Sweden expecting 17,000 Syrians to arrive seeking asylum this year and next
Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 4, 2012
It looks like those Djiboutians getting into Sweden are going to have some competition as Syrians are arriving in increasing numbers into the welcoming arms of the Swedish welfare system (where the “living is easy!”). Meanwhile there are still reports, but I’m not sure if it isn’t old news, that Iraqis (mostly Kurds) are being deported from Sweden.
Europe is bracing for the anticipated Syrian tide, from Reuters:
(Reuters) – Ali Jamal travelled thousands of miles on foot, by train and road to flee violence in Syria while Jomaah piled his family into a camper van to smuggle them north to Europe.
They have now reached safety in Sweden, some of the growing thousands of Syrians who are evading the European Union’s frontier controls to escape the turmoil of the past 18 months.
That is raising calls for a more focused European response to a refugee crisis that has seen over 200,000 Syrians flee to Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and, especially, Turkey. From there, a determined, and usually richer, few press on to the EU borders, mainly into Greece, with most hoping for asylum further north.
Sweden alone, 2,500 km (1,500 miles) from Turkey’s European frontier, is expecting 17,000 Syrians to show up seeking refuge this year and next, reflecting a sharply rising trend across the continent; barely a tenth of that number reached Sweden in the first half of this year – itself a marked increase on 2011.
Don’t you wonder how long the Swedish taxpayer can afford all this?
While the numbers are still small, whether compared to Syria’s population of over 20 million or to the EU’s 500 million, the move to flight has placed strains on all concerned.
Sweden has had to improvise accommodation. In the case of Jamal and Jomaah that is a hostel normally used by tourists near Kopingebro, on the south coast. Many have moved into picturesque red cottages on an island campsite, which opened last week.
Syrians became the third largest group of asylum seekers in Sweden after Somalis and Afghans at 1,855 in the period from January to July, compared to 303 in the same period last year.
Read it all.
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