Swedish authorities are establishing temporary border controls to cope with the massive number of refugees coming into the country. Sweden is currently asking the European Union for more help to tackle the largest ongoing influx of refugees into the region since the Second World War.
Swedish Home Affairs Minister Anders Ygeman said that the government will put controls on its borders by noon Thursday. The check will require ferry owners to create a passenger list and keep it ready for border controls, which will initially be implemented for up to 10 days and can be extended up to 20 days, Bloomberg reported.
“We need another system, that is obvious,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Loefven said Thursday, according to Bloomberg, adding: “This is not an issue for one, two or three countries; this is an issue for the whole European Union.”
Loefven made the comments before a summit of EU and African leaders in Valletta, Malta. European and African leaders are due to sign an agreement to set up an Emergency Trust Fund for Africa worth about $1.9 billion, according to the BBC. In exchange of the fund, European leaders expect that Africa will reduce the outward flow of refugees from African nations.
Loefven also clarified, according to Bloomberg, that the checks are “exactly according to the rules,” and that they are “not a fence.” He also said, according to the BBC, that the center-left government had acted "in order to obtain security and stability... not to limit the number of asylum seekers, but to get better control of the flow of asylum seekers to Sweden."
"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,” Loefven said, according to the BBC, adding: "If we are to cope with this mutual challenge, the other countries must take their responsibility."
According to a report by Al Jazeera, over 700,000 people have entered Europe through the Mediterranean Sea in 2015, and Sweden, along with Germany, has taken in a large number of refugees. According to a report by Reuters, Sweden is expected to see about 190,000 asylum-seekers entering the country.
"We also want 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," Ygeman said, according to Al Jazeera.
Sweden had announced last week that it cannot guarantee accommodation to the newly arrived refugees, according to Reuters. The Swedish Migration Agency has planned that some people could be sheltered in heated tents while others could be accommodated in places like ski resorts and theme parks. About 10,000 refugees came into the country last week, while nearly 2,000 people entered in just a single day.
"The fact the we can see that hundreds of people now can't be provided with a roof over their heads by the Migration Agency and are forced to sleep outdoors or in railway stations, that risks creating threats to order and security," Ygeman said, according to Reuters.