Fourteen people have stayed on the bus since it reached Limedsforsen three days ago, saying the village is too cold and isolated
Swedish authorities were called on Wednesday to remove a group of refugees who have refused to get off a bus after being taken to a village three days ago, saying it was “too cold” and isolated.
“There are 14 people inside and around the buses who don’t want to move into the [asylum] centre,” Migration Agency spokeswoman Maria Lofgren told AFP.
They were part of a group of 60 Syrians and Iraqis brought by bus on Sunday to Limedsforsen, close to the Norwegian border, to a village of wooden chalets where they were to stay while their asylum claims were assessed.
“The bus company has called the Swedish Enforcement Authority,” Lofgren said. The authority acts as bailiffs during evictions.
“We have asked for them to be evicted,” said the head of the Westin Buss transport company, Kenneth Johansson.
The group refusing to get off the bus have complained about being in a forest dozens of kilometres from the nearest town, and many of them have demanded to be taken to a big city, or even to Germany.
“It’s not totally in the middle of nowhere. There is a shop and buses,” Lofgren said.
The Migration Agency says the country is receiving so many refugees – 10,000 a week – that structures set up to deal with them are being overwhelmed and it is beginning to erect tents to house some of the arrivals.
“With the number of arrivals continuing to increase, the accommodations we can find are further and further away from the big cities,” Lofgren said, adding that cases of people refusing their relocation sites were still rare.
Sweden, with a population of 9.8 million, expects to receive up to 190,000 asylum applications this year, putting it among the EU states with the highest proportion of refugees per capita as the continent struggles with a massive number of displaced people.
But the country’s long, dark winter, where temperatures can fall as low as -30C, is a major challenge for people moving from warmer climes.