Closing borders

trondelag_cw-2

The borders to the Scandinavian countries have more or less been completely open for migrants from outside Europe. They could just say «asylum» and they would be let in, in many cases rewarded with a passport, often citizenship and a free ticket to all our welfare. This have now changed. Denmark made restrictions some time ago. Sweden and Norway have during the last days «closed» the border, and made a lot of restrictions for those who still might get asylum granted. There are also restrictions at the border.

The new policy worked very fast, and few people are now trying to get asylum. Actually zero at the border with Russia far up north. This shows that this kind of information is going very fast, and also, that probably that seeking asylum in Scandinavia for many wasn’t to save ones life, but to get a «better life». A welfare paid for by all our taxpayers.

140.000 migrant crossed the Mediterrean Sea in November only, and all togheter between 800.000 or more than a million this year. These are illeagal immigrants, since thay don’t have visa for Europe. Most came through Turkey, and Turkey let them cross. That is untill Monday. That day 250 turkish policemen suddenly appeared on the beaches to stop the migration and arrest smugglers. EU made an agreement with Turkey that day, agreeing to pay Turkey 3 billion euro for trying to stop migration, and taking better care of refugees. Tyrkey also want visa-free travel in Europe for all its inhabitants, and eventuelly to apply for EU-membership. This surprise me. How can Europe accept blackmail as a way to make agreements, and what will be the result of this agreement?

Immigrants, Volda, Møre og Romsdal.

New inhabitants, Møre og Romsdal.

Scandinavia are among the most peaceful countries, and there have been no war or conflict in our region since World War II, that is 70 years ago. No war in neighboring countries. So it is quite sure that the people «fleeing» into our countries, 80.000 to Sweden only the last two months, were not comming to save their lives. There are probably 1 billion peoples in the world who could need a better life, and about 60 million war refugees. Will the world be a better place if we let all in, or everybody who wants to come? A lot of Scandinavians think so, at least among politicians and journalists. They have been talking about «saving refugees» and «welcome refugees» for months. Untill it was almost full stop.

Two things happened that madet his change. The terror attacks in Paris 13 November, where about 130 people where killed by islamists. Sweden was about the same time literally full. There were actually no more housing possible to all the migrants. Not even one mattress available. The politicians who had welcomed half the world was suddenly crying on TV, and they had to change the policy to one that resembled the policy of their despised enemy, the right wing Sverigedemokratene. Social collapse threatens, not only for migrants, but for all the society.

Anybody who have tried to oppose the liberal immigration to Scandinavia, and this is maybe the case in all Western Europe, have been utterly despised. A mass immigration that is going to change not only our country but all of Western Europe is not to be discussed. If you did, you were evil, and it certainly was no good for seeking a career. This have changed, at least to some extent. And that make sense. Norway is a small county with about 4 million native inhabitants, and about 1.2 million with immigrants background. All arriving the last 40 years. Many are from Sweden or Eastern Europe, but we also have large diaspora populations from countries like Somalia, Afghanistan, Irak, Syria and Eritrea. There are sunnis, shias, kurds, but persecuted Christians have for some unexplainable reason had a hard time finding refuge in Norway. All these new people of different origin are, or will be, settled in more or less every community in Norway. From the smallest village to the biggest city. Our bigger cities already have large immigrant communities.

Småbruk utenfor Ørsta, Møre og Romsdal.

This country may not be perfect for immigrants from the Middle East?

Some local communities are protesting, like this village that has 40 inhabitant and now maybe will get more than 600 asylum seekers located there. Local protests are often not heard. More and more immigrants are also complaining, like these asylum seekers that have to live in tents for a while, but don’t want to share with men from other countries. Europe was maybe not as expected, which is no surprise if they were promised gold and honey by human traffickers comming here.

I am among the worried people. Not because I don’t want refugeees or poor people to be helped, but because I believe we are helping in the wrong way. I think that this liberal immigration will be a great risk for our Scandinavian countries and Europe in general. A vast challenge for our culture, peace, security and economy, because somebody made the wrong decision. That is a policy that «showers fortune on the few, kills thousands, and ignore millions», as said by Paul Collier, a specialist of developmental predicaments of poor countries.

While we are using billions and billions on settling migrants (90-94 percent can not document who they are), real war refugees are living in extremely vulnerable conditions in refugee camps in the Middle East region, where UNHCR lack funding. And elsewhere. In Yemen 7.5 million people lives with hunger, but who talkes of Yemen? Nobody around here. We are too busy settling.

