'1 out of 4 break-ins in Danish homes committed by East Europeans’
Danish People's Party (DPP) politician Peter Kofod Poulsen has created a website for people to complain about Eastern Europeans, including their contribution to the crime rate. On the website called 'Meld en Østeuropæer', meaning "Report an Eastern Europeans", the 23-year-old politician, who is also running for parliament, said he wanted to hear from anyone whose home had been burgled by Eastern Europeans, who had lost their job to "an underpaid Eastern European", who felt insecure, or had been "bothered in other ways" by those people. The website claims that Eastern Europeans commit 27.4 percent of burglaries in Denmark.
The website provoked a surge of criticism, calling it racist. A parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Alliance party, Danny Malkowski, launched his own "Report a Racist" website, “Meld en racist”, in response, while PR consultant Frej Elbaek Eriksen suggested people use Poulsen's website to share stories of "particularly friendly Eastern Europeans.”
The appearance of the website goes along with the anti-immigrant mood that has been on the rise in Europe. The popularity of political parties standing against immigration is steadily growing. Last week’s Swedish parliamentary elections marked not only a shift of power but also illustrated the growing support for the far-right Sweden Democrats. The party came third, doubling its previous results and gaining around 50 seats in the Parliament.
The same tendency has been seen in Denmark, where more than one in four Danes voted for the DPP in this year's EU election, making it the largest Danish party in the European Parliament. DDP is sometimes described it as “right-wing populist” by some political experts and commentators and “far-right” by the mass-media. The party's goals are to protect the freedom and cultural heritage of the Danish people, to prevent Denmark from becoming a multi-ethnic society by limiting immigration and promoting cultural assimilation of admitted immigrants.
RT:Why have you decided to create such a website?
Peter Kofod Poulsen: Actually it is because of the distance between regular Danes and our parliamentarians in Copenhagen. [There is] a huge problem that we haven’t really got a real border control in this country that [leads to] a lot of consequences. For example, one out of four breakings in to private homes last year was made by eastern Europeans without any connection to Denmark. I see that as a huge problem.
RT:What's the difference between criminals from Eastern Europe and local ones?
PP: The Danish criminals – that’s the Danish society’s problem, and we will handle that. But I see the problem in that one out of four break-ins are made by people who have absolutely no connection to Denmark. That’s a huge problem that you are allowed to get in, break in to private homes and then just leave again. I don’t think that’s fair for regular people.
RT:Many Europeans admit there's a problem with immigration policies, but warn not to use a radical approach to solve it. How could your idea help?
PP: First of all, I don’t see this as radical at all. I have absolutely no problem with people coming to Denmark, to work and pay taxes. I don’t see a lot of eastern Europeans as problems, they are welcome. But I see criminal gangs from Eastern Europe in Denmark as a huge problem, and that’s why I created this website. So regular folks like myself can go to this website and give the story of their life, and hopefully that would influence Danish politicians.
RT:How do you know whether the stories people send you are real?
PP: I don’t know, and that’s why the stories that will go public will be made anonymous, so nobody can see where it comes from or who it is about. I don’t want to create a platform of hate, of course not, that would be crazy. So instead I anonymize all stories…This is not a home page made to spread hate and racism at all.
RT:What happens after somebody shares a story on your website, are there any legal steps taken?
PP: Actually I have said on my website that if anything is criminal people should report it to police, not to me, because we have a state with a great police, so if anything is criminal – they should report it. But all stories that I get and go public with will be anonymous.
RT:How many people have already complained of attacks?
PP: This morning I had about 2,000 emails but I haven’t finished going through all the email so I don’t really have a number. Some of the emails would probably be spam and some of the emails would be about people think it’s a bad idea. Not all the stories will be actual stories.
RT:Do you think your idea will find support in other European countries?
PP: It’s already a kind of have because in the Netherlands some years ago a party created a website like my website, so it has been actually done before.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.