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

Find out what's going on in Denmark today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday
Down but not out? The Smukfest festival will be hosting five smaller festivals in place of the mammoth event pictured above. Photo: Bent Midstrup/Nf-Nf/Ritzau Scanpix

Danish hotels and restaurants face record manpower shortage

Hotels and restaurants in Denmark are facing the greatest shortage of manpower since at least 2011, Statistics Denmark, the country’s state statistics agency has said. 

Almost a quarter of the companies in the service industry surveyed by the agency said they were facing labour shortages, up from just 19 percent in May. This is the highest level since the agency began tracking the metric in 2011. 

“It is probably one of the most powerful recovery we have ever had. Simply because it is a reopening,” said Lars Olsen, chief economist at Danske Bank. “It is something completely different from what you get in a normal recovery. There you have to gradually rebuild trust. You could not just reopen after the financial crisis.” 

The construction industry is also facing manpower shortages, with 37 percent of companies surveyed saying they lack manpower.

Denmark’s Court of Impeachment to rule on whether to televise Støjberg trail

Denmark’s Court of Impeachment (Rigsretten) will decide on Tuesday morning whether to allow TV cameras to broadcast directly from the courtroom during the impeachment trial of former immigration minister Inger Støjberg in the autumn, it said in a press release

Normally, it is not permitted to take pictures or shoot video from inside a courtroom in Denmark, but Støjberg herself has said she wants the press to have an opportunity to broadcast from the courtroom. 

Støjberg is on trial for breaking the law when she ordered asylum seeker couples to be separated. 

Less than 200 new infections detected in Denmark for third day in a row

A further 151 people tested positive for coronavirus in Denmark in the 24 hours to 2pm on Monday, meaning that the number of new infections has stayed below 200 a day for three days, and below 300 a day since June 18th. 

Denmark’s hospitals are currently treating 65 patients for coronavirus, one fewer than on Sunday. 

Danish mink mutation ‘could have affected vaccine effectiveness’: study

The coronavirus mutation that led Denmark’s government to order the cull of the country’s 15m mink — cluster 5 — showed resistant to both naturally attained antibodies and those generated by the Pfizer vaccine, a new study by Denmark’s infectious diseases agency SSI has concluded.

The study, published last week in the scientific journal Frontiers in Microbiology, goes some way towards excusing the mink cull, which has been seen as the Danish government’s biggest misstep during the pandemic.

“Blood samples have been taken from people who have recovered from covid-19 infection with cluster 5 and we looked at how well their antibodies could neutralize this virus,” Tyra Grove Krause from the SSI, told the Ritzau newswire.

“You can see that cluster 5 is more resistant to these antibodies than the other virus variants that were in circulation at the time. So on that basis, one can say that this raises concerns about whether the same could apply to vaccine antibodies.” Read our story here

Danish parties agree 160bn kroner infrastructure deal

Denmark’s political parties on Monday morning announced an agreement over infrastructure spending up until 2035, with 160bn kroner to be splurged on road, rail, bridge, tunnel, and cycling projects. 

Of this 64bn kroner will go on road projects, including no fewer than nine motorway improvements, 86bn will go on public transport, mostly on rail, but also on buses, metro services and light rail. Read our explainer here

Danish media team up to forge copyright deals with Google and Facebook

Denmark’s main media outlets said on Monday that they are banding together to negotiate copyright payments for news content used by tech platforms such as Google and Facebook.

In 2019, an EU directive gave media rights to be compensated for links to their content by web giants in order to ensure better compensation for creators of news content. In Denmark, nearly all media including the public TV stations have joined together to negotiate collectively.

“The collective bargaining organisation can give the Danish media industry bigger bargaining power,” said Stig Ørskov, CEO of JP-Politikens Hus, the leading Danish print media group.

“Often the big techs sign non-transparent separate agreements, they use a divide and conquer strategy and what we hope to achieve is a collective agreement that will be beneficial for the whole industry,” Ørskov told AFP.

The collective bargaining organisation will be officially launched on Friday and Ørskov said he expected negotiations to begin soon as informal contacts with Google have already taken place.

Smukfest festival re-emerges as Småfest with five one-day events

Denmark’s Smukfest festival, which usually hosts 55,000 people at its site in Skanderborg outside Aarhus, has announced plans to hold a series of stripped down mini-festivals between July 30th and August 7th, with five concert days, each of which will host just 1,000 people. 

Småfest will host some big Danish performers, including Suspekt, Jung, Aqua and Dizzy Mizz Lizzy. 

The organisers did not want to divide the festival into separate sections, which limited the number of people the festival could host. 

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

The need for foreign workers, an encouraging Covid snapshot, and incorrigible football fans are among the top news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Labour crisis: ‘we will need many more foreigners’ 

Unmet demand for labour in both private businesses and the public sector has reached a crisis point, according to an appeal to the government to reach a broader labour agreement. 

The municipalities will need 44,000 additional employees by 2030, the National Association of Municipalities says. Meanwhile, Danish businesses could hire 38,000 new workers immediately, according to the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri), which represents the interests of about 19,000 Danish companies. 

Lars Sandahl Sørensen, managing director of DI, firmly believes the answer to the labour shortage lies outside Danish borders. 

“We will need many more foreigners,” Sørensen told Finans. “It is not about getting cheap labour, but about getting people at all. We are in a situation where we do not have employees to carry out the things on green change that we have already decided and that we would like on health and welfare.” 

READ MORE: How can you get a work permit in Denmark if you aren’t an EU national? 

Encouraging Covid snapshot

The latest report from the State’s Serum Institute, the Danish infectious disease agency, says declining viral loads in the wastewater system suggest there’s a lower burden of infection in the country. 

Confirmed cases were down 19 percent between the week of July 11th to the week of July 18th, but since the number of PCR tests administered also decreased 15 percent that’s to be taken with a grain of salt. 

In the same period, new Covid hospital admissions fell nearly a quarter, with a significant decline in the elderly population. 

Omicron sub-variant BA.5 is still responsible for the lion’s share of Covid cases in Denmark, accounting for 92 percent of positive results in the week of July 18th. 

READ MORE: Which Covid self-tests should you buy (and avoid) in Denmark? 

Football fans send two to emergency room 

The double penalty zone authorities established around Brøndby stadium wasn’t enough to prevent more trips to the hospital. 

According to a press release from the Western Copenhagen Police, a group of Brøndby fans “stampeded” one of the stadium entrances prior to the club’s UEFA Conference League qualification match against Swiss side Basel last night. Three stadium stewards were injured, two of whom went to the emergency room. 

It’s unclear whether anyone has been charged in connection with the incident, but police are seeking additional information from anyone who may have witnessed the stampede at 7:12pm. 

Dreary weather to end summer holidays 

This weekend, the last holiday hurrah before many children return to school on Monday, won’t feel much like summer, according to the Danish Meteorological Institute. 

“There will be little or no sun and a few showers” with temperatures between 17 and 22 degrees says DMI meteorologist Mette Wagner. 

It’s a dramatic shift from Thursday, when the 30 degree weather was swept away by a strong rainstorm that dampened an Ed Sheeran concert in Copenhagen.