Border checks

Oops! ID checks stump Swedish migration head

Oops! ID checks stump Swedish migration head
Anders Danielsson at the Migration Agency's offices in Malmö on a previous occasion. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT
Set to testify before parliament on the efficiency of Sweden's new refugee ID checks, the head of the Swedish Migration Agency was turned away by guards unable to verify his own identification.

Director-general Anders Danielsson had been invited to the Swedish parliament to talk about the systematic photo ID checks put in place at Copenhagen Airport on January 4th to stem an unprecedented flow of asylum seekers travelling via Denmark to Sweden.

But guards turned him away after they were unable to match his government ID with any of the names on their list, officials said on Thursday.

“He was not on the list of invited people and identification was not enough,” Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) spokesperson Alexandra Elias told the AFP news agency.

Danielsson was reportedly forced to make several phone calls to friends and colleagues inside parliament who could vouch for his identity before the issue was finally cleared up and he was allowed to enter.

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Sweden, which is home to 9.8 million people, is one of the European Union countries that has taken in the largest number of refugees in relation to its population. Sweden accepted more than 160,000 asylum seekers last year.

But the number of arrivals has dropped dramatically since Sweden enacted systematic photo ID checks on travellers on January 4th, following police border checks on public transport to Sweden imposed in November.