More asylum seekers to Sweden

More asylum seekers are coming to Sweden than previously estimated by the authorities. Upwards of 80,000 people are expected in 2014.

Previous estimates from the Swedish Migration Board predicted some 61,000 applications for asylum in 2014. But those numbers are now adjusted upward by nearly 20,000 to 80,000 people, newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports.

The war in Syria, along with the escalating violence in Iraq and other regions, are all contributing to the increase. According to the UN, there are currently 51,2 million refugees in the world, numbers only rivalled by the situation during the second world war.

But finding appropriate housing for the many asylum seekers is proving to be a challenge, according to Anders Danielsson, director general of the Swedish Migration Board. He is critical of the municipalities that refuse to receive immigrants, and says he is surprised by the anti-immigrant sentiment expressed by some local politicians.

"Their rancorous tone is remarkable. We hear stories of bombs, executions and torture. Then it feels absurd to hear Swedish councilors talk about 'Soviet methods' and 'abuse'. How can it be an "abuse" to offer shelter to those who seek refuge?"