October 9, 2015 / 9:42 AM / 4 years ago

Swedish PM says asylum numbers could top 150,000 this year

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of Sweden addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, September 30, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Reuters) - Sweden could receive more 150,000 asylum applications this year and a lack of accommodation means the country may have to start housing new arrivals in tents, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Friday at a press conference.

“What is happening now is one of the largest humanitarian operations in Swedish history,” Lofven told a news conference.

“There is nothing to indicate that the number of people will diminish in the near future and if this continues at the same pace as now, over 150 000 asylum seekers are expected to Sweden during this year.

At the start of this month, the number of asylum seekers topped the current forecast from the Migration Agency of 74,000 people this year.

The agency said on Friday 8,900 people had sought asylum in Sweden in the last seven days.

Reporting by Violette Goarant and Daniel Dickson; Writing by Simon Johnson, Editing by Niklas Pollard

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