Denmark and Sweden tighten border controls to stem migrant influx
The strains are showing throughout Europe from the current wave of migration from Muslim lands.
The latest to bow to reality are Sweden and Denmark, which just implemented border controls. The Christian Science Monitor reports:
Denmark and Sweden tightened their borders on Monday in efforts to stem the flow of migrants entering Scandinavia from Germany.
Just hours after Swedish rules went into effect requiring train passengers traveling from Denmark to show ID, the Danish government announced it had beefed up border controls with Germany as of noon Monday (1100 GMT, 6 a.m. EST).
“We are introducing temporary border controls, but in a balanced way,” Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen told reporters in Copenhagen, adding there would be no problem for “ordinary” Danes and Germans to cross the border.
It was something of a ripple effect, with Sweden acting first at the Danish border, then Denmark acting at the German border so that migrants on the way to Sweden did not get stranded in Denmark. The NY Times reports:
Sweden, once one of the most welcoming of nations for refugees, introduced new identity checks on Monday for travelers arriving from Denmark. Fearful that migrants who otherwise would pass through on their way to Sweden would now be unable to leave, Denmark swiftly moved to impose new controls on people traveling via its border with Germany.
The moves by the two Scandinavian countries represented another step in the erosion of the ideal of borderless travel across most of the European Union, amid rising concerns about the costs imposed by the tide of migration and fears that terrorists are seeking to enter Europe masquerading as refugee
Sweden’s The Local reported on how the controls worked:
Alexander and Monica Klein from Malmö were among the first to go through one of the 34 checkpoints that have been set up at Copenhagen airport’s Kastrup train station.
“There were no problems. I knew about this so I just had to show my driving licence,” Alexander Klein told the TT newswire.
A total of 150 security staff have been stationed at the airport to oversee the controls. Under the new rules, rail commuters have to exit the train at the airport and go through checkpoints before boarding the train again in order to travel onwards to Sweden. Those without valid ID are refused entry.
It is the first time in half a century that Sweden is demanding photo identification for all travellers from Denmark and deals a blow to Europe’s cherished passport-free Schengen system. Only passports, driving licences and Swedish national identity cards will be accepted by the authorities.
This chart shows the increase in border barriers in the Schengen area.