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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday

Find out what's going on in Denmark today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

People canoe in Copenhagen's canals during a Christmas
People canoe in Copenhagen's canals during a Christmas "Lucia" parade on December 13th. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

School children to study at home

All elementary school children up to tenth grade will today attend lessons remotely as schools close early for the Christmas holidays.

The measure to reduce Covid-19 transmission was one of a number of restrictions announced by the government last week.

Children unable to stay at home due to their parents’ work situations can still attend school, but not in normal classes.

Schools will reopen on January 5th under the current plan.

READ ALSO: KEY POINTS: The new Covid-19 measures Denmark will impose

Ex-minister’s future in parliament could be decided after guilty verdict

Former immigration minister Inger Støjberg was yesterday found guilty of breaking the Ministerial Responsibility Act and sentenced to 60 days in prison for deliberately issuing an illegal directive in 2016.

A representative committee will today meet to discuss whether Støjberg should be allowed to continue as a member of parliament, broadcaster DR reports. Individual parties have also said they will meet to discuss the question.

Politicians with criminal convictions are excluded from being members of parliament but there is no exact precedence in Støjberg’s case because she was found guilty by a special impeachment court, rather than in a regular criminal trial.

Covid-19 vaccines available at pharmacies

People in the Copenhagen region can from today access Covid-19 vaccination at pharmacies.

The vaccine can be administered by 58 different pharmacies in the region after an agreement was made with the Greater Copenhagen health authority.

The offer is extended to people over the age of 40, who are now also eligible for a booster vaccine after 20 weeks.

Two arrested after collision between British and Danish ships

Two crew members of a British-flagged ship which collided with a Danish ship south of Sweden yesterday morning have been arrested. One of the men onboard the Danish ship has been found dead and the other was still missing on Tuesday morning.

Sweden’s Prosecution Service said in a statement that an investigation into “aggravated drunkenness at sea”, “gross negligence in sea traffic” and “gross causing of death by negligence” had been opened.

One of those arrested was a British citizen born in 1991 and the other a Croatian citizen born in 1965, the Prosecution Service said.

More on this story here.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

A possible 'second wave' of Ukrainian refugees, the Moderates downplaying the importance of joining government, and big savings from heat adjustments are among the top news stories in Denmark on Thursday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Denmark braces for potential ‘second wave’ of Ukrainian refugees 

With much of Ukraine’s infrastructure in shambles after targeted Russian attacks, NATO is telling European countries to prepare to receive more refugees ahead of a harsh winter. In response, municipal governments in Denmark are calling for a new strategy to distribute Ukrainian refugees across the country, broadcaster DR reports. 

Currently, the Danish Immigration Service uses a ‘distribution key’ to decide where to settle refugees — as it stands, larger municipalities are expected to host a number of refugees proportional to their population. 

But Copenhagen municipality in particular says it’s flat out of housing. “They should look at where there are municipalities in the country with empty houses where people can be accommodated, and then distribute according to that instead of distributing according to the size of the municipalities,” Jens-Kristian Lütken, Copenhagen’s ‘mayor’ of employment and integration, tells DR. 

“If there is a new wave of displaced people from Ukraine, they will initially be staying in hotel rooms,” Lütken adds. 

Thus far, 34,945 Ukrainian refugees have been granted temporary protection in Denmark, DR reports. That’s far below initial projections of up to 100,000 from spring 2022. 

READ MORE: ‘Over a quarter’ of Ukrainian refugees in Denmark now working

Moderates downplay importance of joining government 

After another round of negotiations with Mette Frederiksen, Moderate leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen says it’s beside the point if his party joins Frederiksen’s vision of a ‘broad, central’ government, newswire Ritzau reports. 

“For us, it’s not a separate ambition to be part of such a government,” he said outside of the prime minister’s official residence at Marienborg. “Whether we are in or not is less important. But we want to put ourselves in a position where we can influence the content. That’s what matters.” 

However, Rasmussen adds “it strikes me that Mette Frederiksen and I go a long way towards sharing the analysis of what’s good for Denmark.”

Danish municipalities save big with heat reductions 

Beginning in October, almost all Danish public buildings, from schools to town halls, turned the thermostat down to 19 degrees in an effort to save on energy costs as prices skyrocket. A DR survey shows some municipalities generated savings much higher than expected. 

Municipal buildings in Tårnby consumed 20 percent less in October 2022 compared to October 2021, even after compensating for this year’s mild autumn, DR says. And Fredensborg city hall has seen a 45 percent drop in consumption compared to October of the previous year. 

“There are blankets here at the town hall, if there is anyone who thinks that it is too cold at 19 degrees,” Fredensborg mayor Thomas Lykke says. “People are doing breaktime calisthenics and wearing finger gloves, so we try to keep warm, but I don’t see it being a problem for our employees.” 

READ MORE: Energy prices in Denmark rise as winter weather sets in 

Captain Kjær insists Denmark still ‘amazing’ despite World Cup flop

Simon Kjær insisted that Denmark are still a top team despite their dismal 1-0 defeat to Australia which knocked them out of the World Cup at the group stage. 

Denmark had come into the tournament on a high after getting to the semi-finals of last year’s European Championship and beating world champions France home and away in the Nations League.    

But they slumped out of tournament in humiliating fashion, finishing bottom of Group D with just one point and a single goal scored after Mathew Leckie fired Australia into the last 16.    

“We didn’t deliver as a team, massively disappointed but that’s part of football, we were flying very high in the Euro, now we’re pretty far down,” said captain Kjær, who sat out of Wednesday’s match injured.

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