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Denmark extends ID checks along German border

Police will continue with spot checks on the German border, aiming to deter migrants, Danish officials say. Europe is still facing a "historically high" number of newcomers, according to the government.

Denmark plans to extend the border controls until May 3, the Immigration, Integration and Housing Ministry announced on Friday.

Authorities introduced the identity checks in early January, after thousands of refugees passed through its territory to reach more asylum-friendly Sweden.

The number of people arriving in Germany and Sweden has dropped significantly since the closing of the so-called Balkan route weeks ago.

The

Danish measures

were "deemed to have had a preventive effect," Integration Minister Inger Stojberg said.

"The pressure on Europe's external borders is still high and refugee and migrant flows may rise significantly when the weather gets better," she added.

"It is necessary to extend the border controls so that we ensure that large groups of refugees and migrants do not accumulate here in Denmark."

Long road to Sweden

According to Stojberg's letter to the European Commission, the Danish police had checked some 488,000 people since the measures took effect. As a result, nearly 1,000 people were denied entry and over 100 charged over suspected human trafficking.

Last year, Denmark received over 21,000 asylum applications, marking a 44 percent jump from the year before. At the same time, Sweden took in 163,000, more than any other country when scaled to its 9.7 million population.

The influx strained the state apparatus in the Scandinavian country, prompting Stockholm to boost border controls and set a

massive repatriation plan

in motion.

Watch video 04:15

Denmark: Refugees unwelcome 20.01.2016

dj/kms (dpa, Reuters, AFP)

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