According to European rules, refugees are supposed to seek asylum in the first country they reach. That hasn’t always been possible in the chaos of the past few weeks. Since Sunday, an estimated 3,000 people have crossed the border into Denmark, but most of them don’t want to register here. Instead, their sights are set on Sweden.
On Wednesday, some 300 refugees left an intake center near the German border and started walking north along a major highway. Footage from Danish television shows them chanting, “Sweden, Sweden.”
In another Danish border town, refugees refused to get off trains arriving from Germany because they were afraid of being registered — which could prevent them from seeking asylum in Sweden.
You might think that a wealthy, peaceful place like Denmark would be ideal for asylum seekers. But members of the new right-wing government, like Integration Minister Inger Støjberg, have been doing their best to discourage that image.
“I haven’t hidden the fact that I think there are too many asylum seekers coming to Denmark,” she told Danish Broadcasting. “That’s exactly why we’ve tightened up, first of all, on benefits. And it’s also why I’ve announced there will be more tightening-up down the road.”