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

Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday
Social Democrats on the island of Ærø, famed for its sailors and ships, have launched a protest against their party's hardline policy over Syrians. Photo: David Leth Williams/Ritzau Scanpix
Find out what's going on in Denmark today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Russian engineer jailed for three years for spying in Denmark

A Danish court on Monday sentenced a Russian man to three years in prison followed by expulsion from Denmark with no possibility of return, after he was found guilty of espionage.

Aleksey Nikoforov, 36, was arrested in July 2020, but his case only came to light in December.

At the end of the closed trial, the Aalborg court said he had “gathered information over several years from the Technical University of Denmark and from a business in the northwest of the country, and transmitted this information to a Russian intelligence service in exchange for payment”.

Read our story here

Splits break out among Social Democrats over hardline Syria policies

The Social Democrat party group on the island of Ærø has published an open letter to Prime Minister Mette Fredriksen, Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod and Immigration Minister Mattias Tesfaye protesting the government’s hardline approach to Syria, raising the prospect that wide discontent within the party towards its surge to the right on immigration may be emerging into the open. 

In the letter, Carsten Hanson, the party’s local chairman described Syria’s leadership as a “lawless, untrustworthy, barbaric regime of terror”, and said that it was wrong to deprive those from the country of asylum protection in Denmark. The letter also called for Denmark to bring Danish citizens held in camps in Syria home together with their children. 

Since the letter was published on Facebook last week, several other local party groups have come forward to support the demands, including Gribskov Vest north of Copenhagen, and several local groups on the island of Funen. 

The Danish population reaches new record 

Denmark’s population grew by 3,302 in the first three months of this year, bringing it to a record of 5,843,347 people on April 1st, according to the latest figures from Statistics Denmark.

Over the last ten years, the Danish population has grown five percent to 279,128 people, but has also aged considerably. 

Today, there are 1,181,584 people in Denmark over the age of 64, 25 percent more than ten years ago, while there are 5 percent fewer people under the age of 20, a demographic shift which is likely to weigh on the country’s welfare state in future years. 

Danish People’s Party calls for Mohammed cartoons to go on curriculum 

The populist Danish People’s Party has called for making the furore around the publication of cartoons of the Islamic prophet Mohammed in 2005 part of the history and possibly also the Danish language curriculum, with the subject covered at primary school, secondary school and upper secondary school.

“It is terrible that we have a situation where a teacher does not dare to use the Muhammad drawings,” said the party’s legal spokesperson Peter Skaarup told DR. “That is why we need to tell our teachers that it is a duty – a requirement – such that there is no way to escape it. It is part of Danish history. It is part of our history, our constitution, that we stand firm on freedom of speech.”


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