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full screenAn advertising sign at the entrance to the Varberga area in Örebro. Photo: BJÖRN LINDAHL
May seemed long be something as sensational as a month without gangster murder.
Police have just removed checkpoints in a schoolyard in Örebro and John Johansson, chairman of the city council, is canceling a press conference where Social Democrats will present their local election promises.
He says it’s not the time to try and win political points the day after two young men were shot and killed in the city.
– The police must form an opinion on what happened and what could be behind it. The electoral movement has to wait.
We are in the lobby of the local Social Democrats office, spartanly decorated, with a framed election poster, Olof Palme stares at us from under a title:
“Only firm political will can equitably distribute growing prosperity.”
A slogan from the time when the Social Democrats were still engaged in major reforms and Sweden did not rank first in Europe for deadly gun violence among young men.
What conclusions can John Johansson already draw? What conclusions can any of us draw?
One is that these deadly shootings no longer just happen in big cities.
Yesterday’s two murders in Varberga, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Örebro, could be linked to an execution in the same area ten days ago.
In Eskilstuna, a young man lost his life last week. A few days later, Kalmar suffered his third murder since the beginning of the year.
The subculture, the death spiral, has spread to medium-sized cities.
In Sweden, 31 murders have been committed in criminal circles so far this year.
About twice as many as in the corresponding period of previous years, despite the intrusions, despite stricter laws, despite billions of billions on the police, despite the resolute political commitment to reverse the trend.
Now the summer months are approaching, a time that has been extremely violent in recent years.
And in a schoolyard, the puddles of blood were washed away.
Here the next day there is little to buy for a journalist, flowers and candles at the crime scenes to photograph, all here, empty, it’s a beautiful day in early summer, but the residents of the area hurry up, few want to talk .
Johansson, the city councilor, has been in a meeting all morning, the city director has had opinions, the opposition has opinions, the columnists of Nerikes Allehanda, the dominant newspaper in the region, have opinions.
Even Palme has opinions.
He is 40, Johansson, has friendly eyes and a firm handshake, he is the first in his family to have attended university, he only has time for a short interview.
Segregation, he says, is a big deal, but political decisions have been made to make improvements, adults need jobs, young people need reasonable jobs.
Everything well-meaning municipal politicians across the country have said so often for so many years with so little success.
Politicians who are forced to address the concerns of the people and who lack the capacity of national politicians to show action by calling press conferences to present yet another tightening of the law or tweet their dissatisfaction with the state of affairs.
The area is now subject to changes. The houses are under reconstruction. Closed construction sites must be open. The rental apartments become condominiums.
But at the moment the kindergarten is closed.
A large advertising billboard meet us at the entrance to the area.
“The center of Varberga is renewed”.
full screenJohn Johansson, chairman of the Örebro city council. Photo: Björn Lindahl