Syrian asylum seekers finally allowed in

Seven families with small children who fled war in Syria but have since been languishing in refugee camps in Greece were finally brought to Norway this week. They were quickly taken to the national asylum center in Råde, where their new lives in Norway will begin. Calls have gone out for years to help more […]

Moria refugees’ arrival delayed

A total of 50 refugees that Norway has promised to take in from the fire-ravaged Moria camp in Greece won’t be arriving until March. An outbreak of illness unrelated to Corona at their transit camp has delayed their departure, reported newspaper Vårt Land. The Norwegian government, acting only after intense political pressure, finally agreed last […]

Corona cuts into population growth

Immigration to Norway fell 27 percent last year, a decline the state statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway) has branded as “historic.” It hasn’t been so low in 17 years, and SSB officials link it firmly to Corona-related restrictions. The sharp drop in immigration during 2020 also contributed to the lowest level of overall population growth […]

Immigrants finally gain more respect

Attitudes towards immigrants and immigration are steadily becoming more positive in Norway, according to a new study by state statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway). More than 70 percent of Norwegians now also think that most immigrants enrich both working and cultural life. Fully 40 percent “strongly agree” that most immigrants make positive contributions to working […]

Aid can be tied to language skills

Labour and Social Affairs Minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen wants to cut welfare aid payments to needy young immigrants if they don’t take part in Norwegian language classes.  He’s sending a proposed law to Parliament aimed at boosting proficiency in Norwegian, and getting more immigrants into the labour market. “Norwegian is the entry ticket to the […]

Demonstrators bash Norway’s Moria response

Several hundred Norwegians demonstrated in front of Parliament Monday afternoon, demanding that Prime Minister Erna Solberg and the rest of her government take in more than just 50 asylum seekers from the ruins of the Moria refugee camp in Greece. Solberg has so far refused to do so, and both her ministers in charge of […]

Norway’s Moria aid offer ridiculed

The Norwegian government, under pressure for months to take in refugees from the squalid and overcrowded Moria refugee camp in Greece, finally announced it would accept 50 after the camp burned down during the night. “That’s just embarrassing,” claimed one critic, since at least 13,000 refugees now need shelter again. Katrine Nødtvedt, Bergen’s city government leader […]

China accused of a ‘moral collapse’

Reaction to Chinese authorities’ crackdown on Hong Kong’s democracy continues in Norway, with several top politicians now keen on offering asylum to the former British colony’s pro-democracy activists. One former Norwegian government minister is even calling China “the world’s largest dictatorship.” “I also think we need to evaluate whether this is a country with which […]

New asylum system greets few seekers

The numbers of asylum seekers arriving in Norway have sunk to new record lows in recent months. Norwegian officials are nevertheless preparing to receive many more at their cavernous national reception center in Råde, through a new system in which persecuted homo- and transsexuals are due to get priority. Justice Minister Monica Mæland visited the […]

Sicily takes in ‘Ocean Viking’ migrants

The Norwegian offshore vessel Ocean Viking, chartered by a humanitarian organization to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean, was finally allowed by Italian authorities to sail for Sicily after unrest on board that threatened its crew during the weekend. “We have received a message to sail to Empedocle and take contact with harbour authorities when we […]