Today in Denmark: A roundup 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 roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen talks to journalists on Tuesday morning at the start of the government's conference on Denmark's future. Photo: Claus Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark’s government holds conference on ‘the future of Denmark’ 

Denmark’s ruling Social Democrat government launches a conference on Tuesday on “the future of Denmark”, with speeches and workshops aimed at drawing a line under the coronavirus pandemic and refocusing the government on the goals for the rest of this parliamentary term, and into the next one. 

The government has invited in a broad selection of Danish society to discuss how to reform Denmark’s welfare state. 

Everyone in Denmark will have a third vaccine dose’: Health Minister

Denmark’s health authorities now expect to give third vaccine doses to everyone in the country, and aim to vaccinate 90 percent of the population, the country’s health minister said at a press conference on Monday.

At a press conference called by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen to update citizens on the coronavirus pandemic, Magnus Heunicke said that the health authorities were now planning for booster doses to be universal.

“The expectation in Denmark is that we will all have a third dose of the vaccine,” he said. “The question is when.”

The Danish Health Authority said last week that it would publish guidelines this week on who in the country will be eligible for booster doses and when they can be expected to receive them, with the agency’s deputy director saying that the first in line would be people with health conditions that weaken their immune systems. Read our story here

Danish invests 800m kroner in pharma company to develop corona vaccine 

Denmark is investing 800m kroner in the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Bavarian Nordic, a Danish pharmaceuticals company. At a press conference on Monday, Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said the country would get at least half of the investment back in the form of doses, if the vaccine is approved by the European Medicines Agency, as expected, early next year. 

Danish parties call for Covid-19 to be downgraded from ‘an illness which is a threat to society’

Denmark’s centre-right Liberal party and far-left Red-Green Alliance have both called for Covid-19 to be downgraded so that is no longer classes as a serious threat to society, which will prevent the government from ordering local lockdowns, residence bans and compulsory tests.

“I think it is urgent, because from a reasonably sober consideration, we just have to state that Covid-19 does not as it is now live up to the definition of a socially critical disease, as described in the Epidemic Act,” said Peder Hvelplund, the Red-Green Alliance’s Covid-19 spokesperson. 

850 Afghans apply to come to Denmark under 2013 interpreter agreement

Around 850 Afghans applied last weekend to be allowed to come to Denmark via 2013 translator agreement, but only one of them met the criteria to be evacuated. 

“Until August 10th, we had four applications from people who said that they had been interpreters and worked with Danish soldiers,” Defence Minister Trine Bramsen said. “At the beginning of last week, the number increased, and now we have well over 1,000 applications. “Last week we identified 36 interpreters, and now over the weekend we have, out of many applications, identified one who has collaborated with Danish soldiers.”

Denmark to cut Covid-19 tax break for building work 

Denmark’s finance minister plans to drop the Boligjobordningen, or “housing jobs regulation”, brought in to encourage home-owners to hire builders and other artisans over the pandemic, from its coming finance bill, arguing that the sector is booming no longer needs government support. 

In 2021, the government doubled the allowed tax deduction for wages for craftsmen for energy improvements or climate adaptations from 12,500 to 25,000 kroner. According to TV2 the tax break is now being returned to normal. 

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Object recovered near Nord Stream pipeline, Field’s shooter charged, possible ban on biker gang and other news from Denmark on Thursday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Denmark recovers object near sabotaged Nord Stream pipeline

Denmark has recovered a cylindrical object spotted near the sabotaged Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the Danish Energy Agency said yesterday, adding it was a “smoke buoy”.

The agency said in a statement that the object had been recovered at a depth of 73 metres and that a “representative of the owner, Nord Stream 2 AG, was present during the salvage”, news wire AFP reports.

According to the energy agency, the recovery was completed on March 28th.

“Investigations indicate that the object is an empty maritime smoke buoy, which is used for visual marking,” it said in a statement, adding that “the object does not pose a safety risk.”

Danish vocabulary: at bjærge — to salvage

Suspect in Field’s shooting charged with murder

A man suspected of killing three people in the Field’s shopping mall in Copenhagen last July has been charged with murder and attempted murder, the prosecution service said on Wednesday.

“The 23-year-old man is accused of killing three people, a 17-year-old boy, a 17-year-old girl and a 46-year-old man”, it said in a statement.

The man, whose identity has not been disclosed, has also been charged with 12 counts of attempted murder.

Arrested outside Field’s just after the July 3rd shooting, the man, who has a history of mental health illness, has been detained in a closed psychiatric ward.

Investigators believe the attack was planned, Danish media have reported.

Danish vocabulary: anklagemyndighed — public prosecutor

Justice ministry considers ban on biker gang

The Ministry of Justice is weighing its options over a potential ban on the biker gang Satudarah, broadcaster DR reports.

The biker group is linked with organised crime and is a rival to other groups including Hells Angels and Bandidos.

“They constitute a serious danger and serious threat to society and to Danes. We will therefore use all imaginable resources we can within the rules of the constitution,” Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard told DR.

Denmark’s constitution protects the right to public gathering, but the country’s laws allow the police to order criminal groups to be dissolved. The law was used against the Loyal to Familia gang in Copenhagen in 2021.

The municipality in West Jutland city Esbjerg this week used a different law to ban Satudarah from using a specified address in the town as a clubhouse.

Danish vocabulary: rockere — biker gang members

Copenhagen Zoo hopes to ignite panda romance

Copenhagen Zoo has begun a new strategy to encourage mating — giving the prospective couple more time to get to know each other.

The Danish capital’s zoo decided to put the bears in the same enclosure a month earlier than usual so they can get acquainted while temperatures remain cooler, so they don’t bicker when the mating season begins.

“This year’s panda date is under way,” the zoo wrote on its website.

The zoo also published images showing the pandas keeping a respectful distance and mostly glaring at each other, showing “there’s not exactly love in the air (yet).”

On loan from China for 15 years, Mao Sun and Xing Er arrived in Copenhagen in spring 2019 and since then all attempts to breed have been unsuccessful.

“We are trying an approach that has been successful with our polar bears and brown bears, we are putting them together now, even though Mao Sun will not be ready for several weeks,” veterinarian Mads Frost Bertelsen said in a statement reported by AFP.

Danish vocabulary: at parre sig — to mate