So I wish for Norway and other European countries to study the rules of the Refugee Convention.: «A refugee, according to the Convention, is someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.» It says persecution, not seeking a better life. If we used all our billions to support those who tries to make peace, to build their countries in democratic ways, and taking care of refugees in the meantime, then there is hope for a better world for all. And keeps the asylum for the persecuted ones, those that really need a refuge, untill they can return and rebuild their country.

Fjellene utenfor Volda, Møre og Romsdal.

 Volda, Møre og Romsdal.

One example on how we are misusing resources right now. The cost for 15 minor «refugees» comming alone to Norway from Afghanistan takes the same amount that Norway spends on a program for the region of South America every year. This program will now be terminated. We are saving money for others. But how can minors be persecuted, shouldn’t they be sent back and be taking care of by their parents? There are so many reports now that many of these young ones are sent to Europe to make money, and the only ways they can make money is in reality by criminality or other ways that are not good for them or us. According to the Swedish economist Tino Sanandaji expected expenditure on these minor migrants comming to Sweden from Afghanistan is projected to be 34 billion SKR in 2017. That’s more than the budget for UNHCR operations in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but still not as much as Afghanistan’s total government expenditures of just under 45 billion SKR. We are rich countries that wants to help, but as it is now we are spending the money wrongly. We are probably able to help more or less all the war refugees, at least all the war refugees from Syria, but it is not possible by immigration. By immigration we are helping just a few, but for our societies they are still too many. By changing out policy we would probably stop others from making a dangerous journey, and we could have helped so many more, where help is really needed.

34 thoughts on “Closing borders

  1. I agree with you completely, Bente. It’s not that we’re hard-hearted and don’t want to help, but you have hit the nail on the head – this is not the way to help, and the whole refugee problem has been hijacked by people wanting a better life. I also feel that pressure not to speak up and be painted as intolerant. There are many people who think like we do, but are afraid to speak up. Good for you, for telling it how it is!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Interesting to know you are maybe having similar discussions in the States, Anneli. I thought this was more of an European topic. I agree with you, the refugee problem is hijacked by those who wants a better life, and have money to pay smugglers to get to it. It might be really persecuted people among them, but that is hard to find out these days. Wanting a better life is no reason for getting asylum, even if many certainly deserves better. Thank you so much for your point of view.

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    1. That is for sure, Anotherday2paradise. We are lucky to have emotions, but they can’t decide a nations politics. Here is a proverb, Yankton Sioux, borowed from the blog of Eddie Two Hawks:
      Strength is not the only thing we must
      have in the world, and, in a man or a
      nation, it is of little use without wisdom.

      Liked by 5 people

  2. I wish I could say it’s all good intentions that got us here, but instead I think it’s a foolish hope for a world Utopia where everyone lives in peaceful prosperity mindful of the rights of others. It has never happened in the history of humankind and it never will.

    . . . not that people will ever give up trying. I don’t see an answer in the horizon. Only more strife.

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    1. Good intentions and the dream about Utopia got us here. The dream about poor people comming from all these different countries, leaving war and poverty behind, and everybody living happily toghether ever after. But the poor is left behind, did anybody think about that? And all these people have a hard time living together, did anybody think about that? And what about the persecuted, who is helping them? Sorry Emilio, you got me going there. Thanks a lot for your wise comment, again. And we can plan for a real Utopia, the one that have a chance, another day.

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  3. Denne artikkelen er veldig interessant, jeg forsto bredt som Google oversettelse er ikke 100%!
    I Sveits, har vi samme problem, og folk som ikke er enig med direktivene blir behandlet rasistisk … det er ikke alltid tilfelle, men vi må innrømme at Europa ikke har plass til alle elendighet i verden.
    Konfrontert med forskjeller i kultur, blir vi bedt om å gi opp noen tradisjoner for ikke å sjokkere asylsøkere …. er dette normalt?
    Jeg er bekymret, er dette et stort problem, og lambda kvalitet statsborger, kan jeg gjøre noe!
    Glad helg til deg

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    1. All the countries in Western Europe have similar problems, but Scandinavia and Germany have kept the door more open than some of the other countries, I guess. I believe this policy have to be changed. As it is now it looks more like a great immigration, from some countries only, that has nothing to do with the Refugee Convention. And all these countries so different from ours in culture, values, politics, religion, with all the challenges we will encounter. If you look to Sweden they have got plenty of immigrants, for years, but we certainly have got many too. Like the 14 year old girl from Syria who recently arrived with one 18 months old child, expecting one more, with a much older man. Now people say we must let them, let this man still be with this child. As we before have changed a lot of traditions. No pig meat in some hospitals, and this year school children have to have permit from their parents to join the Christmas mass in church that is arranged every year especially for schools, if not they can not join. And other Christmas events are chaning the name to winter events. Thank you so much for your comment, Pierrette. Og God helg til deg også! (I answered in English so that others can read it too, but you are welcome to write in Norwegian any time!)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well said, Bente.

