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Sweden extends border controls, citing continued 'threat'

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Sweden extends border controls, citing continued 'threat'
File photo: Johan Nilsson / TT
14:58 CET+01:00
Sweden announced on Thursday that it will extend border control measures for an additional three months.
With the latest extension, the border checks will now remain in place through May 11th. 
 
"The decision is based on the government's assessment that there is a threat to public order and internal security in Sweden,” a government press release stated. 
 
In autumn 2015, Sweden introduced border checks on car and train traffic at the Öresund Bridge, as well as at ports in Varberg, Gothenburg, Malmö, Helsingborg and Trelleborg. The measures were in response to the large influx of migrants into the country. 
 
Last summer, the checks were expanded to 12 new spots, including some of Sweden's largest airports.
 
A Schengen report released in September harshly criticized Sweden over its border controls, saying they were poorly manned and that those carrying out the checks lacked the necessary knowledge.
 
As a result, Stockholm police announced earlier this week that a special response plan has been launched to resolve the problems. An additional 100 border officers will be added to the existing team of 400 by the end of the year. Stockholm border police will also aim to increase the number of border checks and improve equipment and training for staff. Border officers working at Arlanda Airport will also now be able to call on the entire Stockholm police region's resources when needed.
 
In announcing the extension of border controls on Thursday, Interior Minister Mikael Damberg indicated that the Swedish measures would not be necessary if there was a united European approach to border security. 
 
"Sweden is one of a handful of countries that continue to have internal border controls due to lack of border controls at the Schengen's external borders," he said. 
 
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