The Norwegian News Agency (NTB) reported on Friday that Parliament decided in December 2015 that Norway’s contribution to the European Union (EU) program to relocate refugees from Greece and Italy would be a total 1,500 asylum seekers, with 750 this year and 750 in 2017. This is to ease the burden on these countries.
The first of the 1,500 refugees arrive in Norway this week.
The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) confirmed to NRK news that the first 20 of a total of 1,500 people will be flown to Norway from Italy.
In April, the agreements with Greece and Italy were made clear, but by last Friday, none of these refugees had set foot on Norwegian soil. Eritreans will arrive in the first round.
Head of Unit at the UDI, Elisabeth Qvam, said Norway has received documents on the asylum seekers from Italian authorities and that UDI considers these cases from certain, set criteria.
‘It’s not that we send people from Immigration and pick out’, says Qvam.
The first refugees arrive from Italy to Østfold Arrival Center in Råde on Thursday. There are two or three days of registration and health checks.
‘Although these asylum seekers are in some ways sourced to the country, no one is guaranteed asylum. They are treated like everyone else who comes to the country’, says arrival center manager, Helge Ekelund.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today