The Danish Immigration Minister Birthe Roenn Hornbech has been fired after her department wrongly refused citizenship to three dozen stateless Palestinian youths.
Hornbech, 67, confessed that she knew her ministry had violated a UN convention in 2008 but did not to report the matter to the Danish Parliament until 2010.
Under the UN convention on stateless persons from 1961 (to which Denmark is a signatory), stateless children born in a country have the right to citizenship there prior their 21st birthday.
Right after Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen announced his decision to sack Hornbech, a second female government official, Education Minister Tina Nedergaard, said she resigned for “personal reasons.”
Both women are members of Rasmussen's Liberal party – and new elections are scheduled by November.
Hornbech will be replaced by Development Cooperation Minister Soeren Pind.
Rasmussen said that the 36 stateless persons were mistakenly been denied Danish nationality and that parliament should have been informed at an earlier point.
The Prime Minister said separately that he will establish an independent inquiry into the immigration ministry’s treatment of the stateless Palestinians.
The coalition Liberal-Conservative government has been slashing immigration and tightening citizenship since it came to power a decade ago. Moreover, it has relief on the support of the extreme right wing, anti-immigrant Danish People's Party to remain in