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

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 Thursday
Shopping in Copenhagen on Wednesday evening. The incoming national lockdown will close all non-essential stores. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

Partial lockdown becomes full lockdown

The Covid-19 situation in Denmark has become as critical as it was during the spring wave of the epidemic.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced last night that the country will be “practically closed down” from December 25th, with some measures to take effect as early as today.

Shopping centres and shopping arcades will close today, while businesses such as hairdressers, physiotherapists and driving schools will close from Monday December 21st.

All retail businesses, with the exception of supermarkets, pharmacies and other stores which sell daily essentials, will be closed from December 25th until January 3rd.

Frederiksen called the current coronavirus situation “very serious”, adding that just under half of Denmark's Covid-19 hospital beds are now in use.

You can read the details of the lockdown and announcement in our report.

Rape law requiring sexual consent to be passed

A long-awaited new law is to be passed today, reforming sexual violence laws to make consent rather than violence the basis for determining rape.

A parliamentary majority will vote the new law through at 10:30 this morning, an event set to be celebrated by women’s organisations, activists and rape victims outside the Christiansborg parliament.

Earlier this year, the Federation of Danish women said the law would be a “historic victory for legality and the right to take sexual decisions”.

A similar law has been in place in Sweden since 2018.

Talks over workplace harassment law

The government is to negotiate with unions and employers’ associations over ways in which to fight sexual harassment at Danish workplaces.

The talks are just one of 14 different initiatives recently announced by the government in a broad plan to tackle the issue.

Denmark saw a resurgence of the #MeToo debate in the late summer and autumn which proved to have a far greater impact in the country than the original 2017 movement.

READ ALSO: New #MeToo wave challenges Denmark's image as haven of equality

Government suspected of withholding security report on Danish children in Syria

The government is suspected – by its own political allies in parliament – of withholding a 2019 report by police intelligence agency PET on Danish children in camps in Syria.

According to the report, the agency concluded in 2019 that the children – who are in the camps because their parents travelled to Syria to support militant groups – do not pose a threat to Danish security. But it was not made public by the government until March 2020.

The government has resisted repatriating Danish nationals, including children, from the Syrian camps.

The story was first reported by newspaper Ekstra Bladet based on information provided by confidential sources. We’ll have more on this in an article later today.

Danish vocabulary:

  • Samtykke: consent
  • Chikane: harassment
  • At hemmeligholde: to withhold from public, keep secret

 

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Why the US climate deal is a boon for Denmark, a plan to help first-time home buyers, and a prince and princess at your child's high school are among the top news stories in Denmark on Monday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Liberal party to propose tax deductions for first-time home buyers 

While the government remains skeptical, the Liberal Party (Venstre) will Monday present its plan to make home ownership more accessible in Denmark. 

Under the proposal, first-time home buyers could receive a 20 percent tax reduction on up to 50,000 kroner per year for five years, according to newspaper Berlingske. In five years, a couple could together save 500,000 kroner and get a tax benefit of 100,000 kroner. 

How the Liberal Party would fund the tax benefit, which is estimated to cost 1 billion kroner a year, remains unclear. While they count with the support of the Conservatives and the Danish People’s Party, the government opposes the plan.

READ MORE: Danish apartment sales cool to eight-year low  

Green energy sector in Denmark to see boost from US climate plan 

The United States Senate passed a $370 billion package — that’s 2.7 trillion kroner — earmarked for reducing the emission of greenhouse gases by 2030. A considerable chunk of that money could end up in Denmark, according to green energy experts, and particularly in the pockets of Danish wind energy companies. 

The USA also has its own companies that will bid,” says Kristian Jensen of business organisation Green Power Denmark. “But we can see that the Danish wind turbine manufacturers are unique in terms of having high quality and long durability of the turbines.” 

READ MORE: Danish offshore wind could help Europe ditch fossil fuels 

Danish royal students go mainstream 

After a TV2 documentary revealed a culture of bullying at elite boarding school Herlufsholm, the royal family pulled Prince Christian, 16, and Princess Isabella, 15, from their enrollments. 

At the start of the new term today, Isabella begins at Ingrid Jespersens Gymnasium in Østerbro and Christian will attend Ordrup Gymnasium in Charlottenlund, about 20 minutes’ drive north of Copenhagen. 

“What characterizes the chosen schools is that they are quite normal,” says Thomas Larsen, political editor at Radio4 and author of books on the Danish royals. “It is not a boarding school that is largely reserved for the children of the elite. And therefore I believe that the choices they have made now will be well received by the Danes.”  

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