• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Border checks
New border checks: traveller experiences
Border checks began on Monday morning. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

New border checks: traveller experiences

Maddy Savage · 4 Jan 2016, 16:25

Published: 04 Jan 2016 14:34 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Jan 2016 16:25 GMT+01:00

For the first time in half a century, Sweden is demanding photo identification for all rail travellers from Denmark as part of efforts to stem the flow of refugees between the two Nordic nations. The move is set to have an impact on 8,600 daily commuters who take the train over the Öresund bridge, as well as residents who use the connection to have meetings, shop or visit friends and family in Denmark and holidaymakers travelling around, to or from Scandinavia. The Local has spoken to some of those affected.
 
1. Nicholas Bean, British commuter
 

Photo: Private
 
Bean, who works in marketing, only got a job in Copenhagen four months ago and described the changes as "really bad timing" for him, noting that his travel time was set to increase by up to an hour each day. The Briton, who is married to a Swede and has been living in Malmö for two years, said his first journey since the checks started had gone "pretty smoothly" on Monday morning, but that he was still disappointed in the government's decision.
 
"The whole idea of it is ridiculous nonsense. It's a sticking plaster on a problem that is much, much bigger," the expat said. But he told The Local he felt it was "hard to not sound like an idiot" when discussing the impact on commuters because he was well aware that there were "people living in tent camps" and "thousands of others who want refuge and need to seek refuge" in Sweden in the coming months. "The checks are not going to stop people coming," he argued.
 
2. David Nyman, Swedish visitor
 

Photo: Private
 
After a night out in Copenhagen, Swedish journalist David Nyman was stopped from returning to Malmö at around 2am on Monday morning. He had failed to take his passport, national identity card or driving licence with him before the checks were introduced and attempted to persuade security staff that his press card should be considered adequate identifcation.
 
"I got denied because the guards argued that my press ID was not good enough as an ID card," he told The Local. He said he was "tired and really wanted to go home" and decided to take a taxi instead, at the cost of 1,000 kronor ($118). "This money I will demand to get back," he said. "I don’t think we should need ID documents to be able to travel between European countries."
 
3. Rolf Olsson, Swedish pensioner
 

Kastrup airport on Monday. Photo: 
Johan Nilsson/TT
 
Olsson, 71, who lives in Malmö, is in favour of the checks, despite being a regular visitor to Copenhagen. "I think it's good because we have far too many refugees in Sweden," he told The Local's reporter Richard Orange at Copenhagen's Kastrup airport. "It has to start somewhere. At the beginning everybody complains and says it's too tough, but after a month or so, everything will calm down. It should have been done a lot earlier." 
 
He argued that Sweden's national government has not paid close enough attention to how the refugee crisis is affecting the country's third largest city, which has long been a hub for immigrants.
 
 “Stockholm doesn't understand Malmö,” he said.
 
4. Per Tryding, Swedish businessman
 

Photo: Lars Lydig
 
A regular traveller between Malmö and Copenhagen, Tryding is deputy CEO of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Southern Sweden. He spent Monday morning at Copenhagen airport's Kastrup train station, giving media interviews outlining his argument that the new border checks could have a major impact on business in the Öresund region.
 
"It felt like it was a diet version of the Berlin wall and it's actually more intimidating than you think when you need to show your identity card like that to a guard and you know they are keeping it somewhere in a cloud," he told The Local. "Three out of four trains have been cancelled as a result of the checks (...) The commuting system is the blood system of a metropolitan economy. It will stop the blood flowing," he said.
 
5. Emma Ohlin, Swedish train ticket vendor
 

Photo: Private
 
Story continues below…
25-year-old Ohlin works in a rail ticket office in Malmö in southern Sweden and says she is worried about her job becoming more stressful in the coming weeks. “Yes, since I meet many travellers who miss their trains in Sweden or demand compensation for cancelled trains," she told The Local, adding that she was already fielding plenty of questions about the new rules.
 
“Generally I think it is a bad decision. The Öresund bridge was not designed for ID checks and I know many people who commute who are going to have considerably longer and more complicated journeys. I believe that it will affect the Öresund region in a negative way,” she said.
 
6. Joakim Sandell, Swedish politician
 

Photo: Jens Ohlsson
 
The Malmö chairman of Sweden's ruling Social Democrat party, Sandell, backs the national Red-Green coalition's initiative, describing the new checks as "a must".
 
"To reduce the refugee influx we believe that this is necessary," he told The Local, noting that Sweden took in around 160,000 asylum seekers in 2015, compared to 18,000 helped by Denmark. He said he did not commute daily to Copenhagen but accepted that he would be personally affected by delays whenever he made the journey. 
 
