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Nearly 50% of Danes Disapprove of Radical Tone of National Debate on Immigration

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

(Sputnik) — Approximately 50 percent of Danish citizens consider the tone of the national debate on foreigners too radical, but the overall attitude toward immigration remains negative among the majority of Danes, the Local Denmark said Monday.

The newspaper cited the results of two surveys conducted by YouGov for the Mandag Morgen magazine and by Gallup for the Berlingske newspaper.

The results of the YouGov poll show that 44 percent of Danes feel "ashamed" by the tone of the national debate about immigration, according to the Local Denmark. However, another finding of the survey indicates that 54 percent of Danes consider immigration to be a negative phenomenon.

The poll conducted by Gallup for Berlingske found that more than 50 percent of the country's citizens disapprove of the way the discussion about asylum seekers is carried out in Denmark. Even supporters of the imposition of restrictions on asylum seekers find the tone of the discussion to be too radical.

Following the results of the polls, Danish Integration Minister Manu Sareen called on politicians to choose words more carefully when talking about immigrants and asylums seekers.

"We – especially those of us here in Christiansborg [the seat of the Danish Parliament] – should sometimes stop and think about how we talk about people. Words create realities and that means that we as politicians have a responsibility," Sareen said as quoted by the Local Denmark.

Danish authorities have become deeply concerned about the immigration issue due to the increased influx of Eritrean asylum seekers this year. During the first three months of 2014, ten Eritrean asylum seekers per month arrived in the country. In July Denmark hosted a record number of 510 Eritrean refugees. In November the country decided to halt offering automatically granted asylums for Eritreans, stating that the human rights situation in Eritrea was not that critical.

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