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

Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Thursday
A file photo taken at southern Funen town Svendborg. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
Find out what's going on in Denmark today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Man apologises for racist verbal abuse of family 

Newspaper Ekstra Bladet has tracked down the ‘man in the green jacket’ who on Saturday was filmed directing torrents of racist verbal abuse at a family with two small children at Kastrup Harbour near Copenhagen.

“I want to say sorry many times to this family, because I behaved stupidly,” the man, identified by his first name, Lars, told Ekstra Bladet.

“I’m ashamed that I acted like this towards another person. It’s totally out of line. I can’t forgive myself for it, I really can’t,” he said.

Politicians from all mainstream parties, including Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, this week condemned the incident. The episode also resulted in a broader debate about the impact of the political tone in Denmark, where criticism of immigrants, particularly from Middle Eastern countries, is mainstream.

READ ALSO: Racism in Denmark: Video of abuse sparks debate over political tone

Government to announce plan to place education programmes in new locations

The government is today scheduled to present a proposal to place education programmes such as teacher training, mechanical engineering and ergotherapy in a broader range of smaller towns across Denmark.

Svendborg, Sønderborg, Holbæk and Haderslev are among towns which could benefit according to broadcaster DR.

One of the aims of the proposal is to give a more even distribution of education programmes between larger cities and smaller towns, boosting local communities.

But the University of Copenhagen’s rector Henrik C. Wegener expressed concern that the plan could “damage the quality of education and research environments we’ve sought to build for decades” and that the university could be forced to close some of its programmes.

UNHCR asks parliament to reject government proposal to move asylum seekers to third country

The UN’s refugee agency UNHCR has issued a statement in which it asks the Danish parliament not to pass a recent bill, tabled by the government, which would enable the country to house and process asylum seekers in third countries.

Danish ministers recently visited central African country Rwanda to agree a deal which has been rumoured to pave the way for such an arrangement.

READ ALSO:

In the statement, the UNHCR writes that “transfer of the asylum process and protection of refugees in a country outside of Europe is not a responsible or sustainable solution – and would also be in breach if the principles on which international refugee partnerships stand”.

“By initiating such a drastic and restrictive change to Danish refugee laws, Denmark risks starting a domino effect… this could lead to a frightening race to the bottom, where the lives and welfare of refugees will be put in danger and their protection significantly worsened,” it adds.


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