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Domino effect: Sweden, Denmark introduce border checks to handle refugee flow


Sweden and Denmark tightened border controls on Monday to cope with the flow of refugees coming through Germany, delivering yet another blow to the idea of a European Union without state lines.

The measure had an almost instant effect as just a single refugee arrived by train across the bridge-and-tunnel link from Denmark by midday Monday, Ewa-Gun Westford, a Swedish police spokeswoman, said.

During the peak of the migrant crisis in autumn, over 1,000 asylum seekers crossed the bridge to Sweden on a daily basis.

This is the first time that border checks between Sweden and Denmark have been introduced since the 1950s.


The Danish side suggested that the Swedes should pay 1 million kroner ($145,000) for the ID checks, carried out by train operators in Denmark.

“Some of the cost is due to the ID control. Other costs are due to the loss of income, because we have a decreasing amount of passengers because of this,” Tony Bispeskov, spokesman for Danish train operator DSB said, as cited by AP.

The border checks by Sweden “could have the effect of preventing individuals from exercising the right to seek asylum,” outgoing UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, warned when Stockholm announced the new rules in December