Sweden Introduces Border Checks to Control Refugee Flow

Sweden has introduced temporary border controls for refugees entering the country, with Swedish officials demanding that other European countries do more to assist with the refugee crisis.

At noon on Thursday, police in the south of the country began carrying out passport checks at the country's border, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports. At the same time, police announced at a press conference that the checks will continue to take place on the Öresund Bridge and ferry terminals in southern Sweden for 10 days.

Border checks could be carried out for an additional 20 days, Sweden's The Local reports.

The introduction of border controls means that the police can now stop and check the identity of anyone crossing Sweden's borders—usually, they are only permitted to do so if there is a suspicion of criminal activity.

"We're not going to control all who are traveling across the border, but there is going to be a mainly randomized selection," Patrik Engström, who is head of Sweden's police border unit, said at the conference.

"There are certain traffic intensive areas, like the Öresund Bridge, where we cannot check everyone," he added. According to Engström, around 20,000 cars travel across the Öresund Bridge—which connects Sweden with Denmark—on a daily basis.

Swedish Interior Minister Anders Ygeman announced the proposed controls on Wednesday when he also called on other EU members to help the efforts to house refugees.

"Our signal to the rest of the EU is crystal clear—Sweden is the country that has shouldered the greatest responsibility for the refugee crisis," Ygeman said. "If we are to cope with this mutual challenge, the other countries must take their responsibility."

The Scandinavian country expects to take in 190,000 refugees by the end of the year, the highest per head of population in any EU country. Swedish officials said the checks would assist them with the registration of refugees and stop people remaining in the country illegally.

Elsewhere, Slovenia began constructing a fence on its border with Croatia on Wednesday to limit the number of refugees entering the country.