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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

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 Wednesday
File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Greater Copenhagen to investigate emergency call delays 

Elected officials in the Greater Copenhagen healthcare administration yesterday voted to initiate an “in-depth” investigation into issues with 112 emergency calls.

The region has faced criticism after reports of so-called ‘missed calls’, meaning calls in which the caller does not receive the necessary immediate assistance from a trained health worker on the emergency line due to call queuing.

Broadcaster DR reported last week that as many as 1 in 12 emergency calls in Greater Copenhagen during June and July this year went unanswered.

The investigation will be conducted internally but will call on outside experts, the region said.

“When you call 112 you must be sure of getting help as soon as possible and we are therefore taking this very seriously and trying to find solutions,” the chairperson of the Greater Copenhagen Region, Lars Gaardhøj, told news wire Ritzau. 

Denmark to donate three million additional Covid-19 vaccine doses

Three million Covid-19 vaccines are to be donated by Denmark to countries in Africa as well as climate change-threatened island states, according to a statement from the Prime minister’s office on Tuesday evening.

“Vaccines are our superweapon against the pandemic. And we must increase global access to vaccines. Because no one is safe before everyone is safe,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said in the statement.

The donations will primarily be organised through the Covax scheme. The donated vaccines will be of the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson variety, both of were withdrawn from Denmark’s national vaccination scheme earlier this year.

The country will soon take delivery of seven million doses of the J&J vaccine, it was reported yesterday, despite that vaccine not being in use in its mainstream vaccination programme.

Denmark earlier pledged three million vaccine doses to the scheme and is therefore doubling its contribution with the additional donation.

The country “has enough vaccines to cover Danish needs, including when you take into account the need for revaccination,” Frederiksen said.

Minister defends evacuation of dual national from Syrian camp 

Immigration minister Mattias Tesfaye has defended the government’s decision to evacuate a woman and her children from a prison camp in Syria after it emerged the woman was a dual national, and therefore ostensibly not eligible for rescue under government policy.

After broadcaster DR earlier reported that one woman with dual citizenship was allowed to return to Denmark, while four others must remain at the camps, the lawyer for the women accused the government of double standards.

“We are in a situation here where we are making an exception because there are some special circumstances in this case,” Tesfaye told DR.

“We are dealing with the evacuation of children. The evacuation is imminent,” he added.

We’ll have more on this story in an article today.

New ‘D-mark’ for digital standards to appear on products 

It’s not a return of the erstwhile German currency, but the ‘D-mark’ comes into effect in Denmark today.

The labelling, which will be used on products including food and children’s toys, is a mark of “digital responsibility”. Denmark is the first country in the world to use such a label.

The D-mark will appear on products that are made using responsible IT security and data management.

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Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Friday

Parliament votes for joining EU defence schemes, Danish PM 'rounded on' EU Council President, new fee for repeated citizenship applications, and Queen Margrethe to return to public duties. Here's some of the day's news.

Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Friday

Danish parliament votes to join EU ammunition-to-Ukraine scheme

A broad majority in the Danish parliament voted on Thursday for the country to join the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the Permanent Structured Cooperation (Pesco), meaning Denmark will be able to take part in the EU’s joint scheme for buying and delivering ammunition to Ukraine. 

The move was made possible by the referendum decision last June to end Denmark’s opt-out from the European Union’s defence policies. 

“One of the arguments for abolishing the defence reservation was that we should have the opportunity for greater, active participation in European defence policy,” Troels Lund Poulsen, Denmark’s acting Minister of Defence, said in a press release. 

Danish vocab: fælles – common/joint

Mette Frederiksen ’rounded on EU council president’ over inept chairing of summit

Danish Prime Minister gave EU Council President Charles Martel a public dressing down at a European Council summit in February, the Politico newspaper has reported. 

“In a rare interjection,” the newspaper reports, “the Danish prime minister took to the mic to voice her displeasure. But the target of her ire wasn’t the subject of the debate; rather, the way it was being conducted. Charles Michel, the president of the Council and the man responsible for running it, was allowing too much time for the discussion of specific texts instead of steering the debate toward a conclusion.” 

When Frederiksen was asked about the episode on arrival at a new EU summit on Thursday, she played it down, but did not deny it. 

“Ah, now that’s been twisted a little,” she told TV2, reportedly with a lopsided smile. 

Danish vocab: skæv – lop-sided 

Denmark to introduce new fee for repeated citizenship applications

The Danish government will ask persons applying for citizenship for the third or subsequent time after previous rejections to pay additional fees, the Ministry of Immigration and Integration has announced.

Under current rules, a person whose application for citizenship is rejected can apply again in future without paying an additional fee.

The government has decided to change this so that a third or subsequent application by the same person will incur an additional fee, the immigration ministry said in a statement.

The fee for applying for citizenship is currently 4,000 kroner. When a person submits an application, they can apply again at no extra cost should their application not be successful under the existing rules.

There are a number of reasons a Danish citizenship application can be rejected, including criteria related to residency, language, criminal records and financial self-sufficiency. A Danish citizenship test must also be passed before applying.

Danish vocab: et gebyr – a fee

Denmark’s Queen Margrethe to return to public duty on 83rd birthday

Queen Margrethe is scheduled to return to public duty on April 16th, her 83rd birthday, following a period of convalescence after a back operation.

The Queen’s return to public duty on her birthday was announced in a palace statement on Thursday.

“On this occasion, Her Majesty and The Royal Family will appear on the balconies at Christian IX’s Palace at Amalienborg at 12pm,” the palace said.

“It is expected that The Queen will resume her duties as the country’s sovereign the same day after her successful back operation in February,” it continued.

“The Queen’s physical rehabilitation is going well, but there will continue to be a number of major tasks that The Queen cannot carry out as planned in the coming months. Information about this will be shared on an ongoing basis,” it said.

Danish vocab: at genoptage – to resume 

Danish hospital made 293 cancer patients wait too long for surgery

Some 293 bowel cancer patients at Aarhus University Hospital waited longer than they should have to undergo surgery.

The Central Jutland health authority, which administrates the hospital in Aarhus, gave the figure in a review it released on Thursday.

The admission from the regional health board comes after broadcaster DR had reported that 182 patients with serious bowel cancer had waited too long for an operation at Aarhus University Hospital (AUH).

The period covered by DR’s reporting is May to December 2022, while the figure from Region Central Jutland is for January 2022 until February 2023.

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

Danish vocab: kræftpatienter – cancer patients