Hostility rises against migrants

Tempers are rising against hundreds of migrants in Oslo, most of them Roma folk from Romania and Bulgaria, who continue to camp illegally in the Norwegian capital. Some Norwegians, frustrated over what they see as a lack of respect by the migrants for local authorities and residents, are threatening violence if the police or government officials don’t crack down.

Newspaper Aftenposten reported on Tuesday how a group of residents in the Oslo district of Årvoll, furious over a new camp set up near their homes, are now so frustrated that they’re considering a physical attack on the camp. They couldn’t understand why police hadn’t forcibly removed the campers as of Tuesday midday, not least after public health authorities ruled on Monday that the camp, set up on what amounts to a gravel pit on a disputed property in Årvoll, was dangerous.

Campers ordered to leave
The chief district doctor (bydelsoverlege) deemed the area unsafe for human habitation and ordered that the camp set up on Saturday be disbanded immediately. The migrants have set up tents and makeshift shelters amidst high piles of stones and sand that could collapse on top of them, warned the local health authority, which also noted that the property has no running water, sewage or garbage collection services. A group trying to help the migrants arranged delivery of four portable toilets, but health officials were not satisfied.

“Now the owner of the property must get folks out of the area quickly,” Torger Ødegaard, acting head of the Oslo city government, told Aftenposten. Because the camp is on private property, authorities claim the owners are primarily responsible, especially since one of them invited the migrants to the site after they were ordered to leave an earlier camp outside an Oslo church. The two partners owning the large property at Årvoll,however, appear to disagree over the issue themselves.

Verbal abuse
Meanwhile, the roughly 30 campers still on the property as of Tuesday morning have engaged in verbal battles with their neighbours, with Aftenposten reporting that one Roma woman yelled at  permanent residents of the area Monday night that they had “no right to say what we will do or where we will be, nor do the police.” She called the Norwegian people “Nazis” because the migrants had been “harassed” in Oslo.

That enraged local residents, with one man yelling back at the woman. The migrants have also been the targets of what can only be described as hatred in many online debates over their begging and  illegal camping in Oslo and other Norwegian cities, and on Saturday night, someone fired pyrotechnics into the Årvoll camp. No one was injured.

“This is an intolerable situation,” Ødegaard said, adding that the city cannot be held responsible for providing free camping facilities for the migrants. “You can’t just settle down where it’s a health hazard to be. Everyone is welcome in Oslo, but when you arrive as a visitor, you must be able to take care of yourself.”

Officials huddling over the issue
A stream of local politicians, health care workers, child protection authorities and even the bishop of Oslo, Ole Christian Kvarme, have visited the camp, with the health authorities informing the campers of the dangers of living in a gravel pit and telling them they must leave. One man said they didn’t want to leave, while others asked where they should go.

“That’s not a public responsibility, so I have no idea,” replied Ødegaard.

City officials were demanding that the state step in, and both Aftenposten and Norwegian Broadcsting (NRK) reported that meetings were being held on Tuesday involving several government ministers. Calls are rising for the migrants to be deported, although as citizens of countries within the European Union, they have a right to be in Norway for up to three months.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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  • 1voice_of_reason

    I have seen the same filthy tramps at Brugata for the last 2 years coming up into my face asking for money – They need to be tracked by the police and deported. They are not Roma gypsies if they settle, and that is effectively what they are doing so those ‘rights’ should be null and void.

    As an immigrant myself, as many readers of this paper are, I have little sympathy. We moved here either for love or employment, and all did everything legally – and it does take some effort. We integrate and become positive contributors to Norwegian society and generally speaking follow the laws of this land. These people do not – I wonder if they would ever be held accountable for a fine for not paying for the bus for example. I doubt it – so here we have an instance of discrimination against the rest of society, that if caught, they should pay the penalty based on the assumption that they can afford to and or will do. This little analogy goes for about everything else

    • NorwayExpat123

      Your anger is as misguided as that of the racist Norwegians who attacked innocent Muslim immigrants on July 22nd, 2011.

