Denmark: Fear of Swedish immigration

The Danish People's Party is afraid of immigration from Sweden. Immigration to Sweden is so massive, they say, that it is just a question of time before Swedish welfare society breaks down. The party will therefore wants to stop the basis of Nordic cooperation: the right to freely settle in any of the other Nordic lands and enjoy their welfare systems.

Søren Espersen, spokesperson for Nordic cooperation for the party, says that Sweden will need to cut its social benefit right drastically if their welfare system won't collapse. Someone on benefits will naturally ask himself, why should he live in Malmø and get half the amount when he can live in Copenhagen and get the full benefits. Therefore the regulations will have to change.

Danish Integration minister Rikke Hvilshøj has focused on the immigration to Sweden and said she doesn't deny that there might be changes to the current regulations. She said she follows the developments and will be ready to respond if there is any need. However, she said Nordic cooperation is built on important values, which are worth preserving.

Danish immigration minister Tobias Billström doesn't understand the Danish fear. He asks whether the Danish People's Party understands what it will mean if the regulations will be changed for common Norwegian cooperation. What will happen with all the Danes who now live and work in Sweden? He's not saying they would lose their rights, but they would be in a very serious situation. The whole integration between Danish Zealand and Swedish Scania will end.

He contends that the Swedish foreign policy is right. "We don't believe in closed borders," he said.

Cristina Husmark Pehrsson, Swedish minister for Nordic cooperation, said that in a time when the laws are moving towards more movement and integration over the borders, the Danish People's Party wants to go back to the time with their proposal. Peace, freedom and welfare together are part of international development. Naturally, she said, our Nordic cooperation with freedom of movement through the borders will carry on.

Source: Berlingske 1, 2 (Danish)

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