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Danish People's Party fears influx of Swedish immigrants

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15:14 CET+01:00
Commerce between Sweden and Denmark has been aided by the Öresund bridge. But the far-right Danish People's Party is concerned that improved communications may make it too easy for Sweden's relatively generous immigration laws to undermine Denmark's more restrictive policy.

The People's Party, currently the third largest in Denmark, is particularly worried about the flow of Iraqis to Sweden, Jyllands-Posten reports.

Sweden took in a total of 1,400 Iraqi citizens in November 2006, whereas just 62 made their way to Denmark in the same period.

The Danish People's Party fears that freedom of residence within the Nordic countries will make it too easy for immigrants with Swedish residency permits to establish themselves in Denmark.

Spokesman Søren Espersen has called for the Nordic agreement on freedom of residence to be repealed if problems develop.

But Social Democratic spokeswoman Lotte Bundsgaard and Liberal integration minister Rikke Hvilshøj found it difficult to understand the Espersen's reasoning.

"Why should large numbers of immigrants who are well integrated in Sweden move to Denmark? I agree with the minister that there are so many good things in Nordic co-operation which we do not want to throw out with the bath water.

"Many Danes have moved to Sweden and work in Denmark, so we use each other"s labour and have freedom of movement," said Bundsgaard.

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