LONDON — The continued flow of people along Europe’s migration trail, from Turkey and Greece to the Balkans to Scandinavia, faced new impediments on Monday as two of the northernmost destinations further tightened border controls in response to political, economic and logistical pressures.
Sweden, once one of the most welcoming of nations for refugees, introduced new identity checks on Monday for travelers arriving from Denmark. Fearful that migrants who otherwise would pass through on their way to Sweden would now be unable to leave, Denmark swiftly moved to impose new controls on people traveling via its border with Germany.
The moves by the two Scandinavian countries represented another step in the erosion of the ideal of borderless travel across most of the European Union, amid rising concerns about the costs imposed by the tide of migration and fears that terrorists are seeking to enter Europe masquerading as refugees.
In recent months, Scandinavian countries, like other countries in Europe, have expressed increasing concern about the scale of the influx of migrants seeking to reach prosperous Northern European countries known for their generous welfare systems and for relatively welcoming attitudes.
The arrival of migrants — roughly one million reached Germany last year alone, though a significant minority were from other parts of Europe rather than from Syria, Iraq and other conflict-ridden nations — has gradually led European countries from south to north to seek to stem the tide.
Hungary built a razor-wire fence along its border to keep migrants out. Denmark has cut benefits to new arrivals by about 50 percent and has introduced tough language requirements for those seeking permanent residency. Finland has issued news releases in Arabic detailing additional restrictions, apparently with the aim of warning would-be asylum seekers that the country is not a paradise.
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