Immigration and refugee issues continued to dominate Danish
social debate in 2001. The European Commission Against
Racism and Intolerance claimed in a report that Denmark is
characterized by an anti-Muslim climate, which leads to
intolerance, prejudice and discrimination in the labor and
housing markets. The report
received harsh criticism mainly from the Danish People's
Party, but also Foreign Minister Mogens Lykketoft rejected
In August, a working group appointed by Interior Minister
Karen Jespersen submitted a report urging immigrants to join
Danish values. Fundamental rights such as freedom of
religion and expression should be respected, the group also
pointed out that i. forced marriage is not compatible with
Danish values and that gender equality must be respected.
The report, which received criticism from ethnic minorities,
also showed that integration works very poorly in Denmark.
In particular, the high unemployment rate among immigrants
Debate also surrounded the new Israeli ambassador who
came to Copenhagen in August. Critics demanded that Carmi
Gillon be rejected because he led Israel's security service
and was then responsible for torture, or what he himself
refers to as "limited physical coercion," in interrogating
Palestinians. The debate brought diplomatic cold between
Denmark and Israel, according to Digopaul.
Business and the opposition were very critical of the
Social Democrat-led government's budget proposals for the
coming years. contained increased environmental fees. The
government also promised a significant extension of parental
insurance. The draft budget was submitted at a time when the
Danish economy was working relatively well. But signs of
deterioration came in August, and despite elections waiting,
the government was forced to tone down its promised promises
under the influence of unrest following the September 11
Hard anti-Islamic statements by the Danish People's Party
after the terrorist act were criticized by all other parties
in the Folketing. At the same time, the government's
immigration and refugee policy was criticized by the Danish
People's Party, the Venstre and the Conservative. They
believed that there will be too many immigrants for Denmark
to be able to integrate them.
The government also ended in blustery weather as Denmark
provided protection to an Iraqi officer accused of war
crimes. Several serious criminal persons had also been
granted residence permits in Denmark. On the other hand, the
government's proposal for stricter laws against support for
terrorism was met by legal warnings that certain parts
threatened legal certainty.
The prime minister announced the parliamentary elections
until November 20, when elections for municipalities and
county councils (county) were also held. The short electoral
movement received hateful and xenophobic elements and was
mostly about the tightening of immigrant and refugee policy.
The larger parties approached the Danish People's Party with
demands for reduced immigration of relatives to those who
have been granted a residence permit in Denmark.
The election gave a purely bourgeois majority in the
Parliament. The Left Party became the largest party with 56
seats, an increase of 14, and the Danish People's Party more
than doubled from 9 to 22 seats. Conservative People's Party
retained its 16 seats. The Social Democrats lost 11 seats
and ended 52.
Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen resigned and
succeeded Venstres leader Anders Fogh Rasmussen. This formed
a coalition between the Left and the Conservative, whose
former leader Per Stig Møller became Foreign Minister. The
new minority government became dependent on the Danish
People's Party's support in the Folketing and announced some
tightening in the refugee and immigration policy.