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"Sweden took thousands without asking for help"

Sweden rejects Italian pleas on Libya

Published torsdag 24 februari 2011 kl 20.18
Tunisian refugees arriving on the island of Lampedusa, Photo: Daniele La Monaca/Scanpix.

Sweden is taking a tough stance on Italy’s pleas for help on taking possible refugees from Libya.

At a meeting of EU ministers in Brussels Thursday Swedish Migration and Asylum Minister Tobias Billström said his country last year took in 32,000 asylum-seekers for a population of nine million without begging for help, while Italy, a nation of 53 million, screamed for aid after 5,000 Tunisians washed up on its island of Lampedusa earlier this month.

If developments in Libya turn to civil war "then we'll have a huge amount of people leaving," Billström said. "But we're not there yet."

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