Monday, September 5, 2016

Iceland and Refugees?

I travel a lot around Europe and tend to notice things.....maybe things that the locals don't grasp or notice, and it sticks in my mind.

This week, I came to notice an article from an Icelandic group.....hyping this new poll in Iceland....from a marketing group called Maskina that was paid by Amnesty International to sort through polls and report on the general public in Iceland.

For a couple of years now, Iceland has had a somewhat open door for refugees and immigrants.  What they typically will say is that if you have skills or education....they'd like for the door to be wide and open.  Beyond that point.....the government tends to suggest that maybe that door is mostly closed.  What they don't want to do is haul a bunch of folks in (suggest the German standard of one-million) and then get stuck with the bill to cover everyone for months, or maybe years.

If you did the comparison.....Iceland to's roughly 340,000 to 82,000,000.  Maybe half the population of Frankfurt at best.  If you used the 2015 German refugee/immigrant numbers....I suspect that the best that Iceland could accept is maybe 300 one single year.  Course, that 300 group probably has to agree to be hauled around and at least half of them need to live in some fairly rural communities or villages with 100 residents there presently.  

So, Amnesty International would like to show that Icelandic people are hyped up to get more refugees.   The 2015 total that came in....legally and under permission of the government?  Thirteen.  Yeah....that's it.

My best guess is that Amnesty International would like to add at least one zero to that and get up to the 130-level.....maybe even double 260.

Poll numbers say that almost 85-percent of all Icelandic people would love to have more refugees coming to Iceland, and the majority (three-quarters) think that the government ought to do more to help those "fleeing war and persecution".  I'm guessing that Amnesty International wanted to ensure this sounded pretty important.

Having been to Iceland....I would suggest that when someone gets hyped up and want to go and bring more refugees and immigrants into Iceland.....they might want to and pause over things.

It's not cheap.....and by far, one of the most expensive countries in the EU.  The minute you lay out to some poor immigrant guy or Syrian war refugee....what it cost to survive each day, or a liter of gas....they might start asking questions.

Then you kinda bring up the 23-hour day of sunlight for summer or 23-hour night in December.

Then you kinda discuss the topic of weather.....snowfall.....wind.....and pretty mild (65 degrees F would be a heat-wave in July) summers.

Then you bring up salt damage and corrosion to cars.

Then you bring up limited travel.  You can get on route one, and just drive the full circle.

Then you bring up the volcanic landscape.

To be honest....there's just not something that would draw most refugees to Iceland.  I do admit....there are jobs there and economic growth, but they tend to desire people with crafts or there's not much time to waste except for language classes.

Maybe I'm missing some angle that the Amnesty International folks would like to get hyped up about.  But the reality of this is that Iceland is a fair amount of challenge on people to accept as a new arrival guy.

My general advice is not to bring up this Icelandic problem with any German.  If you told them that all Iceland had for refugees in 2015 was 13 might bring some tears to the German guy.

Oh, and I'll make this observation as well.  If you were to haul 300 Germans off to Iceland....for immigration purposes.....I'd take a guess that sixty would haul up and leave Iceland within six months, and another hundred would leave by the end of the 2nd year.  Even with the mental tough nature of German'd be too much for most to handle.  Those Icelandic folks.....are awful tough, if you ask me.

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