Hundreds of young people have torched cars and attacked police in three nights of riots in immigrant suburbs of Sweden's capital, shocking a country that has dodged the worst of the financial crisis but failed to defuse youth unemployment and resentment of asylum seekers.
The riots were less severe than those of the past two summers in Britain and France, but provided a similar reminder that, even in places less ravaged by the financial crisis than Greece or Spain, state belt-tightening is toughest on the poor, especially immigrants.
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.
But...Sweden? That seems like a sign of the Apocalypse.
Then again, even in the article I quoted it seems as if something has changed in Sweden. The article alludes to rising inequality after government belt-tightening. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt came into office in 2006 with the Moderate Party, which Wikipedia calls a "center-right coalition." I have no opinion about this yet, but given my usual search for confirmation bias, I'm sure I'll have something to say about Sweden's rightward lurch at some point...
Or, maybe, our long-held myths about Sweden just aren't true? Maybe they have problems just like everyone else?