Last year, in response to the plea by thousands of Icelanders to take in up to 500 Syrian refugees, Iceland decided to increase the number of refugees it had intended to take in. Originally the idea was to take in 25 at the end of last year and 25 this year. They decided to take in 55 last year and an undefined number this year.
No one insisted that they take more – or if they did, they did so without any media publicity. The 55 destined to come last year – 20 adults and 35 children – did not come last year after all, but are due to arrive tomorrow. Except three families who had been chosen to come have now decided not to, and one family will arrive later because the mother is heavily pregnant and not allowed to fly. So 35 refugees will arrive tomorrow – 13 adults and 22 children. Supposedly UNHCR will choose other families to come instead of those who decided not to.
In my view it’s a farce. Whether more refugees will come later this year or whether the situation will be quietly forgotten is unclear. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the latter was the case.