Government faces fallout over plans to confiscate refugee jewellery – The Post

Government faces fallout over plans to confiscate refugee jewellery

Venstre is facing increasing criticism both at home and abroad

Venstre is in a tight spot (Photo: iStock)
December 21st, 2015 6:05 pm| by Shifa Rahaman

The international media has had a field day over Denmark’s plans to confiscate refugee valuables and jewellery of amounts over 3000 kroner, but Venstre has remained unwavering in their defense of the proposed measures.

However, it now appears that the party is facing increasing criticism within Denmark as well.

Støjberg remains staunch
The minister for integration and immigration, Inger Støjberg, has remained staunch in the face of international criticism, saying that foreign media responses cannot dictate Danish policy.

“I cannot drive policy based on what the Washington Post writes. I run policy based on what is best for Denmark,” she told Ekstra Bladet.

She was also unfazed by the many Nazi comparisons the government is fending off from abroad.

“I actually think the references to Nazism are baseless and completely out of place,” she said firmly.

Domestic fallout
However, it appears that Venstre’s recent policy proposals are affecting them closer to home as well.

Danish MEP Jens Rohde announced Saturday afternoon that he was leaving Venstre in a formal gesture of protest. And he’s not the only one.

“A year and a half ago, when I went into battle to try to get Kristian Jensen as chairman of Venstre, I used the argument that we were about to emulate Dansk Folkeparti. However, back then, even I would never have imagined that Venstre would be the author of the proposed asylum bill we see today,” he told Politiken.

He also told Politiken that there were several other members of Venstre that also believed that the party was becoming too much like DF.

His statement seems to have some truth to it – a week ago, parlimentary candidate Kåre Traberg Smidt also resigned as a sign of protest over the proposed asylum laws, saying that he intends to cast his lot with Alternativet.

MP Michael Jellesmark has also announced he will be joining Alternativet.

However, DR’s political analyst Jens Ringberg doesn’t believe Venstre has anything to worry about – yet.

“There should be more people before we can seriously talk about a noticeable political peeling from Venstre – either from the party’s parliamentary group, or well-known figures, such as former politicians,” he said.

Police Federation expresses concerns
Meanwhile, chairman of the Police Federation, Claus Oxfeldt, has also expressed concerns over the proposal.

“I cannot imagine that we have to go in and take away, for example, wedding rings from refugees who come to the country,” DR reported him as saying.

He also added that the police have no expertise in valuing jewellery.

“We are not able to assess whether a ring has a value of 1,000, 5,000 or 10,000 kroner,” he said. 

However, when it came to confiscating money, he took a different view.

If large amounts of money are being brought in, it might be something we need to confiscate.”