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Sweden lowers refugee forecast

Updated onsdag 27 april 2016 kl 13.04
Published onsdag 27 april 2016 kl 11.54
Migration Agency's new prognosis: 60,000 asylum seekers
(0:52 min)
A waiting room for asylum seekers at the Swedish Migration Agency's headquarters in Solna, northern Stockholm county. Photo: Marcus Ericsson / TT.
A waiting room for asylum cases at the Swedish Migration Agency's headquarters in Solna, northern Stockholm. Photo: Marcus Ericsson / TT.

Sweden may receive between 40,000 and 100,000 refugees in 2016, according to a revised forecast by the Swedish Migration Agency, which previously estimated that up to 140,000 would seek asylum in Sweden this year. 

The Migration Agency's latest prognosis says the authority is planning on registering some 60,000 asylum seekers, of which 7,000 are likely to be unaccompanied minors.

However, the agency says there is a chance that as many as 100,000 new asylum seekers could come during the year.

The agency lowered its forecast this time around as the number of asylum seekers have dropped sharply since last winter when Sweden introduced border controls and stricter asylum rules.

For example, more than 9,000 asylum cases were registered in Sweden during the first quarter of 2016 compared with 13,000 in the same period last year.

Other EU countries have also effectively closed their borders to refugees and the 28-member bloc struck a migration deal with Turkey earlier this year. Both measures are contributing to the lower numbers of migrants reaching Sweden.

If those two measures continue during the year, then it is possible Sweden will see roughly 60,000 asylum cases or even a lower estimate of 40,000 asylum cases, though the agency writes that scenario is unlikely.

Speaking in connection with the previous forecast of 140,000, Migration Minister Morgan Johansson said Sweden must aim for the lowest outlook, in other words 70,000. According to Johansson, 100,000 cases in 2016 would be on the border of what Sweden can handle.

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