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Denmark passes the "jewellery bill"

Denmark passes the "jewellery bill"
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By Euronews with Reuters, AFP, IOM
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The government's plan has been likened to the confiscation of valuables from Jews during the Second World War

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The Danish parliament has voted in a bill aimed at deterring asylum seekers.

The legislation includes controversial proposals to confiscate money and valuables from migrants arriving in the country.

Find out why today's #asylpakke vote in #Denmark matters, and the controversies behind it. https://t.co/jS9sc4tHefpic.twitter.com/INko1Xy9EH

— euronews (@euronews) 26 Janvier 2016

Danish parliament passes controversial migrant assets law: https://t.co/QTAXLY8QMrpic.twitter.com/qVMaICSCqd

— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) 26 Janvier 2016

The “jewellery” bill

Supporters of the legislation say it will help migrants pay for their upkeep.

The authorities say the legislation will put asylum seekers on a level footing with unemployed Danes.

They must sell assets above a certain amount to qualify for benefit payments.

There are also plans to extend the period before family members are allowed to join relatives who have migrated.

The proposal would increase the wait from one year to three.

The bill has broad cross-party support and is likely to be passed.

Critics say the legislation is aimed at deterring migrants from coming to Denmark in the first place.

What is the situation in Denmark?

Denmark is expecting around 20,000 aslyum seekers in 2016.

Analysts say the so-called “jewellery bill” is the latest attempt by the seven-month-old minority centre-right government to contain the process.

Figures suggest almost 37,000 migrants arrived in Europe by land and sea in January 2016.

177 are known to have died while making the journey.

Click here for the latest information on the number of migrants arriving in Europe

Migrants explain why they do not want to seek asylum in Denmark:

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How would the Danish law work?

  • Migrants allowed to bring 10,000 Danish crowns (1,340 euros) into the country.

  • Any funds above this amount will be confiscated by police at the border.

  • Objects worth more than this amount will also be confiscated.

  • However, items with strong sentimental value (like a wedding ring) can be kept.

Is Denmark alone with this policy?

No.

Since the 1990s, asylum seekers arriving in Switzerland with more than 1,000 swiss francs have had the extra confiscated.

However, they are allowed to keep valuable objects.

The bill is hugely controversial. Here is a selection of what people are saying about it

Denmark’s proposed legislation has whipped up a storm of criticism from commentators.

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#Denmark’s refugee asset grab: The most punitive step yet among EU nations to deter refugees https://t.co/98WjWeM06bpic.twitter.com/qJql9bMHJK

— POLITICO Europe (@POLITICOEurope) 26 Janvier 2016

“Most refugees have lost everything and yet this legislation appears to say that the few fortunate enough to have survived the trip to Denmark with their few remaining possessions have not lost enough.”- OSCE

Countdown to #BlackTuesday in #Denmark – Danish Parliament to vote on cruel and regressive refugee law #VoteNo#dkpol

— Amnesty Danmark (@amnestydk) 26 Janvier 2016

#UPR24 FM Jensen: #Denmark 5th largest recipient of #asylumseekers in #EU in 2014. response to #refugee crisis must address root causes

— HRC SECRETARIAT (@UN_HRC) 21 Janvier 2016

EU action even more urgent in light of unilateral Member State action; #Denmark votes on Migrant Assets Bill https://t.co/igArqTVbRG

— The Hague Institute (@HagueInstitute) 26 Janvier 2016

The other view

Come on Denmark , do not bow to the EU and UN ! Pass your laws , we support you !!!

— Philippe Magalon (@MagalonPhilippe) 26 Janvier 2016

“Lots of refugees are crossing our borders, we are under enormous pressure.”- Danish immigration minister Inger Støjberg

“What we are saying is, if you want to come to Europe, you would be better off avoiding Denmark.” – Martin Henriksen, Danish Popular Party spokesperson.

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JuliaHB1</a> Denmark & Hungary are only sensible EU countries regarding refugee crisis. UK is right so far but Dave may give in & take more.</p>&mdash; IJMO (IJMO1) 26 Janvier 2016

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