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‘Holiday home in Jutland? Nej, baby’

London mayor Boris Johnson has cited Denmark's power to block foreigners from buying property as proof the EU could allow the UK to delay benefits to EU immigrants for four years.

'Holiday home in Jutland? Nej, baby'
London mayor Boris Johnson asks why, if the Danes can make other EU nationals wait why can't the UK? Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Snowmanradio
In an article in the the Daily Telegraph on Monday morning titled, “If Denmark can treat foreigners differently, then so can Britain,” the prime-ministerial hopeful noted that no one in Europe seemed to care that Danes can happily snap up property in London, while Brits are barred from buying in Denmark.
 
“Everyone understands why the Danes want it that way” he writes. “One way or another the Danes don’t want the Germans buying up bits of Jutland. They want those villages to be Danish; they like to see red and white Danish flags flying above the clapboard homes.” 
 
“No one makes a fuss,” he writes. “No one blames the Danes or says it is the end of the EU.” 
 
Why then, he argues, can Britain not be given a similar opt out from free movement rules allowing it to delay giving foreigners benefits?
 
Johnson’s article came after several British newspapers  wrote on Sunday that David Cameron, the British prime minister,  was planning to abandon his demand on benefits, following opposition from the European Commission and from other EU countries, who argue it violates the principle of free movement. 
 
He argued that the Danish rule – negotiated as a condition of its joining the EU in 1973 – was a sign that there could be exceptions to the seemingly inflexible principle. 
 
“We are assured by the pontifical authorities in Brussels…that if there is…any genuflection to national peculiarity, no matter how trivial, the whole edifice of European law will come crashing down with devastating and unimaginable consequences,” Johnson writes.  “That is what Brussels tells us; and as so often the Euro-priests are talking tripe.”
 
 
 
 

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POLITICS

Denmark’s Social Democrats in worst opinion poll since 2015

Amid criticism over the government’s plan to abolish the Great Prayer Day holiday, Denmark’s biggest party the Social Democrats has received its worst opinion poll result for eight years.

Denmark’s Social Democrats in worst opinion poll since 2015

The poll, publish on Monday by institute Voxmeter on behalf of news wire Ritzau, places the Social Democrats on 22.8 points. That is some 4.7 points less than the party’s vote share at the election on November 1st.

The Social Democrats took 50 of parliament’s 179 seats at the election, making them comfortably the largest party in parliament. That number would be cut to 40 seats with Monday’s poll numbers.

The opinion poll result is meanwhile the lowest the party has had since January 2015, when it was in government under former leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

The poll carries a statistic uncertainty level of 2.6 percent.

The two other parties in the coalition government, the centrist Moderates and centre-right Liberal (Venstre) party, also suffer in the poll but to a lesser degree.

The Liberals have 11.5 percent or 20 seats according to the poll, with the Moderates at 8 percent or 14 seats.

The three parties have a combined 89 seats in parliament, but the poll would reduce them to 74 seats and mean they would no longer have the basis for a majority government.

A key challenge for the government currently is its unpopular plan to abolish the Great Prayer Day (Store Bededag) public holiday, in a move it says will enable increased spending in defence to meet Nato targets ahead of the current schedule.

The policy has met with criticism from trade unionsthe church and opposition parties, while the military itself has also distanced itself from the plan.

READ ALSO: Danish economists say abolition of Great Prayer Day is ‘not necessary’

As of Monday, a petition against scrapping the holiday had been signed just under 450,000 times.

A demonstration against the government’s bill to abolish the holiday is planned to take place next Sunday in Copenhagen.

While the government has seen poll numbers suffer, opposition parties have made headway.

The centre-left Socialist People’s Party (SF) is now at 13.5 percent after going into opposition after the election. That makes SF the second-largest party in Denmark according to the poll.

Libertarian party Liberal Alliance moves up to 10.6 percent, almost 3 points more than its election result.

The far-right Nye Borgerlige party falls to 2.5 percent following an internal power struggle.

The poll is based on responses from 1004 representative voters aged 18 or over.

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