Monday, July 28, 2008

A Good Laugh


Europeans must be getting a good laugh these days. The restrictive Danish immigration policy has come to the end of the road with the revelations of how the Danish ministry of immigration has handled applications for family reunion.
According to Danish law applicants for family reunion in Denmark must be 24 or older, and they must have a primary attachment to Denmark. The result has been that hundreds of young couples have settled acroos the bridge in Malmoe Sweden.
Now it has turned out that some of the applicants have cited European law of the common labour market as a reason for permission to stay in Denmark, but this has been turned down by the ministry, in blatant violation of European law. If people have been working for at least two weeks in another EU country they're entitled to stay in Denmark. People have not been informed of these rights, even if they have asked the ministry. The minister in charge, Birte Hornbech, is not available for comments. Nor is the prime minister, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen, who is having summer holiday in Southern France. He refuses to come home for such minor details as families with children being broken up, when husbands or wives are expelled from Denmark.
The restrictive immigration policy gets backing from all the "responsible" political parties in the Danish parliament. It's a malaise at the heart of the political system. Danish jurists are trying to find a way out. But actually Denmark must come to terms with the stark choice: Does it want to stay in the EU, or does it want to maintain a xenophobic, anti-humanitarian immigration policy?
(The picture is an election poster from one of the most "responsible" of the political parties. The text: When she retires, there'll be a muslim majority in Denmark. Instead they could ask the question: When she retires, what kind of society will she be living in?)

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