Denmark rejects EU refugee quotas

Like Britain and Ireland, Denmark has an opt-out on the EU's asylum policies


Afp September 11, 2015
Migrants wait in a makeshift tent camp in a park in Brussels on September 9, 2015, as they wait to have their asylum claims processed. PHOTO: AFP

COPENHAGEN: Denmark said Friday it would not take part in the European Union's plan to distribute 160,000 refugees around the continent.

"We will not take part in the distribution of the 160,000 refugees," Integration Minister Inger Stojberg told Danish news agency Ritzau.

Like Britain and Ireland, Denmark has an opt-out on the EU's asylum policies.

"There is already an informal distribution of asylum-seekers in Europe" and "we are already placed very highly" among the countries who take in the most refugees, she said.

Read: No relaxation seen in Gulf states' curbs on Syria's refugees

Denmark received more than 15,000 asylum requests in 2014. In relation to its population size, it was the fifth-biggest recipient in the EU, ahead of Germany, according to Eurostat.

The Scandinavian country has since June been governed by a right-wing government that has fast-tracked legislation aimed at curbing immigration, in exchange for the far-right Danish People's Party's support to pass legislation.

Read: Unwanted migrants: US to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees

The government has aimed to make Denmark a less attractive destination for migrants by halving benefits for new arrivals.

Read: Extremists in Germany trying to recruit young refugees: intelligence service

To ensure that refugees knew about the cuts, Stojberg on Monday placed adverts in several Lebanese newspapers explaining the cuts.

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