The number of immigrants who have gone on early retirement and were declared permanently unemployed, went up by 171% in the past ten years, according to data collected by Eyvind Vesselbo, Liberals parliamentarian. Together with integration consultant Manu Sareen from the Copenhagen municipality he is alarmed by the numbers.
In 1998, there were 5,470 people who went on early pension of immigrant background. Today there are 14,800. There are as many immigrants on early pension as there are unemployed. The number of ethnic Danes on early retirement went down slightly.
Vesselbo says that they are repeating the mistakes of the 90s, when large groups of immigrants are sent on welfare. Now it's early retirement, and that's one element of the ghettos. He thinks integration is made impossible when so many young people who could be employed are left with a check to do nothing and are allowed to live their lives in a closed world.
The government is currently proud of the fact that many immigrants are getting to work. But the decrease in unemployment numbers largely corresponds with the number of immigrants on early retirement.
Vesselbo was elected in Aarhus and knows several people in the Gellerupplanen ghetto, where there are many immigrants who are on early retirement and live in closed parallel society. He also draws attention to the fact that they "have a lot of free time to listen to the radical voices in the ghettos."
Manu Sareen, a member of the Radicals on the Copenhagen city council, thinks there is cause to be concerned. He says the worse thing that can happen for integration is this type of passive benefits.
Welfare minister Karen Jespersen says the numbers are alarming and says the data must be studied to see who those people are and why it happens.
Source: BT (Danish)