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PARIS: The latest on the influx of asylum seekers and other migrants in Europe.Sweden's prime minister has denounced a string of sexual assaults in Germany and Sweden against women in crowded areas.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told lawmakers Wednesday that "girls and women should be able to move around freely at night without fear of being assaulted. If assaults occur, society has to stand with the victims."
Reports of large-scale sexual assaults and robberies blamed on foreign men on New Year's Eve in Cologne, Germany, has sparked outrage in both Germany and Sweden, where police this week revealed they've known about similar incidents for at least two years.
"I felt a great anger as I learned about the reports from both Cologne and Stockholm. Those guilty must be punished," Lofven said.
Jimmie Akesson, the leader of the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats, asked the prime minister whether he saw any cultural dimensions in the assaults, given that police have said most of the suspects were foreign nationals.
"Whatever the motive we have to work more with attitudes among young men," Lofven said. "It's never OK to grope or harass women."