University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Denmark shuts down motorway and rail links to Germany

DANISH NEWS - Links to Germany shut down to stop refugees trying to transit to Sweden

Danish police closed off rail links with Germany and temporarily shut down a motorway yesterday as a result of hundreds of refugees attempting to get to Sweden on foot, according to

The E45 motorway, a vital passage of traffic for people and goods between Sweden and Germany, was closed when some 300 refugees, including children, began walking on it. Police tried to persuade them to leave but appeared reluctant to use force, onlookers said.

When asked whether blocking the road and rail links meant breaking with the Schengen agreement, under which borders are meant to be open to allow free movement, a police spokesman said he did not think so as he expected traffic to start moving again soon, although he could not say when.

Hope for a positive dialogue

Danish officials said they had reached out to Sweden to see if the two countries could make an exception to the EU’s rules and let the migrants through to Sweden since so many don’t want to stay in Denmark. But Fredrik Beijer, legal director of the Swedish Migration Agency, told The Associated Press that he saw no way to circumvent the EU rules.

At Rødby, where train ferries arrive in Denmark from Germany, 240 refugees on board a train refused to leave, saying they didn’t want to register or have their fingerprints taken in this country.

”We know that many of them want to go to Sweden, but naturally we cannot let that happen,” police spokesman Carsten Andersen said. ”So right now, we have asked them to start a dialogue. We are waiting patiently for some of them to agree to that.” DR News reported shortly before midnight that all the refugees had been allowed to leave the train and had been driven away in private vehicles.

Justice Minister, Søren Pind, said he was cutting short a trip to the United States to return home.

Do you have a good story? We would like to hear from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook for features, guides and tips on upcoming events and follow us on Twitter for links to other Copenhagen academia news stories.