Sweden’s government proposed Tuesday a 19-billion Kroner strategy implemented over the next 10 years to combat the fractured societies currently seen in its cities.
Annual spending for the “integration effort” will increase from 425 million Kroner to 2.2 billion and will be distributed to 32 cites.
"Sweden should not have any areas characterized by socioeconomic challenges or any particularly vulnerable areas," said the government.
The vulnerable areas the policy targets are experienceing "socio-economic" challenges such as low employment, education and voter turnout.
"The new state contribution will help to strengthen the municipalities' own long-term work to improve the conditions in areas that today are characterized by major challenges in terms of, for example, low voting, high unemployment, low levels of education and low employment rates," the government's website reads.
Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö are the largest recipients of the annual fund distrubution respectively being 269, 173, and 116 million.
The multi-billion kroner policy that is reportedly the first of its kind comes weeks after Swedish officials voiced their concerns that a “shadow society” was forming among migrants who refuse to assimilate.
Moreover, this news comes days after Malmö’s police force asked for additional resources to deal with their recent surge in crime.
Correspondingly, the government announced an initiative to raise the retirement age with the Minister of Labor saying Sweden needs more people working.
“This is part of the pension agreement," said the Minister. "But to me it is also a strengthening of the individual's rights and part of the skills supply we need.”
As soon as 2023 the so-called “wage age” will be raised to 69 years, with today’s age being 67-years-old.
(PHOTO: chas B via Flickr)