Swedish police started checking trains for migrants on Thursday, imposing the first large-scale border controls in two decades. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Swedish police check trains for migrants. They are imposing the first large-scale border controls in two decades. It's a move being criticized on all sides. Some call it an end to a tradition of openness. Others see it as too little too late..although border police officer Patrik Engstrom says its far from a full scale initiative. (SOUNDBITE) (Swedish) SWEDISH BORDER POLICE OFFICER, PATRIK ENGSTROM, SAYING: "We won't be checking one hundred per cent of those who cross these border crossings, but we will make a selection, usually random, and the purpose is to identify those people who have the right to be in Sweden and those people who don't have a right to stay in Sweden but who want to seek asylum." Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven says the country can't cope with the huge influx of migrants. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SWEDISH PRIME MINSTER STEFAN LOFVEN, SAYING: "We are all in a difficult situation. Sweden has received so many refugees, far more than any other countries per capita." He says it is a European problem. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SWEDISH PRIME MINSTER STEFAN LOFVEN, SAYING: "This not an issue for one or two or three countries. This is an issue for the whole European Union. We need to manage this together." The controls by a Nordic state that touts itself as a "humanitarian superpower" underscores how the flow of refugees into the European Union is straining its prized system of open internal borders...borders which now appear close to breaking point.