Norway. At the beginning of the year, the government decided to tighten asylum and refugee policy. According to the Minister for Immigration and Integration Sylvi Listhaug, the Progress Party (Frp), the aim was to create some of Europe’s toughest immigration rules. Among other things, they wanted to have the opportunity to reject asylum seekers who came via Sweden and the rest of the Nordic countries. According to countryaah, the current population of Norway is 5,421,252. Permanent residence permits became more difficult, family immigration was restricted and rules were tightened for unaccompanied children.
The opposition in the Socialist Left Party reacted strongly to the proposal, saying that Listhaug was inappropriate in his role. According to the government’s support party Christian People’s Party, the proposal would slow down integration.
Across the border from the Russian Federation in the north, over 5,000 refugees and migrants had arrived in one year. The government decided on a return, but in January the Russian authorities stopped the attempts for reasons of security.
According to thereligionfaqs, Norway decided to build a fence at the only border station on the border with the Russian Federation. The decision was criticized by local politicians, who said it was a negative symbol with no practical benefit.
Thirteen people died when a helicopter crashed off an oil platform in the North Sea outside Bergen in April. The helicopter fell from high altitude and exploded at the crash to the ground. The helicopter type was banned from flying in Norway while the accident was investigated.
On July 22, commemorative ceremonies were held on the fifth anniversary of the terrorist acts in Oslo and Utøya, when 77 people died. Prime Minister Erna Solberg labeled July 22 as the darkest day in Norway’s history and stated that it has provided an important lesson – that extremism can emerge in all societies.
Prime Minister Solberg devoted himself during the year to a popular pleasure. During an official visit to Slovakia, she went on Pokémon hunting with bodyguards and TV teams in tow in Bratislava. Later, she was caught playing Pokémon Go in the Storting while Left Leader Trine Skei Grande was in the pulpit. However, Skei Grande was forgiving – she herself was revealed to be chasing Pokémon during a hearing in the Storting about Norway’s future defense.
In September, Frp declared that it is for the first time saying no to Norwegian EU membership. While the EU was started as a peace project to prevent war between European nations, the Union has now been reduced to a source of conflict, Frp.
The government’s budget for 2017 included, among other things, upgrading with new combat plans and submarines, initiatives that were motivated by threats from the Russian Federation. The budget deficit of as much as NOK 225 billion would be covered by the state oil fund. For the first time, a government used more funds from the oil fund than it came in during the year. The reason was the record low oil prices.
In a disputed verdict, the district court in Oslo declared that the mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik’s placement in an isolation cell for five years meant inhuman treatment. Breivik had sued the state and upheld the court that his human rights had been violated with severe restrictions on visits and communication with the outside world. The state appealed against the judgment.
The militarization of public space
After spending considerable police resources on terror hysteria (guarding of traffic and religious hubs in Copenhagen) and guarding the borders (“Denmark for the Danes”) for several years, the government decided in summer 2017 to allow soldiers to take over both types of tasks. This happened under quite strong protests from both the Police Federation and the Army Constable and Corporal Association, which pointed out that soldiers were not trained to solve police duties. Nevertheless, the border and the streets of Copenhagen from the latter half of 2017 were filled with patrolling soldiers.
In January 2018, it was revealed that Prime Minister Rasmussen not only knew but was directly in the pocket of the so-called quota kings, who had for many years acquired the Danish fishing quotas. Not only had the quota kings paid up to and after the 2015 election several hundred thousand DKr to Venstre’s business clubs, which aimed to hide the business financing of Venstre for public control. The quota king John-Anker Hametner had himself lent his luxury cottage free of charge to the prime minister so that he could properly celebrate his birthday. It was yet another in an endless series of cases where Little Lars preferred to let others pay his clothing and entertainment, rather than do it himself.
The bourgeois parties of the parliament – including the social democracy- decided in May to ban Muslim women’s headgear Burqa and Niqab. Formally, the ban was aimed at covering headgear at all, but it was okay to wear full-fledged moped or motorcycle helmets and full-coverage caps to protect against, for example, wear. sand or cold. The reality was that the ban was part of the patriarchate’s centennial regulation of women’s clothing in general, and the persecution of the country’s Muslim minority specifically. The law came into force on August 1 and was met with extensive demonstrations. The law allowed a $ 1,000 fine to carry Burga or Niqab and $ 10,000 in repeat cases. The legislation once again put Denmark on the world map as a backward xenophobic society.
«All women should have the right to dress as they please and to express their identity or beliefs. This ban in particular will have a negative impact on Muslim women who want to wear Niqab or Burga. While there may be some justified restrictions on public safety in full coverage, this general prohibition is neither necessary nor justified and constitutes a violation of freedom of expression and religion. If the intention of the law was to protect women’s rights, it would fall completely to the side. Instead, it criminalizes women for their choice of clothing, and is therefore in direct conflict with the freedoms Denmark claims to defend. ”
The Burqa and Niqab ban were estimated to hit approx. 100 Muslim women nationwide. Far more extensive were two other legislative measures that spring. This one targeted so-called “ghettos.” Here, the government did not think of wealth ghettos in the northern suburbs of Copenhagen, but in residential areas with a higher concentration of refugees and immigrants in general and more specifically Muslims. The government wanted to demolish these ghettos, or in the future to prevent minority groups from accessing. There was a direct parallel to the Nazis’ removal of the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw in 1943. Furthermore, the Parliament introduced the forced removal of children over 1 year in «ghetto areas». They were to be forcibly placed 25 hours a week in day care centers.
In July, the parliamentary bourgeois parties adopted a new media agreement, the main content of which was a drastic reduction in the role of Denmark Radio. DR was cut economically by 20%, had to reduce the number of TV channels to 4 and no longer had to «compete with private players». There were two main reasons for the deal: one economic and one political. Some parties saw DR as a competitor to private media and wanted to give the private sector the chance to make bigger profits. Others were politically highly critical of DR. The ideological criticism had reached a tentative climax during the DR’s historic series in the winter of 2018, with the DR in its final section daring to mention the trade union movement and struggles for the welfare state in the 20th century. The bourgeois parties that opposed welfare and trade union movement had preferably seen this section censored. The penalty came in the form of drastic cuts. Despite 20 years of purging the most talented and versatile journalists in the DR, this was not enough for the right wing. But the attack also reflected another societal trend. The role that DR had had until the mid-00’s as a beacon for the storytellers of the storytellers was rapidly declining as news and entertainment moved to social media, comic companies such as Netflix and HBO, and the Internet in general. The trend was also an expression of a society in the wild, where the common frame of reference DR had previously provided was being dissolved. Especially the younger generations chose DR from. The bourgeois media settlement decided to promote dissolution by giving the DR the knife.
Denmark once boasted of having the world’s cleanest drinking water. Not so anymore. Decades of excessive use of pesticides in agriculture have contaminated much of the groundwater reserve. “Normally” 30 water wells are closed annually due to pollution, but in 2018, 250 wells were found to be above the limit values. However, “Minister of the Environment” Jakob Ellemann-Jensen refused to intervene with the polluters, citing that agriculture is private and that the state cannot intervene. The Minister of Left violated the public health of 5 million Danes, citing a few thousand private agriculture. The toxic water in the Danish wells can be carcinogenic – especially for children.