Sweden to impose temporary border controls

2:39 min

Sweden's Home Affairs Minister, Anders Ygeman announced at a press conference Wednesday evening, that the government will institute temporary border checks.

"The Migration Agency is under extreme pressure," Ygeman said at the government's administrative offices in Stockholm, referring to the record number of asylum seekers coming to Sweden.

Ygeman said that the Migration Agency has asked for inner border controls, and that they will go into effect on Thursday at noon, at first for a period of 10 days, which can be extended for up to half a year, 20 days at a time.

The police authority, Ygeman added, has judged that there is a threat to public order and interior security in Sweden, which he said fulfills the requirements of Schengen regulations to institute such controls.

It will be up to the police to decide where and how the border controls will take place.

As far as what these checks mean in concrete terms for people coming to Sweden, Ygeman said that people need to have a legal reason to travel in to Sweden or must seek asylum - and in that case, they will be checked against the Schengen information system, to make sure they have not been taken into Schengen without having a right to be there, and those who want to pass through Sweden to continue on to Finland or Norway will have to either stay put, seek asylum in Sweden or choose another route to get to those places. 

The checks will apply to both the Öresund bridge and to ferry traffic from Denmark and Germany, reports news agency TT.

People who take Stena Line's ferries, for example, will have their identification checked. Ygeman said that the government will push ship companies that operate ferries to Sweden to institute identification checks, which would not include children who are traveling with parents who have identification. 

The Liberal party, part of the opposition Alliance, will support the government's decision, Roger Haddad, Liberal MP and justice policy spokesperson in the justice committee on security issues, told Swedish Radio News.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven of the Social Democrats commented on the decision from Malta, where he is meeting with EU and African leaders to discuss the refugee crisis: "We have to have order at our borders. There has to be order in the reception of refugees."