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Sweden to get 50,000 asylum seekers in 2013

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Sweden to get 50,000 asylum seekers in 2013
12:54 CET+01:00
Over 50,000 asylum seekers are expected to come to Sweden next year, according to the latest prognosis from the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket), pushing the country's capacity past its limits.

Sweden's capacity for asylum seekers will be stretched with the predicted influx of 54,000 asylum seekers, a figure that hasn't been so high since the Balkan war in the beginning of the 1990s, which brought 84,000 people.

“This is a very strained situation,” said Migration Minister Tobias Billström to the TT news agency.

Since September this year, 1,250 asylum seekers have arrived in Sweden each week, far more than the Migration Board's capacity of between 500 and 700.

This means that some asylum seekers are forced to wait while the agency concentrates on prioritizing the cases most likely to be approved, such as single children, refugees from Syria, and families with children.

“The main focus is to find time to take in and register applicants and above all find lodging that meets the need for those coming,” Billström said.

The situation in Syria has resulted in an extremely fast growing number of Syrian refugees arriving in Sweden in a short time.

In the prognosis published in July, the Syrians were the third most populous asylum group. In just two months, it had become the biggest. In September alone, 1,326 Syrian asylum seekers came to Sweden.

Meanwhile, the Migration Board director general Anders Danielsson explained that the influx of asylum seekers means a focus on the housing issue in Sweden.

“That's the next question. Our mission is to take in people, evaluate their right to asylum, and if they are approved, the next step is the so-called 'establishing'. At that point, the case is more or less handed over from the Migration Board to the employment agency and the municipalities,” he told TT.

TT/The Local/og

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