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Wednesday, 22 August, 2001, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
Danes criticise immigrant list
Danish flag
The DPP said it wanted to show who the "new Danes" are
By Julian Isherwood in Copenhagen

The majority of Danish political parties have condemned a right-wing party for publishing the names of almost 5,000 immigrants who have recently been given Danish nationality.

"Distasteful" and "vindictive" are among the words used by the governing Social Democratic Party and the established Conservative and Liberal parties to describe the move by the Danish People's Party (DPP).

The reactions came after the DPP took out a full page advert in the country's leading broadsheet newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, and published the names of immigrants who have recently been given Danish citizenship.

"It's hardly illegal," said DPP leader Pia Kjaersgaard. "This is parliamentary business that is readily available material, even on the Internet.".

Not Europeans

Ms Kjaersgaard said her party wished to show the people of Denmark who the "new Danes" were.

"And they are not Europeans or Americans. They are people from outside that area," said Ms Kjaersgaard.

A group of immigrants huddles together
The DPP isn't fond of immigrants
Ms Kjaersgaard believes that Denmark's immigration policies are too relaxed.

Inner city gang problems in which both Danes and second-generation immigrant youths are involved, have stoked general political calls for action to curb violence.

Those calls have been a welcome addition to Ms Kjaersgaard's arsenal.

Right-wing influence

Denmark has been plagued in recent years by the right-wing's attempt to curry the favour of the electorate by drumming up an anti-immigration, anti-asylum seeker sentiment, particularly against Muslims.

While the electorate itself has not broadly adopted DPP views, more established parties have sought to limit the perceived effect on their following of rightist xenophobia, by adopting draconian asylum and immigration laws.

As if to add insult to the injury of the DPP advertisement, Denmark's home affairs ministry has announced that a new right-wing party run by the enfant terrible of Danish politics, Mogens Glistrup, will be contesting the next general election.

The party platform is even more anti-immigrant and anti-asylum than its sister party.

Refugee house in Copenhagen
Immigrants would be made to leave their homes
Mr Glistrup, a tax lawyer who spent several years in prison for tax evasion, first came on to the Danish political scene in the 1970s at the head of the zero-tax, zero-defence Progress Party.

At one time, the party was the second-largest parliamentary party, but rapidly lost its appeal and most of its seats when its leader was imprisoned.

Eventually taken over by Ms Kjaersgaard, leadership battles within the Progress Party caused a split, with Ms Kjaersgaard becoming leader of a new Danish People's Party.

The re-vamped Progress Party has said it will contest the election, which is due by March 2002 at the latest, on an anti-Islam ticket and will be seeking to have immigrants and asylum-seekers, and particularly Muslims, sent out of Denmark.

See also:

30 Jul 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Denmark
29 Sep 00 | Business
What future for Denmark?
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