Denmark | Denmark Closes Its Doors to Refugees
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Denmark Closes Its Doors to Refugees
In 2001, the dominant Social-Democrat Party lost to Anders Fogh Rasmussen of the center-right Liberal Party, which formed a coalition with the Conservative Party. Prime Minister Fogh Rasmussen, author of From Socialist to Minimalist State, is a strong proponent of privatization, deregulation, and limited government. Immigration to Denmark fell dramatically in 2002, after Fogh Rasmussen instituted Europe's most restrictive laws for asylum seekers. Because of Denmark's social welfare benefits, the country had become a much-sought-after haven for refugees. In Feb. 2005, Fogh Rasmussen won a second term as prime minister.
In Feb. 2006, the publication of political cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad set off a series of outraged demonstrations and riots in a number of Muslim countries. At least a dozen died in the protests.
Fogh Rasmussen was narrowly elected to a third term in early elections in Nov. 2007. Rasmussen's close win forced him to broaden his coalition government to include the recently formed pro-immigration party, New Alliance.