Sunday, April 10, 2011

Denmark wants to limit access of the welfare state for foreign

Stockholm, correspondence - Foreigners living in Denmark in the near future may have to pay their entitlement to welfare benefits, education or care for example, unlike the Danes. The proposal, made in late March by the Liberal Prime Minister Rasmussen of Denmark Lars Løkke, is widely supported by a majority of Danes.

According to a survey published by the newspaper Berlingske, 59% of Danes feel this way. Wednesday, April 6, the Danish Ministry of Employment said a bit of background which would fit such a device, but the details are not yet known. On the merits, the conclusion is simple: the Danish welfare state is in crisis.

"In the current situation," said Employment Minister Inger Støjberg, we can come to Denmark and enjoy the first day of virtually all our welfare, not that we require in return for help community ". According to information gathered by the newspaper Berlingske, the plan could mean inter alia that foreigners should have private insurance to cover their health care in the first four years of their stay.

"It will be harder to attract employees from abroad if they pay taxes among the highest in the world without being entitled to the same services as their colleagues," critic Thomas Christensen, Dansk Industri, the Danish Employers . The Prime Minister's proposal is supported by his Liberal Party and the extreme right.

But another government party, the Conservative Party, is skeptical, like employers. He fears that discrimination could discourage foreigners from coming to work in Denmark and it hurts to Danish companies that have difficulty recruiting manpower it needs. Like the French economy minister, Christine Lagarde, who has distanced himself Thursday night with the interior minister, Claude Gueant, which proposed limiting the immigration of labor.

"Immigration law is, of course it must be protected and secure," said Minister of Economy. In the long term, we will need manpower. " But since the entry of the far-right Danish Parliament in 1998, and its support for the Liberal-Conservative minority government since 2001, much of the Danish company that has hardened his speech vis-à-vis foreigners even if they are relatively few.

Danes are generally of the opinion that foreigners should assimilate into Danish, and adopt customs and Danish values. Thus, reacting to the idea of the Premier, Villy Søvndal, chairman of the Left Party, is concerned less to foreigners than it would initiate the process, namely the introduction of a welfare state in the map where payment of public services could then be expanded to other population groups.

Nevertheless, the Danish welfare state is under pressure. Public debt is rising sharply, although still very reasonable compared to other countries in the European Union. But the Danish growth was also among the five lowest of OECD countries over the past ten years. And weight of the public sector, and its cost, are widely involved.

"62% of Danes are either employed in public services or rely on unemployment or illness. This leaves very little private sector employees to fund the welfare state," said Mads Lundby Hansen, an economist and vice president of Cepos, a liberal think tank that advocates reform of the welfare state.

In recent years, the unemployment benefit period has been reduced from four to two years during the financial crisis and vouchers children are now reserved for people living in Denmark for at least two years. The government would also remove the early retirement and raise the retirement age.

The restrictions on access to social services for foreigners will be discussed in the coming months so that parliamentary elections must be held no later than November. Olivier Truc

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