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10 Jan, 2022 18:43

Prime minister under fire for hiring illegal immigrant

The Swedish politician says anyone can be fooled by ‘dishonest companies’
Prime minister under fire for hiring illegal immigrant

Recently appointed Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has become the target of increased scrutiny by the media and political opponents after an illegal migrant cleaner was found working in her home.

According to Expressen newspaper, which was the first to break the news over the weekend, a few days before Christmas at the prime minister’s villa in Nacka, police detained a young woman from Nicaragua who was supposed to be deported as an illegal immigrant and therefore was wanted by the Swedish authorities since autumn 2021.

The discovery was completely unexpected. The cleaners accidentally activated a burglary alarm which prompted police to go and check the house and everyone’s documents.

Approached by the newspaper, Andersson, who became prime minister in November, initially declined to comment, but later confirmed that she had parted ways with the cleaning company, which she said had misled her regarding the employee’s status.

The Social Democrat prime minister, who had used the services of the company for several years, added that even “those of us who want to do the right thing” can be fooled by “dishonest” companies.

However, her explanation seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Opposition politicians and media were quick to recall Andersson’s inaugural speech, in which she called on people to do whatever it takes to fight crime. The story of the immigrant cleaner went viral on Swedish social media, while newspapers raced to unveil more details about the cleaning company, its management, and the prime minister’s security arrangements.

The Moderate Party’s Tobias Billstrom expressed concern over the state of national security in a country where the prime minister is unaware of the status of her own cleaners. He also made a rather transparent hint, noting that the UK’s former immigration minister, Mark Harper, had to resign in 2014 after finding himself in a situation similar to Andersson’s.