Danish parties vow tighter immigration rules

Little over a week before a parliamentary election Danish parties vow tighter immigration rules

Danish parties vow tighter immigration rules

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Recalling how a group of refugees once threatened his life if he did not retract a police statement, Frank Pedersen is angry about the increasing number of immigrants in Denmark.

They are, he says, running riot in Tonder, the small town on the border with Germany where he lives with his wife and small child and works at the local Jobcentre.

Pedersen was one of around 200 people who gathered for a garden party held at a former border post with Germany by the right-wing Danish People's Party (DF). The location was apt: the party wants to reintroduce border controls, scrapped after Denmark entered the passport-free Schengen zone.

Little over a week before a parliamentary election, in which DF has a chance of entering a governing coalition, immigration has become a hot topic and the party's rhetoric on curbing foreigners coming to Denmark has been adopted by mainstream parties.

The leader of the main opposition Liberals said if elected, he would hold an emergency session of parliament during the summer to tighten controls and introduce measures such as refusing permanent permits to unemployed immigrants.

"We can look at the figures and see that if we do not do something we will get a massive influx after the summer," Liberals leader Lars Lokke Rasmussen said. "We can't just sit around and wait until October, because we know the pressure is greatest in the summer months," he said, referring to when parliament resumes after its summer recess.

Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, from the centre-left Social Democrats, is meanwhile trumpeting her record.

Earlier this year the government announced measures which will make it harder for people to claim asylum, which would mean more refugees are granted only short-term permits and it would be harder for their families to join them in Denmark.

"Fewer must come than last year because it is hard to keep up," she said. "If peace emerges in the country the refugees come from, then people should go back home."

She did not identify any such country.

Thorning-Schmidt's centre-left and Rasmussen's centre-right blocs are running neck and neck in opinion polls.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Haziran 2015, 12:51