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Danish politician stakes claim to Swedish territory

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Danish politician stakes claim to Swedish territory
13:11 CET+01:00
A Danish politician has staked a claim to the Swedish provinces of Skåne, Blekinge and Halland. Sören Krarup, a member of the Danish People's Party, argues that the provinces should be returned to Denmark after 350 years of Swedish rule.

Krarup argues, in an interview with Danish news agency Ritzau, that Denmark's current borders are not "natural". He goes on to claim that large numbers of the population of southern Sweden would elect to become Danish citizens.

When questioned as to where Denmark's natural border would reach, Krarup replied:

"It extends as far as there is a Danish majority."

Krarup bases his claim on the "historical maltreatment" of Denmark and claims that "horrible terror" methods have been applied to force residents of southern Sweden to become more Swedish.

Dagens Nyheter reports that Krarup has since toned down his stance and he concedes that although it is regrettable that the Swedish provinces were taken from Denmark in the seventeenth century, it can't be changed now.

Krarup's territorial ambitions are mainly focused on the Swedish county of Skåne but also extend in another direction from Denmark, to Germany and South Schleswig.

A referendum was held in 1920 which resulted in the division of Schleswig and gave the south to Germany and the north to Denmark. Krarup questions the legitimacy of the referendum as only those born in the province were eligible to vote. According to Krarup this led to Germans traveling in from all over the country to vote.

Krarup is reportedly unwilling to apply the same reasoning to Kosovo and rejects comparisons with the Albanian majority's claims of independence from Serbia with the historically Danish territory of Schleswig. Albanian domination in Kosovo is due only to immigration and high birth rates he points out.

Halland became part of Sweden in 1645 following peace at Brömsebro; Skåne and Blekinge were under Danish control until 1658. The provinces had been part of Denmark for over 600 years and many residents refused to accept their new Swedish rulers. Guerillas known as Snapphanarna, who had fought on the Danish side in the war, continued to fight against their Swedish conquerors.

The Danish People's Party (Danish: Dansk Folkeparti) is a social conservative, nationalist political party in Denmark. In the 2007 parliamentary election, it took 25 seats in the 179-member Folketinget, with 13.8% of the vote. It is the third largest party in Denmark.

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