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State minister calls for Denmark holiday boycott

The Local · 5 Jul 2011, 08:00

Published: 05 Jul 2011 08:00 GMT+02:00

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Europe Minister and deputy premier in the state of Hesse, Jörg-Uwe Hahn, told daily Bild's Tuesday edition that people should “vote with their feet” to show their disapproval of the Danish government’s policy, which many critics say breaches the Schengen Agreement allowing passport-free travel within most of Europe.

Denmark is set to hold its first customs checks at its land borders with Germany and Sweden on Tuesday morning.

“If Denmark reintroduces border controls in the holiday period, I can only advise doing a U-turn and taking a holiday rather in Austria or Poland,” said Hahn, a member of the liberal Free Democratic Party.

This would constitute a “vote with the feet by which you would be able to show the Danish government what you think of their policy.”

The Danish government is reintroducing the customs checks ostensibly to prevent the smuggling of drugs and weapons into its territory. The decision by the minority government was prompted by the far-right populist DVP party. The EU and the country’s neighbours have argued they will impinge on the freedom of movement within the visa-free Schengen area.

Danish officials have played down the impact of the border checks, saying they would not hinder traffic and trade.

“The vast majority of travellers won’t notice the checks. We welcome German holidaymakers,” said Peter Christensen, the Danish minister responsible for customs and taxation, last week.

Story continues below…

Starting Tuesday morning, 30 customs agents on the German border and 20 officers at Swedish crossings will stop vehicles to search for drugs, weapons and illegal sums of money. Next year the number of agents will increase and Denmark will install electronic scanning equipment and build new customs houses along major road and rail routes.

The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:34 July 5, 2011 by Englishted
So that is it a member of the F.D.P. quoting Leon Trotsky

" Vote with your feet".

Just think if they got real power what a laugh that would be.
08:41 July 5, 2011 by LiberalGuy
I'm not missing Legoland because of some over blown media media story.
08:48 July 5, 2011 by pepsionice
The bulk of this travel issue for Germans is Saturday travel. If you rent a summer home....it runs from Saturday to Saturday in Denmark (I know because I've done it three times). If the Danes were to pick one of each twenty cars passing the border, then I don't think it'd bother anyone. If they did the customs check on every single car, then it'd create a massive headache. I doubt if the Danes even have enough customs officers to run the operation more than eight hours a day.
09:15 July 5, 2011 by auniquecorn
I bet if they did a poll on how many customs personnel each country had, Germany would smoke everyones buts.
09:27 July 5, 2011 by freechoice
why is nobody looking into the allegations of drugs, weapons and illegal sums of money flowing out of Germany into Denmark?
09:55 July 5, 2011 by ame64
Good for you Denmark. Great idea.

Germany should slowly stop playing the moral apostle. If you have nothing to hide then there nothing to worry about crossing the border.
09:58 July 5, 2011 by The-ex-pat
09:15 July 5, 2011 by auniquecorn

I bet if they did a poll on how many customs personnel each country had, Germany would smoke everyones buts..................................Makes you wonder what these people are doing. When ever I fly in and out of Germany, it would seem an awful lot of nothing.

Also the Schengen Agreement, it has always struck me as a smugglers dream. I have done it myself. I have no idea how many coffee pads you can import to Germany from Holland, but you may have managed to squeeze one more behind the sun visor......lol
10:19 July 5, 2011 by cobalisk
The Schengen Agreement is landmark decision and as an auslander having traveled to many places I appreciate the ease of travel in europe.

What Denmark is doing violates the agreement and makes for adversarial borders. It reminds me of crossing between the US and Canada, what used to be a friendly chat and check metastisized into a confrontational, detention based system.

I like Denmark, but this is wrong and is going in the opposite direction. Soon it will reveal lots of money spent and little benefit gained.
10:34 July 5, 2011 by Anti EU
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
10:46 July 5, 2011 by harcourt
I don't think it will work. - With all the troubles of the last ten years, Scandinavia was perceived by the Germans as the last "safe " place to go for a holiday abroad !
11:23 July 5, 2011 by moistvelvet
I have to show my passport when I fly out and into Germany from other signatories of the Schengen agreement, hypocrites, the Germans don't like it up em, they don't like it up em.
13:25 July 5, 2011 by crm114

"The Schengen Agreement is landmark decision and as an auslander having traveled to many places I appreciate the ease of travel in europe."

you can rest assured that criminals and illegal immigrants also appreciate this ease of travel.

"What Denmark is doing violates the agreement ...."

No it does not, THE SCHENGEN ACQUIS Article 2.2 allows the Danes to do exactly this.
13:29 July 5, 2011 by SamiamFan
Germany does the same type of drug checks on the Dutch border
14:33 July 5, 2011 by lunchbreak
What's all the hubbub? The Danes are only protecting themselves and reacting to the obvious threats that the german government finds it impolitic to recognize. If I were Danish I would feel as if the new customs controls were a good first step.
17:26 July 5, 2011 by Englishted
If the F.P.D. has it's way there will be no need of a boycott as nobody will earn enough for a holiday.
17:50 July 5, 2011 by MJMH
Funny how Denmark is the nation of firsts. The first nation to prohibit slavery, the first nation to recognize illegitimate children as heirs, the first nation to give gays the right to legal relationships, and now the first nation in Europe to stand up to the EU.

In reality though this is backlash against what happened with the Muhammad cartoons much the same way 9/11 tightened the American borders and ended passport free travel in North America. Danes realize their style of freedom was under fire from abroad. Germany and Germans need to realize that.

And true it is probably only the first step not only in Denmark but other European nations as well.
18:31 July 5, 2011 by Pep1987
Well, there is only one Reality and I will tell you what reality is: i'm Portuguese and this morning a member of my family that is a salesman of agriculture machine's was heading to Denmark from Germany by car to close a deal with a danish costumer...so far no problems crossing the borders but today he was stopped in the danish border and ordered to turn back to Germany....Why this happened?.....

The "custom police" said to my uncle that because Portugal has economic problems they had orders to, if they spotted a Portuguese national crossing the border they would "invite" him to turn back and refuse the entrance in Denmark in order to prevent massive portuguese immigration....IS EVERYONE IN DENMARK INSANE??? Oh....wait....maybe it's because my uncle don't have blonde hair or blue eyes.... :-(
20:33 July 5, 2011 by 9900lawre
Article blah blah blah can go swivel, Denmark has the balls to take action on immigration.

Denmark isn't doing it to be aqward, it's doing it to detect the immigrants that it's neigbours are letting in. Have a dig at others or moan and compare all you like but it realy is as black & white as controling immigration.
21:30 July 5, 2011 by bla bla bla
It is such a shame to hear Pep1987's story.

Denmark's survival is based on free trade policies and agreements which enforced on world by the rich countries' club.

Let the pooer countries eat cake.
22:35 July 5, 2011 by crm114
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
13:38 July 7, 2011 by wenddiver
When the rest of europe is as clean, efficient and nice to visit as Denmark we should all get together and criticize the Danes. Right now we would look silly.
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