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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.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen arrives for parliament's opening debate on Thursday.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen arrives for parliament's opening debate on Thursday. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

Evacuated women and children from Syria arrive in Denmark 

Fourteen children and their three Danish mothers have arrived in Denmark after being repatriated by the government from a detention camp for former Isis militants and sympathisers in Syria.

The women and children, who have been waiting for months to leave the camps after the government agreed to repatriate them earlier this year, are now in Denmark after leaving the al-Roj camp yesterday, broadcaster DR reports.

According to DR, which previously reported that the three mothers were secretly charged by the government on terrorism laws during the summer, the women are now in police custody and are expected to appear for preliminary hearings today.

First debate in parliament

 The first debate of the new political session takes place today, after the traditional reopening of parliament earlier in the week.

Each party will be given the opportunity to speak during the debate. Individual lawmakers can then request time to speak before Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is given the opportunity to take the platform.

The opening debate often stretches out well into the evening.

Mink commission to begin hearings 

An official inquiry into her government’s decision to cull all farmed mink in Denmark, officially named granskningskommissionen, begins today.

The mink inquiry is related to the government’s decision last November to cull millions of minks at breeding farms across the country, after a concerning variant of Covid-19 was discovered in the animals.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is scheduled to speak to the commission in December.

The inquiry differs from the established form of investigation, termed undersøgelseskommision in that it is further-reaching – for example, by being able to summon witnesses for interview, rather than relying on legal reports or written accounts.

READ ALSO: Danish PM Frederiksen to be questioned over Covid-19 mink culls

New labour agreement could make it (slightly) easier for foreign workers to find a job in Denmark 

Proposed new rules affecting employment were announced yesterday following an agreement between the government and labour organisations.

The agreement, which focuses on several areas of the labour market, aims to ease the lack of labour currently prevalent in the country, in part by assisting companies in employing workers from other parts of Europe and taking measures to smooth the way into jobs for international students.

But the proposed new rules, which would have to be passed by parliament, have been called “limited” by critics who are concerned they do not go far enough to resolve Denmark’s labour shortage.

We have detail of what’s in the agreement in this article.

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For members


Today in Denmark: a roundup of the day’s news on Tuesday

Danish extremist barred from UK, Islamic State sisters lose case against Denmark, Denmark only second happiest country, and home sales in Denmark at lowest level since 2013.

Today in Denmark: a roundup of the day's news on Tuesday

Rasmus Paludan barred from entering UK 

The Danish anti-Islamic extremist Rasmus Paludan had been barred from entering the UK after it emerged that he planned to burn copies of the Quran in the city of Wakefield. 

The UK’s security minister, Tom Tugendhat, told the UK parliament that Paludan has been added to the UK’s “warnings index” after he announced his plans to ban a Quran in the city to mark the start of Ramadan on Wednesday and “will not be allowed access” to the country.

“His travel to the United Kingdom would not be conducive with the public good and he will not be allowed access,” he said, according to The Guardian newspaper.  

Danish vocab: adgang – access 

Islamic State twin sisters lose case against Denmark 

A court in Copenhagen on Monday acquitted Denmark’s immigration ministry for stripping two twin sisters of their Danish citizenship in 2020. 

The sisters were born in Denmark to Somali refugees, and then grew up in the UK before going to Syria to join the Islamic state caliphate in 2014, aged 16. The two are now held in the al-Roj prison camp in Kurdish-held northern Syria. 

The sentence is conditional on the women not becoming stateless.

In 2020, ministry said that the sisters were also Somali citizens and therefore would not be left stateless, but their lawyer, Eddie Omar Rosenberg Khawaja, said that the law in Somalia prohibits dual citizenship, meaning the two had lost their Somali citizenship automatically on becoming Danish citizens at aged four. 

He plans to appeal the judgement. 

Danish vocab: tvillingesøstre – twin sisters

Home sales in Denmark sink to lowest level since 2013

The number of home sales in Denmark fell over the last three months to the lowest level since the start of 2013, when the country was still emerging from a protracted housing slump.

Only 9,931 homes were sold in the last three months of 2022, according to the latest figures from the trade body Finance Denmark, the lowest number for 39 three-month periods. At the same time prices have fallen back to the levels they were at at the end of 2020. 

Prices of apartments fell by 7.2 percent last three months of the year compared to the same period in 2021, while prices for detached houses fell by 6.3 percent.

Danish vocab: bolighandler – home sales

World’s second happiest country: Denmark loses out to Finland again

Denmark is listed at number two on this year’s World Happiness Report, coming second to Finland for the second year in a row.

The UN’s World Happiness Report, published on Monday, puts Denmark second on its national happiness ranking.

Finland takes the title of world’s happiest nation, once closely associated with Denmark, for the sixth year in a row.

The Danish second place is the same as its 2022 ranking and one spot better than in 2021. Denmark once took first place regularly, but this has not happened since 2016. Denmark was also second behind Finland in 2019.