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Denmark

Yearbook 2010

2010 DenmarkDenmark. According to COUNTRYAAH, there was another year of conflict and hot debate around immigrants in general and Muslims in particular.

At the New Year, Muhammad cartoonist Kurt Westergaard was subjected to assault and attempted murder in his home in Aarhus. Westergaard escaped and the attacking immigrant was shot dead by police. Westergaard, who was behind some of the disputed Muhammad cartoons in the Jutland Post, was also hit by boycotts. Among other things, an auction house refused to sell his general drawings. Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen warned of stigmatization and of a society where Danes live in fear.

2010 Denmark

The prime minister also reacted to the daily Politiken, which apologized to abused Muslims for publishing the Muhammad cartoons. The newspaper reached a settlement with Muslim organizations, thus refraining from sentencing. The prime minister labeled Politika's act as worrying, and other media criticized the newspaper for letting freedom of speech. The editor-in-chief of politics felt that the newspaper helped to reduce tensions between the Danish media and the Muslim world.

After a prolonged political debate, the government decided not to legislate against burka but to issue rules that public employees should not wear burka or niqab in the service. According to the prime minister, it was a signal that burka and niqab are unwanted women's oppressive symbols.

In February, Prime Minister Løkke Rasmussen made a major government change, when seven ministers were replaced. Conservative leader Lene Espersen became Denmark's first female foreign minister, and Gitte Lillelund Bech from Venstre became the first female defense minister. Nine out of nineteen ministers in the new government were women.

Although the economy turned after the downturn during the financial crisis, this year's budget deficit was projected to be 5.4 percent of GDP. In June, the European Commission recommended Denmark to take new measures to reduce the deficit in the budget from 2011 and reach the EU's regulated limit, ie below 3 percent, in 2013.

Ahead of the parliamentary elections in Sweden in September, politicians from the Venstre and Conservative government parties and from the Dansk Folkeparti support party declared that the Council of Europe should send election observers to Sweden. It was believed that freedom of speech was threatened, since the Swedish Democrats were not allowed to show an election film in TV4. The Danish People's Party leader Pia Kjærsgaard, who described Sweden as the Nordic banana republic, participated in one of the Swedish Democrats' elections in Skåne.

In the autumn, the government presented a plan to eliminate 29 so-called ghettos in Danish metropolitan cities. According to Prime Minister Løkke Rasmussen, there were immigrant-tight neighborhoods where Danish norms had ceased to apply. He felt that the worst-off neighborhoods should be demolished. The government's plan included, among other things, major police efforts against crime, renovations, immigration stops for immigrants to so-called ghettos and daycare for children who know poor Danish. The Copenhagen Police Chief criticized the politicians, saying that they generalized and risked exacerbating exclusion and exclusion.

During the year there was an intense political debate on a controversial points system for immigrants proposed by the government and the Danish People's Party. The critics considered it discriminatory and humiliating. Through permanent employment, good knowledge of Danish, associations and more, immigrants should be able to obtain points that give residence permits faster than normal. The government and the Danish People's Party also wanted to tighten the rules for family reunification. In November, the government presented its proposal for a new Aliens Act, which included the points system. After intense internal debate, the left opposition presented its own proposal for a scoring system with less stringent requirements.

At the end of December, Danish police arrested four men suspected of planning a terrorist attack, when the Jyllands-Posten editorial in Copenhagen would be attacked with automatic weapons. Swedish police arrested a fifth suspect, and three of the arrested had been resident in Sweden. According to the Danish Minister of Justice, this was the most serious terror threat to date in Denmark.

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