Sweden will likely be excluded from the European Union’s (EU) proposed migrant quotas because its immigration situation is so bad.
Since the start of the European migrant crisis, the country has been swamped with some 10,000 migrants a week taking advantage of its open borders policy by October.
That same month, the Swedish government was forced to admit it could not handle the numbers, with foreign minister Margot Wallstrom warning the system could “collapse” under the strain.
Now the European Commission has proposed that Sweden be exempt from the EU’s migrant redistribution quotas as it clearly cannot take any more people.
EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said in a statement: “Our Swedish friends are in a unique situation and we must take into account the exceptional increase in asylum applications that they are facing.
“The Commission has proposed to the Council to grant Sweden a one-year suspension of its obligations, to allow its asylum and reception system to recover from the exceptional burden it is under.”
The scheme will see the large number of migrants who are currently in Greece and Italy divided between the different member states, with each nation assigned a quota. Sweden had agreed to take 5,600 as part of the scheme, but now says it does not have enough resources to cope with them.
Yesterday’s proposal does not mention resettling some of the migrants who are already in Sweden, something the country’s left-wing government is now begging the EU to consider.
“We say that not just Greece and Italy should be part of this redistribution scheme, but Sweden as well,” The Local quotes Prime Minister Stefan Löfven as saying.
Sweden has now implemented tougher border checks, with controls at the Øresund Bridge that links the country with Denmark. These checks have caused considerable controversy in Denmark, with Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen saying they are hurting his country’s economy.
He also reacted angrily when Sweden’s migration minister Morgan Johansson appeared to criticise Denmark, saying: “We have hit our limit. Denmark has not.”
Mr Rasmussen responded: “It’s not up to the Swedes to judge Danish immigration policies. Denmark and Sweden have rather different immigration policies, that’s been the case for generations. And that’s also why the Swedes have the problems that they have right now. And what our limit is, that’s something that is defined in Denmark and not by the Swedes.”