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SIDEBAR Norwegians catch Trump's eye, but the feeling isn't mutual for most

Europe
12.01.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Stockholm (dpa) - Remarks by US President Donald Trump stating he preferred immigrants from Norway as opposed to "shithole countries" were slammed on Twitter and in other quarters by Norwegians on Friday.

Media outlets in Norway reported on the furore and the reference to the Scandinavian country, noting that Trump on Wednesday met with Prime Minister Erna Solberg in Washington.

"Perhaps Erna Solberg made such a good impression ... that Donald Trump wants more Norwegians in his country," wrote Oslo daily Dagbladet.

Users on the social media joined the likes of UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville who told reporters in Geneva that the president‘s remarks were "shameful" and "racist."

The row erupted over remarks cited in a report by the Washington Post that Thursday quoted Trump as telling US lawmakers: "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" He then suggested that the US should focus on bringing in more people from countries such as Norway.

In a statement Thursday, the White House did not deny the remarks. But on Thursday the president refuted the report and said he only used "tough" language.

Norway is rich with oil and gas and often scores high on social welfare and governance surveys. The UN in 2017 listed the country the world‘s happiest based on six factors including GPD per capita and social freedom.

While Trump may be fond of Norwegians, a survey conducted last year by Ipsos for Dagbladet found the feeling wasn‘t mutual: 71 per cent of the 1,002 Norwegians questioned said Trump was a threat to world peace.

Jan Egeland, head of the Norwegian Refugee Council who also serves as UN aid envoy to Syria, said on Twitter: "I‘m a Norwegian who enjoyed studying & working in the US. The only thing that would attract me to emigrate to the US is your vibrant multicultural society. Don‘t take that away."

Christian Christensen, a US citizen who lives in neighbouring Sweden where he teaches journalism, tweeted: "Let‘s remember, fellow Americans, people in the US used to call places like Ireland a ‘shithole‘ 100-150 ago."

He also noted that "Trump is leveraging an image of Haiti, Africa and Central America - often stereotypical, context-free coverage only when there is violence or disaster - that has been pushed for years by the very media outlets that now condemn his overt racism."

US author Molly Knight noted on Twitter that "Norway has universal health care and FORTY-SIX WEEKS of paid parental leave. Why the hell would anyone living there give that up to move here?"

Those sentiments were also shared by best-selling US author Stephen King who asked on Twitter: "Why would people from Norway want to immigrate here? They have actual health care, and longer life expectancy."

 

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