"There are about two parts of the criticism. One is that we are making it harder for asylum seekers in Sweden and the other one is how it is affecting businesses and train commuters. I have an understanding for both parts of the criticism,” he admitted. But he said that he felt no other Swedish political parties had come up with a better alternative solution and argued that "more European countries should have been taking more responsibility" during the earlier stages of the refugee crisis, when Sweden took in record numbers of new arrivals. 

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

Maddy Savage (maddy.savage@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
Spotify launches new karaoke style streaming in Japan
Can karaoke help Spotify to crack Japan? Photo: DocChewbacca/Flickr creative commons

The Swedish streaming giant has taken inspiration from Japan's love of karaoke with its launch in the country.

US rappers' gig ends in 'bloodbath' in Stockholm
US rapper Ghostface Killah. Photo: Scott Roth/Invision/AP

A man ran onto the stage during a concert by US rappers Ghostface Killah and Killah Priest in Stockholm.

Border checks
Could Sweden's border controls soon be lifted?
The border control at the Swedish side of the Öresund Bridge to Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

The EU-approved six-month extension of controls in the south of the country will soon come to an end.

'Homemade bomb' on bus in Sweden was bike helmet
File photo of a Swedish police officer. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

A bicycle helmet sparked a bomb scare on a bus in Uppsala.

What's on in Sweden
Four don't-miss festivals in Sweden this week
Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival. Photo: Stockholm Öl & Vin AB

Arab cinema, Gay Pride, out-of-the-box art, whisky and craft beer – what more could a person in Sweden possibly need?

Sweden advised to bring conscription back in 2018
Bringing back the draft could help a stretched military, a government inquiry says. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Young men and women could be made to fill in questionnaires for recruitment to the Armed Forces as early as next year, according to a new proposal.

Nationalists suspend aide after Russia propaganda claim
The suspended aide is a political secretary to SD member of parliament Kent Ekeroth. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

His suspension comes only days after another of the party's political secretaries resigned amid controversy over a property deal in Russia.

Presented by Lernia
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Photo: Lernia

Struggling to learn Swedish? There are a few ways to make it easier. Here are seven tips from the experts.

Here's how much Sweden's highest-earning authors make
It was a good year for the likes of Jonas Jonasson (left) and Camilla Läckberg (right). Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT & Henrik Montgomery/TT

From Nordic Noir to a hundred-year-old man (and one called Ove), Sweden's authors had a good year in 2015.

Sweden named world's sixth most competitive country
The good news also came with some caveats. Photo: Izabelle Nordfjell/TT

The country moved up three places in the top ten of the latest edition of the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index.

Sponsored Article
Expat finances in Sweden: the Common Reporting Standard
National
Aliens' sex lives? Why Swedes want Nasa to send a condom into space
Sponsored Article
Let's Talk: a personal Swedish language tutor in your pocket
Analysis & Opinion
'If Sweden really wants startups, drop the red tape on migration'
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
Blog updates

27 September

Cutting your nose …. (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Last week, Jeremy Browne, the Special Representative for the City of London, visited Sweden. Jeremy was…" READ »

 

7 September

Svensk or svenska? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! My inbox is full of questions :-). Here’s one about when to use “svensk” and…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
‘I view the world in a different way now’
National
Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Sweden
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Gallery
People-watching: September 23rd-25th
Politics
Russian Sweden Democrat aide resigns over suspect deal
National
Muslim teacher leaves job after not shaking male colleague's hand
Sponsored Article
'Creating a sense of home': Collective living in Stockholm
Travel
Why we adore autumn in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
People-watching: September 21st
National
Stockholmers hunt killer badger after attack on neighbourhood hipster cat
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Six key points in Sweden's budget plan
The Local Voices
How a Swedish name finally made recruiters notice this Iranian's CV
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Gallery
Property of the week: Luleå
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
People-watching: September 16th-18th
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Culture
Why Swedish TV has given these kids' trucks a sex swap
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden’s ’a-kassa’
Gallery
People-watching: September 14th
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Politics
Why Sweden is putting troops on holiday dream island Gotland
The Local Voices
'What I mean when I say: I came here to blow myself up'
Society
VIDEO: Are Swedes that unfriendly?
Features
INTERVIEW: How Arthur the jungle dog opened hearts and minds
Gallery
Property of the week: Smögen, Västra Götaland
Society
Sweden's ancient forest tongue Elfdalian fights for survival
National
Where Sweden's foreigners are from
The Local Voices
'Whenever I apply for jobs I’m treated like an unwanted stranger'
The Local Voices
Is Swedish bosses' ignorance keeping refugees out of jobs?
2,960
jobs available