A Danish town has made it mandatory for public institutions such as schools to serve pork, in the latest development of what has become know as the Nordic country’s “meatball war”.
Denmark is home to 5.6 million people and around 13 million pigs. Sales of pork products and live pigs account for more than 5% of the country’s exports and the product is considered integral to nation’s culture by many citizens.
However, due to mass-Muslim immigration and multicultural zeal, at least 30 of the country’s 1,719 daycare institutions have completely banned it or switched to halal, Ekstra Bladet found.
This led former Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt to strongly criticise the nurseries that dropped pork from their menus in 2013, which sparked a national debate.
The town council of Randers in central Denmark has now responded strongly, voting to make the meat “mandatory” for the purposes of upholding Danish culture.
The said they wanted to ensure municipal institutions such as nurseries provided “Danish food culture as a central part of the offering – including serving pork on an equal footing with other foods”.
They also insisted that the aim was not to force anybody to eat anything that “goes against one’s belief or religion”.
“We will ensure that Danish children and youth can have pork in the future,” Randers town councilman Frank Nørgaard told Randers Amtsavis.
“We just want to ensure pork in our institutions for those who want it. This isn’t about a general distrust of our institutions’ leaders, but more and more places around the country are trying to sneak through [policies that say] there shouldn’t be pork served in the institutions,” Mr. Nørgaard added.
The move has been welcomed by the anti mass immigration Danish People’s party (DPP), which said it was “unacceptable to ban Danish food culture”.
“The DPP is working nationally and locally for Danish culture, including Danish food culture, and consequently we also fight against Islamic rules and misguided considerations dictating what Danish children eat,” party spokesman Martin Henriksen wrote on Facebook.
By contrast, a former integration minister from the Danish Social Liberal party, Manu Sareen, accused the Randers politicians of “wanting to impose a forced ideology … in this case on children”.
“It really is incredible what politicians … get involved in,” he wrote on Facebook.
The DPP agreed in November 2013 to abandon a closely fought mayoral campaign in suburban Copenhagen if the incumbent promised to serve more pork meatballs in public canteens, as well as bring back the town’s official Christmas tree.
AFP contributed to this report.