Sweden has, in the last days, shown that it stands up for people in need. The horrifying pictures of the three year old boy Aylan – laying face down in sand – has made people react.
About 15 000 people braved the rain last Sunday and gathered at Medborgarplatsen in Stockholm to show their support for the thousands of refugees who take desperate risks to reach the safety of Europe. All political parties where represented (except the Sweden Democrats) and the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, held a speech where he spoke about the importance of humanity but also the necessity of a joint action from the EU countries.
Support in form of donations to humanitarian organisations – like the Swedish redcross, Rädda barnen and Läkare utan gränser – reached record levels last week. Many people donated their time and spent days working as volunteers and welcoming refugees at the train stations.
Support has also come from the business world. The Swedish banker and industrialist Jakob Wallenberg (by some called the prince of Sweden´s royal family of finance) has decided to donate money directly to humanitarian organisation and encourages other within the business to do the same. Petter Stordalen (a Norwegian investor and hotel owner) has offered 5 000 nights for refugees at his hotels in Norway. He has also said that he will cover the food expenses for all refugees during their stay at his hotel.
All of you out there – Newbies and Swedes – remember this when facing the time ahead. Yes, political parties like the Sweden Democrats are wining in popularity but they are just a small percentage of the Swedish population. The vast majority in Sweden has clearly shown that they back and support people in need. Refugees – welcome to Sweden!