• Sweden's news in English

Funding questioned as refugee numbers rocket

TT/The Local · 2 Oct 2015, 16:24

Published: 02 Oct 2015 15:56 GMT+02:00
Updated: 02 Oct 2015 16:24 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
While other Scandinavian countries have sought to limit immigration in the wake of the global refugee crisis, Sweden's government has committed to providing extra funding and maintaining its open borders.
But the country's capacity for dealing with the large numbers of asylum seekers heading to the Nordic nation was called into question on Friday, as new figures emerged about the rush of new arrivals.
According to official statistics quoted by the TT news agency, 73,000 people had applied for asylum in Sweden by the end of September, close to the 74,000 expected in the country in the whole of 2015.
Last month alone, 24,306 people sought asylum in Sweden, a historically high figure that included 1,300 people on one single day.
"It is clear that it will cost us more money than we thought," admitted Sweden's Minister for Migration Morgan Johansson, just weeks ahead of the Social Democrat-Green coalition's budget announcement.
Under previously announced financial plans, the government allocated 17.4 billion kronor for immigration-related issues in 2015 and predicted 19.4 billion would be needed next year. It has also put aside extra money for municipalities to help new arrivals to integrate into Swedish society.
Johansson said he would not speculate on how the figures might change ahead of the government's formal budget announcement later this month.
"Right now shelter is the biggest challenge. It's about how to get housing for a thousand people a day. There is a huge logistical challenge," he said.

Migration Minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT
The minister also noted that large numbers of children were arriving in Sweden without their parents.
"The relocation of the unaccompanied children is a very, very big challenge," he explained, appealing to Swedes willing to foster some of the younger arrivals to open their homes.
"I think there are quite a few Swedes who would be willing to receive any of these children," said Johansson, adding that he hoped that the nation's volunteering sector would also step up its efforts alongside those of the government.
"We in Sweden have several advantages. We are an organized country, we have relatively strong public finances and strong social movements, that make many people organize themselves on a voluntary basis. That's how we can handle this situation."
Story continues below…
Johansson's comments come a week after Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven called on his migration minister to "urgently review" what steps needed to be taken to tackle what he called a "dramatic increase in the number of refugees seeking asylum".
"People need to get roofs over their heads and the children have to start school," he added.
One initiative that is being looked into is using some of the country's empty prisons to house some of the new arrivals. The government also wants to fast-track proposed legislation to force local authorities to accept refugees. 
Sweden's opposition centre-right parties have largely backed the government's efforts to help refugees, while polls suggest that support for the nationalist Sweden Democrat party is stalling in the Nordic nation.
In 2014, Sweden took in more refugees per capita than any other EU nation.

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

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

This is the new top boss of Swedish Ericsson
Börje Ekholm. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Telecoms giant Ericsson has appointed a new CEO after a turbulent year for the company.

These are Sweden's best universities: ranking
A new university ranking has been released. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

At least according to this global ranking, which picks 12 Swedish universities among the top-1000.

Swedish pharmacies restrict paracetamol sales for teens
The move is intended to cut paracetamol overdoses. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Sweden's pharmacies are banning teens under 18 from buying more than one pack of pills at a time.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available