Theater of Cruelty

CURRENT OLAF THOMMESSEN

The left's deputy leader Olaf Thommessen gets shut down by the Immigration Committee, but continues his liberal line. He will now transfer the responsibility for labor immigration to the new regions.




(THIS ARTICLE IS MACHINE TRANSLATED by Google from Norwegian)

The left's deputy leader Olaf Thommessen gets shut down by the Immigration Committee, but continues his liberal line. He will now transfer the responsibility for labor immigration to the new regions.

While the Immigration Appeals Board goes against you, you continue your liberal, immigration policy line. In this week's column in Ny Tid, you write that you want to give the counties and then the regions the responsibility for the case processing for labor immigration. Why? – This is a proposal right on the drawing board, the model is taken from France where you have a system where each ministry (French regions editor's note) assesses what they need. The regions know where the shoe presses best and can map needs. It would also be a significant strengthening of local democracy.

You write that both the right and the left wing in Norwegian politics have come together in fear of foreign labor. Is this good, old-fashioned xenophobia? – The Left, like the LO and the Labor Party, has traditionally been against labor immigration for fear of job losses. The right side I think is opposed to pure populism. Further parts of the left are opposed to women's political issues, such as circumcision of forced marriage and genital mutilation, which are so far important issues. It is an opposition to what they perceive as male-dominated cultures.

The government is working on measures to increase labor immigration and announces more measures in a report to the Storting in the new year, will the Liberal Party cooperate with the government on such measures? – There is a significant leakage of voters from the Labor Party to the Progress Party. That is why you sometimes see someone in the Labor Party coming up with fresh ideas. But they do not fundamentally disagree with the Liberal Party, or me on this issue. Eventually, the FRP will also notice the problems of obtaining labor, when they need skilled craftsmen or home helpers. I am quite convinced that they too will see the need in the end.

You think that the fact that labor immigration leads to social dumping is a myth, how do you make sure that it does not become a reality?

- I perceive social dumping as a substitute argument. It is important to prevent social dumping, but what we must assume is that each individual must be allowed to decide where he or she wants to live or work. It is our responsibility not to take advantage of this, that there are rules and laws in place. You have already done a job here.

The argument for labor immigration is that we need more brains and hands, but can we not risk losing other countries for brains, so-called brain drain? – The debate about brain drain is well meant, but completely unrealistic. Statistics show that 8-10 cases where those we pick up go home, spend the money at home. The expertise they gain here thus benefits the home country. Again, it is every person's right to choose what they want. We can not sit on the high horse and say, we know what is best for you.

Terje Skjeggestad, who heads the Immigration Appeals Board, thinks you put too much effort into their processing of asylum cases, the Liberal Party has supported the asylum policy that is pursued. When are you going to stop caring? – We have supported the establishment of UNE, but there is gradually a cross-party agreement that a number of sensational decisions have been made, including deportations, where human considerations have obviously not been taken into account. The most important thing now is that we evaluate the entire scheme and see what we can do to ensure that better judgment is exercised.

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