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New justice minister to continue tough immigration line

Immigration policy looks to remain as stringent as ever before

The new justice minister, Karen Hækkerup (S), was all smiles at the handover ceremony yesterday, but vowed to continue the tough immigration line towed by her predecessor, Morten Bødskov (S) (Photo: Scanpix)

December 13, 2013

by CW

The new justice minister, Karen Hækkerup (S), vowed to pick up where her predecessor, Morten Bødskov (S), left off.

Hækkerup announced that she would continue Bødskov’s “robust and just” line when it comes to immigration policy, saying that successful integration is only possible through limited immigration.

“It is important for Denmark's cohesiveness that we have a tough policy on immigration,” Hækkerup said yesterday. “For a little nation to integrate its foreigners so they become Danes and part of Denmark, the numbers matter.”

READ MORE: Top officials to be investigated in PET mess

Must help the children
Hækkerup didn't just focus on integration on her first day on the job. She also said society should take care of its youngest members.

"It’s my opinion that in the cases where the parents have failed, it is up to society to step in and raise their children so they don’t end up asocial and a burden to society by poisoning residential areas, generating insecurity and never having a chance to live a good life themselves,” Hækkerup said.

Bødskov was in high spirits, despite being forced to leave his ministerial position as a result of his involvement in intelligence agency PET's illegal prying into the calendar of MP Pia Kjærsgaard (DF) to prevent her from attending a trip to Christiania in February 2012.

READ MORE: Bødskov says he helped cancel Kjærsgaard’s Christiania visit

Bødskov defiant to the end
He showed his sense of humour by presenting Hækkerup with a ‘Bevar Christiania’ (‘Save Christiania’) sweatshirt, which he said was obtained in Christiania “without a threat evaluation or police protection”.

“Of course it’s a shame that I have to leave the posting, but I can tell everyone that I leave with a clean conscience and a clear belief that the choices that we made were the right ones,” Bødskov said.

But while Hækkerup, a member of parliament since 2005, enjoyed the Christiania gag, she stated that the PET issue is no laughing matter and has pledged a thorough investigation.

READ MORE: Morten Bødskov out as justice minister

DF wants answers
According to the government, a number of leading Justice Ministry officials will have to account for their actions in the Christiania debacle and could face severe consequences.

“It’s completely natural in a case where the head of PET and a justice minister have stepped down,” Hækkerup said. “I think that it would have been a bit odd if we let this pass without asking questions, like how the heck could this have happened?”

In particular, Kjærsgaard’s party, Dansk Folkeparti, has been vocal in wanting the government to get to the bottom of the scandal and Hækkerup will likely face a barrage of questions in the near future.

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