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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
A citizens' petition calls for PM Mette Frederiksen to face an impeachment trial. Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

Citizens’ petition calls for PM to face impeachment trial

A citizens’ petition calling for Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen to face an impeachment trial is just 800 signatures from the threshold requiring it to be addressed by parliament, according to broadcaster DR.

The petition was started in protest at Frederiksen’s actions during the mink scandal in November 2020. The government ordered all minks at fur farms in Denmark to be culled after a mutated form of coronavirus was detected in the animals, but the order was later found to be illegal.

A gigantic compensation package was announced earlier this week for the mink breeders.

Impeachment trials of politicians are extremely rare in Denmark, but former immigration minister Inger Støjberg will face one this year.

The organisers of the petition against Frederiksen have said that they do not expect parliament to put the PM before such a trial, but that they felt a signal needed to be sent to politicians over the government’s conduct.

Danish ski tourists use loophole to travel to Austria

Public broadcaster DR has a potentially damning story this morning, exposing Danish nationals who have travelled to Austria stating work purposes – enabling them to enter the country under Covid-19 restrictions – when their actual intentions are to party at ski resorts.

The source for the story is Helmut Mall, the mayor in Tyrolian ski resort town Sankt Anton.

We’ll have more details on the story in an article later today.

Covid-19 vaccination and test centres have same entrances

Elderly citizens and people in high-risk groups attending vaccination centres have been using the same entrances as potentially infected individuals on their way to testing, DR writes.

The South Denmark health authority has now changed practice after the issue at some of its centres was highlighted, according to the report.

Copenhagen plans to exempt childcare payments for parents who care for kids at home

Although most of Danish society is currently locked down, kindergartens and other municipal care facilities for small children remain open. That is despite authorities encouraging parents to care for small children at home and not use the kindergartens.

Copenhagen Municipality has now said it wants to exempt from payment parents who keep their kids home from the facilities, according to TV2.

The measure which would come into effect from February 8th, is expected to be voted through this week, news wire Ritzau additionally reports.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Broad support for women's conscription, 'massive' issues at psychiatric centre that treated Field's shooter, and poor marks from NATO for Danish defense are among the top news stories in Denmark this Thursday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Broad support for women’s conscription in Denmark 

The Minister of Defense and many political parties have thrown their support behind extending conscription to women in Denmark after trade unions representing Danish soldiers called for the change. 

“We must have equality for men and women in the Armed Forces,” Defense Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen told broadcaster TV2. “It is a challenge for the women who serve their military service that they are not measured on the same scale.” 

Eight political parties — Conservatives, the Danish People’s Party, the Socialist People’s Party, the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), the Social Liberals (Radikale), the New Right (Nye Borgerlige), Alternative, and the Left — have all voiced support for the measure. 

In 2022, 73 percent of people in military service were men, while 27 percent were female, according to news agency Ritzau. 

Today, men in Denmark are required to register for conscription following their 18th birthday, while registering for conscription is optional for women. 

A true draft hasn’t been in effect in Denmark for many years — the ranks of Denmark’s conscripts, about 4,500 a year, are filled with volunteers. They serve a standard service of four months, while specialized units (like the horse squadron) can serve up to 12 months. 

Inspectors: Withering criticism of psychiatric centre that treated Fields shooter 

An investigation by the Danish Patient Safety Authority has identified grave problems at Psychiatric Centre Amager, where the suspected Field’s shooter was treated before the attack, according to a draft of the agency’s report reviewed by newspaper Jyllands-Posten. 

The inspection was triggered when an employee at Psychiatric Centre Amager told authorities they suspected there had been failures in the man’s treatment. 

The Danish Patient Safety Authority finds that nurses routinely changed patients’ medications without consulting doctors, while medical students sometimes prescribed antipsychotic and sedative medications to patients again without consulting a doctor. 

The 22-year-old man charged with the Field’s shooting reached out to Psychiatric Centre Amager about six months before the attack. He was referred to four different departments within the Psychiatric Centre Amager, according to timelines produced by broadcaster TV2. 

READ MORE: Why does it take so long in Denmark to see a psychologist or therapist?

NATO report: Danish defense deficiencies 

Every two years, NATO assesses its members’ progress toward the alliance’s defense goals. While those reports are usually made public, the Danish government chose to censor the results of the most recent assessment, published several month ago, for fear of Russian exploitation. Even the previous minister of defense, Morten Bødskov, said he had not been allowed to review the contents of the report. 

But now, defense rapporteurs in Parliament have finally been briefed on the NATO report, according to news agency Ritzau. 

“We must not be naive,” says current defense minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen. “This is a sensitive analysis of the Danish defense which points to our vulnerabilities. But within this framework, we must also be open about the challenges facing defense — both among the parties at Christianborg and in public.” 

READ MORE: US military unloads transport ship at Aarhus Harbour 

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