Sweden Refuses To Take Nearly 200 Mediterranean Migrants Turned Down By Italy
Sweden has turned down an offer to take 117 immigrants picked up by the Italian coastguard last week, The Local reports.
Because of the newly formed Italian government’s hardline approach to the Mediterranean migrant crisis, as the Deutsche Welle details, Rome has threatened to send the almost 200 immigrants back to Libya if no one else takes them in. Among the ones asked was Malta and Sweden — both of which has now refused.
Italy accepted the vessel to dock in Sicily on Monday after Malta refused to take them, but Rome has denied the asylum seekers permission to disembark on Italian soil.
“Other countries have to step up and show that they want to take responsibility,” Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven told TT News Agency. The prime minister added that Sweden, which received 163,000 asylum requests in 2015, has taken a “huge responsibility”.
According to the Swedish Migration Agency, the country is expected to get some 23,000 asylum requests in 2018, a number that is expected to climb to 29,000 in 2019. Although, depending on the September 9 general election, this may change.
Back in June, a similar event took place between what country would let in the Aquarius, an NGO-run migrant ship carrying 630 migrants. In that conflict, Spain finally accepted the vessel.