Weekly Highlight: 18.03.2008

Denmark: about crime and immigrants

Danes want foreign criminals deported

A new survey indicates that an overwhelming majority of Danes would like to see more non-Danish residents who have committed crimes expelled from the country, reported public broadcaster DR.
The poll, taken by internet newspaper Altinget, found that 86.6 percent of those questioned were in favour of law changes making it easier to deport criminal foreigners.
Opposition party Social Democrats believe the poll indicates how fed up citizens are with the numerous gangs of young Arab, Pakistani and eastern European immigrants who routinely commit acts of vandalism and assault.
‘People are saying that if foreigners are coming here to commit crimes then they should be sent home, and I understand that,’ said Karen Hækkerup, the party’s spokesperson for legal affairs.
The law allowing for the expulsion of non-Danish residents for criminal acts was passed by a broad majority of parliament in 1997. The laws were stiffened in 2006, including the establishment of the ‘yellow card’, which is basically a final warning given to a foreign criminal indicating their next crime will lead to deportation.
And the prospect of reinforcing the current deportation laws is what Peter Skaarup, chairman of parliament’s legal committee, wants to have looked into as soon as possible by the Integration Ministry.
‘It’s well-known that the Danish People’s Party has always argued that the expulsion penalty should be used,’ said Skaarup.
Skaarup added that he would like to see the law ensure that those deported could not return after a certain number of years, as is currently the case. (RC)


Fertility Law Causes Drop in Egg Cell Donors
Published 16.03.2008, 15.00

The number of egg cell donors has plummeted since a law came into effect which removed the donors’ right to anonymity. The newspaper Helsingin Sanomat says that in some cities, the number of donors has dropped by half.
In September, a new law began requiring that the identities of egg and sperm donors be stored in a registry. Children born through these donations are now allowed access to the registry to track down the donors.
The steepest decline in donors was seen in fertility clinics in Kuopio, Jyväskylä, and parts of the capital city. In other places, like Tampere and Turku, the number of egg donors dropped for a while in the autumn, but has been climbing back up to normal.
Another reason which may be contributing to the decline of donors is the drop in compensation. Before the new law, some clinics paid as much as 600 euros, but now donors can get only 250 euros plus compensation for any expenses incurred.

Netherlands: hmmm, books for decoration purpose?

Bookshop sales rise, people read less
Monday 17 March 2008

Dutch bookshops sold more books, newspapers and magazines in 2007 but people are spending less time reading, the national statistics office CBS said on Monday.
Book shops, which account for some 55% of book sales, saw total turnover rise 2.5% in 2007.


Major heroin seizure revealed
First published: 13 Mar 2008, 12:30

Police and customs officials reported Thursday that they’d made what’s thought to be the largest heroin seizure ever at the border checkpoint at Svinesund.
A 25-year-old man from Serbia was caught in Janaury with 12.5 kilos of heroin stuffed into his car’s gas tank.
“The car was pulled aside for a check, and after a chat with the man, the customs officials decided to check the car in the garage,” Wenche Fredriksen of the Customs Region East told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).
A dog specially trained to sniff out narcotics reacted immediately and indicated the area of the vehicle where the heroin was hidden. It was eventually found in the French-registered car’s gas tank.
An announcement of the seizure was delayed, she said, because police didn’t want the news to jeopardize their investigation.
The man was said to be alone in the car and hasn’t been arrested for narcotics smuggling earlier.
He’s being held in remand custody until his case can be heard in court.


Jobless Swedes lying to unemployment agency
Published: 13 Mar 08 16:34 CET

One in four unemployed Swedes lie to the Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) about having applied for positions recommended to them by the agency.
Overall, nearly 30 percent of employers offering positions through the agency never receive an application from people recommended for the jobs.
Asked as to why they refuse to new job, the unemployed respond that they don’t think the position suits their education or that they see themselves as either under- or over -qualified.
Other reasons for not taking a recommended job include a lengthy commute or high travel costs.
The findings come from a study by the Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation (IFAU) in which they asked employers about people who are recommended for jobs and also end up applying for the position.
IFAU also conducted a number of in-depth interviews with job seekers who decided not to apply for the positions to which the unemployment agency recommended them.
In order to make unemployment insurance legitimate, those who are receiving unemployment benefits must apply for the jobs they are assigned, Anne-Marie Qvarfort, head of the Swedish Unemployment Insurance Board said in a statement.
If a job seeker doesn’t apply for an appropriate position or enroll in a recommended labor market entry program, the Public Employment Service is responsible for informing the Unemployment Insurance Board of the situation.
The Board reviews and then decides if someone has the right to unemployment benefits. If the job seeker doesn’t provide a legitimate reason for why he or she didn’t apply for a position or refused to accept a job offer, the Board can reduce or eliminate that person’s unemployment benefits.
On a more positive note, IFAU’s study also shows that between 13 and 14 percent of those who seek a position recommended to them by the Public Employment Service are also offered a job.

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