Pearls for Danish political swine / Columns / The Foreigner

The Foreigner Pearls for Danish political swine. EDITORIAL: Denmark’s approval of a law stripping refugees of their valuables is yet another piggish and dehumanising take on the migrant crisis splitting Europe. The law proposed by Liberal Party (Venstre) PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen grants police powers to seize cash and valuables worth over DKK 10,000 per person. Items of sentimental value – such as wedding rings – and savings are exempt. Denmark’s unemployed have to sell assets exceeding a certain value before they can receive benefits. Authorities argue that the new policy will put refugees and migrants on an equal footing with inhabitants without a job. Selling is one thing; sequestrating another.

asylum, immigration, jews, denmark



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Pearls for Danish political swine

Published on Thursday, 28th January, 2016 at 17:25 under the columns category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 28th January 2016 at 23:52.

EDITORIAL: Denmark’s approval of a law stripping refugees of their valuables is yet another piggish and dehumanising take on the migrant crisis splitting Europe.



The law proposed by Liberal Party (Venstre) PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen grants police powers to seize cash and valuables worth over DKK 10,000 per person. Items of sentimental value – such as wedding rings – and savings are exempt. Denmark’s unemployed have to sell assets exceeding a certain value before they can receive benefits. Authorities argue that the new policy will put refugees and migrants on an equal footing with inhabitants without a job.

Selling is one thing; sequestrating another.

It is said that the move is to pay for food and accommodation while asylum seekers’ applications are being processed. The Danish legislation, similar to that already in place in Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands, is to dissuade asylum seekers from choosing Denmark as a place to go. They now also have to wait three years before being able to apply for family reunification instead of one.

Both Rasmussen (and Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who was PM for the Social Democrats (Socialdemokratene) until losing the 2015 General Election) campaigned for a further tightening of Denmark's immigration controls. Rasmussen's Party formed a minority government with Rightists the Danish People’s Party (DF), which motioned the now agreed law.

International and domestic condemnation of what Nordic media term as “the jewellery law” has been vociferous. Human rights groups express disgust. Britain’s The Guardian published a cartoon portraying Prime Minister Rasmussen wearing a Nazi-style armband and holding a pig branded with the Danish Bacon trademark.

"It's offensive to compare us to the Nazis,” he says in the cartoon. It also has the caption “probably the stupidest political party in the world”, recalling Danish lager producer Carlsberg’s “probably the best lager in the world” advertising slogan – abandoned cellars beneath Carlsberg's original Copenhagen brewery site contain a spare room, from which the Danish military monitored the skies for enemy planes during World War II and through the Cold War.

Rasmussen has shrugged off criticism, calling it “the most misunderstood Bill in Denmark’s history”. Denmark was occupied by the Nazis between 1940 and 1945. The Danish Government resigned on 29th August 1943 following a deal which kept the Danish Army in existence.

Just under one month later (28th September), German diplomat Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz warned the Danish Resistance that the Nazis were planning to deport Denmark’s Jews. A nationwide endeavour to smuggle the Jews to safety to Sweden was organised. Most of Denmark’s some 8,000 Jews lived in Copenhagen at that time. They began to leave the capital and other cities on foot, by train, and by car.

The Danish People helped them to find hiding places in homes, churches, and hospitals. Danish fishermen smuggled 7,200 Danish Jews and 680 non-Jewish family members to Sweden by sea within a two-week period. Near 500 Jews were deported to Czechoslovakia’s Theresienstadt concentration camp (also called ghetto), with 51 perishing. But Danish officials kept up pressure on the Nazis regarding their concern for those who had been deported. It is thought that this is the main reason for the some 450 Jews’ survival.

Recently, populist the Danish People’s Party (DF) has suggested that further immigration restrictions are on the way. Martin Henriksen, an MP for DF, initially suggested that even wedding rings should be subject to confiscation. He later told Danish media that this “is not something that we should strive for” but “could be fair enough in some situations, even though they would be exceptional.”

Denmark’s latest law is not murderous, but a ghost from Europe’s dreadful past: seizing assets from a persecuted minority is not democracy, it is cruel. Today, it covers immigration expenses; in WWII, it funded almost one-third of the Nazi Germany’s war effort. It is a no entry rather than an exit tax.

It is just lipstick on a pig.



Published on Thursday, 28th January, 2016 at 17:25 under the columns category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 28th January 2016 at 23:52.

This post has the following tags: asylum, immigration, jews, denmark.





  
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