    The whole refugee issue is a difficult one. I don’t know the answer. But there has to be a better answer than smugglers exhorting enormous sums of money from these people and them landing in a foreign country with insufficient housing and infrastructure to support them. Language barriers and lack of jobs just makes it all the harder.

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  5. Difficult issue, this. Thank you for speaking up, Bente. There must be other solutions than the ones started on…Luckily some brakes are are on their way.

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  6. Couldn’t agree more. Though I’m afraid it may be a bit too late with so many already entered. It would be less of a problem with immigrants who want to assimilate, but this is not the case here at all.
    I also don’t understand why the West doesn’t demand the effluent Arab countries, with all their vast territories and wealth, to rescue these people. Surely they are more fit to it, as they share a language, culture and religion…

    Liked by 4 people

  7. It is a very difficult subject and I’ve been following the topic for years. One thing that disturbs me, as an expatriate, is how unwilling people from other countries are to adapt to a new culture, rules and norms. I moved to a non immigration G8 country where to live a good quality life it is necessary to have a good education, assimilate to the culture and learn the language. People get frustrated and leave very quickly because the culture is highly intolerant of disordered behaviour and if you weren’t born here, you can get thrown out. I was perturbed by the refugee issue because first, people need a place where they can live their lives free from violence, but second, there is a tradeoff. We have to show respect to the people who offer us shelter. We have to do something to build the communities that bear us up.

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  8. I can’t agree with your more. Although we are a melting pot, the U.S. people don’t seem too happy about the 80,000 that are supposed to come here. Many states (Texas, for starters) have sued the federal government about refusing to relocate families in their states. (Think of our states as separate countries) I think your country needs to learn from countries like mine and France. America has not forgot about 9/11, and it’s hard to accept the possibility that a terrorist slips by… again!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Europe is losing its culture and heritage to the populations of the Middle East. In this area, where there are refugees, and refugee camps, the people of the area do little to help their own, those of their own language and culture. There are refugee camps that have existed for nearly 70 years, but these people are not integrated into the hosting country. Instead, these people continue to cling to a marginal life, without hope, supported off the largess of western countries and the United Nations. It is high time these countries took responsibility for their region and their cultures. I am in agreement with you about the need to close borders. Unless these immigrants become Norwegians, speak Norwegian, adopt Norwegian customs, Norway is going to disappear. It’s called integration and assimilation, and those from other countries “looking for a better life” owe the host country their allegiance, not their places of origin. This goes not just for Norway, but for all countries who take in these foreigners – but too many of the foreigners don’t think of their debt to the country and the people receiving them.

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  10. Dear Bente, you did a great writing and I agree with you too. I don’t want them too, but I want to help them… It is not easy to leave homeland and to go to in another country and start to live from the beginning… Not easy. My country always opened her doors to them, it happened in the past too, while no one wanted them we opened our doors to jewish people who were escaping from Nazi… On the other hand, dear Bente, I wouldn’t have called it like blackmail… Because there is not justice in these things between EU and us… Do you know, so many european live in my country and they all bought houses and they didn’t live any problem… there are some villages are already full of with Europeans… This is nice, I am not against this. But I want to travel easily to the EU countries… Do you know how hard to take vise and to reply their pages… For example only UK has twenty pages, asking so many questions… So many detail..etc.
    And yes, I want to be one of European person… why not? And all countries till to Us have been all in EU… I think this is another subject to talk. But as I said it is not a blackmail… the reality between EU and us… EU needs us, and we need EU… Strategically we are standing in the border between Europe and Asia… You know I hate politics and religious matters… and I don’t want to talk about them. Anyway, I just wanted to share my thoughts, Thanks and Love, nia

