January 28, 2016 5:23 am
Updated: January 28, 2016 5:40 am

Sweden to deport up to 80,000 asylum-seekers

German police search migrants and refugees arriving from Austria at a processing center on January 27, 2016 in Passau, Germany. The flow of migrants arriving in Passau has dropped to between 500 and 1,000 per day, down significantly from last November, when in the same region up to 6,000 migrants were arriving daily. German police only allows migrants to enter who say they will apply for asylum in Germany. Those who say they want to continue to other countries, such as Denmark or Sweden, are denied entry and brought back to Austria.

Johannes Simon/Getty Images

STOCKHOLM – Interior Minister Anders Ygeman says Sweden could deport between 60,000 and 80,000 asylum-seekers in coming years.

Ygeman told newspaper Dagens Industri that since about 45 per cent of asylum applications are currently rejected, the country must get ready to send back tens of thousands of the 163,000 who sought shelter in Sweden last year.

“I think that it could be about 60,000 people, but it could also be up to 80,000,” Ygeman was quoted as saying.

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His spokesman, Victor Harju, confirmed the quotes Thursday, adding that the minister was simply applying the current approval rate to the record number of asylum-seekers that arrived in 2015. Harju adds: “That rate could of course change.”

Germany and Sweden were the top destinations for asylum-seekers in Europe last year

In the sea near a Greek island, the coast guard at least 11 people, most of them children, died Thursday in the latest migrant boat sinking.

Ten people were rescued, while the bodies of four boys, three girls, three men and one woman were recovered.

Another boat sank off the island of Kos on Wednesday, leaving seven dead, including two children. Only two people were rescued from that incident.

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