VOX has an article today detailing Denmark’s repulsive plan about how to deal with refugees. The proposal is to allow authorities to “seize jewelry and other personal valuables from refugees.” It’s almost cliche these days to compare some policy or policymaker to Hitler or fascism, but sadly there are some really valid points of comparison in this new Danish proposal.
In the name of funding refugee support, the proposed plan would allow authorities to seize any assets worth more than $440. On the other hand, “Foreigners will always be able to keep assets which are necessary to maintain a modest standard of living, e.g. watches and mobile phones.” Wow, how considerate of them. As for the refugees currently in Denmark, they shouldn’t get too comfortable. The proposal notes that they are fair game too.
In case you weren’t terrified enough, Mia Tang, a spokesperson for the Danish Ministry of Immigration, Integration, and Housing, noted that “Assets which have a certain personal, sentimental value to a foreigner will not, as a main rule, be seized unless they have considerable value.” Unless they have considerable value!! Holy crap people. I’m speechless about the rapaciousness and cruelty of this plan.
One MP made the obvious point that “the idea of seizing wedding rings ‘awakens terrifying historical images.'” Indeed–you wouldn’t think Danes would need a reminder of this, given that the Nazis occupied the country for 5 years during WWII and regularly seized assets from Jewish Danes!
For the poor refugees, the good news is that they made it out of Syria and into Europe. The bad news is that they landed in Denmark. Into the frying pan indeed!
It turns out that beggars can be choosers. Desperate Syrian refugees are flooding into Europe, but not just any European country. They don’t particularly want to stay in Hungary, and Noemi Szecsi, Hungarian writer in a NY Times op-ed says that she can’t blame them. She writes:
“It was mortifying to see refugees hurling themselves on the tracks at a Hungarian railway station — as they did last week when a train they thought was carrying them to Austria was stopped by the police in Hungary to take them to a detention camp. The migrants’ despair was because they didn’t want to be stuck here — in the country where we Hungarians are destined to live our shabby little lives. I have often felt like throwing myself on the tracks at a country railway station — just thinking about being Hungarian. And many of my compatriots have, out of sheer melancholy, successfully executed this act as a train arrived.”
She has harsh commentary on the state of Hungarian politics and notes that the Syrians aren’t suicidal but rather are “hungry for life. Only, they don’t believe they can find that life here.”
She talks about the dysfunction and hypocrisy that are rampant in the political class. Here’s another fine description of this type:
“You’ll find them in the ruin bars of Budapest. These are an institution that could exist only in this country: pubs set up in abandoned buildings and vacant lots of the city’s old Jewish quarter that trade on a faded Austro-Hungarian glory. After a few drinks, when people drop the mask of political correctness they wear for the rest of the week, they quietly team up to express ‘how tired’ they are of the ‘dirty mob’ around the railway stations and loitering downtown.”
Seems like the Syrians were right to want to keep moving.