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Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday

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 Wednesday
Photo: Henning Bagger/BAG/Ritzau Scanpix

Remaining ‘frozen’ feriepenge to be released 

Wage earners in Denmark will soon be able to claim the remaining holiday pay or feriepenge  which the government decided to release last year in a scheme aimed at boosting the economy during the coronavirus crisis.

The money, which would normally have been payable when leaving the Danish labour market (for example on retirement), can now be claimed early, with many people already having claimed their funds during the first round of payouts last year.

Remaining funds will be made available “in a few weeks”, the Ministry of Employment said in a press statement yesterday.

‘Holiday money’ or feriepenge is a monthly contribution paid out of your salary into a special fund, depending on how much you earn.

You can read more about who is eligible to claim the money – and how the claims process worked during the first round – in our explainer article from September this year.

National bank to publish economic prognosis

Danmarks Nationalbank, the country’s central bank, will today present its prognosis for the country, outlining how it expects the economy to grow (or shrink), as well as analysis of monetary trends and an annual report.

The publication of the reports should provide some insight into the impact of the coronavirus crisis on national finances and economy.

Experts push for assembly limit to be relaxed

Current coronavirus restrictions permit a maximum of 5 people to gather outside, or 25 for organised sports activities (except for on Bornholm, where 10 people are allowed to gather).

READ ALSO: Everything that changes in Denmark in March 2021

A number of experts who spoke to broadcaster DR have called for that to change, citing the low risk of passing on the virus outside no longer justified the assembly limit, which remains one of the measures with the biggest impact on personal freedoms.

The government has recently being discussing with other parties plans for the longer-term easing of coronavirus restrictions and is expected to present a plan on March 23rd, according to DR.

Denmark to send frigate to Gulf of Guinea against piracy

Denmark will dispatch a naval frigate with dozens of marines onboard to the Gulf of Guinea to deter pirate attacks on commercial vessels in the region, news wire AFP writes.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed the decision yesterday.

Denmark, a major shipping nation, has been pushing for a stronger international naval presence in the Gulf of Guinea following a surge in pirate attacks there.

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday

Possible blackouts in Denmark this winter, a significant gas leak off Bornholm, and the health minister's answer to concerns about Covid vaccine underdosing are among the top news stories in Denmark on Tuesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday

Electricity blackouts possible in Denmark this winter 

The Danish Energy Agency sees an increased risk that private customers will have their power temporarily cut off — depending on the weather. 

“If we now hit a very hard, cold winter, and the wind is calm at the same time, so we don’t have energy from the wind turbines, then we will be in a place where we have a stressed energy system,” agency director Kristoffer Böttzauw told broadcaster DR. 

However, current weather forecasts suggest the situation isn’t likely to be that dire. Brian Vad Mathiesen, professor of energy planning at Aalborg University, told DR that he considers such shutoffs unlikely. 

The authorities can usually tell about a day in advance if demand is likely to exceed supply, giving them time to make large consumers — on industrial scales — cut down, Ritzau reports. 

But if authorities aren’t successful, there could be blackouts for private customers. They would last two hours at a time for specific areas across the country, and customers aren’t notified in advance. 

READ MORE: Danish heating company asks customers not to turn on heating

Gas leak in Russian pipe off coast of Denmark 

Nord Stream 2, an underwater pipeline created to run gas from Russia to Germany that was shut down before becoming operational, appears to have sprung a leak after an unexplained pressure drop within the pipe. 

Authorities have spotted a “large bubble field near Bornholm”, a Danish island in the Baltic, Nord Stream 2 spokesman Ulrich Lissek told the Agence France-Presse.

Preliminary assessments suggest environmental damage in the area of the leak. 

On Tuesday morning, the Swedish Maritime Administration reported that two additional leaks have been found on sister pipeline Nord Stream 1 — one in Danish waters and another in Swedish territory, but both northeast of Bornholm. 

READ MORE: Germany and Denmark investigate Russian pipeline pressure drop 

Health minister to address Covid vaccine underdosing 

Magnus Heunicke, the Danish minister of health, has convened Parliament’s health rapporteurs to discuss the possibility that millions of people vaccinated for Covid in Denmark received too low a dose. 

An investigation by DR, partnering with the Danish Technological Institute, suggests that instructions provided by Danish health authorities in the hopes of stretching the limited supply of vaccines led to 10 percent underdoses of Pfizer-BioNTech shots.