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Boat migrants choose to leave Sweden  News

Boat migrants choose to leave Sweden News

Open boats loaded with refugees and migrants lined up at the port of Lampedusa last week. Italy’s southernmost island, located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, is the first port of call for boat arrivals from North Africa. On one day last week, nearly 7,000 people came.

Reports now indicate that the number of asylum applications in the EU is approaching levels seen during the 2015 refugee crisis.

– Until now, access via the Central Mediterranean Route has affected Sweden to a very small extent, says Arvid Cheng Noren.

The main countries where refugees and migrants take this particular route, passing through the island of Lampedusa, are Guinea, Ivory Coast, Tunisia and Egypt. Together, Sweden has received nearly 150 asylum applications so far this year from these countries.

– There are of course many who apply for asylum in Italy, and quite a few of them then arrive in France. But we have no indication that these people will be on their way to Sweden. On the contrary, they chose us away.

North African refugees choosing Sweden is nothing new, according to Arvid Zing Noreen. These are countries from which Sweden has never received so many asylum seekers.

– There are usually cultural and linguistic links with France, for example. So that’s where they usually go. The big difference is that the number of people from this group is now much larger than in previous years.

The total number of asylum applications in Sweden this year is expected to reach 14,000.

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