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Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday

Find out what's going on in Denmark today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday
A section of a past Danish citizenship test. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Prime minister to face questions over response to mink Covid-19 outbreak

The fall-out from the culling of all fur farm minks in Denmark is not going away any time soon for the government.

Following reports yesterday that the health minister knew about coronavirus mutations in minks and their potential threat to future vaccines in September – weeks before the government informed the public – Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is set to face renewed questions over the course of events today.

READ ALSO:

Frederiksen will respond to questions from leaders of opposition parties, who have made an emergency request demanding further explanation from the PM. At the core of the criticism raining down on the government is the illegal directive issued on November 4th to cull healthy minks outside of defined risk zones.

Danish citizenship test takes place today

Today is a big day for many hoping to become Danish nationals, with the country’s citizenship test taking place across the land, this year with the added challenge of complying with Covid-19 restrictions.

The test, held twice annually, consists of 40 multiple choice questions on Danish culture, history and society. The pass mark is 32.

I took the test myself two years ago (although I haven’t applied for citizenship yet). You can read how it went for me here. If you’d prefer to have a go at some of the questions yourself, try our quiz based on previous years’ tests.

Released holiday money gives jump in retail sales

At the end of September, the government announced it was releasing three weeks of ‘frozen holiday money’ (feriepenge), a monthly contribution paid by wage earners into a special fund.

Subsequently, October saw a hefty jump in retail sales, notably of consumer products including shoes and clothes, Ritzau reports.

Retail sales increased 8.2 percent between September and October, the second-biggest ever jump recorded between months. The biggest was recorded in post-lockdown month May 2020.

The holiday money can still be claimed until December 1st – find out how and whether you are eligible here.

News wire refuses to pay ransom after cyber attack

Danish news wire Ritzau was targeted in what it has described as a “comprehensive” cyber attack on Tuesday. Hackers have demanded a ransom to release data taken in the attack, but Ritzau’s CEO Lars Vesterløkke has said no money would be paid, the company reported via the temporary news service through which it is currently operating.

People who live near wind turbines to be offered increased compensation

A parliamentary majority has agreed to increased financial bonuses that are offered to people who live near wind turbines – a common sight in the Danish countryside.

The increased cash benefit is an attempt to reduce local opposition to new wind and solar power farms, DR reports.

Danish vocabulary:

  • Indfødsretsprøve: Citizenship test
  • Folketingssalen: the parliamentary chamber
  • Hackerangreb: hacker attack, cyber attack

 

 

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

NemID crashes, sunshine and summery weather, and Ukraine's EU candidacy are among the top news stories in Denmark this Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

NemID on the fritz for second day 

About a third of NemID users have been shut out of the platform for the past two days, broadcaster DR reports. That’s left them unable to access digital government services like SKAT’s tax portal and the citizen portal borger.dk as well as personal bank accounts online.  

Some users have also struggled to log in to MitID, which is set to replace NemID as the decade-old platform is phased out. 

Nets, the company behind NemID, attributes the outages to problems changing to a new server and couldn’t offer a timeline for when the problems would be resolved. 

“NemID has become part of our public infrastructure, so it’s as important as getting electricity out of the socket and water out of the tap,” Jan Pries Heje, a professor of IT and digitalisation at Roskilde University, told DR. 

READ ALSO: How non-Danish passport holders can switch from NemID to MitID 

Sunshine and summery weather

Yesterday’s warmth and sun will continue today, with few clouds in the sky and a high of 27 degrees. 

Fancy a dip? Check out last year’s list of ‘perfect swim spots.’ 

READ ALSO: These are Denmark’s 13 new perfect swim spots

Ukraine and Moldova approved as candidates for EU membership 

As of yesterday evening, Ukraine and Moldova cleared a significant hurdle to EU membership after a unanimous vote to approve their candidacy. It’s an extraordinarily quick progression in a process that usually takes years. 

The vote should be a source of encouragement for Ukrainians, Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen said. “It is a signal to all the Ukrainian people and not least to those who are fighting on the front lines right now,” she said. 

Ukraine will have to convince member states the country has made sufficient progress in combatting corruption within the government and establishing the rule of law to make it to the finish line, though. 

Germany elevates gas supply chain issues to ’emergency’ status 

Our neighbor to the south has raised the level of alert for gas shortage to ’emergency,’ phase 2 of the EU system used to flag energy shortages. 

Germany had been in phase 1 — “early warning” — since March, newswire Ritzau reports. Denmark declared an early warning for its own gas supply this week. 

Direct government intervention — for instance, shutting off gas for certain non-essential companies — doesn’t come until phase 3. 

READ ALSO: What does Denmark’s ‘energy early warning’ mean for businesses and individuals? 

Danish frigate to join NATO fleet 

Denmark plans to send a frigate crewed with up to 135 soldiers to participate in NATO deterrence exercises in the North Atlantic, officials announced yesterday. The mission is led by the United States and joined by Spain, France, the Netherlands, and Canada.

“It is important to send strong signals that in the situation Europe is in, we stand together,” minister of defence Morten Bødskov said in a press conference.

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