Norway to appoint immigration minister in reshuffle - media

by Reuters
Tuesday, 15 December 2015 08:58 GMT

* PM plans first change since taking power in 2013 - media

* Record arrivals stoke anti-immigrant feeling

* Energy minister may go, finance minister to stay - VG (Adds details)

OSLO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg will create a new ministerial post for immigration in a reshuffle on Wednesday, media reported, as the minority right-wing government faces growing pressure to tighten controls on asylum seekers.

There was no immediate comment from the prime minister's office - though newspaper VG reported sources close to the government had said both Energy Minister Tord Lien and European Affairs Minister Vidar Helgesen could also be moved.

Lien, overseeing Western Europe's biggest producer of oil and gas, told public broadcaster NRK he was not aware of any plans to make changes to the government.

Solberg's cabinet lineup has been unchanged since she came to power in October 2013, an unusually long period of stability.

But the arrival of 35,000 asylum seekers in Norway in 2015, a record for the Nordic nation of 5.2 million people, has stoked anti-immigrant feeling.

Solberg's Conservative Party rules in coalition with the anti-immigration Progress Party of Finance Minister Siv Jensen, and parliament last month brought in emergency legislation to limit the flow of migrants.

VG quoted sources saying Jensen would stay in her position while NRK said deputy Progress Party leader Per Sandberg, who has criticised the government for making too many compromises with centrist opposition parties, would become a minister.

Neither were immediately available for comment on Tuesday. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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