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Anger over Norway town’s plan to take only Ukraine refugees

German MPs toughen asylum rules to blunt influx
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Norway’s prime minister and opposition leader on Wednesday condemned a decision by the country’s fifth-largest city to take in only Ukrainian refugees.

City councillors in Drammen, a city of 120,000 people 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Oslo, voted in favour of the measure at a meeting late Tuesday.

The council’s ruling majority comprises Conservatives, the anti-immigration populist right, the Christian Democrats and a small party representing pensioners.

Their decision defied warnings issued by the centre-left government.

On Wednesday, Labour Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said the decision was not legal.

“This is not something municipalities can do,” he told public broadcaster NRK. “A fundamental value is to ensure that people who are fleeing are treated equally.”

Erna Solberg, leader of the opposition Conservative party to which the mayor of Drammen also belongs, echoed his remarks.

“No municipality can decide that it will only accept refugees from a certain country” even if it was “not unusual” to have preferences, news agency NTB quoted her as saying.

If the decision is not withdrawn, the issue could land on the table of the governor of the country.

A member of the Centre Party has also filed a police complaint against the city council, accusing it of “institutional racism.”

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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