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Denmark's Social Democrats, DF join in criticism of PM over free movement

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Denmark's Social Democrats, DF join in criticism of PM over free movement
Kristian Thulesen Dahl and Mette Frederiksen. Photo: Ólafur Steinar Gestsson/Scanpix
17:54 CEST+02:00
The leaders of the Social Democrats, Denmark's biggest opposition party, and the populist Danish People's Party (DF) want Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen to take measures against free movement within the EU.

Foreign workers are exerting a negative influence on wages and employment conditions in Denmark, a say the leaders of the two parties.

EU nationals claiming social welfare in Denmark as well as people travelling to Denmark to beg are also cited by Social Democrat leader Mette Frederiksen and her DF counterpart Kristian Thulesen Dahl as reasons why free movement should be curbed.

The two are now demanding negotiations with Rasmussen over the issue, reports the Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

An increasing level of cooperation between the two parties, who are traditionally political foes, can now influence Danish policy on the EU, says the report.

READ ALSO: Is a new political alliance forming in Denmark?

“The prime minister must take a lead on the problems with free movement and call for negotiations, so that a Danish offensive on the EU regarding free movement can begin,” Dahl told Jyllands-Posten.

Frederiksen told the newspaper that the issue should be at the top of the government's priorities.

“It's no good this being anything other than a top priority for the government and the prime minister. And it clearly isn't,” the Social Democrat leader said.

Prior to the last election in 2015, Rasmussen himself criticised foreign workers that he dubbed “strawberry pickers” for coming to Denmark, working a small number of weekly hours and sending child support money out of the country.

But the two major parties not in government – the Social Democrats and DF – say that no major movement has been made on the issue since Rasmussen regained the prime minister's office.

Rasmussen told Jyllands-Posten that he rejected the criticism.

“But the challenge is not gaining support for these opinions in Denmark. The challenge is in ensuring enough support in Europe,” the PM said.

“My door is always open to specific suggestions,” he added.

READ ALSO: Danish People's Party to opposition: guarantee no changes on immigration

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