The Prime Minister of Denmark has criticised the Swedish government’s plan to impose border control on its Danish frontier, but not for reasons obviously related to immigration.
For some time now the neighbouring Scandinavian countries have been at loggerheads over their differing approach to the migrant crisis. Sweden originally opened its borders to migrants coming into Europe, whereas Denmark tightened its controls and the result of the inconsistent approach led to discord between the two countries, as Breitbart London has previously reported.
Now the planned reintroduction of Swedish border control measures at the Øresund bridge which links the two countries has raised the hackles of Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, reports The Local. This is not because he takes a particular view on the rights and wrongs of strengthening borders, but rather because he fears it may undo years of expensive branding exercises promoting the cross-border region.
“It is a very unfortunate situation,” Mr. Rasmussen told reporters. “We have spent billions on building infrastructure up in the Øresund region. We have spent millions branding Copenhagen and Malmo as a single metropolitan area.”
The new Swedish border control rules will become operative on January 4th 2016. Thereafter all train or ferry operators who cross Sweden’s borders will be required to ensure passengers are carrying valid identity documents beforehand.
The effect of Sweden’s measures may be to cause the bottleneck concentrations of migrants on the Scandinavian border, similar to those which have been seen on the eastern borders of the European Union, or to prompt a growth in migrants filing asylum applications in Denmark.
Anticipating this Mr. Rasmussen’s government is reportedly prepared to impose its own temporary border controls on the border it shares with Germany if doing so would reduce the number of migrants seeking asylum in Denmark. He said:
“We are now fully prepared and have full authority, if we decide that it is necessary, to establish both border controls and ID checks at the Danish–German border. We are ready to respond, if necessary…
“We do not want to take on a Swedish immigration policy. I am guided by one thing, and that is to take care of Denmark.
“It is the government’s policy that its is the numbers that matter, and we must do what is sensible to keep the number of asylum seekers as low as possible.
“It is our clear opinion, after analysing the situation that if we established a border in Denmark today, we would get more, not fewer asylum seekers.”