Denmark extends border controls to deter refugee influx

Denmark extends identification checks on borders to deter refugee influx as spring approaches

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

A Danish policeman checks a vehicle at a checkpoint on the German-Danish border crossing in Froslev, January 4, 2016.

Denmark on Friday extended random identification checks on German border until May 3 to deter refugees from entering the country as spring approaches.

Danish Integration Minister Inger Stojberg said. “the pressure on Europe's external borders is still high and refugee and migrant flows may rise significantly when the weather gets better," adding that this decision is to avoid an accumulation of refugees.

Denmark put border control into effect first on January 4, after a similar action taken by Sweden. Denmark extended the controls four times.

Denmark received 21,000 asylum applications in 2015, putting it far behind the 163,000 registered in neighbouring Sweden.

More than 190,000 refugees crossed the German-Danish border last year. About 13,000 applied for asylum in Denmark, while others travelled further north to Sweden, Norway and Finland, according to Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen.

According to the Danish government data the number of people seeking asylum in Denmark fell to 35 in the week ending on Tuesday, the lowest number since the border checks were introduced.

"Asylum numbers can fluctuate considerably from day to day... It may be due to several things" Stojberg said, citing bad weather conditions and border checks in Denmark and elsewhere in Europe as possible explanations.

TRTWorld and agencies