Sylvi Listhaug, Norway’s immigration minister, has told refugees that exploited a legal gap to enter the country on bikes through an Arctic Circle crossing will have to return to Russia. Around 5,500 asylum seekers used bikes to travel through the Storskog crossing last year and, although Russia does not allow people to cross the border on foot and Norway does not let in motorists carrying people without documents, people on bicycles are allowed in on both sides.
Listhaug also announced that immigrants without a transit visa would be sent back to Russia. The two nations have been sending refugees back and forth since November 2015 when the new route was identified by authorities. Once they reach Norway, refugees spend time at a centre that provides shelter for around 600 people in barracks on a former military camp bordering the airport of Kirkenes. New arrivals are given fleece jumpers, waterproof jackets and other clothes appropriate for the Arctic climate, with most of them sleeping in bunk beds. On Thursday, Norwegian police confirmed that the refugees would not be forced to return across the border on two wheels, and could instead be taken by bus.
The number of people taking the Arctic route is tiny compared with the estimated 750,000 who arrived via the Mediterranean in 2015, a perilous journey that has led to the loss of at least 3,400 lives.
William Watkison, International Business Times, 15-1-2016
Part A. Reading Comprehension
I. Answer the following questions using your own words but taking into account the information in the text. (2 points: 1 point each)
- a. What differences and similarities are there when crossing the border between Russia and Norway?
- PAR 1. Russia does not allow people to cross the border on foot and Norway does not let in motorists carrying people without documents, people on bicycles are allowed in on both sides.
- b. What kind of objects are people given when arriving in Norway and why?
II.Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Identify the part of the text that supports your answer by copying the exact passage on the answer sheet. (1.5 point: 0.5 each)
- a. Both Norway and Russia do not allow people to cross without documents.
- F. although Russia does not allow people to cross the border on foot and Norway does not let in motorists carrying people without documents, people on bicycles are allowed in on both sides.
- b. Once in Norway, refugees sleep in king-size beds.
- c. The number of people entering Norway is rather small in comparison with those taking the Eastern Mediterranean route.
III. Find a synonym for each of the four words below from these six options: (1 point: 0.25 each)
seekers shelter barracks former bunk loss
IV. Choose a, b, or c, in each question below. Only one choice is correct. (1.5 points: 0.5 each)
1. Norway’s immigration minister declared that immigrants...
- a. will no longer need a permit to enter the country.
- b. will compulsorily need a permit to enter the country.
- c. will have to choose whether entering without a visa or on a motorbike.
2. Once in Norway, immigrants are sent to a...
- a. camp.
- b. castle.
- c. condominium.
3. Immigrants will not be mandatorily sent back to Russia on two wheels but...
- a. on foot.
- b. by public transport.
- c. in big groups of 600 people.
Part B. Composition
- What problems do immigrants face when they get to a new country? (130 to 150 words approximately) (4 points)