Norway: Progress Party to block 10,000 refugee plan

The leader of Norway’s populist Progress party has pledged to block plans for Norway to take up to 10,000 refugees from Syria over the next two years, arguing that it is more efficient to find homes for them in neighbouring countries.

“Norway should not take on tasks that we can not handle. That’s why Progress is saying ‘no’ to accepting 10,000 quota refugees and ‘yes’ to increasing aid to neighbouring countries,” Siv Jensen said to strong applause at the party’s annual conference on Sunday.

Labour party leader Jonas Gahr Støre announced at his party’s annual conference, that his party planned to campaign in the parliament for Norway to agree to take 5,000 Syrian refugees this year and another 5,000 in 2016.

Labour already has the backing of the Left Party, and hopes that the Christian Democrats will also back the proposal at its conference this coming weekend.

Jensen, who also serves as finance minister in the country’s coalition government, cited figures showing that settling just 1,000 new Syrian refugees in Norway would cost a prohibitive one billion kroner ($130m)…