistan and Somalia.

    “What Sweden needs is another 2015, and we need a policy that reflects the humanity we saw then. It's time for Sweden to return to permanent residence permits and it is time for us to open our borders before these growing barriers fall on us. Let's show what real responsibility looks like”, al-Albani wrote, using the hashtag “2015 again”.

    On social media, the party's stance triggered mixed reactions.

    “Capital idea! How many immigrants can you take care of in your apartment in Bromma?” one Twitter user smirked.

    ​“Sweden's granted 2.5 million residence permits since 1980. (Migration Board statistics). Decade after decade largest reception per inhabitant! There is no longer housing opportunities, jobs, or welfare resources. It is no longer possible. We can't handle the integration! Who benefits from Sweden being broken?” another one mused.

    ​“Thank you for clearly showing that you are in solidarity with Arabs and other non-Europeans at the expense of Swedes!” another one tweeted.

    ​Formed by former Left Party leader Gudrun Schyman, Feminist Initiative enjoyed a brief period of media fame and even managed to win a single seat in the European Parliament, but has fallen back into obscurity in recent years, garnering a mere 0.4 percent of the vote in the 2018 election. The party fights for feminism, equality, and LGBT rights, embraces open-borders policy, and sees itself as a force against “institutional racism”. Its current slogan is “The Future is Pink”.

    Thousands of migrants have gathered on the Turkish-Greek border since Turkish President Erdogan's message on 29 February to open the Turkish border for migrants. At the same time, Greek border police and military have been mobilised against the nascent crisis, which is widely seen as being a repetition of the 2015 disaster.

    Related:

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    'Strengthen the Border' Vs 'Open Your Hearts': Swedish Parties Polarised by New Migration Wave
    Tags:
    migrant crisis, Feminist Initiative, Sweden
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