Sweden Struggles To Cope With Migrant Tide; Orban Warns Of Threat


Sweden said on Thursday it expected up to 190,000 migrants this year, putting unprecedented strain on a country famous for welcoming refugees but planning to house many in tents this winter.

On the opposite pole of the angry debate on the migration crisis, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban urged European leaders to change their immigration policies and consult voters, saying they otherwise faced a threat to the democratic order.

Thousands of refugees continued to pour into Slovenia in the hope of reaching prosperous northern Europe, and the tiny country appealed for other European Union states to send police to help manage the flow.

Europe is struggling to cope with its biggest wave of migrants and refugees since World War Two. According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 670,000 people have arrived by sea this year, fleeing war zones and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Sweden’s Migration Agency said more than 30,000 of the 140-190,000 people it expected in 2015 would be unaccompanied children.

“We have seen pictures of people who are literally walking from Greece across the Balkans to Germany and on to Sweden,” agency head Anders Danielsson told reporters.

“The current refugee situation is unprecedented both in a European and Swedish perspective.”

The agency said it would need an additional 70 billion Swedish crowns ($8.41 billion) over the next two years to cope.

It added the flow of asylum seekers was seen easing next year, but the number could still reach 170,000.

More than 100,000 have already arrived in Sweden this year, topping the previous record during the Balkan wars in the early 1990s.

Nearly 10,000 came in the past week alone.

“Last night all the our places were full,” Danielsson said.

The Agency estimated it would face a shortage of accommodation for 25,000-45,000 migrants by the end of the year. Tens of thousands could spend the cold Swedish winter in heated tents.