Category Archives: Sweden

The closing of Öresund – On borders, trains and state power

With the so-called “refugee crisis” and the terrorist attacks in Paris in Europe, several European countries have either reinstated border controls to their neighbors or are planning to do so.

One very particular case is the Danish-Swedish border-bridge which separates the Swedish city of Malmö (pop.: 300,000  +900,000 in surrounding area) from the Danish capital Copenhagen (pop.: 1.2 million + 1.3 million in surrounding area). Sweden has been a lot more open to hosting refugees than Denmark, but now Swedish authorities claim that they can take no more.

They will therefore starting fining transport companies that brings a person to Sweden without an ID on them. This means that the train companies operating across the border will have to create border checks on the Danish side. The move has been commented on as an outgrowth of traditional Danish-Swedish rivalry in the Economist and a Facebook campaign by commuters has attacked the decision for having been made from far away Stockholm, where they just don’t understand the reality of people living in the border region.

This seems to be the common way of looking at it: a central government taking measures it does not understand the consequences of to stop the country being overrun by refugees.

However, is that all there is to it?

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