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Danish government launches anti-refugee ad campaign

DANISH NEWS - The government launches its controversial ad campaign in Lebanese newspapers

According to Berlingske the advert lists seven measures refugees and migrants should take into account if they decide to head for Denmark, including the new low rate of social benefits, no possibility of family reunification within the first 12 months, and quick repatriation of rejected asylum seekers, writes

Integration Minister Inger Støjberg declined to comment Sunday on the advert, dismissed by critics as a scare campaign, or whether it could damage former Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s candidacy for UNHCR commissioner.

The Liberals’ foreign affairs spokesman, Michael Jensen, said he didn’t believe it would affect the ex-prime minister as the UN places more emphasis on how active a country is within the UN ‘where Denmark has a very good reputation’, while Secretary General Andreas Kamm of the Danish Refugee Council said Ms Thorning-Schmidt has many international relations and is a very strong, visible candidate – ‘ad campaign or not’.

On verge of breakdown

However, former foreign minister Martin Lidegaard (Soc. Lib) said the negative campaign is a ‘bad advert’ for the former PM.

“By placing the ad in the Lebanese media the government is trying to act tough in a country that’s on the verge of breaking down under the pressure from refugees. I find that distasteful,” he said.

The Conservatives’ foreign affairs spokesman, Syrian-born Naser Khader, expressed doubt as to whether the advert would keep refugees away from Denmark as social benefits are just part of their considerations when looking for a destination, but said the message would have been stronger if placed on al-Jazeera and other Arab satellite channels.

See links to this story on other Danish media, on Politiken here, and on DR here.

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