Thu

Sep

1014:42

VOXPOP : How well is Denmark managing the refugee crisis?

 
We stopped Copenhageners on the street and asked for their views on the refugee crisis in Europe. This is what they said.

Jakob (above), Business analyst

What should Denmark do about the refugee crisis?

I think it is an incredibly complex and difficult situation. I do not event think that the people who work in these areas professionally know what to do. That being said, I think we should be helping the refugees seeking asylum in Demark – we are a rich society and we have plenty of resources to help these people.

Should there be a joint European solution?

I think that is the most reasonable approach. A joint agreement across Europe would allow us to spread the refugees across EU countries and make the countries with the available resources help.

What is your opinion of the people who drove refugees from Rødby towards Copenhagen and Sweden?

I think that people look at the world and have no clue what to do. I do not necessarily think that it is the right way to go. I am aware that a lot of the refugees want to go to Sweden, but they cannot all go to Sweden – we need to take our part.

What do you think of Inger Støjberg’s adverts in Lebanese papers?

I think it is distasteful. It is problematic when a state does something like that to keep refugees out. These people are here because they had to flee – and it is our job as a well functioning society to help them.

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Jane, high school student

What should Denmark do about the refugee crisis?

We have to take refugees in. We have to remember that these people have rights and that we cannot just chuck them out. We should be more open, I think. Obviously we cannot take in as many refugees as Germany but we have to take our share. Also, it is important that we do not let Inger Støjberg define how we are perceived as a country. What she is saying is not a fair representation of the people of Denmark and that is not okay. Her views are racist, in my opinion.

Would you take a migrant into your car and drive them towards Sweden?

Absolutely. It might technically be trafficking but we are dealing with people who have no chance and we have to help.

Can Denmark make a difference?

Definitely. The politicians have no clue about what is happening in Denmark. They only know about what is happening in parliament. The politicians need to take responsibility for this. We should approach this issue globally. It cannot be right that the Gulf States and the United States are not taking their fair share of refugees.

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Tina (left), lawyer

What is your opinion of Denmark’s role in the refugee crisis?

I think we are portraying Denmark in a very dim light. The only thing we ever hear about is about many people are crossing the border – we are not informed enough about these people’s reasons for coming to Western Europe – we are focusing on the wrong things.

Can we help?

Of course we can help. We should be taking in the amount of people we can muster. People come here to get a better life, and we should be helping them with that.

What do you think of Inger Støjbergs adverts in Lebanese papers?

I do not agree with them. At the same time I think it is good that people know what to expect when they reach the Danish border, so that migrants are not surprised when they reach the border.

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Kirsten, retiree

What should Denmark do about the refugee crisis?

We are not doing enough. We should be taking in many more refugees.

What do you think of Inger Støjbergs adverts in Lebanese papers?

I think they are reprehensible. They send the wrong signal – that refugees are not welcome in Denmark – and I completely disagree with that view.

Denmark is a small country – can we make a difference?

I think we can. We have to show compassion – we must open our arms to the people who need help. We are a rich country and we definitely have the capacity to take more people in.

Should there be a joint European solution?

Yes, definitely.

What is your opinion of the people who drove refugees from Rødby towards Sweden?

I find that a bit naïve. Sweden cannot accept all of those people, so maybe they should have let them be registered in Denmark instead.

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Marcus, media spokesperson

What is your opinion of Denmark’s role in the refugee crisis?

I find it disgusting that we are trying to run from our responsibility. I find it ridiculous that they try to make it about politics. Through the United Nations Human Rights Conventions, Denmark is legally obligated to take in a much higher number of refugees than we are at the moment. This is also the reason Denmark has been against a joint European solution, because then we have to acknowledge that the UN conventions are binding. It is crazy that someone steps up in the media and calls these people “convenience refugees” because they have smart phones. That is like saying someone who is shot in front of a plasma TV was not in fact shot. People are drowning in the Mediterranean while fleeing to Europe – it is ridiculous to call them “convenience refugees”.

What is our responsibility?

We have been involved in numerous conflicts in the Middle East. When you take part in collapsing a state to, you have to take responsibility for the consequences of that. Also, if we just close off the borders, at some point we will be dealing with an uncontrollable, epidemic-like situation – and then it will be completely impossible. It is a common European problem therefore there should be a joint solution.

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Johnny, commercial activity manager

What is your opinion of Denmark’s role in the refugee crisis?

We have been very passive. It seems to me that there is no plan. It feels like the politicians are just closing their eyes, hoping the problem will go away.

Is it our responsibility to help these people?

Definitely. Of course we have to analyse each case to see whether the people arriving in the country really need our help. However, we need to do whatever we can for the people who truly need our help. The ones who do not need our help should not be let in.

What do you think of Inger Støjbergs adverts in Lebanese papers?

I actually think they are acceptable. I think they speak to the people who are here for economic reasons – which I would guess make up roughly 20% of the migrants – letting them know that we are only prepared to take in people who actually need our help. But we have a responsibility to help the remaining 80%. M

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By Joshua Hollingdale

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