A Dutch political satire show has taken aim at the European migrant crisis, airing a short commercial telling would-be refugees to go to neighbouring Denmark instead.
Noting the popularity of the Netherlands among refugees, the short takes aim at the habit of foreigners to confuse the Dutch and the Danes, the poor state of Middle-Eastern football and newly strict immigration laws being enacted in Denmark.
The short begins: “This is a message for everyone who wants to seek refuge in the Netherlands. Do not come to the Netherlands. We will not let you in.
“The refugee crisis has led to a division in our country. Because of this, we cannot guarantee the safety of refugees any longer, so to anyone coming our way we have one clear message. Try Denmark!”.
The video also plays up Denmark’s cultural links to the Muslim world, joking that Mohammed was born just outside of Copenhagen – as evidenced by the first known pictures of him having been found in the city. The drawings to which it refers, of course, are the infamous Jyllands-Posten Mohammed cartoons that sparked Islamist rage worldwide which culminated in a number of deaths and the burning of the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Syria in 2006.
Watch: Try Denmark!
Despite the cheery description of Denmark as a land of Lego-houses, unintelligible crime dramas and bicycles, the new right-wing government is taking serious action to curb the number of migrants who come to the nation. Immigration and integration minister Inger Støjberg has recently legislated to cut benefits to new migrants, with small increases if they learn Danish. Today, she announced the new ‘integration benefit’ which replaced the old unemployment benefit would be extended to migrants who had already arrived in the country if they still hadn’t found work.
Back in July the Danish government moved to take out advertisements in foreign newspapers telling migrants about the change, and warning them to stay away. Reflecting on the impact of the campaign, Ms. Støjberg said: “The ads will contain factual information on the halving of benefits as well as other restrictions that we will be enacting. That kind of information spreads very quickly”.
She might very well hope now the Dutch satirists haven’t undone all of her hard work.