European sentiment towards refugees is clearly shifting. As we reported yesterday, Austria’s new government is now linking benefits to the integration of refugees into Austrian culture. This seems harsh, but polls show that most Austrians agree with this policy.
Whereas the political sentiment in all of Western Europe is clearly shifting to the right, even governing conservative coalitions are now sounding harsher than ever on the topic. Also in Scandinavia, the tone is getting very anti-refugee.
In Denmark, one member of parliament, Mr Marcus Knuth of the governing Liberal Party (called ‘Venstre’ in Denmark), has now stated that all people who had been granted asylum in Denmark, regardless of whether or not they have assimilated into Danish life and culture, should return to their country of origin.
The news comes as local reporters asked for a reaction from Danish politicians to what is going on in Austria as well as a report by a Danish newspaper which stated that for the very first time, workers from outside the EU made up a larger share of foreign workers on the Danish job market than EU citizens.
Mr. Knuth stated that “overall refugees are an economic burden for Denmark.”
“The number of refugees on the labor market is fortunately increasing. But at the same time, they do not make up a big part of the jobs market.”
“If refugees can make a contribution, that can only be positive. But that does not change the fact that, as soon as there is peace in their home country, that have to go back.”
Mr. Knuth’s Liberal party agrees that new rules have to be implemented to deal with the large number of refugees coming in from outside the EU. The new rules that his party has proposed mean that any refugee would only be granted temporary asylum, after which they would be ordered to go back to their home country when the danger from which they claim to be fleeing had past and that they are automatically denied the right to family reunification.