In January, one day when I had catched a cold (reaction to bad Beijing air?) I lay down in the sofa and took a look at the World Economic Forum in Davos. There were lots of interesting seminars and discussions and I decided to find a discussion where the Swedish prime minister Reinfeldt participated. I found one named “Closing Europe’s competitive gap”.
I had to wait half an our before Reinfeldt had a few minutes starting at 31:20. But I found his remarks surprisingly interesting, nonetheless I think he is right in his opinions. Sweden has gained a good reputation after we had to learn to handle a crisis the hard way in the beginning of the 90’s and is generally considered to have handled the last financial crisis in a rather successful way. He says that you never get back to “business as usual” after a crisis, conditions and markets steady changes, especially after a crisis. He adds that we should be humble to say that there is a still much work to do within the EU and here comes what I find most interesting. The world’s population will increase with another 2 billion people until 2020, but most of the increase will be outside Europe. If the Europe want to keep it’s competitiveness we must let more people come to Europe, and he also adds that we talk to less about that aspect and seem to have easier discuss the immigration in terms of problems. He notice that immigrants in most cases are willing to work harder and that they give Sweden resources to uphold our welfare system as the amount of retired people will increase in the coming years.
The EU election is soon only one month ahead and my biggest fear is that obsolete thoughts as fascism and xenophobia will gain influential power. I try to encourage my European friends to vote and I hope the voting turnout at least will be over 50% in Sweden.