      Were you born in an impoverished Romanian village into a family living off a few dollars a day earned from begging? Did you have to quit school at a very young age to help support your family? As a result of this, did you grow up to have absolutely no skills that would be of use to Norway? Would you still be such a wonderful, upstanding “voice of reason” if you had endured that kind of childhood? If your answers to the above questions are “no”, then maybe you shouldn’t be showing off how you managed to do it all legally, and maybe you should stop looking down on people who haven’t been as privileged as you.

      If you don’t want these people here, look to the Norwegian government to protect the borders properly, don’t take it out on people you should just be feeling sorry for. As I said, misguided anger.

      • 1voice_of_reason

        I haven’t taken my anger out on anybody. I felt I did not display any anger in my comment, but rather called for the law to be upheld. A point you also make in your last paragraph of your weak riposte.

        I was merely expressing my frustration at a situation that makes Oslo look like a filthy horrible town. After living here for four years and falling in love with Norwegian society and culture, I only want visitors to think positively for the place, and to live in a nice clean town. You don’t when you are in effect harassed everywhere you go for money. These people are not so stupid; they know how to work a mobile phone and how to spend their money building houses back in Romania.

        You detail and upbringing that you believe these people had, but you don’t know them, so you, I would implore, are being naive. The problems of the world (Romania in this instance) should not be the problems for the good hard working people of Oslo. Perhaps, at an international level, governments must consider an approach that will help solve the causes of the problems rather than trying to deal with the consequences. Essentially, as these countries become wealthier and benefit from EU membership, this will happen. But their admission to the EU (along with Eastern bloc countries) has not be handled well. The economic level of these countries were so far behind, that they failed to see the mass immigration problem. The terms of accession should be stricter and totally dependent on employment in a skilled position. Norway can control this, by as one minister suggested, coming out of Schengen.

        You also attack my integrity and background without founding. You make assumptions as you do with your assumptions of the poverty of ‘these people’. I worked hard for everything I have today. I studied hard and went to university and funded this myself. I am not going to go into personal details of my life, but even after moving to Norway, my first job was one that involved no skills! I used my body and worked a manual labour type of job before bettering myself. This should be the model for all immigrants, as that after all, is the reason why economic migration occurs.

        I never read about any Muslims being attacked on 22nd July.

        • NorwayExpat123

          Show me where I “attacked your integrity and background”. All I did was ask questions about how difficult your upbringing was, and suggested that maybe you shouldn’t judge people who weren’t as privileged as you. Yes, judging by your own account, you were still very privileged compared to the Roma folk.

          Calling someone a “filthy tramp” comes across as angry, if that was not your intent then how about calling her “a poor old woman begging on a frozen sidewalk?”

          Your claim that you just want Oslo to be nice and “clean” for visitors is really a pathetic attempt at a justification for your comment. I think I know the lady you’re talking about in Brugata, but your claim that you can’t go anywhere without being hassled is utter nonsense. Moreover, I think the plight of a beggar on the street deserves more sympathy than you having to endure an occasional request for change.

          There are a lot of racists in Norway, who by luck of the draw were born into a country that got stinking rich on black gold, and instead of just being thankful and doing good with this blessing, they take every opportunity to inflict more misery on those who weren’t so fortunate. This behavior disgusts me to no end, I can forgive unprivileged people for being uneducated and ignorant, but these racists have no excuse. I get where the Roma folk are coming from when calling their harassers Nazis.

          There were articles on this very site detailing harassment and attacks against Muslims immediately after the bomb went off in central Oslo. It received absolutely no attention, of course, because bigotry against Muslims is at an all time high, and nobody cares what they have to endure, just like nobody cares what poor Eastern-European immigrants have to go through.

          • 1voice_of_reason

            You are so naive and quite frankly come across as lacking intelligence. I will not endulge your bilge with much more comment. You can go and spend your money and feed them etc. They are nothing but criminals, crooks and law breakers.

            http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_9618000/9618038.stm

            I would encourage you to watch this short clip (s) and read the article. The BBC followed some gypsies back to their mansions in Romania after making fortunes enslaving children and begging on the streets of London.

            They are professional beggars who are making a fortune out of your naivety.

