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News in English
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Prime Minister shocked at Odense case

The prime minister lends support to controversial statements that thugs should go back where they came from.

News in English
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The prime minister has condemned the group of 70-odd men who forced their way into a hospital emergency ward, seemingly wanting to finish the job on a man who had previously been knifed and shot.

“What we have seen in Odense were very violent, almost grotesque scenes. Absurd and threatening behaviour towards both staff and patients. In my view serious criminal behaviour,” Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt tells a news conference.

Monday’s night’s attack caused Trine Bramsen, the Social Democratic chairwoman of the parliamentary Foreigner and Integration Policy Committee to suggest to those responsible to consider whether they want to be members of Danish society or “go home to their native country”. She added that “If they want to go out and fight with clubs, there are places in the world where you can fight with clubs”.

The prime minister lent her support to her party colleague, whose statements have been criticised by Social Democrats and Social Liberals alike.

“I can fully understand the thought when you see such violent behaviour. Sometimes you see that sort of thing and you think that is not compatible with the way we do things in Denmark. Irrespective of whether it is ethnic Danes or Danes with immigrant roots. So I can understand you can get the sort of thought that the chairman of the Integration Committee had,” Thorning says.

The Liberals have suggested that the government is responsible for the violent unrest in Odense, but the prime minister rebuffs the allegation.

“It is an integration problem that has not been addressed for many, many years. I have noted today that both (Ed: former Liberal prime minister) Lars Løkke Rasmussen and (Ed: former Liberal development aid minister) Søren Pind say that it is the government’s fault. If it wasn’t so serious, it would be laughable. Those who have done this are young and were small children when the previous (Ed: centre-right) government took power,” the prime minister says.

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Edited by Julian Isherwood

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