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    1. I know Nia, I agree with you, at least in most of this. And I am so glad you are sharing your thoughts, because we all needs different perspectives. Only then can we have a chance to understand, and understand each other. I also know you live in a very welcoming country. I love Turkish culture and people, and for sure I would like you and so many others to be able to travel easily. But at the same time, the political situation is now so difficult, that we have to be careful and not make them worse. As it is millions and millions of people wants to move to Europe, and Turkey have been a door to make this possible. But what will happen if this door will be completely open? Our countries are changing so much already, we risk loosing ourselves. There are millions of unemployd in Europa, most in Southern Europe, but also a rising problem up north. Our young people don’t get jobs, how can people with little or no education, get a chance? There will be so much discontent, and there is already; migrants protesting against anything from room quality to internet connections. Who made them believe their life will be like a first class journey if they only get to Europe? Why didn’t they stay to defend their country or improve their country? I have no problems with normal travellers of course, from all over the world, and I have never been against giving asylum to persecuted people in danger, as long as they are democratic-minded and not extremists. But Europe have given asylum to all kinds for decades, even extremists have a free heaven here to strengthen their evil ideas. So we have a lot of issues that needs to be taken care of. Security beeing one of them, So I must say again, I really like Turkish people, but I am not so sure about the political leadership at the moment. I am also against the EU project. Not cooperation between countries of course, but a policy that has lack of democracy, and which have led to such huge problems as we see now. Every country needs borders, thinking otherwise is a dream, or no good politics. Sorry if you are feeling bad about some of these issues, dear Nia. I Know you like to travel, and hope it can be more easy for you and others, but without changing the system completely. At least not now. I don’t know if this helped, but please tell me more if you want to. Thank you so much, and I hope you will have a lovely weekend with a lot of love and great photography.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Bente, when I wrote this, we talked with my love and he told me that there were many things in politics that I/we don’t know… Yes, I just shared a little part from my own window. Nothing seems easy. And I completely understand you. And also I am thinking with you in the same way. There are so many factors that our cultures change fastly… People should live where they are born… where they belong in cultural way… Otherwise they bring so many changes in another countries… I don’t want this too. I think, world countries should find a solution for this migration… especially people who are in problem in their countries… Help, help, help… I know it is not easy as in writing on here… Another point, I know what you mean about politics in my country, I am not happy for this too… and I couldn’t change it too with my vote… with our votes… Sorry for my comment but I am so happy you almost saw and understand what I wanted to mean. I am almost agree with you dear Bente. You are welcome and Thank you, have a nice day and weekend, Love, nia

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  11. My dear Bente, it’s reassuring knowing that there are still people with common sense around! Needless to say how much I agree with you. As you know, over here – at Europe’s eastern borders- things are much much worse, considering we have the additional ‘bonus’ of a financial crisis.

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  12. Public opinion – hummmm… nothing worse than ill-informed hysteria & that is what it is with this refugee crisis: thanks EU for all the uninvited (unchecked) guests (the EUSSR has a lot to answer for) I can see people elsewhere who are in a far more critical condition, but proud and never ask for help. There are countries in this region (near East) that have vast swathes of land unoccupied and of a similar culture to these refugees: I don’t see them giving a helping hand.
    It will all end in tears I am afraid.

    David.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You have clearly stated all the obvious problems with this massive human wave of refugees. It is not only a problem for today but for tomorrow. The future plans do not exist. In the future people will not be content to sit and watch their homes and cities being destroyed or their children being denied freedom of education or thought. They will move because they will believe that it has to be better elsewhere. Amelia

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  14. Dear Bente,

    Thank you for this post. Our government has held out against the mass migration we are now seeing instead, has been help ‘real’ refugees in camps in Syria. I find it odd that nobody questioned the fact that most of these refugees are men. Why are they not fighting to protect their country and their women and children? Our grandfathers fought against tyranny in the second world war, These men are just running away to what they hope will be a better life. Others with hatred in their hearts intent on committing atrocities in Europe. The reaction to the refugee crisis from many governments, particularly Germany has been hysterical and misguided. Mass migration brought down many civilisations in history as poor sought to share the wealth of the Incas, the Romans to name just two. We are in great danger here in Europe that we will lose the wealth our forebears have worked hard to generate. Already I have seen my own disability benefits cut while billions of pounds go to supporting legal and illegal refugees.
    In the last 10 years our population has increased by over 10 million and in an already overcrowded country, the policies of misguided politicians mean that we can’t get appointments to see a doctor, school classes are growing to the detriment of our children while our culture is not to be celebrated for fear of offending our new citizens. Our new citizens should be learning our culture, our language but they are not of course.
    These are very worrying times indeed Bente and in the UK, the damage to our country, our native citizens, our history and culture has already been done and there is no turning back. Green spaces are being paved over to make room for houses. Our roads are horrendously congested, schools overcrowded, hospitals unable to cope and all the result of liberal politicians with no sense opening our borders to all comers.

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  15. Well said, Bente. I am especially bothered by the fact that able-bodied Syrians are joining the refugee exodus even as other nations and groups are sending their young men and women into the battle against ISIS. I’d like to see governments impress able-bodied Syrians into combat brigades that are sent back into the fight against ISIS. If everyone left their country rather than defend it against invaders, most of us would be speaking different languages today.

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