Today in Denmark: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday

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 roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Make-up sales have increased at Matas as people in Denmark return to work and social life. Photo: Matas

Evacuation flight from Islamabad lands in Copenhagen 

A plane owned by the Danish airline DAT landed in Copenhagen on Wednesday morning carrying people who had been evacuated from Afghanistan via the Pakistani capital Islamabad. 

On Tuesday, Denmark’s foreign minister said that 14 Norwegians and one person with a Danish residency permit were on their way from Islamabad to Copenhagen. The person with Danish residency rights is not a Danish citizen. 

Denmark’s prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, said on Tuesday that she had spoken to Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan.  

At the same time, a Danish Hercules military transport plane landed in Kabul on Tuesday afternoon, which has room for about 120 passengers. 

The foreign ministry would would not say whether the plane would bring Danish employees and Afghans who have helped Denmark to Denmark.

Denmark plans to evacuate around 45 local employees in Kabul and their families. According to Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Quershi this adds up to a total of 431 Afghans.

Copenhagen beaches get ‘red flag’ after heavy rain washes out sewage 

Denmark’s bathing water inspectorate has warned against swimming on beaches around Copenhagen and right up the east coast of Zealand, after torrential downpours on Tuesday night washed the city’s sewage into the sea. 

The map on the website, showed red flags all around the Copenhagen area. 

Danish chemist chain Matas sees make-up sales surge 

Matas, the Danish make-up chain, has seen sales rise 8 percent to 1.02bn kroner as women returning to work stock up on make-up.  

“Matas had an excellent spring quarter. Danish consumers released their pent-up desire to shop, substituting hand sanitiser and face masks for makeup and sunscreen, in-store revenue bounced back, and online sales remained strong,” Gregers Wedell-Wedellsborg, CEO of Matas A/S, said in a press statement

Against this background, we’re upgrading our full-year guidance, and when we present our new growth strategy later today, we will do so from the strongest imaginable position”, says Gregers Wedell-Wedellsborg, CEO of Matas A/S,

“High-End Beauty was the sales category to record the strongest growth. Makeup sales were supported by many consumers returning to their workplaces and social activities starting up again,” the company said. 

Danish nurses strike “cannot be solved through negotiations”: Danish Regions 

Danish Regions, the body representing Denmark’s five regional healthcare authorities has said that it now sees no hope of progress in talks with the country’s nurses union. 

Right now the possibilities at the negotiating table have been exhausted,” Anders Kühnau, the regions’ chief negotiator told TV2.

Grete Christensen, the head of the nurses’ union, said it was hard to understand what was behind Kühnau’s statement. 

On Wednesday, we both said that it looked difficult. I do not know what has happened since that means Anders is now out saying that the possibilities have now been exhausted,” she said. 

Three quarters of Danish citizens over 12 are now fully vaccinated 

On Tuesday, Denmark hit a new vaccination landmark, with 75 percent of residents over 12 fully vaccinated, or three quarters of everyone over 12. 

“We have hit a big milestone, 75 percent of all Danes over 12 are now fully vaccinated,” health minister Magnus Heuncike wrote on Twitter. “We need the greatest possible protection against coronavirus in Denmark, so go and get vaccinated today.” 

Including those under the age of 12, 66 percent of the population are fully vaccinated. 

The reproduction number in Denmark — the number of people each infected person goes on to infect — is now at around 1 for the fourth week in a row, according to a graph Heunicke included in his tweet. 

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday

The potential for a new Danish prime minister, more people on the 'poor payers' list, and the kickoff to Copenhagen Fashion Week are among the top news stories in Denmark this Tuesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday

Frederiksen could call for election as early as next week 

A new opinion poll from Voxmeter by news agency Ritzau gives the Social Democrats, prime minister Mette Frederiksen’s party, their worst showing since 2015. 

Pressure is mounting for the Social Democrats to call for an election as the ‘blue bloc’ — anchored by the Liberal party (Venstre) and the Conservative People’s Party (De Konservative) — command 50 percent of the vote according to the latest poll. Meanwhile, the ‘red bloc’ holds just 47.5 percent. 

The Social Liberals (De Radikale), also of the red bloc, have demanded that Frederiksen hold elections by October at the latest. (Legally, the next general election can take place as late as June 4th, 2023.) 

Analysts say Frederiksen could call for an election as early as next week, when the Social Democrats convene for their summer group meeting. 

READ MORE: A foreigner’s guide to understanding Danish politics in five minutes

‘Hacker attacks’ keep 7-Eleven shuttered (with a few exceptions) 

The vast majority of Denmark’s 176 7-Eleven convenience stores remain hamstrung on Tuesday after what is believed to be a cyber attack on Monday. However, you’ll still be able to pick up GLS packages at ‘closed’ stores, and five capital-area stores can now accept purchases through MobilePay and cash. 

The reopened stores are at Rigshosital, Vesterbrogade, Lyngby Storcenter, and Gammel Kongevej in Copenhagen. Another at the Buddinge Station is Søborg is also back in action. 

READ MORE: Danish convenience stores closed by suspected cyber attack 

More ‘poor payers,’ but less average debt 

Denmark’s largest list of debtors — the RKI, or Riber’s credit information, run by Experian — has increased for the first time since 2014. 

The list is up a very modest 0.5 percent in the last six months, but Experian analysts expect that number to climb before the end of the year. 

“The whole world situation is a bit shaky at the moment,” says Experian director Bo Rasmussen. “War, inflation and rising prices everywhere have an effect on people’s private finances, so you don’t have the same leeway as you did one or two years ago.” 

Just under 172,000 Danes are registered on the RKI after being reported for not paying bills. Appearing on the registry can make it harder to rent an apartment, get a job, or even a mobile phone. 

On the upside, the average person on the RKI owes about 55,000 kroner in unpaid bills, down from about 65,000 kroner last year. 

READ MORE: Boligstøtte: Who can claim Denmark’s national rent subsidy? 

Copenhagen Fashion Week dawns 

Tuesday marks the beginning of Copenhagen Fashion Week, when buyers from all over the world gather to see Danish designers present their newest wares. 

Industry analysts aren’t bullish about the event’s prospects, though, according to broadcaster DR. After a record-breaking 45.1 billion kroner year for Danish fashion companies in 2021, the war in Ukraine and dwindling consumer confidence is likely to mean fewer sales and zero growth.