Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Sweden, Denmark add Border Checks to Stop Migrants, Schengen Agreement e...

http://www.newsbharati.com/ Sweden, Denmark add Border Checks to Stop Migrants, Schengen Agreement ended?

Sweden and Denmark Add Border Checks to Stem Flow of Migrants The continued flow of people along Europe’s migration trail, from Turkey and Greece to the Balkans to Scandinavia, faced new impediments on Monday as two of the northernmost destinations further tightened border controls in response to political, economic and logistical pressures. 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 refugees. In recent months, Scandinavian countries, like other countries in Europe, have expressed increasing concern about the scale of the influx of migrants seeking to reach prosperous Northern European countries known for their generous welfare systems and for relatively welcoming attitudes. The arrival of migrants — roughly one million reached Germany last year alone, though a significant minority were from other parts of Europe rather than from Syria, Iraq and other conflict-ridden nations — has gradually led European countries from south to north to seek to stem the tide. Hungary built a razor-wire fence along its border to keep migrants out. Denmark has cut benefits to new arrivals by about 50 percent and has introduced tough language requirements for those seeking permanent residency. Finland has issued news releases in Arabic detailing additional restrictions, apparently with the aim of warning would-be asylum seekers that the country is not a paradise. Under the temporary border controls introduced Monday in Sweden, travelers to Sweden from Denmark will have to show valid identification with a photograph, like a passport, for the first time in more than half a century. The move raised the prospect of continuing delays in travel between the two nations, especially on the Danish side of the Oresund Bridge, a major link between Copenhagen, the Danish capital, and Malmo in southern Sweden, a popular gateway for migrants seeking to enter Sweden. The new border controls in Sweden are likely to present a hurdle to thousands of would-be asylum seekers, many of whom lack official documents. (The Oresund Bridge has also gained a foothold in popular culture, being at the center of the hit Scandinavian crime television series “The Bridge,” which starts with detectives from the two countries teaming up to investigate the murder of a woman whose body is found on the structure.) Continue reading the main story RELATED IN OPINION Op-Ed Contributor: Sweden's Self-Inflicted NightmareNOV. 13, 2015 Travel between Denmark and Germany has not required a passport since 2001 under the Schengen Agreement, which permits borderless movement across much of the European Union. The system has already been teetering in recent months as even its staunchest supporters such as Germany have erected temporary controls. German officials, while generally refraining from specific remarks about the Danish decision, expressed concern about the future of passport-free travel across Europe. An Interior Ministry spokesman, Johannes Dimroth, said the effect on migration north from Germany would “have to be watched very carefully.” Martin Schaefer, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said freedom of movement within the European Union was “perhaps one of the greatest achievements in the last 60 years.” He acknowledged, however, that the influx of migrants was putting enormous strains on the system.
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