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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

Three arrested for burning effigy of prime minister

Disgusting scenes in Copenhagen on Saturday night saw demonstrators set fire to an effigy of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen – the Guy Fawkes-style puppet also had a death threat attached to it – following unrest involving around 1,000 people unhappy about coronavirus restrictions.

The scenes represent the second time in two weeks similar protests have occurred.

Police have moved quickly following the incident and have arrested three people in connection with the burning of the effigy.

Two were detained yesterday and are in police custody until February 19th, while a third is scheduled to appear for initial court proceedings today.


An effigy of PM Mette Frederiksen — with the words 'she can and must be culled' — burns in Copenhagen on Saturday. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Supermarket employees’ union concerned over customer disregard for Covid-19 guidelines

A sizeable proportion of customers at supermarkets in Denmark do not follow recommendations to shop alone, social distance and disinfect their hands, according to a union for staff who work at stores.

The union, HK Handel, says it has been contacted by a number of members who are concerned about the situation, broadcaster DR reports.

“We are now seeing, maybe due to a growing weariness of corona throughout society, that more and more of our members are being ignored by customers when they try to ensure that guidelines are followed,” HK Handel chairperson Per Tønnesen told the broadcaster.

The union has called for the government to introduce sanctions for people that refuse to follow the guidelines.

No room on maternity wards forces women to travel further to give birth

232 women in the Greater Copenhagen health authority were moved during last year from the maternity ward at which they had planned to give birth, according to a report by DR.

The broadcaster reports instances of women taking long taxi journeys while having contractions.

The head of the regional health authority’s board, Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, told DR that a shortage of midwives was continuing to cause capacity problems.

Police to clamp down on traffic offences this week

Traffic police are set to ramp up their presence this week in an effort to ensure road safety, Danmark’s National Police have signalled via a statement.

Speeding offences and other traffic conduct – including cyclists and pedestrians – will be in focus, police said.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Denmark's new corona strategy, Danes flocking to early retirement, and longer nights ahead are among the top news stories in Denmark this Wednesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Start your day with this dreamy video from the Fanø kite festival, where about five thousand kite enthusiast convene on the shores of South Jutland every year.

@sweet.dreamersss

Nobody asked for it, but a slower/calmer video so you can see the kites in more detail and get a taste of the festival! #fyp #denmark #kite

♬ La dolce vita (In via Veneto) – Remastered 2017 – Carlo Savina

Shorter days and longer nights ahead 

The blackout curtains are (very slowly) on their way out — yesterday was the summer solstice and the longest day of the year, with an eye-wateringly early sunrise at 4:25 a.m. and sunset at 9:58 p.m.

We now begin the slow march to the winter solstice on December 21, when the sun will rise at 8:37 a.m. and set at an equally eye-watering 3:38 p.m. 

Prime minister to reveal new Covid-19 strategy today 

Prime minister Mette Frederiksen will discuss Denmark’s plans for managing the pandemic in the coming autumn and winter at a press conference at 10 a.m. 

She’ll present information on vaccination and testing strategies, according to newswire Ritzau. 

With no coronavirus restrictions in place, case counts are again on the rise in Denmark. Earlier this month, health minister Magnus Heunicke announced that re-introducing restrictions was off the table for the duration of the summer. 

READ ALSO: Covid-19: Omicron subvariant now dominant in Denmark 

Danes flock to early retirement scheme 

Early retirement is clearly an attractive prospect to many Danish workers, particularly craftspeople and slaughterhouse workers — more than 50,200 people have applied for the new ‘Arne pensions’ since August of 2021. 

The scheme allows people aged 61 or older who have spent more than 42 years in the labour market to retire before 65, which is the current age to draw a public pension in Denmark. 

Workers who have logged 44 years in the labour market can retire three years ahead of schedule, while 42 and 43 years  earn you a one or two year advance, respectively. 

This new policy, championed by Social Democrats in 2019, is somewhat out of step with the overall Danish plan to raise the retirement age in order to reduce pressure on pension funds, increase participation in an economy short on labour, and keep the number of years retirees draw their pensions constant despite increasing life expectancies. 

READ ALSO: Could Denmark delay plan to increase retirement age? 

Consumers report lowest confidence ever in Danish economy 

An analysis by government agency Statistics Denmark sets consumer confidence in the economy at its lowest point recorded.

Statistics Denmark calculates an index of consumer confidence by asking a representative sample of Danes about their views on their personal financial standing as well as the country’s.

Respondents are asked to compare their finances today with their finances a year ago, as well as what they expect their prospects to be a year from now. They’re also asked to weigh in on whether now is a good time to buy appliances like televisions or washing machines. Their answers are ranked on a scale from 100, meaning their situation is “much better” than a year ago,” to -100 for “much worse.” This year, the combined index landed at -24. 

Employment up — for now 

Meanwhile, employment continues to climb — another report from Statistics Denmark showed the country added 4,000 jobs from March to April, the latest in a 15-month streak of employment growth. 

According to Jeppe Juul Borre, chief economist at Arbejdernes Landsbank, there were more job postings in May than any previous May on record. 

However, between the war in Ukraine, price hikes, and supply chain issues, the trend is unlikely to last, Borre says.

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