Saturday, June 03, 2006

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark

"Your uncle?" Horatio said, startled by his friend's words. "Murdered his own brother? I don't believe it."

"You didn't believe in ghosts either," Hamlet said. "But there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. I tell you, something is rotten in the state of Denmark."

It sounds as if Prince Hamlet’s remark about his native kingdom is ringing true, especially in the last decade. Having known Denmark in its society in the last five years, one cannot escape from commenting on the present wealth and health of Danish society and nation. On this blog, we already dealt with the foolishness of cartoon controversy, which was triggered by free speech demagogy by Danish daily Jyllands Posten. In the country where police randomnly stops cars only because of the skin colour of its drivers, one cannot high expectations with regard to human rights. In the country, where asylum under 1951 Refugee convention is as difficult to obtain as now to buy Danish diary products in the United Arab Emirates, human rights are left hanging in the dressing room. Danish politicians say since the respect for human rights is so high, that does not need to ponder about them anymore. Denmark as one of Nordic good Samaritan abroad has a self-image and also international reputation of excellence. Or at least it had such a reputation. One may acquire a refugee on the basis of humanitarian standard and get permission to stay only if one has one of life-threatening diseases. Last year Danish government provided temporary protection to certain individuals who fall outside the definition of the 1951 UN convention and the 1967 protocol and provided protection to approximately 315 persons during the year. So that one can die here in Denmark and not at home. Most of refugees travel rather over the Oresund to Sweden, which only in the last year admitted more than 46.000 of them, either on refugee convention basis or on the humanitarian basis. Another fact is that. Danish governement and its prime minister never apologised for xenophobic cartoons and their aftermath. Beyond daily politics and criticism of few academics, it appears that no one really gives much attention to what is going on with health of Danish society. It appears that majority of people has an excellent living standard and they do not want to bother with miseries of minorities of Danish nation who struggles alongside them.

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