Denmark has received a lot of hostile press coverage recently. This was because the Danish parliament backed a proposal to confiscate asylum seekers’ valuables (worth more than 10,000 kroner/1,340 euros/£1,000) to cover housing and food costs.
I personally think that an asylum seeker, or an economic migrant, would be unlikely to have valuables that exceed that amount – personal and sentimental items, such as wedding rings are exempt. But if someone did turn up with a series of Gold Krugerrand Coins sewn into their jacket, then I don’t see why they shouldn’t be asked to pitch in for their food and accommodation.
Faced with negative publicity, Danish state TV Channel DR3 produced a satirical video called ‘Danish Propaganda’:
Irene Stoyer, the Danish TV channel controller, says: “The video is supposed to rectify the nation’s bad reputation. The message was that people needed a break. It is a very serious and difficult debate that has divided the country and people needed a break and needed to laugh at themselves”.
Denmark is one of the few European countries that I have never visited. Copenhagen looks like a nice place. And I like the fact that the Danes can poke fun at themselves.