As Western Europe makes plans to welcome hundreds of thousands of refugees, Denmark has started a campaign to restrict them.
Watch the reactions of local Lebanese people below.
The Danish Immigration service has published an advert in four Lebanese newspapers that details how new refugees’ social benefits will be reduced by up to 50%.
It also lays out the Ministry’s other regulations that may deter refugees, such as how those granted protection ‘will not have the right to bring family members to Denmark during the first year’ and that rejected asylum seekers ‘ must be returned quickly’.
Hundreds of refugees have crossed into Denmark from Germany over the last few days, reportedly in an attempt to reach Sweden, where the government is much more accommodating.
Some in Lebanon are surprised by Denmark’s decision, as one man described the adverts: “I find it funny. Instead of putting out an advertisement that we are helping refugees in such a crisis like this, they are cutting down the help for refugees.”
Great Britain, France and Germany all announced quotas for welcoming refugees to aid the recent crisis before Denmark published the adverts.
The changes to Danish policy were announced in July and Integration Minister Inger Støjberg believes that anyone considering reaching Denmark should be aware of the facts.
She took to Facebook to say: “The aim is to inform objectively and soberly about [Danish rules], which the government is in the process of tightening.” “In light of the huge influx to Europe these days, there is good reason for us to tighten rules and get that effectively communicated."
A Facebook campaign, which began in response to the advertisements’ planning, published an advert of their own last week proclaiming: ‘We Welcome you to Denmark’.
The advert declares that “Minister of Integration, Inger Støjberg, is planning an international newspaper campaign to advertise the imminent tightening of conditions for refugees in order to stem the influx of people seeking asylum in Denmark. The aim is to deter refugees from coming to Denmark in the first place. But we’re not all like minister Støjberg and the rest of the Danish government."
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