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Ukrainian refugees, Municipal Council in Drammen

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Ukrainian refugees, Municipal Council in Drammen

comments expresses the writer’s opinions.

Drammen municipal council has decided that they are unable to accept as many new refugees and immigrants as the state wants. The governing politicians would probably prefer not to accept anyone, but have decided that they can handle 125 from Ukraine. This means that they put their foot down for more immigrants from Africa and Asia.

The majority in Drammen municipal council does not consist of a bunch of racists, but on the contrary a group of realists.

Together with Oslo and the cities of Østfold, Drammen is a municipality that has welcomed many more immigrants from Africa and Asia than most other Norwegian municipalities.

Not only because they have loyally settled those whom the state has ordered them to accept, but also because immigrants who have been settled in other municipalities have subsequently moved to neighborhoods in Drammen where they find people with the same country background.

Anders Magnus

Anders Magnus has been a foreign correspondent for NRK on three continents: Africa, Asia and America. His last assignment was Washington DC, where he covered most of Donald Trump’s reign – and the start of Jo Biden’s.

Magnus has also been a journalist in Bergens Tidende and in TV2 – where he led the programs PS and M.

Increased problems with the integration

It has increased the problems – sorry, the challenges, as the politicians like to call it – with the integration.

Immigrants from Asia and Africa are overrepresented among those who practice honor violence and forced marriage, they are overrepresented in the criminal gangs, they are overrepresented among recipients of social assistance and there are greater problems in getting them employed than there is in the rest of the population.

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All politicians know all this, including those from the Center Party, the Labor Party, SV and Rødt.

A large number of newcomers from Ukraine also creates problems for the municipalities, particularly with regard to capacity in the housing market, health care and schools. Therefore, Drammen has also reduced the number they want to accept from this group – something many more municipalities will probably have to do in the future.

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Drammen does like Denmark

What Drammen municipality now wants to do is the same as Denmark’s social democratic leading government has been doing for many years. When refugees must settled in a municipality must one “start from the proportion of former residents from non-Western countries”.

The goal is that “there shall be no residential areas in Denmark where more than 30 per cent have a non-Western background”. This is because one does not want a densification of population groups that could lead to alienation and parallel societies.

The Norwegian Labor Party has also previously thought along these lines, such as when in 2015 it was said that “Ap will not allow refugees choose Oslo as a place of residence». Then most of the refugees came from Syria, an Asian country. Since then, Oslo has only experienced even more of the integration “challenges” that have followed increased immigration from Asia and Africa.

Now a local SP politician in Drammen has reported the municipality to the police for discrimination, and Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre says the decision is illegal.

That the Center Party will go the legal route against local self-government is unbelievable. If the state through the Støre government revokes the decision in Drammen, the municipality should make a new decision saying no to all new settlements.

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The FRP is now breathing down Ap’s neck

For far too long, Norwegian politics has been determined by a rights mindset, that people from other parts of the world have the right to come to Norway and receive full benefits from the Norwegian welfare state. Instead, one should turn it around, and look at the consequences for society that so many people come here, whether they come from Asia/Africa or from Ukraine.

The Norwegian working class has seen these consequences. The Labor Party probably does too, although they do not yet want to speak out loud about what they see.

The Progress Party is now breathing down the Labor Party’s neck when it comes to support in the opinion polls. The reluctance to talk openly about the integration problems may be one of the reasons why social democracy is unfortunately losing support among ordinary people in Norway.

Read more comments by Anders Magnus here

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