01:50 GMT +315 October 2019
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    Denmark's Minister of Immigration and Integration Inger Stojberg listen to the debate in the Danish Parliament in Copenhagen (File)

    'Shake Hands or Leave Country': New Citizenship Law Approved in Denmark

    © AP Photo / Mathias Lovgreen Bojesen / Scanpix Denmark
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    Since the beginning of the European migration crisis, Denmark has been creating anti-immigrant measures, aimed at curbing the flow of illegal refugees into the country, which is considered one of the top recipients of migrants in Europe.

    A new law, which requires anyone, who takes Danish citizenship, to shake hands at the naturalisation ceremony was approved on December 20. According to the New York Times (NYT), citing Danish lawmakers, the new ruling is aimed at Muslims as some of them refuse to touch members of the opposite sex on religious grounds.

    The law, which is to come in force on January 1, was a reaction of "Muslim immigration to Denmark over a long time", the New York Times reports, referencing Martin Henriksen, a Danish lawmaker and a People's Party's spokesman on immigration.

    READ MORE: Denmark Sees Organized Crime Wave Amid Influx of Georgian Asylum Seekers

    "If you arrive in Denmark, where it's custom to shake hands when you greet, if you don't do it it's disrespectful. If one can't do something that simple and straightforward, there's no reason to become a Danish citizen", the NYT cites Martin Henriksen as saying.

    The handshake requirement includes a provision, according to which the wearing of the gloves during the naturalization ceremony is unacceptable.

    Inger Stojberg, who is Denmark's Integration minister, while commenting on the law, said that a handshake is "visible sign that you've taken Denmark to heart", highlighting that those Danish municipalities that do not abide by the handshake law, will face fines, according to the NYT.

    Earlier the Danish government approved the 2019 budget, which included a plan to send migrant criminals to a secluded uninhabited island 80 kilometres south of Copenhagen called Lindholm.

    Denmark, which has so far received more than 35,000 refugees is struggling to assimilate them. In October 2018, Denmark withdrew from UN quota system because of the problems it faced with the integration of those migrants that it had already taken in.

    READ MORE: Denmark Says Video of Two Scandinavian Women Butchered by 'Daesh' Is Authentic

    "We're still in a situation where we're struggling to integrate the many refugees who have come to Denmark in recent years. While an increasing number of refugees have entered the labour market, there are still too many who cannot support themselves", the Local DK cites Inger Stojberg as saying.


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