Swedish authorities plan to impose temporary border controls to help the country cope with "record" numbers of refugees, the interior minister says. The minister has also urged EU countries to take "responsibility."
The intended measures would apply to the key Oresund Bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark, as well as ferry terminals in southern Sweden where many asylum applicants arrive from Germany, Swedish Interior Minister Anders Ygeman said on Wednesday.
"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," Ygeman told reporters.
Border controls would go into effect on Thursday for a 10-day period, and might be extended, according to the official.
Ferries traveling to Sweden would also need to introduce identity controls "as soon as possible."
'Crystal clear' message to EU
This year, nearly 200,000 people are expected to arrive in Sweden, a country with a population of 9.7 million. Adjusted for population size, no other country in Europe is taking in nearly as many people.
"Our signal to the rest of the EU is crystal clear: Sweden is the country that has shouldered the greatest responsibility for the refugee crisis," Ygeman said at news conference.
"If we are to cope with this mutual challenge, the other countries must take their responsibility," he added.
Asylum in a theme park
Last week, Swedish authorities warned that they could no longer guarantee accommodation for all the newcomers.
The state Migration Agency already plans on sheltering thousands of refugees in heated tents, with some people possibly ending up in ski resorts or theme parks.
The refugees are likely to continue arriving to Europe from Turkey during winter, at a rate of about 5,000 per day, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.
dj/kms (dpa, Reuters, AP, AFP)
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