            • NorwayExpat123

              I see, you cannot win this argument through reason, so you’re going to resort to ad hominems? I addressed the issues raised in your comment point by point, and instead of a better reasoned retort, you call me unintelligent and naive. Says a lot about your character, or lack there of. I don’t give money to beggars, it doesn’t help the problem, but I also don’t resort to insulting and harassing them because that doesn’t help either. I’ve seen the BBC article before and I am a regular viewer of Panorama, but it does not justify your prejudice against all Roma people, just like an article about the 9/11 hijackers wouldn’t justify prejudice against all Muslims. If you cannot see that then maybe you should stop calling yourself the voice of reason.

  • 1voice_of_reason

    ‘as citizens of countries within the European Union, they have a right to be in Norway for up to three months.’

    I have seen the same filthy tramps at Brugata for the last 2 years coming up into my face asking for money – They need to be tracked by the police and deported. They are not Roma gypsies if they settle, and that is effectively what they are doing so those ‘rights’ should be null and void.

    As an immigrant myself, as many readers of this paper are, I have little sympathy. We moved here either for love or employment, and all did everything legally – and it does take some effort. We integrate and become positive contributors to Norwegian society and generally speaking follow the laws of this land. These people do not -

    I wonder if they would ever be held accountable for a fine for not paying for the bus for example. I doubt it – so here we have an instance of discrimination against the rest of society, that if caught, they should pay the penalty based on the assumption that they can afford to and or will do. This little analogy goes for about everything else.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Илчо-Илчев/1399074707 Илчо Илчев

    Maybe you’ll show us how to integrate these Gypsies in Bulgaria because we can not integrate them …

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IU2S6Q7MQ3IGXQAPYY7YZW6KTQ Dahlia

    Well, when Bulgaria tries to deal with this problem whole EU rises up and screams “discrimination”. Now, please, be so kind and do what you have been advising us – integrate this ethnic group and make them obey the laws. We will appreciate the example and employ it.

  • Lll Mmm

    Now you have a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how to integrate the gypsies, as you insist to be done in Bulgaria and Romania. But watch not no harm their human rights!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joan.koev Joan Koev

    They are not Bulgarians or Romanians. They are Gypsies. You are surprised that they have no respect for authorities and police. The truth is that they no respect for their own mothers.
    In Bulgaria we get lots of tips and ideas from European countries for their integration. As part of the European Union, Norway also gave great advice and ideas. Please come – Now you try to integrate them!
    P.S. sorry for my english

  • Александър Дудев

    They are not poor. They have money. They are just Gipsies. You don`t understand their culture. But you will. Believe me. And then you will know what they are. They are not like us. They dont want to study, even the richest gipsies. They have money, but they keep stealing. They are just gipsies. Read some about that. You`ll learn what they are.

  • http://www.facebook.com/diana.ianeva Diana Ianeva

    Now you see how feel the Bulgarians in their countri living with the Gipsies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ivaylo.bankov Ivaylo Bankov

    I grew up among so called “Roma folk”. I’m Bulgarian, and I remember very well that EU asked to be integrated and respected their human rights in Bulgaria. Now reading this article I’m pretty surprised that instead to integrate and respect their human rights, you are willing to deport them back to their country of origin.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pikkeh Petar Ivanov Kehayov

    From Bulgaria
    We Bulgarians have our image and our kultura.We have a great story! Now in Norway and Europe, we attributed Gypsy manners and learned of Mr. tolerantnost.E now you MUST WORK.We Bulgarians have nothing to do with these PEOPLE.It is time to take care in Norway for them …!

  • GBCD

    I don’t see exactly any reason as to why Norway should stay in the Schengen as a whole. It is the sovereign right of a nation to control its borders as it sees fit.

    That said, the gypsies are here as legally as a Pole or German or Spaniard looking for work, under the regime that the NORWEGIAN government, elected by NORWEGIAN voters, set in place.

    And given the heinous amount of hostility which does compare to that of the Nazis, who came up with the “elegant solution” of extermination and genocide, can one blame the gypsies for keeping to themselves and not really wanting to integrate? Can you really see a Norwegian landlord renting a room to a Roma family while they attempt to get work, which would surely be denied them?