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Taxi drivers in Denmark to face language requirement under new law

Taxi drivers in Denmark will be required by law to speak Danish under an amendment to the country’s legislation.

Taxi drivers in Denmark to face language requirement under new law
Filephoto: Søren Bidstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

A parliamentary majority voted in favour of changing the Taxi Law (Taxiloven) to include a language requirement, the transport ministry confirmed in a statement.

Under new rules, documentation of Danish language skills will be required for entry onto the national taxi driver’s licensing course.

That could make it more expensive to acquire a taxi driver’s permit. According to the ministry, licensing is currently “underfunded”. “Price and fee levels must be adjusted,” the ministry wrote in the statement.

The law change was voted for by both left and right wing parties. As well as the government, the Social Liberal, Socialist People’s, Conservative, Liberal and Danish People’s parties backed it.

“I am pleased that we are now in agreement over a number of minor adjustments based on the evaluation of the taxi law that came before Christmas,” transport minister Benny Engelbrecht said in the statement.

“It is a completely reasonable demand that you should be able to conduct a conversation in Danish when you are driving a taxi, and we will now get better documentation for that.

“Additionally, we also agree that in light if the coronavirus situation, it is not appropriate to make major adjustments to the taxi law at this time,” the minister continued.

In addition to the language requirement, the parties approved an analysis of taxi services in rural areas.

The law change will come into effect in 2022.

READ ALSO: 100 drivers demonstrate in Copenhagen over Danish taxi laws

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FEATURE

Greenland foreign minister axed over independence remarks

Greenland's pro-independence foreign minister Pele Broberg was demoted on Monday after saying that only Inuits should vote in a referendum on whether the Arctic territory should break away from Denmark.

Greenland foreign minister axed over independence remarks
Greenland's pro-independence minister Pele Broberg (far R) with Prime Minister Mute Egede (2nd R), Danish foreign minister Jeppe Kofod and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (2nd R) at a press briefing in Greenland in May 2021. Photo: Ólafur Steinar Rye Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix

Prime Minister Mute Egede, who favours autonomy but not independence, said the ruling coalition had agreed to a reshuffle after a controversial interview by the minister of the autonomous Arctic territory.

Broberg was named business and trade minister and Egede will take on the foreign affairs portfolio.

The prime minister, who took power in April after a snap election, underscored that “all citizens in Greenland have equal rights” in a swipe at Broberg.

Broberg in an interview to Danish newspaper Berlingske said he wanted to reserve voting in any future referendum on independence to Inuits, who comprise more than 90 percent of Greenland’s 56,000 habitants.

“The idea is not to allow those who colonised the country to decide whether they can remain or not,” he had said.

In the same interview he said he was opposed to the term the “Community of the Kingdom” which officially designates Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, saying his country had “little to do” with Denmark.

Greenland was a Danish colony until 1953 and became a semi-autonomous territory in 1979.

The Arctic territory is still very dependent on Copenhagen’s subsidies of around 526 million euros ($638 million), accounting for about a third of its budget.

But its geostrategic location and massive mineral reserves have raised international interest in recent years, as evidenced by former US president Donald Trump’s swiftly rebuffed offer to buy it in 2019.

READ ALSO: US no longer wants to buy Greenland, Secretary of State confirms

Though Mute Egede won the election in April by campaigning against a controversial uranium mining project, Greenland plans to expand its economy by developing its fishing, mining and tourism sectors, as well as agriculture in the southern part of the island which is ice-free year-round.

READ ALSO: Danish, Swiss researchers discover world’s ‘northernmost’ island

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