Last week, several media reports claimed that Norway receives more asylum seekers than other European countries, and the Progress Party leader Siv Jensen told Nettavisen that the coalition government has provided a more liberal interpretation of the rules, thus increased the number of asylum seekers in Norway. State Secretary at K. Lønseth Department of Justice refuted all these claims.
– There are fewer asylum seekers to Norway. Directorate of Immigration (UDI) expects around 9000 asylum seekers in 2011. On 30 November, there were 8,351 applications for asylum. There is a decline by ten percent from the same period of last year. The Government has conducted a series of tighter regulations after the applications reached to 17,000 in 2009. These cutbacks have drastically reduced the number of asylum-seekers coming to Norway. Jensen's claim lacks any contact with reality, says State Secretary På K. Lønseth from Department of Justice.
Lønseth also noted that the Government's return policy has ensured deportation of more than 3,450 people and he argued the government's asylum policy is fair and consistent.