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Denmark to start border checks with Sweden after bombings

Discussion in 'Europe & Russia' started by Jyotish, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. Jyotish


    Oct 8, 2018
    +2 / 3,378 / -6
    Denmark to start border checks with Sweden after bombings

    Richard Milne

    OCTOBER 10 2019

    Denmark is introducing border controls with Sweden after a spate of bomb attacks and shootings in Copenhagen has been blamed on gang members from the neighbouring Scandinavian country.

    Denmark’s new centre-left government said it would start the border checks with Sweden — primarily on the Oresund bridge that links Copenhagen with Malmo — next month as part of a series of measures intended to boost security.

    Sweden already has security measures in place at ports of entry with Denmark, and Denmark with Germany, because of concerns over migration.

    Mette Frederiksen, Denmark’s Social Democrat prime minister, said on Thursday that the new controls were being implemented following 13 bomb attacks in Copenhagen since February, as well as a violent double shooting in a suburb of the Danish capital in June that has been blamed on rival gangs from Sweden.

    “It is not something that is going to go away, and so we have to take some drastic steps,” said Ms Frederiksen.

    The level of crime in Sweden has come into focus after a series of increasingly violent attacks, particularly around the southern city of Malmo. Rightwing politicians have linked this to large flows of immigrants who landed in Sweden during the 2015 migration crisis, when the country welcomed more new arrivals relative to its population than any other European country.

    There are tens of thousands of daily commuters between Malmo and Copenhagen, many of whom have complained about the inconvenience of the Swedish border controls.

    Danish police believe that the large explosion in August that shook the tax authority’s building in central Copenhagen was carried out by people who crossed the border from Sweden, though the motive remains unclear. Swedish crime experts have said that local gangs appeared to have received more powerful explosives in recent months, leading to the bomb attacks including one that damaged 250 flats in the central city of Linkoping.

    The Danish government also announced on Thursday that it would hugely increase the use of security cameras to monitor citizens in what it described as an attempt to stop the gang-related violence.

    The measures were hailed by the rightwing populist Danish People’s party, which argued the border controls should be made permanent. The repeated prolonging of the Danish controls with Germany and Sweden’s with Denmark have proved controversial in Europe, where some argue it endangers the Schengen passport-free travel zone.

    Uffe Elbaek, leader of Denmark’s leftwing Alternative party, said: “It is glaringly populist to introduce ‘temporary’ border controls with Sweden based on a few incidents. We do not get more security through increased surveillance. This is not the Denmark I know.”

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