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Denmark

Yearbook 2002

2002 DenmarkDenmark. A financial scandal was revealed at the beginning of the year in the municipality of Farum in Zealand. In 2001, the municipality had accumulated a deficit of several hundred million kronor through the mayor Peter Brixtoftte's self-aggrandizing politics and widespread representation. Brixtofte was forced to resign as mayor and was excluded from the ruling party Left Party's group in the Folketing, where he continued as an independent member.

2002 Denmark

In the spring, the bourgeois government with Venstre and the Conservatives negotiated with the support party the Danish People's Party on tougher asylum and refugee policies. According to Countryaah website, the proposal was voted on by the three parties in the Folketing and came into force at the end of the six months. This means that asylum seekers must wait for seven years for a permanent residence permit and that they receive lower allowances than Danes. Anyone who wants to become a citizen must pass language tests and promise allegiance to Denmark.

In addition, a ban on marriages with foreigners was introduced if one of the parties has not reached the age of 24. The opposition was critical of the new policy and felt that Denmark's position weakened before the takeover of the EU presidency. Criticism also came from the UNHCR and from several European countries, which accused Denmark of hampering a common EU policy on immigration. Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, however, argued that Denmark can become a role model for the rest of the EU, which has shown a tendency to want to tighten asylum rules.

Several Swedish politicians described the new Danish policy as inhuman, which provoked upset reactions in Denmark. A fierce debate broke out between the integration ministers Mona Sahlin (s) and Bertel Haarder (Venstre) as well as between the party leader Lars Leijonborg and the Danish People's Party leader Pia Kjærsgaard. Sweden was accused of suppressing debate on immigration and of failure to integrate. Pia Kjærsgaard wrote: “If they (the Swedes) want to turn Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö into Scandinavian Beiruts with tribal war, honor killings and mass rape, let them do it. We can always put a bridge flap at the Öresund Bridge. "

The tightening of Danish politics affected the refugee flows. During the fall, it was clear that the number of people seeking asylum in the country had fallen by more than half compared to the previous year. Instead, the number of asylum seekers increased sharply in Sweden and Norway.

On July 1, Denmark became the country of the Presidency of the EU. The government set as its most important goal for the Danish Presidency to finalize the membership negotiations with ten candidate countries. It succeeded, and at the EU summit in Copenhagen in December, the ten were approved as new EU members from 2004. Denmark was in a serious foreign policy crisis during the autumn.

Following a bloody hostage drama staged by armed Chechens in Moscow, Russia demanded that the Danish government ban a planned exile Chechen congress in Copenhagen. However, the Congress was allowed, which resulted in President Vladimir Putin refusing to attend the EU summit in Copenhagen. The meeting must be moved to Brussels. At the request of Russia, the Danish police then arrested one of the congressmen, the Chechen politician Achmed Zakayev, who was accused of terrorism and of planning hostage violence in Moscow. Russia put pressure on Denmark to extradite Zakayev, but according to Danish authorities there was insufficient evidence against him, and Zakayev was released.

The controversial Tvind Movement leader Mogens Amdi Petersen was arrested in the US and extradited to Denmark in the fall. Petersen was charged with gross tax fraud and several of his employees were suspected of money laundering. Several tens of millions of SEK are believed to have disappeared from the aid organization, which had links to UFF (U-land assistance from Folk to Folk) in Sweden.

Former Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen resigned in November as party leader for the Social Democrats. Former Foreign Minister Mogens Lykketoft was elected as new party leader.

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