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Passing the time in Riksgransen, Sweden
Reuters/Ints Kalnins
Waiting in Riksgransen.
HARD TIMES

Sweden was the most liberal country towards asylum seekers—until now

By Cassie Werber

Sweden is the latest European country to voice concerns about the number of people traveling across its borders to seek asylum.

Anders Ygeman, the country’s interior minister, suggested to Swedish media that a growing share of asylum seekers would be deported from the country in the coming months. To date, Sweden has been one of the most welcoming countries for migrants seeking asylum, in terms of the share of applications accepted:

But like other countries, Sweden has seen much higher numbers of refugees (those fleeing violence and oppression) cross into the country and apply to stay. Sweden and Germany, in particular, have tried hard to extend a welcome to many of the people. But their resolve has faltered recently. Lack of support and burden-sharing from other EU countries is one reason. Civil unrest and crime connected to migrant and refugee populations is another.

Earlier this week a young woman working at a Swedish center for young asylum seekers was stabbed to death, and one of the underage inhabitants was arrested for the crime.