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Outrage at Danish plan to strip refugee jewellery

The Danish government's plan to strip asylum seekers of money and valuables has sparked outrage across the world after an article in a Turkish newspaper, which wrongly claimed the proposal had become law, went massively viral.

Outrage at Danish plan to strip refugee jewellery
Refugees arriving at the Danish port of Rødby received a harsh welcome in September. Photo: Bax Lindhardt/Scanpix
The article in the Daily Sabah newspaper has spurred copycat articles in the Washington Post and the Daily Beast among others, generating a swell of anger an outrage on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. 
 
Salil Tripathi, a prominent Indian journalist and author denounced the proposal as “outrageous”.
 
 

Other commentators likened the move to measures put in place by Nazi Germany. 

 
 
The truth is that the bill in which the controversial proposal is contained was only submitted to parliament on December 10th and will not be debated for the first time in the Danish parliament until the first few weeks of January. 
 
Denmark's weak minority government also failed to win agreement from the other parties in their negotiations ahead of submitting the bill, making it unlikely that it is will make it into law in its present form.
 
The outrage is not entirely misplaced, however, as Denmark's government is indeed proposing to give the police powers to confiscate asylum seekers' valuables. 
 
In the press statement accompanying the submission of the bill to parliament, Denmark's immigration ministry listed the measure as one of twelve points it hoped would form part of the bill. 
 
“If you have sufficient means then you have to pay for yourself,” a ministry employee working on the legal drafting explained to The Local.   
 
“What we propose now is that if you bring money, the police will have the power to search for and take into their possession any valuable assets that the asylum seeker may bring with him or her. They can search clothes and they can search luggage.” 
 
In the draft law, personal belongings such as watches and mobiles phones would be exempt from seizure, as would up to 3000 Danish kroner ($435) in cash. 
 
Articles of “special personal meaning” would only be seized if they were “of sufficient value”. 
 
The plan to confiscate valuables is not the only harsh measure in the new law, which aims to make Denmark's asylum law — already one of the least generous and most draconian in Europe — even tougher. 
 
The country has very successfully sidestepped the refugee crisis that has hit its neighbour Sweden by doing everything possible to make itself unappealing to refugees. 
 
In September, for example, its government went so far as to publish an advert in Lebanese newspapers informing would-be asylum seekers of its tough new regime. 
 
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Four websites and apps for buying and selling second hand in Denmark

What's the best place to pick up vintage clothes, a coffee table or a bicycle at a bargain second-hand price online in Denmark? Here are four options.

Four websites and apps for buying and selling second hand in Denmark

With no Danish edition of eBay, there’s not a single platform which dominates the market when it comes to finding second-hand items or selling on things to a new home.

The four apps and websites listed below can all be used to buy second-hand items and list your own for sale. Some might be more suited for specific purposes or types of item than others.

Reshopper

If you’re looking for a baby jogger, jumpsuit (flyvedragt) or Peppa Pig toys, this is probably your best option. The Reshopper app includes listings by a good number of private sellers and can be sorted by location, meaning it’s often possible to find what you need locally. Some sellers offer postage and in some cases you might need to collect the item in person. If you’re lucky, the seller can drop off the item.

Prices are reasonable – I would say they are more than competitive compared to increasingly expensive charity and second-hand shops, particularly in the Copenhagen area.

Sellers can choose whether to offer shipping and have payment processed through the app, in other cases payment is arranged between the buyer and seller. A messaging function allows arrangements to be made.

There are “Mom” and “Home” sections on the app, but it’s for baby and kids’ wares that Reshopper really comes into its own.

I managed to pick up a baby jogger for 450 kroner from a private seller on the app a couple of years ago. I’ve used it frequently since and it has certainly proved worth the money, only needing a couple of new inner tubes during that time.

In addition to downloading the app, I’d recommend following Reshopper on Instagram. They have recently started opening pop-up stores where you can find great deals on clothing, toys and equipment for kids. This is not restricted to used items – you might find new products that have been discarded because they are from previous seasons or have been returned to manufacturers.

Den Blå Avis (DBA)

The legacy option for buying second-hand, DBA started life as a classified ads paper many years ago and can now be browsed as an app or website.

You can find anything on DBA, from sofas to PC components to cars. I bought my car through an ad on the site and, like my baby jogger, I’m happy to say it’s been one of my better purchases and is still going strong two years down the line.

DBA is probably the closest equivalent Denmark has to eBay but should be used with caution because it doesn’t offer the same level of protection to buyers. Many sales still involve transferring money directly to sellers (often using the MobilePay payment app) and trusting them to ship the item. This might go well most of the time but there are scammers out there.

One way to protect yourself is to make sure you only buy from sellers who have verified themselves using Denmark’s MitID digital ID system, a function DBA introduced in recent years.

Unlike eBay, you don’t enter auctions for items on DBA but you can send messages to sellers whose items interest you.

Facebook Marketplace

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably come across the Marketplace platform. Now popular in many countries including Denmark, Marketplace has challenged and arguably overtaken DBA as the spot most people sell their unwanted items.

Because it’s populated with sellers keen to shift their goods – and possibly less concerned about the price they receive for them – it can be a good place to pick up a bargain. This is something which is harder to come by than it used to be in physical second-hand stores.

Marketplace can be found on the Facebook app or via this link.

Trendsales

As the name suggests, Trendsales is a clothing-focused platform and is in fact the largest Danish marketplace for used clothing as well as lifestyle items.

You’ll find all sorts of clothing there – it’s not limited to designer or fashion items, so you should be able to pick up a comfortable hoodie from H&M or look for a vintage t-shirt and be in luck.

The interface is easy on the eye and user-friendly, and the prices often surprisingly reasonable. Sellers can choose delivery options and may or may not accept in-person collection.

READ ALSO: How to save money as a student in Denmark

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