Danish police say won’t block refugees transiting to Sweden


Stockholm/Copenhagen (dpa) – Danish police said Thursday they would not block migrants and refugees wanting to transit to Sweden, while some train services between Denmark and Germany resumed.

Instead of attempting to register unwilling arrivals who refuse to have contact with Danish authorities, police will allow them to pass through Denmark, national police chief Jens Henrik Hojbjerg said.

“We cannot hold foreign nationals who do not seek asylum and where there is no possibility of expelling them quickly,” he said in a statement.

Danish police estimated that about 3,200 people have arrived from Germany since Sunday.

Germany and Sweden have been among the top destinations for those seeking to file asylum applications, while Denmark has in recent years introduced tougher restrictions.

Trains were running between Flensburg in Germany and Padborg in southern Denmark, as well as the intercity service between Flensburg and the Danish capital Copenhagen, Danish train operator DSB said.

At Padborg, about 150 people who had refused to register with Danish police or be taken to reception centres were early Thursday allowed to board a Copenhagen-bound train.

Another group of 240 people who had refused to leave two trains at the port city of Rodby, southern Denmark, were also allowed to leave, police told dpa.

Many said they wanted to go to Sweden or Norway as they had family or friends there, or citing better conditions for asylum seekers. Danish television showed how motorists offered rides from Rodby harbour.

Another 300 people in Rodby who has been housed in a school but did not want to apply for asylum in Denmark have also left, police said.

Police in Padborg said people were offered to apply for asylum, and those who did not want that option were allowed to travel after giving their name and nationality.

The ferry service between Puttgarden in Germany and the Danish port of Rodby – which receives ferry trains from Germany – has also resumed, ferry operator Scandlines said. However, trains were not running on the ferries, a DSB spokeswoman told dpa

Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen was to meet with other party leaders later in the day to discuss the refugee situation.

Rasmussen’s minority government centre-right liberals has pushed through cuts in benefits for newly arrived asylum seekers and other measures to make Denmark less attractive for asylum seekers.

On Monday, the Danish government placed advertisements in three Lebanese papers detailing the measures.