23 January 2016

Language Requirement in Denmark's Bar Lauded

One way to stem the tide of migrants who knows nothing better than to put pressure on a country's social welfare system even if they are able-bodied males of fighting age is to ban immediately those who don't know how to speak in the native tongue.

Governments could learn more from a single bar Danish nightclub that imposed the language requirements on all their clients.

The Buddy Holly nightclub in the southern town of Sonderborg has hit the news after requiring customers to speak either Danish, English or German after women in several Danish towns hosting refugees complained of being harassed by asylum seekers.

While the club first introduced its language rule in 1997 - long before the current wave of migration to Europe - tensions over the migrant crisis have brought the issue back to the fore.

Club owner Tom Holden, says he never intended to play into the hands of xenophobes, citing practical reasons instead for the policy.

"The product we are offering - 'a happy evening in a safe environment' - requires our staff to be able to talk to the patrons," Holden told AFP.

Not being able to communicate with "large groups of customers" created feelings of "insecurity," he added.

Holden says the club has been implementing the policy since 1997 - long before Europe's worst migrant crisis since World War II.

The idea then, he says, was to stop groups of people who arrive in the town's harbor from eastern Europe and Russia from entering the bar.

The migrant crisis, which last year saw over a million people reach Europe's shores, has sharply polarized public opinion in many EU states.

While a few people take a liberal stance on resettling refugees, majority favor imposing greater restrictions, especially migrant men who are too coward to fight oppression in their home countries.

Distrust of migrants has grown especially after it emerged that hundreds of women were groped and robbed in a throng of mostly Arab and North African men during New Year's festivities in Cologne, Germany.

A Danish bar and nightclub industry group recently reported a rise in the number of complaints from its 1,500 members over the behavior of non-Danish customers.