Sweden ends ID checks on 'The Bridge' with Denmark

A general view of the Oresund bridge on February 5, 2016 in Malmo, SwedenImage copyright
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The Oresund bridge, made famous by The Bridge TV series, carries thousands of people between Denmark and Sweden daily

Sweden is ending identity checks on border crossings with Denmark that were instituted early last year as thousands of migrants arrived seeking asylum.

One of the main crossing points is the bridge over the Oresund strait between the Danish capital Copenhagen and the Swedish city of Malmo.

The checks have irritated commuters who travel daily between the two cities.

More than 163,000 asylum seekers arrived in Sweden in 2015, but that number fell to 29,000 last year.

The falling arrivals mean the checks on buses, trains and ferries are no longer necessary, the government says.

But while ID checks at border points with Denmark are being scrapped, border controls elsewhere will continue to be tightened, it says.

Interior Minister Anders Ygeman also said more surveillance cameras would be used on the Oresund bridge, in addition to vehicle x-rays.

In November 2015, Sweden began allowing police to check people entering Sweden from other states in the free movement Schengen Area, a practice that will continue.

“The government’s conclusion is that border controls are still needed and need to be strengthened,” Mr Ygeman was quoted as saying by The Local news website.

The real story of ‘The Bridge’

The measure mandating identity checks on passengers travelling between Denmark and Sweden by bus, train and ferry was last extended in February and expires on 4 May, with the government to let it lapse, Swedish media report.

An estimated 20,000 commuters daily cross the Oresund bridge, which connects the Swedish cities of Malmo and Lund with Copenhagen.

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