Norwegian Green Party calls for more aid for refugees

Norwegian Green Party wishes to host asylum seekers on Svalbard archipelago

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Houses in Longyearbyen, in Svalbard

Norway’s Green Party indicated on Friday that it wishes to provide a place to stay for refugees in the Svalbard archipelago deep in the Arctic ocean, home of the world's northernmost permanent civilian settlement.

"At a meeting in August we discussed our wish to welcome refugees on Svalbard. Both settlement and reception may be possible," the leader of the Green Party on Svalbard, Espen Klungseth Rotevatn, told Vart Land newspaper.

The Green Party local organisation in Svalbard is searching for opportunities to make a reception center in the Norwegian archipelago next to North Pole, according to NBT’s report.

Moreover, Rotevatn hopes that an aslyum center would lead to employment oppurtinies and he said,  "A reception centre would of course create jobs, but that is a positive side effect of something much more important than coal mining, that's not our primary concern. Europe is on fire, and now our values and ethical standards are measured." 

The Norwegian People's Party (NPP) previously proposed sending refugees to Svalbard. Now the NPP says when they proposed a 10,000 quota of refugees from Syria, they were not being serious.

"In my statement, I put it rather bluntly, to show that there was no capacity to cater for so many in such a short time," Christian Eikeland of NPP in Agder told Vart Land.     

The Green Party has now asked the governor of Svalbard to review the legal aspects of the plan and Rotevatn said, "Svalbard is located outside of Schengen, so we must know if this is formally and practically possible."

"If this is, indeed, possible, we will work 100 percent for a quick implementation," he also added.

Otherwise,  party authorities will check if it is formally and practically possible for it to take refugees.

TRTWorld and agencies