Worrying rise of the far-right in Danish elections

Brussels, 19 June 2015 – The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) is deeply worried by the results of the parliamentary election in Denmark on 18 June, and the far-right Danish People’s Party becoming the second largest party.

In the debates that preceded the election, rather than proposing concrete solutions on how to improve the dire situation faced by an increasing number of Danes, some parties from both the right and left-wing blocks preferred to focus on the tightening of asylum laws, Islamic extremism, parallel societies, criminality among minorities, and how much minorities from non-European countries cost society. While many candidates saw these debates as a way to draw voters, in fact these discourses played a role in shaping public opinion’s hostility towards diversity.

The Danish People’s Party – which has publically confessed being anti-Islam, has been the architect of anti-minority policies from 2001 to 2011 and some of whose prominent leaders have been sentenced for racist statements – led an anti-minority campaign and as a result became the second largest party in Denmark.

If the party programmes of the right-wing parties that will form the new government are any indication of the policies to come, the life of ethnic and religious minorities will most probably get worse, asylum seekers will be turned away at the border, the green card scheme abolished, and poor refugees and immigrants will lose significant state support.

ENAR National Coordinator in Denmark, Bashy Quraishy, said: “ENAR, being the largest anti-racist network in the EU, is worried about this development and how it will affect ethnic and religious minorities living in Denmark. We hope that Danish political parties will nevertheless work towards an inclusive society and refrain from implementing nationalist and xenophobic policies.”

For further information, contact:
Georgina Siklossy, ENAR Communication and Press Officer
Tel: +32 (0)2 229 35 70 - Mobile: +32 (0)473 490 531 - Email: georgina@enar-eu.org - Web: www.enar-eu.org

Notes to the editor:
1. The European Network Against Racism (ENAR aisbl) stands up against racism and discrimination and advocates for equality and solidarity for all in Europe. We connect local and national anti-racist NGOs throughout Europe and act as an interface between our member organisations and the European institutions. We voice the concerns of ethnic and religious minorities in European and national policy debates.

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