Copenhagen presents new "ghetto plan"

Denmark's right-wing liberal government has presented a new plan for problem neighbourhoods that have been defined as "ghettos" according to certain criteria. The plan includes harsher punishment for drug-related crimes, greater police presence and swifter deportations. Attending daycare is also to become mandatory for children in these neighbourhoods. Denmark's media take differing views on the issue.

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Politiken (DK) /

Government downplaying successful integration

Politiken believes the government's policy is mistaken:

“Why isn't integration working even though it is demonstrably headed in the right direction? A growing number of new Danes have jobs and an education, and the number of residential areas on the government's ghetto list has halved within the last year. Why is [Prime Minister] Lars Løkke Rasmussen badmouthing Denmark when there are many hopeful signs? Simply because a hard line against the ghettos is the only thing Denmark's conservative parties can agree on. ... The government's ghetto plan has thus become a showdown for the values of freedom and equality which the government claims it wants to defend.”

Jyllands-Posten (DK) /

Different rules apply in the ghettos

Jyllands-Posten defends the plan, noting that it reflects the reality of the parallel societies that have taken root in Denmark:

“For some reason social services and municipalities are unwilling to stop supporting people who have no interest whatsoever in making a contribution. Instead such people are allowed to go on receiving support while staying at home, refusing to send their children to daycare or to bother to learn Danish. So when Lars Løkke Rasmussen speaks of an unwritten social contract in Denmark that everyone must adhere to, it sounds like wishful thinking. If you can live in Denmark for 19 years without learning Danish and yet receive support the whole time it's clear that such a contract doesn't exist.”