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

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 Monday
Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Better flooding defence needed on coasts

Recent years have seen several incidents of flooding around Denmark during stormy weather periods, and the Coastal Authority, which comes under the environment ministry, is now calling for improved protection against the elements on a hundred different stretches of Danish coast.

Given that, with all its islands, Denmark has close to 9,000 kilometres of shoreline, it’s perhaps unsurprising that many parts of the country are exposed.

The directorate is recommending measures including sea walls, sand banks and artificial cliff landscapes, DR reports.

House prices have increased this year

Perhaps a surprising report given the economic uncertainty in which Denmark and everywhere else finds itself.

Nationally, house prices increased between the second and third quarters of this year, according to Statistics Denmark.

We’ll have more detail on this in a report later today.

Unemployment down, meanwhile

Unemployment fell in October, for the fifth consecutive month.

However, this is a sign of gradual recovery from the huge impact on jobs of the initial shutdown of the economy immediately after the coronavirus pandemic reached Denmark in late February.

Net unemployment now stands at 4.6 percent, according to Statistics Denmark figures – still some way off February’s figure of 3.7 percent.

Trial to begin on Bornholm in murder case

Trial is scheduled to begin today at the district court on Baltic Sea island Bornholm of a 28-year-old man from the island who was beaten to death by two other young men, whom he knew, in June this year.

The two brothers have admitted gross violence but deny they intended to kill, according DR’s reporting of court papers.

The case became an international story in the summer when the New York Times reported it, pointing out that the victim was Black and authorities’ insistence the incident was not a hate crime. This drew a response from fact checkers and prosecutors in Denmark.

Google opens CO2 neutral Danish data centre

After two years’ construction at a cost of 4.5 billion kroner, tech giant Google today opens a major data centre at Fredericia in southeast Jutland.

The facility will use enormous amounts of electricity, but all of it will be supplied by five solar farms, the company said in a statement.

The five solar panel farms are located in various parts of Denmark.

Danish vocabulary:

  • Opmærksomhed: attentiveness, awareness
  • Strækning: stretch (of land, road, geographical feature)
  • Bolig: home, housing, residence
  • Ledighed: unemployment, availability (of a person or place)

 

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Gale force winds and hail, 'automatic' organ donation, and whether to inform landowners of possible PFAS contamination are among the top news stories in Denmark on Monday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Gale force winds, hail in forecasts 

Denmark can look forward to blustery weather this week, according to the latest forecasts by the Danish Meteorological Institute. “A grey and wet January is drawing to a close and it looks like the month is slamming the door with a bang,” DMI meteorologist Anesten Devasakayam writes. 

On Monday, January 30th, areas across the country will experience strong winds, Devaskayam says, as well as occasional hail. The wind is expected to keep pace as the week progresses, with brief reprieves on Tuesday and Thursday. 

READ MORE: Essential rain gear for a wet Danish winter (and spring, summer, autumn) 

Government reluctant to inform landowners of possible PFAS contamination 

Opposition parties say it’s unacceptable for the Danish Regions and national government to drag their feet on informing people their land could be contaminated with PFAS, ‘forever chemicals’ linked to health problems including cancer. 

The Regions, which are responsible for environmental cleanups in Denmark, have identified 16,000 plots they suspect are contaminated with PFAS due to industry activity. However, they have yet to inform the people who live there. That’s because the Regions plan to test each plot individually before reaching out — a process that could take decades without a dramatic increase in funding, according to broadcaster DR. 

Food grown in contaminated soil accumulates PFAS, and the Regions have identified many gardens and allotments that might be affected.

“When the Regions have this knowledge, I also think we need to inform the population whether it is their garden or farmland or a kindergarten that is located where there may actually be severe contamination,” Mai Villadsen of the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) told DR. 

READ MORE: PFAS found in organic eggs in Denmark 

Minister of Health: everyone in Denmark should automatically be organ donors 

Currently, Danes have to ‘opt in’ for organ donation —and fewer than one in three do, according to the National Board of Health. 

Health Minister Sophie Løhde contends that Denmark should join many other EU countries that have in recent years switched from opting in to organ donation to opting out. 

She says a ‘soft’ variant of the opt-out system could mean everyone automatically becomes organ donors after they turn 18, but family members still have the final say if the deceased hasn’t made their wishes explicit. 

However, the Danish Ethics Council, a government advisory body, believes in maintaining the opt-in status quo. 

“The right to control oneself and one’s own body is an important principle of health care. Therefore, our recommendation is that we stick to the principles that exist today,” says the council’s Leif Vestergaard. 

You can change your organ donation status here on sundhed.dk. In 2022, 21 patients in Denmark died waiting to receive an organ. 

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