Denmark has announced a crackdown on migrant-dominated ghettos, but how likely are the new measures to actually come into force, and will they make a difference? The fate of Europe’s previous anti-ghetto plans offers a guide.
By – Igor Ogorodnev
Proposal Twenty-two initiatives have been put forward by the center-right government, including doubling sentences for crimes committed in areas designated as ghettos, a reduction to benefits for people who move into them, and a right-of-refusal to rent out property to those with recent criminal convictions. Positive measures include financial bonuses for non-Western origin students who excel at school, and (compulsory) daycare for all children.
Quote“We have replaced naivety with realism, passivity with demands. This effort means problems will no longer go unsolved.” – Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen
Sweden: Sending in the troops (2018)
Quote“People are shot to death in pizza restaurants, people are killed by hand grenades they find on the street. This is the new Sweden; the new, exciting dynamic, multicultural paradise that so many here in this assembly have fought to create for so many years.” – Jimmie Akesson, leader of the Sweden Democrats
Germany: Making immigrants speak local language (2014)
Proposal In 2014, just prior to the seismic migrant influx of the following year, the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU), the influential regional sister party to Angela Merkel’s CDU, introduced a “well-prepared and widely backed” proposal that both recent arrivals and established immigrant communities must communicate in German both in public and in private to aid integration, and to help their children catch up with locals in school.
Quote“People who want to remain here on a permanent basis should be obliged to speak German in public and within the family.” – CSU draft proposal.
Results While the sentiment may have played well with the party’s conservative base, the idea set off a storm of rage and ridicule, not least from the CSU’s coalition partners, who accused the party of “cultural dementia.” The CSU backtracked almost immediately, saying that its proposals had been “misunderstood,” and were never intended to be mandatory. In 2016, Germany adopted a new Integration Law that provides financial incentives for those attending language and civics courses, and allows the government to allocate any newcomers away from immigrant-heavy areas to prevent ghetto creation.
France: Sarkozy’s ghetto Marshall Plan (2007)
Proposal As he campaigned for his one-term presidency, Nicolas Sarkozy outlined a typically grandiose vision of a “new Marshall Plan” for France’s ghettoized banlieues, still alienated in the aftermath of the 2005 riots. The candidate promised a top-to-bottom makeover – better transport links, more jobs, second-chance schools and a promise to the poorly-educated, largely unemployed population of “access to every position of responsibility, including the very highest.”
Quote“We will no longer have young people who are foreigners in their own country,” Sarkozy told an audience of hand-picked second and third generation immigrants at the Elysee Palace once elected.
Netherlands: De-Islamization (2017)
Proposal Party for Freedom leader Geert Wilders has long called Islam an “existential threat” to Western civilization, while accusing Muslim immigrants of wreaking ”street terror” upon communities where they constitute a noticeable percentage. As his party surged into the lead ahead of the 2017 parliamentary election, he published a manifesto that would “de-Islamize” the Netherlands. Among the proposals: a stripping of all licenses for mosques and Islamic schools, a ban of the Koran, and a denaturalization of dual-nationality criminals, coupled with a revocation of all asylum permits.
Quote“Millions of Dutch citizens have simply had enough of the Islamization of our country. Enough of mass immigration and asylum, terror, violence and insecurity.” – first line of the Party for Freedom manifesto.
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Read more: From 2018/03/10