Sweden is concerned about migrants.
In the wake of the sexual assaults that rocked Cologne, Germany and several other cities across Europe on New Year’s Eve, Nyheter Idag accused prominent daily Dagens Nyheter of conspiring to cover up a wave of similar attacks allegedly perpetrated by Arab refugees at a youth festival in central Stockholm’s Kungsträdgården last August.
Subsequently, Dagens Nyheter claimed it was actually the police who attempted to conceal the crimes from the public in an effort to avoid triggering an anti-migrant backlash among Swedes.
In addition to the alleged sexual assaults, Moroccan migrant children have reportedly “taken over” the central train station in Stockholm where “gangs” of all-male pre-teens and teenagers drunkenly attack guards and accost women.
And then there’s 22-year-old Alexandra Mezher who was stabbed to death by a refugee while working at an asylum center for unaccompanied youth migrants.
Now, amid the turmoil, the country’s Interior Minister Anders Ygeman says Sweden will likely deport as many as 80,000 of the asylum seekers who entered the country last year.
Some 163,000 refugees came to Sweden in 2015. That's a record for the country of just under 10 million and it's the highest per capita number in Europe.
"We are talking about 60,000 people but the number could climb to 80,000," Ygeman said on Thursday."We have a big challenge ahead of us. We will need to use more resources for this and we must have better cooperation between authorities," he told Dagens Industri.
"Over the past few years Sweden has rejected about 45 percent of claims for asylum, but with last year's record influx the greater numbers are putting an increasing strain on immigration and police authorities," Reuters notes, adding that "the Swedish government fears many people whose applications for asylum are rejected will go into hiding."
Like many other countries, Sweden is rethinking its open-door policy in the wake of the refugee influx that's spooked many Europeans who increasingly see the mass migration as a threat to Europe's Christian culture. The backlog of applications for those seeking asylum in Sweden means recent arrivals will need to wait between 15 and 24 months.
"The level of new arrivals has plunged since the beginning of January, when Sweden introduced systematic photo ID border checks, after stating that it has hit its limit in terms of receiving asylum seekers," RT recalls before noting that in addition to Alexandra Mezher's death, there was another recent "incident" wherein police were chased away from the Vasteras refugee center by an "angry mob" while attempting to relocate a 10-year-old boy who had allegedly been subject to "repeated rape."
“Even more people appeared behind us. I was mentally prepared to fight for my life. We were 10 police officers in a narrow corridor. And I hear someone yell that there is an emergency exit,” one officer said, recounting the event.
The news of Sweden's plans to deport some 45% of those who entered the country last year comes as Denmark passes legislation which makes it legal for police to confiscate cash and valuables from migrants and as Austria suspends Schengen in a desperate attempt to stem the flow of people across its southern border with Slovenia.
As we put it on Wednesday, "if European politicans do not find an effective way to get the situation under control, the public will remove them - either with the ballot or with the torches and pitchforks."
It appears as though Sweden has gotten the message although Ygeman's press secretary Victor Harju, told CNN not to put too much stock in those figures because they are "vague, hypothetical estimates based on last year's numbers."
Yes, "vague, hypothetical estimates based on last year's numbers" - much like the estimates of how many refugees will come banging on Western Europe's doors in the new year.
The question for Sweden is how many of the planned 80,000 deportees will go peacefully back to a Mid-East warzone and how many will fight for their "right" to remain a member of polite Western society.