This Week’s Editorial: Tricky law followed by a piece of cake

Integration is the name of the game. The refugees are here – or on their way. They are being accommodated in tents and could later move into empty palaces.

A silent majority
Not a day goes by without the media and politicians discussing their situation, but rarely to their benefit. A silent majority remains quiet so the necessary laws can be passed – normally for internal political reasons.

And the austerity measures have been adopted. The immigration minister, Inger Strøjberg, is happy and Denmark has earned itself more than a minute of infamy as the world press used cartoons of the PM to criticise the new law.

Ironically, the cartoon – coming almost exactly ten years to the day since a rather different stance was taken in defence of Jyllands-Posten – made many Danes call for an apology!!!

Long roads ahead
As we speak, nothing indicates that the numbers of refugees and migrants will live up to the wildest forecasts. There is even an armistice committee sitting in Geneva.

Meanwhile, 90 percent of the world’s military capacity is deploying 1 percent of its resources to fighting IS. At this rate, the end will come, but it could be a long time coming. Like Masada.

The road to integration, which is also a long one, continues to be hampered by misleading figures from the government. Annual costs of 14 billion kroner, they claim, even though a healthy proportion of that will end up in the country’s pockets – both private companies and the public purse.

And nobody really believes that only 3 percent of the refugees are immediately capable of undertaking a job. It has been speculated that the new arrivals could fill half of the vacant positions in the health sector.

Critical talks
The tri-party negotiations between the unions, workers and the government, which are due to start soon, will be the testing ground. Scrapping union working agreements that stipulate a minimum payment of 120 kroner an hour is essential if we want to find jobs for the refugees.

Only the stiffness of politicians and the unionists prevent such a solution, even it was just agreed on temporarily.

If we want a solution, it is time to be unconventional and look for the greater good. Do not listen to those who claim that refugees do not want to work – until now it is the Danish institutions preventing them.

It is time to merge humanitarian motives with pragmatic solutions. Make it a piece of cake.