• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Denmark to open refugee camp amid aid criticism
Denmark's first refugee tent camp prepares for its first residents. Photo: Henning Bagger/Scanpix

Denmark to open refugee camp amid aid criticism

The Local · 20 Nov 2015, 10:43

Published: 20 Nov 2015 10:43 GMT+01:00

A tent camp for some 250 asylum seekers in the northern Jutland city of Thisted could open as early as this weekend, a spokesman for the Danish Emergency Management Agency (Beredskabstyrelsen - DEMA) said. 
 
The tents are being erected at a DEMA centre and an additional 168 asylum seekers will be put in the centre’s existing buildings. 
 
DEMA spokesman Peter Kragh told Ritzau earlier this week that the agency has nearly finished its preparations but it will ultimately be the Danish Immigration Service (Udlændingestyrelsen - DIS) that decides when the asylum seekers will move in to the nation’s first tent camp. 
 
 
“We promised that it would take a week to establish the tent camp so throughout the course of the weekend the tents should be ready,” he said. 
 
The plan is to put single male asylum seekers in the tents, where they will be given a folding bed, a mattress and a sleeping bag. It is up to DIS to decide if families will be housed in the DEMA buildings and the immigration agency will also be the one to select the asylum seekers for the tents. 
 
250 single males will be put in the tents. Photo: Henning Bagger/Scanpix
250 single males will be put in the tents. Photo: Henning Bagger/Scanpix 
 
The tent camps prepare to open as Denmark has upped its estimate for the expected number of asylum seekers in 2016 from 15,000 to 25,000. That increase was used in the government’s recently-approved budget to justify cutting the nation’s development aid from 0.87 percent of its gross national income to 0.71 percent, with up to one third of the funds to be used internally on refugees and asylum seekers in Denmark. 
 
 
A senior researcher with the Danish Institute for International Studies, Lars Engberg, told Politiken that the government’s plan represents “the most significant cut of development aid ever”. 
 
According to the newspaper’s calculations, Denmark will spend 15 billion kroner on development aid in 2016, but 4.4 billion of that figure will be spent on refugees within the country. 
 
“Residents have been told that development aid should support people in the world’s poorest countries. The question is whether we should even continue to call it development aid when so much of it will be used on refugees here in Denmark,” Engberg said. 
 
The government's plans were also criticised from abroad, with international anti-poverty group ONE calling the move "a step backwards for a country which normally leans forward on development".
 
“This decision by the government both to cut and to divert aid is misguided. Denmark has become the largest country recipient of its own aid. These funds are intended to help the developing world," ONE spokeswoman Diane Sheard said. 
 
Story continues below…
"Cutting promised levels of aid not only risks the lives of the world’s poorest, it removes Denmark’s position as a leader in the global fight against extreme poverty," she added. 
 
 
The government’s increase in its estimate for the number of refugees that Denmark will accept next year was included in an early version of its budget but was removed under pressure from the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (DF).
 
“In connection to these [budget] negotiations, we don’t want to take responsibility for some sort of specific asylum figure. The government must be responsible for that […] it is the government’s responsibility so it shouldn’t be included in the budget,” DF spokesman Peter Skaarup told Jyllands-Posten. 
 
Denmark expects to receive 20,000 refugees in 2015. 

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Today's headlines
Danes: Muslims must speak out against terrorism
Flowers left outside the French embassy in Copenhagen the day after the attack in Nice, France. Photo: Ólafur Steinar Gestsson/Scanpix

According to a new survey, 3 in 4 Danes believe that Muslims in Denmark are not doing enough to distance themselves from extremist acts carried out in the name of their religion.

Copenhagen 4th most liveable city in the world
The magazine praised Copenhagen’s bicycle-friendly infrastructure and nightlife. Photo: Roman Board/Flickr

The Danish capital makes a comeback in the British lifestyle magazine Monocle’s Quality of Life Index, where it 'only' came in 10th last year.

Number of Danes joining Isis in decline
Syrian civil defence members evacuate a young man following a reported air strike on the besieged rebel-controlled town of Douma. Abd Doumany/Scanpix

A number of recently published reports from Scandinavian intelligence services suggest that Isis recruitment peaked across Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia in 2013/2014.

Denmark slammed for sending lesbians to Uganda

Denmark’s decision to deny asylum to three lesbians and send them back to their home country of Uganda has been criticized by an LGBT group.

Denmark's heat wave to continue into next week
Take a dip this weekend – you never know what the rest of summer will have in store! Photo: Erik Refner/Scanpix

The long-awaited summer warmth that finally returned to Denmark this week will be sticking around for awhile, meteorologists said on Friday.

More work makes you sick: Danish study

A study that followed Danish workers for 12 years found that when companies enjoy an uptick in business, their employees pay for it with their well-being.

Danish women have become more violent
Photo: Colourbox

Danish women are closing the gender gap when it comes to crime.

Photo gallery
Santas spread (summer) Christmas cheer in Denmark
No big deal, just a Santa taking a selfie while on a Copenhagen canal cruise in the middle of the summer. Photo: Mathias Løvgreen Bojesen/Scanpix

More than 100 jolly souls dressed up as Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and elves just left Copenhagen – see all of the bearded action from their visit.

Brawl breaks out between Danish asylum centres
The fight started after a player disputed a foul call. Photo: sunnybright/Iris/Scanpix

Upwards of 100 minor asylum seekers were involved in a brawl described by a witness as a “blood frenzy”.

Five million Danish ID numbers sent to Chinese firm
The CPR numbers and health information of 5.3 million residents was sent to a Chinese company. Photo: Colourbox

If you lived in Denmark between 2010 and 2012, it’s almost certain that your personal identification number (CPR number) and health information ended up in the hands of a Chinese company.

Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Technology
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Culture
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
National
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Danes with foreign spouses to be hit by new restriction
International
After Brexit, Danish PM resists calls for similar EU referendum
International
Why Denmark won't try to follow the UK out of the EU
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
National
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
International
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
Society
Sex campaigns lead to Danish baby boom
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Don't worry Denmark, the world still loves you
Culture
Danish diversity ad a massive social media hit – have you seen it?
National
Denmark scraps green card but spares current holders
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Society
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
National
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
National
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
National
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Travel
The second best destination in all of Europe is...
Sport
We are the champions! Denmark wins world badminton team title
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
National
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
Society
Strangest political story in Denmark just got stranger
International
Keeping Denmark in Europol 'maybe impossible'
Analysis & Opinion
Green card holders tell Denmark to keep its promise
2,307
jobs available