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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

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

People queue for Covid-19 testing in Copenhagen's Fælledparken on December 16th.
People queue for Covid-19 testing in Copenhagen's Fælledparken on December 16th. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

Politicians meet to discuss new coronavirus restrictions

Health spokespersons from the various political parties are scheduled to meet this morning. It is likely the meeting will result in new Covid-19 restrictions being agreed upon.

Health officials at a press briefing yesterday evening indicated new restrictions are possible and necessary, though the decision to implement them and what to implement must be taken by politicians.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen wrote in a Facebook post yesterday that she expects new restrictions, after a record 9,999 new cases were recorded.

We’ll follow any announcements today and report them once they are confirmed.

READ ALSO: What new Covid-19 restrictions could Denmark introduce?

Verdict in major fisheries cases

Judges are scheduled to pass verdict today in the biggest criminal court case in the history of the Danish fishing industry.

The case revolves around fraudulent acquisition of so-called “fiskekvoter” or fishing quotas which are permits used to regulate the amount of fishing and number of fishing companies in Danish waters.

The accused in the case, Henning Kjeldsen, is on trial for allegedly illegally acquiring quotas using “straw men” or cover owners. The prosecution authority is demanding repayments and fines totalling 275 million kroner.

Broadcaster DR has detailed coverage of the case.

Danish word of the year to be announced

A new word of the year is to be unveiled today by the national language institution Dansk Sprognævn.

Last year’s word, samfundssind or community spirit, was Covid-19 influenced. In 2019, the word of the year was klimatosse or someone who is dedicated to campaigning for climate action.

READ ALSO: READERS REVEAL: The best untranslatable words in Danish

Sweden remands UK sailor in custody after fatal ship collision

A Swedish court yesterday remanded a 30-year-old British sailor in custody after a ship collision this week, that left one person dead and another missing, prosecutors said.

The man was arrested on Monday, suspected of “aggravated drunkenness at sea,” “gross negligence in sea traffic,” and “gross negligence causing death,” after an early morning collision between the British ship “Scot Carrier” and the Danish “Karin Høj.”

A district court on Thursday decided to remand the suspect, who rejects the charges, in custody, the prosecutor in charge of the case, Tomas Olvmyr, told news wire AFP.

READ ALSO: Two arrested after British and Danish ships collide south of Sweden

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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.