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Swedes now want fewer refugees, poll says

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Photo: Robert Nyholm/TT
09:44 CET+01:00
A majority of Swedes now want their country to take in fewer refugees, a new poll showed Thursday, as the Nordic nation struggles to contain an unprecedented influx of asylum seekers.

The Ipsos poll was published in Sweden's biggest daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter and found that 55 percent of Swedes believe the country should not take in more migrants.

The number is up 25 percentage points since September, when barely one in three people answered that they wanted Sweden to take in fewer refugees.

In September, almost every other Swede, or 44 percent, wanted their country to take in more refugees. That figure has since been more than halved, and stands at 19 percent.

The government has announced a series of measures aimed at reducing the number of refugees coming to Sweden and in early January authorities plan to begin checking IDs on trains and buses travelling to Sweden from Denmark.

Sweden, a country of 9.8 million, has taken in more than 160,000 asylum seekers this year -- putting it among the EU states with the highest proportion of refugees per capita. 

This unprecedented influx of migrants have put severe strains on infrastructure and authorities have sounded the alarm. 

"Swedes have a rather generous attitude when it comes to receiving refugees, but it is conditional that it works. We believe the reversal in opinion is a result of problems in receiving and questions about what the 
long-term consequences of the crisis for Sweden," Nicklas Källebring, analyst at the polling institute Ipsos, told Dagens Nyheter.

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Sweden and the rest of Europe have been struggling with the continent's biggest migration crisis since World War II. 

Ipsos interviewed 1,231 people by telephone between December 3 and 14 for the survey.

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