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Denmark’s prime minister: “Ghettona” should be demolished

Denmark’s Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen wants to demolish buildings in several vulnerable areas and relocate the residents. “Ghettona will be completely wound up,” he said in the new year. 

By – Brünnhilde 

The Danish Prime Minister says that this action is necessary to cope with what is called the parallel society. It will endlessly patch and fix decades of insufficient policy for residential areas where Danish rules, laws and norms do not apply, says the message broadcast on New Year’s Eve on New Year’s Day.

“We will set a new goal to completely discontinue the ghettos. In some places the concrete will be broken up and buildings demolished. We will relocate the inhabitants across different areas,” said Lars Løkke Rasmussen, from the Left-side.

Property companies around Denmark are already in the process of tearing out poor housing, another commented.

In the country, 22 areas have been categorized as “ghettos” – particularly vulnerable areas that suffer from high unemployment, crime problems and in which a large proportion of the population have a foreign Muslim background.

Tearing up buildings can be a useful tool, according to several mayors in the affected municipalities that news agency Ritzau has spoken to. But it is not only demolitions that are on the agenda.

In Odense, the area of ​​Vollsmose is on the “ghetto list”.

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“It’s important to have demolition as a tool to create space for better infrastructure and more varied housing. But it may not be the only action, says Odense mayor, Social Democrat Peter Rahbæk Juel. He says that the most important thing is to bring in more jobs and employment to the area.

“Therefore, I would like to invite Lars Løkke to come to Vollsmose so he can try to meet some of the people who actually managed to get a job but also meet some of the people who are having a hard time.”

A more concrete proposal from the government will come in the next few months, according to Løkke. This may include special rules that will apply to the particularly vulnerable areas.

“A bigger effort is needed, one that does not bother all the Danes throughout Denmark. You put in the efforts where the problems are greatest. And only there,” said the prime minister.

“We must break the chain where generation after generation lives in parallel societies. Every child has only one childhood. It must not be thrown away.”

The debate about ghetton and parallel society is often recurring in Danish politics, according to Sveriges Radio.

The areas:

22 areas categorized as “ghetton”, particularly vulnerable areas:

Mjølner Park, Copenhagen

Gadelandet / Husumgård, Copenhagen

Tingbjerg / Utterslevhuse, Copenhagen

Bispeparken, Copenhagen

Tåstrupgård, Høje Taastrup

Gadehavegård, Høje Taastrup

Agervang, Holbæk

Ringparken, Slagelse

Motalavej, Slagelse

Lindholm, Guldborgsund

Solbakken, Odense

Vollsmose, Odense

Nørager / Søstjernevej, Sønderborg

Stengårdsvej, Esbjerg

Korskærparken, Fredericia

Sundparken, Horsens

Munkebo, Kolding

Skovvejen / Skovparken, Kolding

Finland Park, Vejle

Bispehaven, Aarhus

Skovgårdsparken, Aarhus

Gellerupparken / Toveshøj, Aarhus

Source: Ritzau / Ministry of Transport and Building

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