Over the course of just a few weeks, Danish officials have stopped nearly 60 passengers from getting on a Denmark-bound plane in Milan via a new creative border checking operation initiated by the government.
Since December, a Danish border control agent has checked flight departures to Denmark from Milan's Malpensa Airport and has snagged dozens of travellers who were attempting to board flights using false identification.
The results of the unique border checks pleased the justice minister, Karen Hækkerup (S), who argued that it was more effective than the classic border control method.
“It’s not just a check point at the physical border that works. There are also initiatives like this and I think we have snagged more people now than we would have done with a [traditional] border control,” Hækkerup said. “It’s a good way to stop people before they travel into the country.”
Too little, too late
Due to the terms of the Schengen Agreement, the Milan border check system is only temporary. Opposition parties Venstre and Dansk Folkeparti (DF) not only want the border control efforts in Italy to become permanent, they also criticised the government for its efforts.
“It’s a shame this didn't happen a year ago," Karsten Lauritzen, a Venstre spokesperson, told Jyllands-Posten. "Better late than never, but it certainly isn’t satisfactory.”
Peter Skaarup, a DF spokesperson, argued that his party should be given the credit for the success.
“The control only occurred because DF has focused on the issue. For a long time the government did nothing and the relaxing of the immigration laws have only served as an advertisement to come here,” Skaarup said.
Skaarup went on to say that the justice minister should look into the possibility of having a permanent border control in countries such as Italy and Greece.