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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

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 news on Thursday
Nurses protest at Aalborg University Hospital with a sign reading "Good morning Christiansborg" in reference to the Danish parliament. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Municipalities to meet over budget excesses

Mayors from municipalities across Denmark are scheduled to meet today to discuss spending in local authorities in 2022, broadcaster DR reports.

A number of municipalities are currently overspending according to the broadcaster, meaning that they are in breach of their budget agreements with Ministry of the Interior and Housing.

This means potentially difficult discussions, since overspending in some municipalities forces others to make cutbacks so that the local authorities don’t exceed their collective budget.

New national nature parks on way with 23 candidates 

Over 200 potential new national nature parks have been narrowed down to a list of 23, from which a final 10 will be taken, the environment ministry says in a statement released yesterday evening.

Public meetings and further study of the locations will take place before a final decision is made.

Graphic: Ministry of the Environment of Denmark

The national nature parks are intended to boost wild nature that grows on its own terms, and differ from regular national parks, which can be used for farming to a certain extent.

Mayors in some areas have rejected the opportunity to have their national parks redefined as national nature parks because they want to retain existing use of parts of the land, according to reports this week.

Conservative parties want free choice for parental leave, reject “earmarking”

A new agreement between trade unions and employer representation, announced earlier this week, could pave the way for reforms to Denmark’s state parental leave provisions.

The agreement sets out “earmarked” and equal leave for each parent, a break from the current system which provides for a number of weeks which can be shared between the two parents.

You can read more about the differences between the existing and proposed systems in our explainer.

The proposals have elicited a divided response, with backers saying they promote equality and critics saying they interfere with childcare decisions in the private sphere.

Conservative parties have now largely come out against earmarking leave for each parent, DR reports, meaning that parties on the left will likely be required to vote through any bill which might provide for it.

Parliament is scheduled to negotiate earmarked parental leave during the autumn, with a new directive likely to be implemented on January 1st 2022.

Nurses in Aalborg continue week of wildcat strikes

Nurses at Aalborg University Hospital this morning became the latest to continue protests over government-enforced pay and working conditions.

Echoing action taken elsewhere in Denmark throughout this week and last, around 200 nurses walked out between 7:45am and 8:45am, broadcaster TV2 reported.

The action – a so-called wildcat strike, breaking union-employer terms – took place at the behest of a number of nurses at the hospital, who issued a call for it via social media.

The strikes have continued this week in the face of a decision by a labour court last week to order the nurses back to work and ‘normalise’ the situation after the wildcat strikes against a government-imposed collective bargaining agreement. Sanctioned strikes by thousands of nurses took place throughout the summer, prior to the government intervention.

You can read more on the dispute here:

EXPLAINED: Why has the government intervened in Denmark’s nurses strike?

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

'Arne' pension cheaper than feared, police claim Christiania residents sell cannabis, super hospital opens, and a rainy week on the way. Here's some of the news from Denmark on Monday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Early ‘Arne-pension’ less expensive than feared 

Denmark’s finance ministry believes that the so.called Arne-pension, which allows people who start work at a young age to retire earlier, will be cheaper for the Danish state than expected in the years up until 2030. 

According to the Ekstra Bladet newspaper, the government is likely to spend 1.4 billion kroner less than expected in 2023 alone, as more workers than expected opting to retire at a normal time despite being eligible. 

The ministry told the newspaper it expects to save 10.8 billion between 2022 and 2030 on what had initially been expected. 

The Arne pension allows people to retire up to three years early depending on how many years of work they have done. 

Danish vocab: oprindeligt – originally 

Half the cannabis stalls in Christiania run by residents: police

Police in Copenhagen estimate that roughly half of the cannabis stalls operated in ‘Pusher Street’, the open drug market in Christiania, are run by residents of the famed ‘freetown’ commune. 

“We recognise that officially Christiania distances itself from the brutality in Pusher Street, but it nevertheless seems hypocritical when we can ascertain that some of the residents are involved, and there are children under the age of 13 selling hash,” said Tommy Laursen, who leads the police’s efforts to stamp out the organised hash business. 

Hulda Mader, a spokesperson for Christiania, blamed the police’s attempts to shut down Pusher Street had led to increased criminalisation. 

“Intensive efforts made by the police last year have meant that the hashish market has gone from bad to worse,” she said. 

Danish vocab: hyklerisk – hypocritical

New ‘super hospital’ opens outside Copenhagen two years late

The new so-called ‘super hospital’ that was supposed to open two years ago in Køge, a satellite town of Copenhagen, took its first 80 patients on Sunday. 

The new building, Wing R, which opens on Sunday, contains both surgical and medical departments for highly specialised treatment, as well as 200 private rooms spread over eight floors.

Hospital director Niels Würgler Hansen told TV2 that the hospital’s ability to provide specialised treatment will prevent patients from having to travel to the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen. 

Despite the delays, the project stayed within budget. 

Danish vocab: forsinkelser – delays

Rainy week ahead in Denmark 

Get your anoraks and rubber boots ready. Denmark is expected to see heavy rainstorms every day for the first half of this week, clearing on Thursday for a dryer and sunnier Friday. 

“It looks like it will be a relatively grey week with a lot of rain,” Erik Hansen, the meteorologist on duty at Denmark’s Meteorological Institute, told Ritzau on Monday morning. 

But it will be much warmer, with temperatures of between 7C and 12C, with a lot of fog on Monday. 

Danish vocab: en ganske våd uge – a pretty wet week