Sweden plans to deport thousands of asylum seekers

Sweden wants to deport almost half of all the asylum seekers who entered the country in the past year. Between 60,000 and 80,000 newcomers will have to leave, the government has announced. The decision sends a strong signal, observers comment.

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La Repubblica (IT) /

Europe turning into a ghetto archipelago

Sweden's deportation policy is further proof that the end is approaching for Europe's democracies, the centre-left daily La Repubblica warns:

“Trapped between the refugee crisis and the terrorist threat it is not the future of the EU that we must worry about. … Because even before the Union faced this double challenge it was clear it was a soulless shell without a stitch of pride. No, what is at stake now is our democracies - every one of them. What has become of values like freedom and tolerance which are enshrined in our constitutions? … The xenophobia that is particularly rife between the Baltic and the Black Sea is now taking hold in the continent's two strongest democracies: France and Germany. … All Europe is playing the migrant bogeyman game, driving these souls from the North to South. The EU threatens to turn into an archipelago of ghettos - sealed off from each other and hostile.”

Mladá fronta dnes (CZ) /

Time for political elites in Berlin and Stockholm to go

Under the pressure of public opinion the 'welcome culture' countries Germany and Sweden are beginning to reverse their course, observes the editor-in-chief of the liberal daily Mláda fronta Dnes with more than a little malicious glee:

“The image projected by Germany is one of completely disoriented politicians clinging to their positions with their last ounce of strength. As for the chancellor, soon the only question will be: who will replace her? … Sweden, too, has awoken from its naïve dream. The government is reacting to a completely untenable situation that could end in a social explosion. … The political elites in these countries have failed and sooner or later they'll have to step down - unlike the majority of political leaders in Central and Eastern Europe who grasped the seriousness of the situation, reacted appropriately and resisted the pressure from the very same political leaders against whom the societies in countries hit by the refugee crisis are turning.”

Expressen (SE) /

Deportations won't be easy

The red-green government's plan will be difficult to implement for a number of reasons, the daily Expressen comments:

“There are strong incentives to remain in Sweden, so it will take considerable force to push through the deportations. … Where are the police to come from who will help transportation staff put those who resist on board? If even a small proportion of the 80,000 people here decide to get violent things could go really wrong. More must be done. It's embarrassing that Sweden doesn't have an agreement for sending back migrants with Afghanistan - the country that receives most development aid from us. The government can crack down on that. And the courts also need additional staff. The government must develop a coherent policy.”