The country made the move under pressure from the conservative Danish People's Party, but the new controls, the country says, are in keeping with the Schengen Agreement, which created the Schengen zone of 25 European countries which allow free movement across national borders.
The action to regain some control of Danish sovereignty from the European Union comes as the massive political entity attempts to deal with the influx of Africans who swarmed Italy earlier this year.
The changes are hardly earth-shattering, except at least to the Eurocrat globalists trying to erase national identities.
According to the Associated Press, Denmark will merely erect 24-hour customs control at the nation’s borders with Germany and Sweden:
The new controls being introduced over several years include new customs buildings at crossings, lower speed limits at checkpoints and new equipment for reading license plates of passing vehicles.
Danish officials expect to have 98 additional customs offiers at crossing points. On [July 5], about 50 of them [were to] join the country’s 142-man force at the borders with Germany and Sweden.
The agreement is testimony to the power of the Danish People's Party, news reports say.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, "the move was demanded by the right-wing populist Danish People’s Party (DPP) and, according to DPP leader Pia Kjærsgaard, designed to keep out 'criminals from Eastern Europe and illegal economic migrants.'"
In the past few years, populist movements have gained ground politically by campaigning against immigration, claiming that newcomers have not only become an economic drain but are also altering traditional European values. In Denmark, Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen, who is heading a minority government, depends on the support of the DPP, which saw large gains in 2007 parliamentary elections.
The DPP traded support for a national budget, the New York Times reports, in return for the border controls. DPP's support, according to the Times, comes from working class Danes who are fed up with immigrants taking jobs. Those workers "chafed the most at ultraliberal immigration policies that allowed thousands of immigrants — from Iran, Iraq and the Balkans — to enter the country in the 1970s, ’80 and ’90s," the Times reported.
Denmark had few policies in place to deal with the immigrants’ needs, experts say. Blue-collar Danes resented that many newcomers in their neighborhoods never learned Danish and remained unemployed, clustered in the suburbs of Copenhagen.
While mainstream parties avoided the subject as politically incorrect, the Danish People’s Party, led by Pia Kjaersgaard, a home care attendant for the elderly before she entered politics, took it on. Ms. Kjaersgaard is widely credited with forcing an overhaul of the country’s immigration policies, now among the most restrictive in Europe.
Eurocrats Condemn Danes
Eurocrats are upset. The German Foreign Minister fretted about how Denmark's move will affect the Schengen zone, the Monitor reports. And a member of the Free Democratic Party in the German state of Hesse wants to boycott Denmark, reports Spiegel Online. "Freedom of travel is one of Europe's most visible achievements," Jörg Uwe Hahn told the Danish daily Jyllandsposten. "Those who assail it ... are carving away at the European idea."
The Danes say Hahn is "hysterical," the Monitor reported. They also say the “customs checks will be random and will not include checking passports,” AP reported.
As well, AP reported, "[Denmark] has said the plan would not violate any rules and that it will work closely with the EU head office in Brussels. The EU is concerned that the plan will send out a wrong signal at a time when European nations are bickering over both borders and currency."
Tougher Immigration Law
The new customs controls come a year or so after the Danes imposed a new set of procedures to stop the influx of immigration. It involves a point system. IceNews.is reports:
It features a number of criteria that are to be fulfilled by non-nationals, including a minimum of two-and-a-half years’ employment and a Danish language test. Immigrants can also forego public benefits in exchange for points. A total of 100 points will be required for all new applicants to secure legal residency.
The point system, for instance, offers a set number of points for educational level. Immigrants with doctorates receive 80 of the 100 points, those with masters’ degrees get 60, while a bachelor’s degree gets 30.
The Danes are rightly worried about their borders, given the events in Italy since January 1. After the Tunisian government fell, Africans swept over the Italian isle of Lampedusa. Italy then transported them to the mainland, where many attempted to scatter across Europe. France stopped a trainload at the border, imposing de facto border controls of its own. The two nations then began pushing the European Union to reconsider border controls. An EU Commission is examining the policy.
Nearly 30,000 Tunisians and Libyans have landed on Lampedusa. The Italian Foreign Minister said that if the government of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi falls, Europe can expect a human flood of 800,000. Europe has paid Gadhafi billions to stop illegal immigration from North Africa to Southern Europe.