Sweden’s migration minister warned today that the country could no longer accommodate the refugees coming in and has applied for EU emergency aid to keep helping in the crisis.
The Migration Agency said it was getting ready to shelter close to 50 refugees in the reception area of its headquarters because they have run out of places to house the thousands coming in every week. The agency predicted that close to 200,000 asylum seekers would arrive in 2015, double the number registered in the 1990s.
Justice and Migration Minister Morgan Johansson said the biggest problem is that the number of migrants and refugees is increasing faster than they can put in shelters. He added that the country can no longer guarantee housing to everyone who comes and that those who are arriving could be told that there isn’t anywhere to stay.
The country already plans to shelter thousands of refugees in tents. Others will be put in venues such as theme parks and ski resorts. The government has also asked other countries for permission to move some of them.
The U.N. refugee agency said today that refugees and migrants were likely to continue to arrive to Europe at a rate of around 5,000 per day. The majority of them come from Turkey, where boats are waiting for them. More than 760,000 people have made the journey across the Mediterranean this year, the majority go to Greece and Italy, after escaping the conflict in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and some countries in Africa.
The European Commission estimates that 3 million asylum seekers will arrive to Europe in the next two years.
Just a few days ago, Sweden moved some of the migrants to the village of Limedsforsen, around 250 miles from the capital, Stockholm, but the decision was not well received by them as they said the place got too cold and dark. A number of them decided to leave the bus and move into the cabins, but others refused to stay and asked to be moved to a bigger town.
The area, which is used during the ski season, is a major attraction for Swedes and offers cabins with running water and heat. Many of them come with two bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen.
Those who stepped off the bus and moved in thanked the country for taking them in. A few others were grateful and said they would stay there for now, but will move out when they have the chance. The migrant crisis, which has grown these last few months, has also forced the agency to ask for almost $100 million to help Greece, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and Macedonia.