The last time Ola Nilsson travelled there were long delays.
The last time Ola Nilsson travelled there were long delays. Credit: Richard Orange

Swedish government admits legality of ID checks 'questionable'

5:11 min

It has been a few weeks since Sweden suspended ID checks on the the bridge between Denmark and southern Sweden. Radio Sweden went to see how the cross-border commute has changed.

When Sweden ended ID checks at Copenhagen Kastrup Airport on May 2, the Swedish government promised to toughen up ID checks at Hyllie, the first station on arrival on the Swedish side.

But when Radio Sweden took the trip on Friday, no customs or border police mounted the train, making the trip as fast as it was before Sweden clamped down in the autumn of 2015.

Ola Nilsson, an associate professor of neurosurgery at Lund University, who was returning from a conference in Copenhagen, seemed surprised at how smooth the journey now was. 

"It's just a normal procedure, people getting off and on the train like a normal station," he said. "It's excellent. As it should be."

But the battle isn't yet over for the commuters who for one and a half years have suffered at least an extra forty minutes on the journey back from Copenhagen. 

Sweden's Chancellor of Justice, who acts as both legal ombudsman and government law service, on Thursday rejected a plea for an average of SEK 30,000 in compensation for 565 affected commuters.

But Per Tryding, deputy head of the Chamber of Commerce in southern Sweden, which paid the commuters' legal fees, said that the Chancellor's ruling was more positive than it seemed.

"They are saying 'yes, the commuters may very well be right here to say that the ID checks are not legal'," he said. "That raises the bar very high for the government if they want to reintroduce the ID checks."

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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