Poll: Swedes divided over tighter asylum rules
One in two Swedes think that the government's recent asylum proposals, aimed at bringing down the number of refugees coming to Sweden, are necessary, according to a survey by the polling institute Novus.
The measures, presented at a press conference Tuesday, include only issuing temporary residence permits for asylum seekers, except to those coming to Sweden under international quota or resettlement agreements, tighter rules for those looking to reunite with their family in Sweden and stricter border checks. The proposed changes would only apply for three years.
The poll also shows that roughly seven in ten out of the 1,183 respondents would want Sweden to take in less refugees, that is almost the same number that wanted to take in more refugees in a poll in newspaper Dagens Nyheter two months ago. Since then, Sweden has taken in approximately 80,000 asylum seekers.
67 percent of the respondents were also critical of how the government has handled the refugee crisis and answered that these, or similar, proposals should have come sooner, and one in four said the proposed measures are still not strict enough, reports Swedish Television News.
The decision to propose stricter asylum rules has been described as painful for the red-green government, especially for the Green Party, which has previously named generous refugee policies as one of its top priorities. Many of its members have openly criticised the party board's decision to support the proposed measures, but according to the Novus survey almost half of the respondents who voted for the Green Party were in favour of the decision.