Sweden’s government said the country may receive 150,000 asylum seekers this year, double the most recent estimate, as it struggles to find housing for the thousands of refugees now arriving from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan each week.
Prime Minister Stefan Loefven said Swedish authorities are working day and night to make sure those who arrive find shelter. The government is also lowering its standards for accommodation and is exploring the possibility of temporarily housing refugees in tents, Loefven said at a press conference in Stockholm on Friday.
“We are following developments hour by hour," Loefven said.
The government’s forecast for 150,000 asylum seekers dwarfs the latest estimate from the Migration Board in July, which was for 74,000 refugees. In the past seven days alone, 8,899 asylum seekers arrived. Of those, 34 percent came from Syria, 26 percent from Afghanistan and 22 percent from Iraq, according to the Migration Board. The influx will raise costs for the state and municipalities and the government will return with a revised estimate at a later date, Loefven said.