00:54 GMT14 April 2021
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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

    Sweden, which has housed the highest number of refugees from the Middle East per-capita among European counties to date, is looking to join the EU’s “relocation” program to share its influx of asylum seekers with the other block’s states.

    Swedish authorities plan to ask Brussels to transport some 160,000 asylum seekers expected to enter the country by the end of this year to other EU states under the block’s strategy to share the refugee influx proportionally among member countries.

    Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven declared the proposal during a press conference on the issue Wednesday. He claimed that country’s immigration officials are undergoing unbearable pressure attempting to deal with migrant flow.

    "Sweden is not able to receive people in the way that we want to," AP cited Lofven as saying. "That is why tomorrow [Thursday] my government will decide to request the relocation of migrants from Sweden to other EU member states."

    Under the joint plan adopted last summer, some 160,000 refugees from states on the EU’s borders like Italy, Greece and Hungary, which have taken the larger portions of asylum seekers, will be transferred to neighboring counties.

    But that strategy has sparked considerable controversies across the EU, and all attempts to force block members to support it have failed. According to the Financial Times, at the present moment, only 1,000 beds and only 116 people of the planned 160,000 actually have been relocated.

    Donald Tusk, the president of European Council, also argued that European nations have not donated enough funds required by the program. For instance, Europeans have collected only €50 million out €500 million for aid funding to Syria.

    Allowing Sweden to join the program, many high-profile EU politicians warn, would result in requests by other states – Germany in particular – to do the same.

    If Stockholm achieved its goal and entered the program, Financial Time estimated, roughly 4,500 refugees will be transferred this year to other states.

    But Swedish officials remained silent on the exact number of asylum seekers they’d like to relocate from the country.

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)


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