Sweden sees no decline in migrants

2015-11-13 22:07
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Stockholm - Waves of asylum seekers arriving in Sweden showed no signs of letting up Friday, a day after the country introduced temporary border controls to help stem the influx, authorities said.

Almost 24 hours after the measures took effect at midday on Thursday, the Swedish Migration Agency had registered about 1 600 bids for asylum, said spokesperson Mikael Hvinlund.

"That is on par with the levels during the past days and weeks," he told Swedish Radio.

Seeking asylum

Border controls were in place at ferry terminals in southern Sweden, where many travellers arrive from Germany and Denmark. They were also enacted on the Oresund rail and road bridge that connects Sweden to Denmark, used by thousands of vehicles and commuters.

It was possible that many people who earlier transited to Norway or Finland were now seeking asylum in Sweden, Home Affairs Minister Anders Ygeman said.

The border controls were initially to be in place until November 21, the government said.

Following Sweden's lead, the governments of neighbouring Denmark and Norway also unveiled measures to stem migrant arrivals.

"We are introducing tougher access to Denmark so that fewer (people) come here," Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said with the unveiling of a 34-point package.

Rasmussen's centre-right minority government planned to open migration talks with other parties next week.

Proposals for the talks included pushing back the period for applying for family reunion from one to three years and tents as accommodation for single males applying for asylum.

Single men

Denmark cut welfare benefits for new asylum seekers in August in a bid to curb arrivals.

In Norway, the conservative-led government will ask parliament next week to approve changes in the asylum law to allow for the speedier return of people who lack grounds for asylum, citing large inflows via Russia.

"The majority who cross the border are not fleeing civil war or persecution", Prime Minister Erna Solberg said.

Solberg said Syrian nationals were now outnumbered by single men from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

This year more than 4 400 people have arrived via the land border Norway shares with Russia, high above the Arctic Circle.

Read more on:    sweden  |  migrants

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