Norwegian Justice Minister Anders Anundsen was applauding Sweden’s decision on Thursday to impose border controls, part of efforts to stem the influx of refugees into the country. Sweden has taken in more refugees than most countries in Europe, but is now struggling to accommodate them all.
Norway is also facing major challenges because of the refugee crisis that’s sending hundreds of thousands of people from Africa and the Middle East to Europe. Anundsen said he hopes tougher controls at Swedish border crossings, especially on trains and ferries, will also slow the flow of refugees transiting through Sweden on their way to Norway.
“This can have a positive effect on the asylum stream to Norway,” Anundsen told state broadcaster NRK. “Those arriving will either have to seek asylum in Sweden or be stopped and turned around at the border.”
Sweden can’t expect much help from Norway, though, as it called on other countries to take more responsibility for accommodating refugees. Prime Minister Erna Solberg told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) she thinks Swedish politicians have taken in too many refugees and now admit they’re beyond capacity.
Asked whether Norway would offer to take in some of the refugees already in Sweden, Solberg told DN: “No. We have more than enough refugees ourselves. Other countries have to help.” She called the numbers streaming into Norway, not least over the northern border to Russia, a “mass immigration.”