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Denmark

Yearbook 1999

1999 DenmarkDenmark. Immigrant and refugee issues characterized the political debate in Denmark during the year. A key issue was the new integration law from 1 January, which resulted in Danes being entitled to SEK 2,000 higher social security contributions than refugees with residence permits. According to Countryaah official website, the UN Refugee Commission decided to investigate whether the law violated the Convention on Human Rights. In April, the Folketing passed another controversial law, which gave Kosovo Albanian refugees temporary residence permits on the condition that they did not seek asylum. At the same time, an international report showed that the integration of immigrants into the labor market is slower in Denmark than in the rest of the EU.

1999 Denmark

During the summer, a heated public battle erupted around some department store chains' refusal to allow Muslim women to wear shawls in the workplace. The Social Democrat-led government claimed that employers were breaking the law, but the department store chains decided to take the matter to court. A large majority of Danes in an opinion poll gave employers the right.

During the Shall match, there was an inflamed debate that some schools and nurseries stopped serving pork for Muslim children and only used meat slaughtered according to Muslim ritual. Danish People's Party leader Pia Kjærsgaard spoke of "deep contempt for Christian faith and an attempt to Islamize Denmark". Immigrant resistance gave the party increased support in opinion during the autumn, over 12%. In addition, over 2% said they would vote for the Progress Party, to which legendary founder Mogens Glistrup returned after several years of exclusion. Glistrup once again caused disarray with very xenophobic statements, and the party again split.

But the immigration debate also raised major concerns for the government coalition between Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen's Social Democrats and Radical Venstre. Nyrup Rasmussen and Minister of the Interior Thorkild Simonsen tried to curb a clear voter turnout from the Social Democrats to the Danish People's Party, while the radical wanted to change the integration law to the benefit of the refugees. The two parties also disagreed on visa practice.

In November, some 40 young people, so-called autonomous and immigrants of the second generation, went into hardship and caused major damage in the Nørrebro district of Copenhagen. The riots were seen as a protest against the expulsion of a young man with Turkish citizenship but who was born and raised in Denmark.

Shortly after the uprising, Amnesty International and a number of refugee organizations presented a white paper claiming that the Danish Immigration Act had to be amended on seventeen points in order for Denmark to live up to its obligations to human rights. Just in time for a debate in the Folketing on foreign policy, Nyrup Rasmussen and Simonsen then gave in to the demands of the Radical Left and the voluntary organizations and announced that the refugees would be entitled to as much social assistance as other residents.

During the year, it brightened for the crisis-hit Danish export industry. This was partly due to a weakening Danish krone exchange rate against, among other things. the Swedish krona, partly on growth in several important export markets, such as Sweden. Danish growth was projected to be 1.7%, and unemployment fell slowly in the middle of the year to 5.6% in September.

In the European elections in June, the EU-negative parties stepped up slightly, and the no-say representation increased by a mandate to four of sixteen Danish members of the European Parliament. During the year, the Prime Minister declared that Denmark should join the EMU in 2002. However, he did not want to set the time for the promised referendum.

During the summer, earlier secret documents were released in the US National Archives showing that the Danish government in 1963 gave the US permission to occupy Danish areas and facilities if it was deemed necessary in a crisis situation. The US was then also allowed to bring nuclear weapons into Denmark.

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