Several residents of the village Bolkesjø in Telemark, Norway, are in despair over that they can be forced to receive 400 new asylum seekers. A hotel has already been converted into an asylum center.
Gran hotel Bolkesjø has been converted into emergency rooms for 150 refugees, and now the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) is negotiating with the owners of the village’s other hotel, Bolkesjø Hotel, about making it into an asylum center too.
A report from TV2 states that several of the 40 residents in Bolkesjø feel overrun and fear that the small village will not cope with such a massive increase in population.
– We have accepted the 150 who have come here and done our best to ensure that they are happy. But we can not accept 400 more when we are only 40 people. I think everyone realizes that, says resident Ellen-Mari Bolkesjø Brandt, to TV2.
– There is nothing to do here, and it takes two hours to go to Notodden. There is nothing to do for those who come here, she adds.
Both in Bolkesjø and in Notodden municipalities, which already have two reception centres and a third on the way, they feel that they have contributed enough to cope with the ongoing refugee crisis.
But Regional Director Eirik Eide in UDI, confirms that Bolkesjø Hotel is one of the places under consideration, but that it is not yet determined whether it is suitable as an asylum center or not.