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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.

A mushroom growing in a Danish forest earlier this week.
A mushroom growing in a Danish forest earlier this week. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Covid-19 infections at highest level since January

Yesterday saw 1,871 new infections with Covid-19 registered in Denmark, the highest daily total since January this year during the peak of the second wave of the coronavirus in the country.

An expert said the epidemic “is developing again domestically, but it is probably still doing so very locally”.

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke on Tuesday called for more of the population to get vaccinated to ward off a potential return of restrictions to limit the virus during the winter.

Full detail in this article.

Health authorities ask government to show them the money to run new hospitals

The government yesterday announced a plan to invest four billion kroner building smaller local hospitals and health services. But regional health authorities say they want to know how the operating costs of the hospitals, including staff salaries, will be paid for.

The 4-billion kroner budget presented by the government covers construction and fittings for the hospitals, including IT, but municipalities and regions will have to foot the rest of the bill, broadcaster DR writes.

Chairperson of the national council for the regions, Stephanie Lose, who is also elected leader of the South Denmark region for the Liberal party, said it was a “shame” that the government plan did not cover hospital operating costs.

High court finds brothers guilty in Bornholm murder case 

The Østre Landsret high court this morning upheld the December 2020 verdict by Bornholm district court finding two brothers guilty of murdering Phillip Mbuji Johansen, whom they knew, in a forest on the island in June last year.

The brothers appealed the verdict, hoping to have it reduced. In the original trial, they admitted gross violence but denied they intended to kill.

But the high court has upheld the conviction, DR reports, stating that “after the testimonies given by the accused and medical information the court has concluded that they committed violence as described in the indictment”.

“In relation to the extent and character of the violence, it is proven that the accused saw it as largely probable that Phillip Mbuji Johansen would die as a result of the violence to which he was subjected,” it added.

The high court will make a decision on sentencing later today, DR writes.

The case became an international story in 2020 when the New York Times reported it, pointing out that the victim was Black and authorities’ insistence the incident was not a hate crime.

This drew a response from fact checkers and prosecutors in Denmark, who denied a racist motive, and the trial revolved around the personal relationship between the victim and his killers.

READ ALSO: Parents of Bornholm killing victim see racism in crime

Thursday’s weather

A pleasant, dry autumn day is forecast today with sunshine and mild temperatures.

With a southwesterly wind giving conditions a touch of warmth, around 10 degrees Celsius this morning will warm up to 14-16 degrees later today.

That does not mean jackets should be left at home – moderate to strong winds are also expected.

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For members


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”)