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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: a roundup of the news on Friday

Overnight outage for e-Boks system continues and kindergartens to be tested for PFAS are among the news in Denmark on Friday morning.

Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Friday

Denmark’s e-Boks digital mail system still down on Friday morning

People in Denmark were still unable to log in to the e-Boks system on Friday morning, more than 12 hours after problems began shortly before 7pm on Thursday evening. 

“We are currently experiencing problems logging into e-Boks both via app and web. We are working hard to resolve the problem and apologise for the inconvenience,” the system said on its website.

E-Boks allows Danish residents to receive digital mail from the government and other public sector organisations.

Danish vocabulary: vi beklager ulejligheden – we apologise for the inconvenience

Major spending plan to fight social dumping 

A majority of parties have agreed a 1.3 billion kroner spending plan that is designed to tackle social dumping and other problem areas at workplaces.

The deal, termed a “working environment agreement” (arbejdsmiljøaftale), specifies social dumping as a major area of focus.

“This is an agreement of historic level. I am happy that everyone is part of it,” employment minister Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen said following the conclusion of negotiations on Thursday.

Social dumping is the practice by which foreign workers are used to circumvent Danish collective bargaining agreements, saving employers money by hiring staff on wages and working conditions inferior to those set by the Danish labour model.

Some 673 million kroner of the total 1.3 billion are earmarked for prevention of social dumping.

“This is an anti social dumping effort that acts against labour crime and cheating the system. So that people who actually play by the rules get fair competition,” Halsboe-Jørgensen said.

Denmark to test 10 kindergartens and playgrounds for ‘forever chemical’ PFAS

Ten kindergartens and public playgrounds in the South Denmark region are to be tested for the pollutant chemical PFAS.

Five kindergartens and public playgrounds on Funen and five kindergartens and public playgrounds in Southern Jutland are to be tested for presence of the chemical, the South Denmark regional health authority said in a statement on Thursday.

The locations are to be tested because the authority does not know with certainty that they are not contaminated with PFAS, the health authority said.

“I want to stress that the Region does not expect in advance that PFAS chemicals will be found in the ground in amounts that can constitute a risk to children,” Poul Erik Jensen, head of the Region’s environment board, said in the statement.

Danish vocabulary: at understrege – to stress

Danish agency received 14 reports of drones after Nord Stream explosions

Denmark’s Energy Agency received 16 reports of drone and ship activity at energy facilities on or under the sea in the weeks after the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines.

The information on the reports was revealed by newspaper Børsen based on an access to information request with the Energy Agency.

Drone sightings accounted for 14 of the 16 reports with the remaining two relating to ships. In the corresponding period in 2021, the agency received zero reports.

It is impossible to say whether the apparent spike in sightings represents increased activity or increased alert in the area, according to an expert.