Norway Progress notice Swiss immigration scepticism / News / The Foreigner

Norway Progress notice Swiss immigration scepticism. UPDATED: As the Swiss say ‘Grüezi’ (hello) to immigration level containment, the Norwegian Progress Party (FrP) suggest holding a national referendum. Progress’ immigration policy spokesperson Mazyar Keshvari makes his statements following this week’s 50.3% majority support for the Swiss People’s Party “Stop Mass Immigration” move. The referendum vote includes EU/EEA citizens.Difference Switzerland’s inhabitants believe a quota scheme restricting immigration should be introduced, feeling a 23 per cent immigrant population proportion to be too high, state Norwegian governmental officials.

norwayimmigration, norwayintegration, foreignersnorway, asylumseekersnorway



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Norway Progress notice Swiss immigration scepticism

Published on Tuesday, 11th February, 2014 at 14:08 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 13th February 2014 at 16:09.

UPDATED: As the Swiss say ‘Grüezi’ (hello) to immigration level containment, the Norwegian Progress Party (FrP) suggest holding a national referendum.

Mazyar Keshvari
Mazyar Keshvari
Photo: Reynir Johannesson/FrP


Progress’ immigration policy spokesperson Mazyar Keshvari makes his statements following this week’s 50.3% majority support for the Swiss People’s Party “Stop Mass Immigration” move. The referendum vote includes EU/EEA citizens.

Difference

Switzerland’s inhabitants believe a quota scheme restricting immigration should be introduced, feeling a 23 per cent immigrant population proportion to be too high, state Norwegian governmental officials.

“We don’t want the same as the Swiss have, but the people must be allowed to decide. It’s a good democratic decision,” Mr Keshvari tells The Foreigner.

Alt St. Johann, St. Gallen Canton, Switz
Alt St. Johann, St. Gallen Canton, Switz
Benutzer:Breeze/Wikimedia Commons
The MP adds that polls have shown the majority of the Norwegian people want to tighten up the country’s immigration policy, but is “not sure of the name of these” surveys.

“Previous polls have shown a large majority of Conservative (H) and Labour (Ap) voters even want a more restrictive immigration policy,” he says.

So your view is not just because people have voted you into government?

“People want a stricter immigration policy in Norway irrespective of which political Parties are in power. 60 per cent of Labour voters agree with Progress’ policies.”

Swiss miss?

Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement quoting the Minister of EEA and EU Affairs at the Office of the Prime Minister about the Swiss move.

The Conservatives' Minister Vidar Helgesen, expressed concern about what the Swiss’ decision – opposed by that country’s government, much of the business sector, the tourist industry, and the health sector – might mean for Norwegian nationals wishing to reside and work in Switzerland.

He also said that pro-immigration restriction vote in Switzerland “will create problems for the Swiss business sector and the economy, which have benefited greatly from labour immigration from the EEA, as has Norway.”

Schengen sign, Poland
Schengen sign, Poland
Gnesener1900/Wikimedia Commons
"Lithuanians and Poles who come and seek employment in Norway gladly bring their family here when they discover anything they can get for free by residing here, including free health assistance and social security benefits,” VG journalists quoted Mazyar Keshvari as remarking to them.

No evidence to suggest this

"I can see it’s a concern due to the enormous differences in benefits levels between other countries and Norway”, Frisch Centre senior researcher Bernt Bratsberg tells the Foreigner, “ but we don’t see this happening thus far.”

“We obviously can’t tell what’s going to happen in the future, but there’s no tendency for Lithuanians and Poles to move here and claim benefits. The number of these nationals who went on unemployment benefit during the Financial Crisis soared, but they largely ended up employed afterwards.”

Mr Bratsberg adds that the vast majority of Lithuanians and Poles who move to Norway are employed upon arrival.

Progress are strong advocates for stopping Norwegian child welfare payments being exported abroad, as are Labour. Present government coalition partner the Conservatives also want to impose restrictions on welfare payments to foreigners.

Sveinung Rotevatn MP
Sveinung Rotevatn MP
Norwegian Liberal Party
But EFTA has challenged Norway on her benefits policies. Moreover the Liberals’ (V) Sveinung Rotevatn MP has expressed concern high-profile politicians’ recent attacks on the welfare issue have “blown the [welfare exploitation] matter out of all proportion.” Norwegian pensioners living abroad account for most of Norway’s welfare exports.

"A storm in their teacup"

“These are experienced politicians. Take Jens Stoltenberg, for example. He’s both a previous Prime Minister and an economist. He knows how little welfare goes to non-Norwegian nationals. His types of views can also be quite dangerous as they cause hostility to foreigners, and long-term welfare system changes that will make it quite difficult to be a labour migrant in Norway,” Mr Rotevatn told The Foreigner at the time.

In his Monday statement, Minister Vidar Helegesen comments that “Norway would like to emphasise the importance of free movement of persons for growth and prosperity in an open economy.”

Progress’ Mazyar Keshvari refers to his Party’s aforementioned popularity with Labour voters.

“Nobody [else] has seen immigration policies in the bigger picture,” he remarks to The Foreigner.




Published on Tuesday, 11th February, 2014 at 14:08 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 13th February 2014 at 16:09.

This post has the following tags: norwayimmigration, norwayintegration, foreignersnorway, asylumseekersnorway.





  
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