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

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 Friday
The Royal Danish Theatre. Photo: Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix

Parliament blocks North Sea oil exploration

Denmark will no longer look for oil to drill in the North Sea, after a majority in parliament voted against the continuation of such exploration, media including DR report.

Fossil fuel activities by the Danish state will cease completely by 2050, according to the deal passed yesterday evening by parliament.

In the meantime, limited drilling in already-active areas will be allowed to continue.

More musicals on the programme at Royal Danish Theatre?

A new political agreement is set to fall into place today, providing a framework for funding of the Royal Danish Theatre (Det Kongelige Teater).

Culture minister Joy Mogensen could be granted her wish of securing more musical productions at the national theatre – something conservative parties have opposed. Politiken has this story in more detail.

Why Denmark is failing to treat international students equally over residency

We’ve recently reported some of the struggles which have resulted in well-qualified international students leaving Denmark after graduating, even though they would have preferred to stay.

A recent bill tabled by the Social Liberal party seeks could balance the scales a little by giving education equality with full time work in assessment of residency applications. We’ll have a feature on this on our home page later today.

Government shuns exiled Hong Kong pro-democracy politician

Ted Hui, an opposition pro-democracy lawmaker from Hong Kong who was this week in Denmark, announced on Thursday he had chosen to go into exile.

Hui was one of 15 opposition lawmakers who resigned en masse last month to protest Beijing's decision to oust four colleagues because of their political views.

“I just finished my three-day visit to Denmark and I hereby announce that I will go into exile and quit the Democratic Party of Hong Kong,” Hui wrote on Facebook. He said he has yet to seek asylum in any country.

A Jyllands-Posten columnist has criticised the Danish government in sharp terms for not meeting with Hui while he was in the country, describing it as “shocking witness to the Social Democrats’ subordination to China”.

Hui did meet with other parliamentarians, from both the left and right, as well as former PM and Nato general secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen during his visit, according to the column.

Danish vocabulary:

  • Boring: drilling
  • Knæfald: subordination, literally ‘falling to (their) knees’
  • Udenrigsminister: foreign minister, secretary of state (US)

 

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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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