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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
Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Danish leaders condemn invasion of US Capitol by pro-Trump mob

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and other leading political figures in Denmark last night commented on the disgraceful scenes in the United States as supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building in Washington, DC.

In a statement issued by the prime minister’s office, Frederiksen said that “Extremism, violence, polarisation and chaos are never the way forward. Horrifying images from Washington. May democracy be brought to work again”.

Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Frederiksen’s predecessor as PM, said he was “deeply saddened” by the scenes and called on Trump to address the nation to “stop this disgraceful madness”.

Another former Danish prime minister and former Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen called the events a “sad day for American democracy and for all of us who look to America for moral leadership.”

“Democracy will prevail over the mob, but the damage Trump is doing to American democracy plays straight into Moscow and Beijing’s playbook,” Fogh Rasmussen said.

Former justice minister Søren Pind, who served under Løkke Rasmussen, called the actions of the Trump supporters “high treason”.

The current leader of the opposition centre-right Liberal party, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, wrote that the images from Washington DC were “deeply disturbing”.

“It’s a reminder we can never take anything for granted, including democracy,” Ellemann-Jensen wrote, adding he is “looking forward to Joe Biden being inaugurated as new president”.

Danish Conservative party leader Søren Pape Poulsen also tweeted, calling the scenes “terrible” and “deeply, deeply shocking” and criticised “the opponents of democracy” without mentioning Trump directly.

Two British citizens charged with fraud in Denmark

Two British nationals face charges of fraud after falsely claiming tax refunds of at least nine billion kroner from the Danish state, news wire Ritzau reports.

The charges come from SØIK, the Danish police section responsible for investigating international and economic crimes.

One of the two British nationals in question lives in Dubai, while the other lives in the UK, according to the report. The names of the two have not been made public.

Rapid Covid-19 tests to be used at nurseries and care homes

Both childcare facilities and elderly residential homes will see increased Covid-19 testing in the form of rapid tests carried out by private providers on behalf of the government, Ritzau reports.

The exact plan for the rapid testing is yet to be determined, but the overall aim is to boost tracing of infection chains, the news wire writes.

Rapid tests for the coronavirus are known to have a higher false negative rate than the regular PCR tests, but do not give false positive results.

Nurseries and kindergartens remain open

As we reported yesterday, childcare facilities such as kindergartens remain open across Denmark even as the country is essentially locked down until at least January 17th.

The government has, however, asked parents to keep small children at home instead of dropping them off at their regular childcare, if possible.

More on this story here and a full summary of Denmark’s current coronavirus restrictions here.

Danish vocabulary:

  • Forræderi – treachery, treason
  • Forfærdende ­– horrifying
  • Foruroligende – disturbing

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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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