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瑞典不平靜:斯德哥爾摩暴亂 動搖國家幸福形象

立報/本報訊 2013.05.29 00:00
策劃、編譯■李威撰

瑞典首都郊區的移民社區,連續4個夜晚發生暴動,數百名青年焚燒車輛、攻擊警方,驚動了這個國家。瑞典雖躲過金融危機,卻未能解決青年失業問題及尋求庇護者的憤怒。

斯德哥爾摩22日的暴力事件,由北向南延燒,青年團體在斯德哥爾摩郊區四處丟石頭、打破窗戶、焚燒車輛。瑞典南部城市馬爾默的警方表示,有兩輛車被燒毀。

當地媒體指出,斯德哥爾南部的郊區拉格斯維德,有一間警局遭人縱火,警方逮捕幾名人士。火勢立即被撲滅,無人受傷。

攻擊者等待傍晚展開行動,拒絕瑞典總理呼籲冷靜的要求,接連4天的暴力行動,造成商家、學校、1間警局及手工藝術中心的損失。

在哈格斯特拉當地一間青年活動中心工作的切肯表示,有4、50名左右的青年向警方丟擲石塊,並砸毀窗戶,然後朝不同方向逃逸。他發現,這些人都是20多歲,而且早有準備。

「很難說他們為何要這麼做。」他說:「或許是對法律及執法人員的不滿,或許是不滿自己的現狀,像是沒工作或沒地方住之類的。」

移民不滿警方找碴

發生暴動似乎與警方殺害1名69歲男子有關。該男子在本月手持砍刀,出現在許斯比的郊區,警方被控執法過當。暴動從許斯比往其他斯德哥爾摩貧困郊區擴散開來。

Megafonen創辦人之一的卡米西表示:「我們看見這個社會的隔閡日益嚴重,社會與經濟的鴻溝愈來愈大。」Megafonen是在郊區推動社會變革的組織。

當地報紙《北方》的編輯、負責報導許斯比事件的達拉以表示:「原因很簡單,失業、居住情形、不受警方尊重。」

達拉以說,青年人經常在街上被警方攔下,進行非必要的身分檢查。暴動期間,他說有些警察稱呼這些地方上的年輕人為「猩猩」。

電視上汽車被燒的畫面,震驚了瑞典,因為這個國家以社會公義、歡迎戰爭及經濟難民的名聲而自豪。

司法部長艾斯克表示:「我能理解為何這麼多生活在這些郊區及許斯比的民眾會感到擔憂、沮喪、憤怒及不安。」

歷經數十年實施提供慷慨大方福利的「瑞典模式」,斯德哥爾摩1990年代開始縮減國家角色,在經濟合作暨發展組織的先進經濟體當中,瑞典經濟不公的惡化速度最快。

儘管仍擁有歐洲國家最高的平均生活水準,歷任政府卻未能實質改善長期性的青年失業及貧窮,這對移民社區的衝擊最大。

根據OECD的資料,瑞典15%的人口出生境外,這群人失業率是16%;瑞典本地人是6%。許斯比的青年失業是6%,但跟整個首都的平均值相比,高出了2倍。

左傾小報《Aftonbladet》表示,暴動代表政府政策的「巨大失敗」,而這些政策導致郊區貧民窟的擴張。

失業率成長的同時,民調顯示,反移民的瑞典民主黨,支持率攀升至排名第3,瑞典將在明年舉行大選。民調結果反映許多選民的憂慮,認為移民是部分該被怪罪的對象。

■ 斯德哥爾摩的鎮暴警方,在郊區逮捕到一名肇事的蒙面男子,圖攝於5月25日。(圖文/路透)

尋求庇護者人數增加

移民人口有許多是來自北歐鄰國,這些人的語言及文化與瑞典有緊密關聯。爭論的焦點則是放在貧窮的庇護尋求者,這些人來自遙遠的戰爭地區。

去年,瑞典移民共有10萬3千人,其中4萬3,900人是庇護尋求者,比2011年多增加近50%。

其中有近半數的難民是來自敘利亞、阿富汗及索馬利亞,這些人至少能獲得暫時居留權。

根據聯合國數據,44個工業化國家裡,就庇護尋求者的人數而論,瑞典排名第1;若就所占人口比例來說,則排名第2。(路透)

Hundreds of youth have torched cars and attacked police in four nights of riots in immigrant suburbs of Sweden's capital, shocking a country that dodged the financial crisis but failed to solve youth unemployment and resentment among asylum seekers (1).

Violence spread from the North to the South of the city on Wednesday as groups of youth pushed through Stockholm's suburbs casting stones, breaking windows and setting cars alight. Police in the southern Swedish city of Malmo said two cars had been set ablaze.

Local media said a police station office was set on fire in the southern suburb of Rgsved, where several people were also detained. No one was hurt and the fire was quickly put out.

The attackers have awaited nightfall (2) before setting out, defying a call for calm from the country's prime minister and damaging stores, schools, a police station and an arts and crafts centre in the four days of violence.

Selcuk Ceken, who works at a local youth activity centre in Hagsatra, said between 40 and 50 youths threw stones at police and smashed windows, then ran off in different directions. He noted the people were in their 20s and seemed well organized.

"It's difficult to say why they're doing this," he said. "Maybe it's anger at the law and order forces, maybe it's anger at their own personal situation, such as unemployment or having nowhere to live."

The riots appear to have been sparked by the police killing of a 69-year-old man wielding a machete (3) in the suburb of Husby this month, which prompted accusations of police brutality. The riots then spread from Husby to other poor Stockholm suburbs.

"We see a society that is becoming increasingly divided and where the gaps, both socially and economically, are becoming larger," said Rami Al-khamisi, co-founder of Megafonen, a group that works for social change in the suburbs.

"The reason is very simple. Unemployment, the housing situation, disrespect from police," said Rouzbeh Djalaie, editor of the local Norra Sidan newspaper, which covers Husby.

Djalaie said youths were often stopped by police in the streets for unnecessary identity checks. During the riots, he said some police called local youths "apes."

The television pictures of blazing cars come as a jolt to a country proud of its reputation for social justice as well as its hospitality towards refugees from war and repression.

"I understand why many people who live in these suburbs and in Husby are worried, upset, angry and concerned," said Justice Minister Beatrice Ask. "Social exclusion is a very serious cause of many problems, we understand that."

After decades of practicing the "Swedish model" of generous welfare benefits, Stockholm has been reducing the role of the state since the 1990s, spurring the fastest growth in inequality of any advanced OECD economy.

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

Some 15 percent of the population are foreign-born, and unemployment among these stands at 16 percent, compared with 6 percent for native Swedes, according to OECD data. Youth unemployment in Husby, at 6 percent, is twice the overall average across the capital.

The left-leaning tabloid Aftonbladet said the riots represented a "gigantic failure" of government policies, which had underpinned the rise of ghettos (4) in the suburbs.

As unemployment has grown, the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats party has risen to third in polls ahead of a general election due next year, reflecting many voters' worries that immigrants may be partly to blame.

While many of the immigrant population are from Nordic neighbors closely tied to Sweden by language or culture, the debate has tended to focus on poor asylum seekers from distant war zones.

Out of a total 103,000 immigrants last year, 43,900 were asylum seekers, almost 50 percent up from 2011. Nearly half of these were refugees from fighting in Syria, Afghanistan or Somalia, and will get at least temporary residency.

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

關鍵字詞

1.asylum seeker(n.)尋求庇護者

2.nightfall(n.)傍晚

3.machete(n.)砍刀

4.ghetto(n.)貧民窟

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