• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Refugee crisis
Sweden doubles refugee arrival forecast for 2015
Refugees arriving in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden doubles refugee arrival forecast for 2015

TT/AFP/The Local · 22 Oct 2015, 11:12

Published: 22 Oct 2015 09:05 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 Oct 2015 11:12 GMT+02:00

The agency estimates that a total of between 140,000 and 190,000 refugees will have come to the Nordic country by the end of the year. Of those, 29,000 to 40,000 are expected to be children travelling alone.

Another wave of between 100,000 and 170,000 people are predicted for 2016.

The numbers are more than twice as high as the agency's forecast from earlier this summer. In July it predicted 74,000 asylum claims would be made over the whole of 2015. And Director-General Anders Danielsson told reporters at a press conference in Stockholm that Thursday's figures may change.

"We note that the current refugee situation is unprecedented in modern times. We see pictures of people literally walking from Greece, across the Balkans and Germany and towards the Nordic countries. More people than ever are seeking asylum in Europe, but there is no border control and no exact figure," he said.


Anders Danielsson at the press conference. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

In a press release, the agency warned that more accommodation must urgently be made available if Sweden is to be able to cope with the increasing influx of people fleeing wars in Africa and the Middle East. The country is likely to be short of 25,000-45,000 places at asylum centres by the turn of the year, it said.

"The sharp increase in asylum seekers coming to Sweden means the Migration Agency's current capacity is no longer sufficient to provide an orderly reception of new asylum seekers," said the release.

Danielsson said at Thursday's press conference that the authority was investigating a range of options, including housing refugees in former bomb shelters. The move follows similar discussions in Switzerland, which suggested earlier this month that asylum seekers could be put up in nuclear bunkers if needed.

READ ALSO: First tents for refugees set up in Sweden

Asylum immigration is expected to cost Sweden 60.2 billion kronor ($7.23 billion) in the coming year and 73 billion kronor in 2017. The Migration Agency said on Thursday that it is likely going to need 29 billion kronor on top of what has already been included in its budget for this year and 41 billion next year to manage the situation.

Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson admitted that the sharp increase in asylum seekers would put a strain on public finances, saying that the government would be looking at ways to lend and save money to be able to cope with the crisis. She added that there was no immediate plan to raise taxes.


Magdalena Andersson speaking after the announcement. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Sweden, a country of 9.8 million, is known for its generous asylum policy and welfare state, and is a preferred destination for refugees. It has one of the highest proportion of refugees per capita in the European Union.

"The EU's and individual member states' actions will play a decisive role in how many asylum seekers come to Sweden in the future," Migration Agency analyst Merjem Maslo said in a statement.

Commenting on the new forecast on Thursday morning, Justice and Migration Minister Morgan Johansson told reporters that it was more important than ever that other EU countries step up to take in more refugees.

Story continues below…

"So far we have managed to give these people roofs over their heads (...) but it is easy to look at this and draw the conclusion that it is not sustainable for Sweden if it continues," he said and added that he would continue to push the issue at a summit of European ministers next month.


Morgan Johansson speaking to Swedish and international media. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Meanwhile, the Dagens Nyheter newspaper reported that a crisis meeting between the ruling Social Democrat-Green coalition, the Left Party and the four mainstream centre-right opposition parties originally scheduled for Thursday had been cancelled at the last minute.

The parties are instead set to meet on Friday, sources told the Swedish daily.

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven this week raised concerns that "Sweden is approaching the limit of its capacity". But the Social Democrat leader also told Swedish media on Wednesday that he felt "warm and proud" to be running a country that was doing so much to help asylum seekers.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Brexit vote
Sweden wants UK to move quickly towards exit
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven after Monday's meeting. Photo: Johanna Johansson/TT

"We can’t have the EU in limbo for too long," said the Prime Minister.

Brexit vote
UK can't cherry-pick EU rules, says Sweden
Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson following the meeting on Monday. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson commented on the consequences of Brexit after a meeting with Swedish businesses on Monday.

