Syrian refugee surge tests Sweden's welcome
In this photo taken Jan. 23, 2013, Syrian asylum-seeker Wissam Attiki waits for a bus outside an immigration office in Marsta, Sweden. Along with Germany, which is nine times larger, Sweden stands out in Europe for its generous welcome to refugees fleeing a conflict that has killed tens of thousands and uprooted many more. European Union statistics show those two countries have received about two-thirds of the Syrians seeking shelter in the 27-nation bloc. (AP Photo/Karl Ritter)
Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013 12:00 am
Updated: 5:05 pm, Tue Mar 25, 2014.
MARSTA, Sweden (AP) - Wisam Attiki was drawn by the tales of Nordic refuge: All he had to do was set foot in Sweden, his fellow Syrians said, and the rich, peaceful nation would let him stay.
Still, the 37-year-old from Damascus was surprised at how little fuss there was when he arrived last week at Stockholm's Arlanda airport on a flight from Turkey. He said the Swedish border police showed sympathy when he confessed that his travel documents were fakes that he had bought for (EURO)9,000 ($12,000).
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Thursday, January 3, 2013 12:00 am.
Updated: 5:05 pm.