World

Sweden : The Death of the Most Generous Nation on Earth

Témoignages.re / 15 February 2016

Little Sweden has taken in far more refugees per capita than any country in Europe. But in doing so, it’s tearing itself apart, writes James Traub in Foreign Policy.

When the refugee crisis began last summer, about 1,500 people were coming to Sweden every week seeking asylum. By August, the number had doubled. In September, it doubled again. In October, it hit 10,000 a week, and stayed there even as the weather grew colder. A nation of 9.5 million, Sweden expected to take as many as 190,000 refugees, or 2 percent of the population — double the per capita figure projected by Germany, which has taken the lead in absorbing the vast tide of people fleeing the wars in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere.

The Swedish Migration Agency in Malmo, the southern port city on the border with Denmark, is on the front line of the crisis. When Traub visited in November 2015, hundreds of refugees, who had been bused in from the train station, queued up outside in the chill to be registered, or sat inside waiting to be assigned a place for the night. Two rows of white tents had been set up in the parking lot to house those for whom no other shelter could be found. Hundreds of refugees had been put in hotels a short walk down the highway, and still more in an auditorium near the station.


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