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Norway extends border controls as numbers fall

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Tight control has reduced numbers of refugees reaching Norway. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/Scanpix
17:02 CET+01:00
Norway’s tightened border control measures, including identity checks at ferry terminals, have been extended for a further 20 days.

Stringent identity checks in ferry terminal and airports and tighter land borders will continue in Norway for at least another 20 days after the measures, first introduced by the Ministry of Justice last week, were extended on Friday.

The controls were initially introduced as a direct reaction to Sweden’s announcement that it would be tightening its own borders on November 24th. I.D. checks are currently carried out on all sea crossings between Europe and Norway, including from German and Danish harbours.

Minister of Justice Anders Anundsen told broadcaster NRK that the measures were in compliance with Schengen rules. Prime Minister Erna Solberg stated that the aim of the controls was to “make it easier to stop those people who are not entitled to our protection”.

Norway's new approach at its border with Russia, combined with increased border controls in place in Sweden, have resulted in a significant decrease in the number of asylum applications in Norway, according to the The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration.

Solberg, speaking to NRK last week, said that the Norwegian government aimed to stop “the Danish ferry and the Kiel ferry from becoming the new influx point,” though she expected that the Swedish measures would “help” Norway. Solberg had previously stated that a direct connection between border control and numbers of asylum seekers was a “misconception”.

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The number of Syrian refugees who were registered in Norway last week was 270 – a drop from 699 the previous week. Numbers of new Afghan refugees have fallen similarly, from 606 to 252.

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