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

Today in Denmark: A round-up of the news on Thursday
A Hercules plane taking off from Kabul airport. Photo: Stringer/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.

Danish government to intervene to end nurses strike by Saturday 

Denmark’s government has decided to end the country’s long-running nurses’ strike with a so-called “legislative intervention”, a special bill that will need to be passed with a super-majority of three-quarters of Danish MPs.  

“Right now our planned operations are running on half power, and it goes without saying that the health service can not function for such a long time at half power,” the country’s health minister, Magnus Heunicke, said at a press conference following a meeting with other parliamentary parties on Wednesday night. 

“For each week the conflict is allowed to continue, the backlog of treatments is extended by 10 weeks. It affects 200,000 patients.” 

According to Denmark’s employment minister, Peter Hummelgaard, the government believes its proposal has the support of enough MPs to pass, even though Socialist People’s Party, the Red-Green Alliance, and the Danish People’s Party have all said they oppose the intervention. 

The bill will put into law the solution that Denmark’s official union mediator drew up after talks between unions and the country’s regional health authorities. The mediator’s proposal was rejected by the nurses. 

Denmark’s last evacuation flight leaves Kabul 

Denmark’s last evacuation plane from Afghanistan landed in Islamabad on Wednesday, the country’s defence ministry said in a statment.  

“The Danish evacuation effort has now been completed. We can no longer fly planes in and out, and therefore this ten-day evacuation with Danish Hercules planes ends,” the country’s defence minister, Trine Bramsen, said. “It is no longer safe to fly in and out of Kabul airport.” 

There were 90 evacuees on board the plane, comprising the last Danish employees, soldiers and diplomats from Kabul. Denmark’s foreign ministry could not on Wednesday give figures for how many on the so-called “Danish list” of those with Danish citizenship or residency, remained in Afghanistan. 

Danish court finds woman guilty of joining Islamic State

A court in Copenhagen on Wednesday found a 23-year-old woman guilty of joining Islamic State in Syria and of trying to help her little sister to do the same.

According to the court, the woman spent two years and nine months living in areas controlled by the Islamic State terror group in Syria. In the trial, she denied this, claiming instead to have spent the time in Turkey and Egypt. 

In its judgement, the court pointed to photos of Islamic State fighters found on the woman’s mobile phone, which it showed had been taken in Raqqa, the group’s former stronghold in Syria. 

The woman was arrested in July 2020 when she arrived in Denmark. Prior to that, she had been in the custody of the Turkish authorities after she was arrested in March 2019 in Turkey.

Danish charities restart work in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan 

Danish charities are reopening their operations in Afghanistan, with Danish People’s Aid, which has built and renovated more than 250 schools in the country, saying their operatives are slowly getting back to work following the upheaval of the Taliban’s takeover. 

“There is a cautious return to a normal working day, which we will test with very careful steps over the next few weeks,” Klaus Nørlem, the charity’s director-general told Danish state broadcaster DR

He said that charity had been in touch with the Taliban both before and after their takeover of Kabul and been assured that their work would be allowed to continue. 

Merete Engell, a nurse working with Medicins sans Frontieres, said that the Taliban had given assurances that all five of the group’s medical projects could continue operating.

“On all five projects, the Taliban have contacted us after the takeover of the province to make sure that we stay, and we have got the assurances we need to have that it is safe for us to be there,” she said. 

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