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Löfven orders review of government's handling of refugee crisis

Published fredag 29 april 2016 kl 11.00
The Swedish PM faces the cross-party Constitutional Committee. Photo: Jessica Gow / TT
The Swedish prime minister faces the constitutional committee. Photo: Jessica Gow / TT

On Friday, Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven defended his government’s handling of the refugee crisis, saying it has been a “great challenge” for Sweden, but he added that an independent review has been ordered.

Social Democrat prime minister Stefan Löfven is facing questioning Friday from the Parliamentary Committee on the Constitution over his government's handling of the refugee crisis.

Löfven said that there were already problems with Sweden's asylum system, as well as with integration and housing policies when he took over from the previous, centre-right coalition government in 2014.

Further, Löfven pointed out that the Migration Agency’s had previously predicted a be a drop in the number of asylum seekers arriving in Sweden but that there was then a dramatic increase in 2015, when the inflow of migrants into Sweden reached "historic levels".

"The refugee crisis has been a major challenge for Swedish society. It's important to learn lessons for the future," Löfven said, adding that the government is ordering an independent review of how it - and society at large - has handled the situation.

Löfven said his government has made around 70 decisions regarding the refugee situation since winning the election in September 2014.

In August last year, crisis measures were put in place and involved several authorities. Thanks to that work, said Löfven, "the government could make purposeful decisions that meant the number of asylum seekers in Sweden has dropped and the acute strain on the reception system has been alleviated".

During Friday's hearing, Löfven was also due to address questions about his coalition partner the Green Party's ongoing crisis and how he has handled relations with the European Union.

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