Why this Swedish canal was filled with dead rats
Removing dead rats from a canal: not the easiest summer job. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Over 140 dead rats were removed from Malmö's canals on Monday.

Is this Swede the new Vincent van Gogh?
Ivar Arpi (left). Photo: Tomlin Studio

He's winning a worldwide competition to find the person who most resembles the Dutch master.

Brexit vote
Swedish stock market plummets in Brexit aftermath
The Stockholm Stock Exchange felt the full force of Brexit on Monday morning. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

Monday is the first day of trading in Sweden since Britain voted to leave the European Union, and negative effects are already being felt, with stocks down by almost five percent at lunchtime.

Brexit: Sweden’s leaders meet for talks about 'our friend'
Ebba Busch Thor outside the PM's office before Monday morning's talks. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

“The UK is our friend and we have to respect the decision.”

Brexit vote
Poll: Sweden still wants to stay in EU after Brexit vote
Most Swedes polled don't want a referendum on EU membership. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

A post-Brexit poll shows that the majority of Swedes would still vote to stay in the EU.

My Swedish Career
'I was only supposed to stay in Sweden for a few months'
Dan Paech, the founder of Run With Me Stockholm. Photo: Private

Meet Dan Paech, 31, the Australian who found his entrepreneurial path in Stockholm.

Sweden murder probe after refugee centre death
One person had been detained and other potential witnesses were being questioned. Photo: TT

Swedish police on Sunday launched a murder investigation after a young woman was found dead at a shelter housing asylum-seekers.

Sweden trials electrified highway for trucks
The truck draws power as it moves at speeds of up to 90km/h (56mph) while putting out no emissions. Photo: Scania AB

The Swedish truck firm Scania, in partnership with German engineering company, Siemens, is developing the world’s first “eHighway”, a four kilometre stretch of highway north of Stockholm.

Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
International
'A morning of sorrow': Sweden reacts to Brexit vote
Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
International
Sweden opposition cools talk of 'Swexit' poll
International
'Devastated' - Brits in Sweden shocked by Brexit vote
Blog updates

17 June

Queen’s Birthday Stockholm 2016: 9th June. 90th Birthday. 900 Guests! (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"What do you do when you read that the Queen’s 90th Birthday in London will be…" READ »

 

10 June

i lördags, på lördag – time phrases for present, past and future (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! Swedish time phrases can be difficult to master. It takes a lot of practice to…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Stockholm school celebrates Nepal Project success
Gallery
People-watching: June 22nd
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Private
The Local Voices
'Swedes don't treat me differently because I wear a hijab'
Culture
How do Swedes celebrate Midsummer?
Culture
Coming soon: Sweden’s smelly fermented fish
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Assange lawyer: Sweden should recognize UN opinion
Private
The Local Voices
Why is this Syrian dentist who hugs like a Swede worried about undies?
Swedish nationalist 'shot and ate' lion and giraffe
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Analysis & Opinion
'Sweden's residency revamp is harmful and inhumane'
Sponsored Article
The man behind Sweden's biggest music festival
Photo: The Local
The Local Voices
UNHCR boss: 'It's hard to start your life without your family'
Politics
VIDEO: Brits in Europe say why UK should stay
Sponsored Article
US expats: Have you met your tax deadlines?
Photo: Marko Risović
The Local Voices
World Refugee Day: Searching for safety in Europe - in pictures
Sponsored Article
Malmö: Home to the best food in Sweden?
National
Is Swedish nationalists’ foreign food ban bananas?
Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
Gallery
Property of the week: Söråker
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
International
Poll shows huge support for EU in Sweden
The Local Voices
How a Syrian scuba diver mobilized Sweden's biggest asylum centre
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Sport
Zlatan: 'If we'd been fighting for real, he'd be in hospital'
The Local Voices
Orlando reflections: Is it possible to be gay and Muslim?
Sweden to go ahead with migrant age tests
Gallery
People-watching: June 17th-19th
National
Will you be hit by changes to Sweden's residency laws?
3,325
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se