Refugee crisis

Record numbers seek asylum in Sweden

Record numbers seek asylum in Sweden
Photo: TT
According to the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) 6,400 refugees have sought asylum in Sweden in the last week, a record number of applicants.

Mikael Ribbenvik, Deputy Director General of the Swedish Migration Board told Swedish broadcaster SVT on Sunday: “The only comparable situation was the Balkans crisis in 1992, although even that saw fewer refugees than we see now. We have never experienced anything like this before,” he said.

The number of asylum seekers was up significantly on the previous week, itself a record-breaking 5,200.

The previous record before the current crisis was set in June 1992, during the Balkan war, when 5,060 asylum seekers were processed. That year 84,000 sought asylum in Sweden. So far this year the figure is in excess of 60,000.

Sweden, which over the past few years has taken in the second largest number of asylum seekers in the EU after Germany, has vowed to keep its borders open for the time being.

“We are not close to such a situation,” said Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at a joint press conference with European Parliament President Martin Schultz last Monday.
The International Organization for Migration has said that more than 430,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe this year, with 2,748 dying en route or going missing.