Is Oslo the scary city ?
Norwegians ashamed to show tourists their capital city
Drug addicts, beggers and prostitutes are shocking experiences for tourists coming to visit the capital of Norway. 400 prostitutes from Nigeria have invaded the city center. Professional "beggers" come from Romania and other East European countries, criminals of different kinds are cheating and stealing in Oslo and the surrounding areas. All according to Norwegian newspapers. Druc addicts in the main streets are mainly Norwegian citizens.
Police and politicians are accussed to be without any plans for how to deal with the situation. "I am ashamed of taking my foreign friends to Oslo" is one of many typical statements from Norwegian bloggers.
According an interview with an American tourist he was afraid of entering the new Opera house because of "scary" individuals hanging around the hottest tourist spot. The political trend among many Norwegians is turning to the right wing. Citizens are demanding more prompt actions towards criminals. The red-green government is criticized from the hard liners for taking too soft on crime. Some common opinions are that the "soft line" and in general low penalties do attract criminals.
Some claim that prostitution should be prohibited. Others say that the "negative elements" should be denied access to the central streets and squares so people can walk down the Karl Johan street without being addressed many times from prostitutes and others who is asking for money. The area around the Central station is regarded as one of the worst places. The paradox is that the capital city is governed by a right wing alliance for many years. Maybe this shows that the differences between policial parties in Norway are very small and no one has a real plan to handle the new situation. An intersting issue is to follow the parliament election coming up next year.Will the crime and social situation in the capital city of Norway become a "hot potato" ? And who will gain from that ? Norway is regarded to be one of the richest countries of the world. Obviously national wealth does not solve social problems and urban conflicts.
Many bloggers in the newspaper VG point out that they rather prefer to stay at smaller and medium sized cities and advice tourists to go there, where people still can find attractive parts of Norway. Something to think about for tourism managers ??
See the video (partly in English)