from Southern Europe that can’t find a job in Norway should go back home
rather than stay on here, says the Minister of Labor, Hanne Bjurstrøm.
"If there’s no work here, there’s no work," Bjurstrøm tells
Labor immigration from Southern Europe to Norway is on the rise, but the
increase comes from very low levels.
Last year, tax cards were distributed to 3,000 Spanish citizens that work
in Norway. In comparison, 70,000 tax cards were given out to Polish citizens
and 80,000 to Swedes.
"We are part of the free, European labor market. That means that
people can travel freely and apply for jobs," Bjurstrøm explains. But if
they don’t work, Norway as a state has no further responsibilities towards the
job applicants. When that’s the case, Bjurstrøm thinks it is better that the
applicants go back home rather than stay around in Norway without sufficient
In spite of the economic crisis and high unemployment rates in the South
of Europe, Norway is unlikely to experience an increase in labor immigration
like we did from Poland and the Baltic when the borders were opened in 2004,
according to Bjurstrøm.