This is how Sweden plans to deal with the number of refugees streaming across its borders
Effective today, the Swedish government will impose stricter border controls to deal with the number of refugees coming into the country. “A record number of refugees are arriving in Sweden. The migration office is under strong pressure … and the police believe there is a threat against public order,” Interior Minister, Anders Ygeman said.
This year, Sweden has received more refugees than any other European country, with 112,000 appeals for asylum so far this year and 190,000 asylum seekers anticipated for the year as a whole. But even though the Scandinavian country has been rather supportive in accepting desperate refugees fleeing political instability and economic hardship in their homeland, the recent inflow of more than 10,000 people per week has become a challenge for the authorities. At the beginning of the week, the Swedish government deployed the army to help with civilian administration.
While attending a summit on refugees in Malta, Ygeman explained that authorities also intend to introduce ID controls on passenger ferries. “[…] because we need better control on who is actually on these boats – it’s both a question of sea safety but also of order in our refugee reception.” He also hinted that the temporary border controls could be extended for 20-days at a time, if need be.
Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven explained the emergency measure, defending the decision of the authorities.“We have never ruled out border checks. There is nothing that’s been excluded from the agenda, but we should do it at the right time and with the right conditions,” he said.
“We need order, and that also applies to our borders. There must be order in the reception of refugees.”
The European Union (EU) offered a deal to African countries to receive some of their illegal, and unskilled migrants. The deal involves a 1.3 billion-pound plan to provide cash to African governments while also opening the door to African students, doctors, entrepreneurs, and other professionals, by way of granting them European visas, in what is being termed a ‘migrant swap’. African countries directly involved include Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Uganda.
The initiative did not particularly sit well with Britain, whose stance on migration is not as flexible. Thus, the provisions in the EU’s decision places Britain in a difficult situation concerning its position in the union.
In April, the Italian interior ministry warned Europe that as many as 5,000 migrants could arrive weekly by sea unless something was done quickly. A number which has doubled for countries like Sweden. Also analysts attributed the massive migration to the good weather in the Mediterranean, and, more importantly, because of the growing lawlessness and anarchy in Libya. But even though the journey in search of a better life is rather dangerous, the risk of death is doing little to discourage voyagers, as their numbers keep rising.
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