In his tongue-in-cheek blog post, which was published a week ago but only started going viral in Sweden on Wednesday, Ørjan Burøe echoes common anti-immigration conspiracy theories by claiming that Swedes are trying to infiltrate Norway to steal “jobs and women”.
“It is strange that nobody sees how these Swedes are trying to Swedify our country! Many claim that the Pakistani came first, but that's wrong. They did not come until the late 60s, but already in 1963 the Swedes built a big building in Asker [an Oslo suburb] where all Swedes could live. It was called Ikea and it turned out to be just the beginning,” he writes.
Referring to the hundreds of Swedes who travel to Norway to work every year in order to take advantage of the higher salaries across the border, Burøe continues:
“So far almost 100,000 Swedes are registered in our country and almost 80,000 are on their way. If this influx continues there will soon be ten percent Swedes in the country.”
“I am not a racist in any way, but enough is enough! We have to ethnically cleanse Norway of the Swedes.”
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The two Nordic countries have a long-running history of poking fun at each other. But, insisting he remains “very fond” of the Swedes working in Norway, Burøe reveals not everyone shares his sense of humour with some taking his blog post at face value.
“It is then of course a bit funny to see some Swedes who have not understood my satire actually take the post personally,” he told The Local on Wednesday.
Ørjan Burøe performing on Norwegian television. Video by NRK.
While Swedes have been uniting to help refugees arriving in the country by donating money, clothes and time, the country has also experienced a rise in xenophobia, with the nationalist Sweden Democrats polling at around 20 percent.
Sweden is predicted to see an influx of 74,000 asylum seekers by the end of the year, the second-highest in Europe after Germany. By contrast, Norway – in which the right-wing populist Progress Party scored around 16 percent of the vote in the 2013 election – has agreed to take in 8,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2017.
“I get a little embarrassed and angry when I see via social media how people try to shut their borders. There are dead children on the waterfront and we need to react immediately. It's our duty to help people who are escaping from a war,” Burøe told The Local.
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By Wednesday at noon his blog post had been shared more than 16,000 times and the comic hopes his newfound claim to fame will help inject some humour into the sometimes harsh discussions.
“It can make the debate milder. There was one person who wrote privately to me that he was first very critical of refugees from Syria but after he read my post he understood what it was really about,” Burøe added in an interview with the Swedish Aftonbladet tabloid.