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

Today in Denmark: A round-up of the news on Wednesday
Danish fans fill Copenhagen’s Parken stadium during Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Israel. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/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.

Local authorities not convinced by government ‘useful jobs’ plan for unemployed

The government yesterday presented proposals for reforms to the social welfare benefits system. One of the biggest talking points revolves around a plan to require people in the integration system to work for 37 hours weekly to qualify for basic forms of unemployment benefits.

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The nature of the tasks to be performed by the eligible persons – estimated to number an initial 20,000 nationally, according to the government – would be decided on a local level by municipalities.

That has been met with skepticism by the interest organisation for municipalities, Kommunernes Landsforening (KL).

“We can’t get this done by feeding the dog with its own tail,” said KL chairperson and Aarhus mayor Jacob Bundsgaard, in reference to the potential drain on municipal job centre resources.

“We need to have a proper talk about how we are going to finance this in a way that doesn’t pull the rug from under the active work get people into employment,” Bundsgaard told news wire Ritzau.

“Otherwise we only risk increasing unemployment and the lack of labour at businesses,” he said.

Former PM’s new party close to approval for elections

When former prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen left the Liberal party earlier this year, his future in Danish politics looked unclear.

But the ex-PM remains a political heavyweight and the new party formed by him at the beginning of the summer, the Moderates, now has just over two thirds of the 20,000 citizen’s declarations needed to qualify for general elections.

The party jumped from 7,400 to 14,000 declarations between Sunday and Wednesday, according to reports in Danish media.

Rasmussen has previously said his new party will attempt to unite Danes with a variety of different backgrounds and political viewpoints. It is not expected to launch fully until after November’s local elections.

Denmark assists 20 people in Afghanistan overland escape

Foreign minister Jeppe Kofod said yesterday evening that Denmark has helped 20 people on its own list to leave Afghanistan via an overland route.

In a written comment to news wire Ritzau, Kofod said that 11 of the 20 are former interpreters or local staff from the now-defunct Danish embassy in the country or with the EU, along with their family members.

The remaining nine are Danes who were registered with the foreign ministry, he said.

Denmark has worked to help its own nationals as well as Afghans who worked with Denmark in an official capacity to escape Afghanistan since last month’s takeover by the Taliban.

But Copenhagen has been accused of being too slow to react to the impending power change, while defence minister Trine Bramsen was criticised earlier this week after saying Denmark had not hired Afghan interpreters since 2001. While that is true, interpreters employed under the British military or a private American company worked closely with the Danish military after 2001.

READ ALSO: Danish parties strike deal to evacuate some Afghan employees


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