The Prime Minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, has been accused of exaggerating her party’s success in dealing with refugee issues, an article from Vísir reported yesterday. She published a graph on her Facebook page which aimed to show that the Leftist-Greens were the best party for refugees, but has since been widely criticised and accused of spreading fake news.
According to the graph, the percentage of approved applications for international protection was 10% in 2017 when the Lefitst-Greens took office, rising to 20%, then 33%, then 61% in the consecutive years.
Óskar Steinn Jónínuson Ómarsson, a member of the Social Democratic Alliance, wrote a separate article for Vísir tackling Katrín’s apparently false use of statistics, stating: “There are three reasons for this change between years: the decrease in protection applications from safe countries, the increase in applications from Venezuela and the consequences of the COVID epidemic.” Applications from so-called safe countries are generally not even considered, so a decrease in applications from these countries immediately leads to an increase in acceptance rates.
A large number of comments on Katrín’s post made reference to the Egyptian family who are facing deportation after over two years in Iceland and have since disappeared, reported on by the Grapevine here.
Þórhildur Sunna Ævarsdóttir, Member of Parliament for Pírata, also commented on the post, writing: “You know as well as I, Katrín, that a number of voters voted for your party because they believed you had empathy and wouldn’t cower behind statistics when it came to children of flesh and blood. This post of yours unfortunately proves the opposite.” Þórhildur’s comment has so far received 302 likes – considerably more than Katrín’s original post.
This comes in the wake of Rósa Björk Brynjólfsdóttir, an MP for the Leftist-Green Party, resigning over the government’s handling of the Egyptian family’s controversial deportation, reported on by the Grapevine here.
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