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Denmark offers sharp barbed wire to Lithuania for anti-migration fence

Fifteen kilometers of barbed wire. This is Denmark’s generous gift to Lithuania: an admittedly modest contribution to the scale of the 500 kilometers of fence that the Baltic State is installing on its border with Belarus, to prevent migrants from entering its territory. territory. But a symbolic contribution from the Scandinavian kingdom, whose Social Democratic Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, in office since 2019, has set itself the goal of achieving “Zero asylum seekers”.

On September 28, his immigration minister, Mattias Tesfaye – himself the son of an Ethiopian refugee – traveled to Lithuania to meet with the interior minister, Agne Bilotaite. He took the opportunity to go and inspect the fence. The barbed wire sent by Denmark is not a classic wire, but a special, accordion-type model, covered with razor-like blades, which can cause fatal injuries.

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In 2015, these are the same barbed wire that Viktor Orban’s Hungary hastily deployed against Serbia: an anti-immigrant wall then strongly criticized in Europe. Six years later, Mattias Tesfaye said on TV2 that the criticism against Budapest was “Not correct” and that, facing “Uncontrolled immigration”, the fence was a solution “Common sense”. In passing, the Danish minister thanked Vilnius for his efforts to “Protect the borders of Europe and NATO”.

Indignation of NGOs

Mattias Tesfaye is not his first coup. It is at his request that the immigration services have suspended the residence permits of several hundred Syrian refugees in recent months. He is also at the origin of the bill, voted in Parliament in June, which should allow Copenhagen to externalize asylum in third countries, outside of Europe – Rwanda being the favorite.

In Denmark, its support for the construction of the Lithuanian wall aroused the outrage of NGOs. Amnesty International has accused the Danish government of showing “Denial of reality” in the face of the current migration crisis. The daily left Politiken denounced, for his part, the cynicism of Denmark, which “Send 15 km of barbed wire”, when “The trapped migrants die in the forest”.

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Within the ranks of the center-left majority, however, opinions diverge. While the Unit List (red and green) said “Deeply dismayed”, the social-liberal party defends the principle of a wall on the borders of Europe: “We cannot accommodate all the people from the Middle East and Africa who want to come here”, said Andreas Steenberg, one of the party officials.

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