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

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 news on Monday
Danish finance minister Nicolai Wammen receives physical copies of the 2022 budget proposal on Sunday. Photo: Thomas Sjørup/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark’s government to present 2022 budget proposal on Monday

Denmark’s finance minister, Nicolai Wammen, will present the government’s budget proposal on Monday at a press conference live-streamed here at 11am.

According to the Ritzau newswire, the government intends to establish a running negotiating fund of 1.2 billion kroner a year, which it will then use to fund new commitments agreed with other parties during the year. 

The government also wants to set aside 4 billion kroner for future challenges around Covid-19. 

Travel blamed for rise in Covid-19 cases in Danish old age nursing homes 

Employees of elderly care homes who travelled abroad during the summer were largely responsible for bringing Covid-19 back to Denmark’s elderly care homes, Denmark’s Berlingske newspaper has reported. 

As many as 18 new cases were registered last week among fully vaccinated residents of Denmark’s care homes, according to the weekly statement from Denmark’s SSI infectious diseases agency.

Nis Peter Nissen, director of the Alzheimer’s Association, called the development “serious and worrying”.

“We must make every effort to analyze the causes and look at what can be done to reduce the risk,” he told Berlingske. “Do not sit on your hands and wait for it to go as wrong as it did last winter.” 

The preceding week, 12 cases of Covid-19 were registered among fully vaccinated residents in Danish elderly care homes. Five Covid-19-related deaths have been recorded.

Danish left-wing parties lobbying government to scrap tax reductions for cleaning and home improvements 

The Red-Green Alliance, Socialist Left, and Social Liberal party are together pushing the government to scrap the boligjobordningen, or “housing job scheme”, which gives tax breaks to those who employ cleaners, babysitters, nannies, window cleaners, gardeners, as well as for home improvements like replacing windows, insulation, installing solar cells, and painting outside walls. 

The scheme was brought in back in 2011 to help prop the economy up following the financial crisis, and was expanded last year during the pandemic. The three parties no longer believe it is necessary. 

Second Afghan evacuee held pending trial for breaking entry ban 

A 31-year-old man who arrived in Denmark on Tuesday after being evacuated from Afghanistan was placed in pre-trial custody for 13 days on Friday, pending trial for breaking a ban on entering the country. The man is the second evacuee from Kabul who has turned out to have been previously deported after being jailed in Denmark for a crime. 

On Tuesday, the man said that he had been employed by the Danish authorities in Kabul, and had been given the green light to be evacuated together with his wife and his two small children, who were aged two years and four months respectively.

Liberal Party slams government for going solo with Afghanistan evacuation inquiry 

The centre-right Liberal Party has sharply criticised Denmark’s government for launching an inquiry into the evacuation of Danish citizens and Afghan employees from Kabul without consulting with or agreeing the terms of the inquiry with other parliamentary parties. 

“The government should have convened all the parliamentary parties so that we could jointly decide a model for how this inquiry should take place,” Michael Aastrup Jensen, the Liberal Party’s foreign affairs spokesman, told Ritzau. 

The government on Friday announced that an inter-ministerial group comprising the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Immigration and Integration Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, and other relevant underlying authorities – would be responsible for the evaluation.

“We cannot allow the government to investigate itself, and I expect a majority in the parliament to agree on this,” Aastrup Jensen said, calling for the inquiry to fully independent of the government. 

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Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Wednesday

Støjberg attacks Rasmussen for relaxing tough migration laws, Danish IT company declared bankrupt, 'no quick fix' for cancer waiting lists, and record number of foreigners came to work in Denmark in 2022. Here's some of the morning's news from Denmark.

Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Wednesday

Denmark Democrat leader attacks government for relaxing migration policy

Inger Støjberg, the leader of the far-right Denmark Democrats, has attacked the government, and in particular Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen for relaxing immigration policy, and ignoring the principle that refugees who no longer need Denmark’s protection should go home. 

Støjberg was arguably Denmark’s most hardline ever immigration minister during Rasmussen’s second term as prime minister between 2015 and 2019. Both Støjberg and Rasmussen have since left the centre-right Liberal Party to form their own parties. 

As migration minister, Støjberg brought in a law allowing police to strip refugees of their jewellery, a ban on Islamic face veils, and a requirement that all those getting citizenship shake the hand of the mayor. 

“I carried it in my heart,” she said of those policies. “That is why I am infinitely sad that Lars Løkke Rasmussen did not take it to heart and is now doing away with the cornerstone, which is to send people home who no longer need our protection.”

Rasmussen has since called these measures “gesture politics”, saying that were only adopted to put pressure on the Social Democrats. 

However, he accused Støjberg of “overdoing it and overinterpreting things”.

“I completely agree that when you apply for asylum, it is because there is a special situation, and if it changes, you have to go home,” he said. “It just can’t be such a hard-boiled point of view, because then you have a heart of ice if you can’t also look at it a little practically.”

Danish vocab: grundstenen – the cornerstone

Danish IT company declared bankrupt after revelations

The Danish IT company Meew has been declared bankrupt by Denmark’s commercial court, weeks after it cancelled a listing on the Spotlight exchange in Stockholm following revelations that its founder fabricated qualifications. 

The Finans newspaper revealed in mid-March that Meew founder and managing director Armin Kavousi had falsely claimed to have a doctorate and to have been a brain researcher, among other things falsely claiming to have a master’s in neuroscience from Aston University in Great Britain. 

The following day, the company’s board resigned, and the stock market listing was abandoned.

“They tried to investigate whether there was an opportunity to transfer the healthy parts of the company,” Per Astrup Madsen, a partner in the law firm DLA Piper, told Finans. “There was contact with an investor, but it has not ended up with an actual agreement. Therefore, there was no basis for allowing the reconstruction to continue.” 

Danish vocab: at blive erklæret konkurs – to be declared bankrupt

‘No quick fix’ for Danish cancer waiting lists: health minister

Health Minister Sophie Løhde said on Thursday that she “deeply regrets” missed deadlines for bowel cancer treatment at Aarhus University Hospital, but that the government does not have an immediate fix for the problem.

Danish law requires cancer patients to be operated on within two weeks of the decision to operate being made.

Broadcaster DR recently reported that 182 patients had waited too long for an operation at Aarhus University Hospital (AUH). Following DR’s report, a Region Central Jutland survey found that 293 patients had waited for more than the two weeks prescribed by law over the past year.

Løhde was asked at a briefing on Tuesday whether bowel cancer patients at AUH can now expected to be operated on within two weeks.

“In reality, that should have happened the entire time. I can’t stand here and guarantee that it will happen again tomorrow or the next day, as much as I’d like to,” she said.

“What I can guarantee is that this has the utmost attention on the part of the government.”

Danish vocab: dybt beklageligt – deeply regrettable

‘Record number’ of foreigners move to Denmark for work

A record number of people moved to Denmark from abroad for work reasons in 2022, according to national agency Statistics Denmark.

A total of 31,600 people moved to Denmark to work last yer, according to a Statistics Denmark review released on Tuesday.

The figure corresponds to a 24 percent increase compared to 2021 and is the highest in the history of the statistic, which goes back to 1997.

The average number of work immigrants in the decade prior to 2022 was 21,000 people.

Specifically, the number describes the amount of people who were given work permits in Denmark in a given year.

Danish vocab: rekordmange – a record number (literally “record many”)