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Refugees demand free passage to Sweden

DANISH NEWS - Denmark experienced chaotic refugee scenes, Monday as some 800 people entered the country from Germany and tried to head to Sweden

Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen told journalists after an emergency meeting of political party leaders that most of the 800-1,000 refugees who had come to Denmark since Saturday would not seek asylum in the country. This is according to and other Danish media.

He also said border controls were no solution, criticised European Union states for not following rules on asylum seekers and said refugees who had entered over the weekend must register in the country. The PM said the refugees should seek shelter for the night and wait until Danish police coordinated their transfer to Sweden with Swedish authorities.

“We hopefully can reach a situation where people who want to seek asylum in Sweden can do that,” he told journalists. “As a Danish authority, we cannot support people getting to Sweden, if it does not happen with a degree of acceptance from the Swedish authorities,” he said.

PM: European system broken in some cases

Danish television channels on Monday showed videos of refugees taking trains from Jutland, in the western part of Denmark connected to Germany, to Copenhagen, where they can ride to Sweden in 35 minutes by train. Other videos focussed on hundreds of refugees walking along a busy motorway to Copenhagen because, as they said, they wanted to join their families in Sweden or expected to have relatives join them there far more quickly than in Denmark.

The PM said he had spoken to the German and Swedish authorities in an effort to find a solution to the hundreds of refugees who are currently arriving in Denmark, virtually all of whom are passing through on their journey northwards and have no intention of staying here.

“I think it is clear for everyone that the European asylum system is under huge pressure and in fact broken in some cases,” Mr Rasmussen told journalists, adding that not all countries were adhering to the Dublin agreement.

Soc. Dem: Government has no plan

But after hundreds of migrants blocked a Danish motorway on their way to Sweden, the Social Democrats’ integration spokesman, Dan Jørgensen, said the situation is spinning out of control and the government has no plan for how to deal with the problem.

“Scoring cheap political points isn’t the solution. Denmark needs consensus and that’s the government’s responsibility,” he said.

He was backed by Alternative leader Uffe Elbæk, who called for a national compromise to help those who are suffering and put forward a 5-point plan: Dignified reception and treatment of all refugees who come to Denmark, more help to neighbouring countries in the Middle East, reception centres on both sides of the Mediterranean, equal distribution of refugees throughout the EU, and long-term Marshall help in North Africa and the Middle East.

“That’s our plan, which can hopefully form the basis of a serious political debate on how to get started,” Mr Elbæk said.

Read article in Danish here.

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