Denmark Extends ID Controls on German Border

Denmark on Monday extended random identification checks along the German border until June 2, saying they were needed to deter "an extraordinarily large number of refugees and migrants" from entering the country.

"There is still considerable pressure on Europe's borders and... migrants and refugees find alternative routes when the borders are closed," Integration Minister Inger Stojberg said in a statement.

"When asylum seekers without proper ID papers cannot travel to Sweden, there remains a serious risk that many refugees and migrants can become stranded in this country," she added.

The controls had already been extended five times, most recently until May 3.

They were introduced on January 4, hours after Sweden began requiring rail, bus and ferry companies to verify the identities of people traveling from Denmark.

Last year Denmark largely served as a transit country for migrants traveling to Sweden, which at the time had some of Europe's most generous asylum rules.

Denmark received more than 21,000 asylum applications in 2015, a 44 percent jump from 2014, but significantly fewer than Sweden, its northern neighbor, which registered 163,000 asylum applications in the same year.

The number of asylum seekers in Denmark has dropped significantly this year, from 641 in the week after border controls were introduced to just 45 last week, according to police data compiled by the government.

Source: Agence France Presse

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