Sweden to extend border control for 30 days starting from March 9

Sweden to extend border control for 30 days starting from March 9

Sweden is extending its border controls for 30 more days starting from March 9 with the possibility of further extension, Swedish Minister for Justice and Migration Morgan Johansson announced.

"There is still a risk to order and internal security in Sweden if we would lift it [border control]," Johansson said as quoted by the Swedish Expressen newspaper on Wednesday.

According to the minister, there is not enough housing for migrants in Sweden, and in view of the continuing increase in the number of refugees arriving in Europe, it is necessary for Sweden to maintain strict control of its borders.

"We need it [border control] for some time until we are confident that it [migrant situation] is more stable on the continent," Johansson said, adding that his country must retain the measure for as long as it is "necessary."

Swedish media also reported Wednesday migration agency has requested an additional 28 billion krona ($3.2 million) to assist arriving migrants.

"Migrationsverket [Swedish Migration Agency] now manages a system that deals with more people than there are living in Sweden's fifth largest municipality," the agency's director general, Anders Danielsson, told TT news.

Danielsson added that the government has already allocated 12.5 billion Krona ($1.4 billion) for refugee-related expenditure in 2016.

In February, Sweden's migration agency announced that it expected to receive up to 140,000 asylum applications in 2016, threatening to put additional pressure on the country, which welcomed some 160,000 refugees last year.

Sweden introduced ID checks at its borders with Schengen countries in November 2015. On January 4, Sweden introduced ID checks for passengers arriving in the country from Denmark by bus, ferry and train.

The European Union is currently struggling to manage a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The EU border agency Frontex recorded more than 1.8 million illegal border crossings into the bloc in 2015.

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