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TODAY IN DENMARK

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.

A frosty morning in Aalborg on December 21st.
A frosty morning in Aalborg on December 21st. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Austria considering travel restrictions against Denmark 

Austria is mulling over restrictions on entry for travellers from Denmark and a number of other countries, Austrian broadcaster ÖRF reported yesterday evening.

Tighter travel rules could also be applied to Norway, the Netherlands and the UK, according to the report.

“This is an option we are discussing,” Austrian health minister Wolfgang Mückstein is quoted as saying at a briefing.

A final decision is expected today.

Parliament expels former immigration minister

Parliament on Tuesday voted to expel former migration minister Inger Støjberg, who was convicted last week of violating migrants’ rights by separating asylum-seeking couples.

Following a lengthy debate, 98 members voted for her immediate expulsion and 18 against, making her the first parliamentarian to be kicked out in 30 years.

Støjberg, who was handed a 60-day jail term by a special court last week, had to leave the chamber immediately, waving goodbye as she stepped away.

She said she was open to returning to politics, suggesting this would not be her “last word”.

READ ALSO: Convicted Danish ex-minister faces expulsion from parliament

North Jutland to pay bonus to health sector workers

The North Jutland regional health authority last night voted to use a large proportion of emergency funding allocated in the new budget to pay a bonus to staff, broadcaster DR reports.

The region hopes that bonuses will help to retain staff in the sector, which is under severe strain due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Parliament has allocated 103.3 million kroner to the health authority in North Jutland, which can decide how to distribute the funding.

Nurses, social care staff, porters and cleaning personnel are all set to receive a windfall of 12,000 kroner.

“We have chosen to prioritise in a way that ensures a robust health system through the winter and not least retain our staff on wards where there is a lot of pressure,” the elected chairperson for the health authority, Ulla Astman, told DR.

Maersk to buy Chinese logistics firm for $3.6 billion

Shipping giant AP Møller-Mærsk says it has agreed to acquire LF Logistics, a subsidiary of Chinese supply chain manager Li & Fung, for $3.6 billion as it seeks to expand beyond  its core ocean freight business. 

The deal, which is to be finalised next year, “will allow us to offer truly global door-to-door supply chain solutions,” Mærsk said in a statement reported by news wire AFP.

With operations in 130 countries, Maersk employs around 80,000 people worldwide.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, demand for shipping has surged since mid-2020, in particular from Asia to the United States and Europe.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Growing support for a new Danish 'nature law,' the EU recycling shakeup, and an update on government negotiations are among the top news stories in Denmark on Wednesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Blue parties throw support behind Danish ‘nature law’ initiative 

Protected nature areas make up just 2.3 percent of Denmark’s territory, according to a new report from the Danish Biodiversity Council. Two conservative ‘blue bloc’ parties — the Conservatives and Liberal Alliance — tell newspaper Politiken they’d support a new law to increase that underwhelming percentage. 

During the election campaign, four left-of-centre ‘red bloc’ parties — the Socialist People’s Party, the Social Liberals (Radikale Venstre), the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), and Alternative — suggested the Danish Biodiversity Council draft a bill to bring Denmark in line with a European Union target of 30 percent protected nature with 10 percent strict protections, newswire Ritzau writes. 

Of the entire European Union, Denmark devotes the second-highest proportion of its territory to agriculture, making carveouts for nature more challenging. 
READ MORE: Here are Denmark’s 15 most beautiful natural areas 

Danish Waste Association: EU commission’s recycling initiatives would give Denmark a boost 

A leaked draft from the EU Commission reveals plans to require a certain percentage of post-consumer plastic in new packaging, Ritzau reports. The Danish Waste Association, which represents municipal and private waste companies, say the policy changes would represent an important step toward a true “circular economy” of plastic. 

“We can collect as much packaging waste as citizens have sorted,” says Danish Waste Association Niels Toftegaard. “But if the supermarkets and packaging manufacturers don’t want to use it in new packaging, or invest in the necessary technology to turn old package into new, we will never get a circular economy.” 

Meanwhile, the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri), an association representing the interests of Danish businesses and employers, says it expects companies will struggle to find enough high-quality recycled plastic in Denmark and Europe.

The full EU Commission proposal is expected to be presented November 30th. 

READ MORE: Denmark throws away too much plastic, recycling could save millions: report

Poulsen: no movement on ‘broad government’ negotiations

Søren Pape Poulsen, leader of the Conservative party, says Denmark is “neither further from nor closer to a government” across the centre aisle after the party’s most recent negotiation with Mette Frederiksen and the Social Democrats. 

“Everyone knows that labour market reforms are needed, but so much else is needed. And what should it look like? We all know that health reform is needed, education reforms are needed, and more free choice is needed,” Poulsen told Ritzau. 

“You can’t just sit and design that in an hour and a half, and so of course we talk about what those principles are. And wherever we end up” — referring to whether the Conservatives join the government — “we want to help influence that process,” he said.

READ MORE: What do Danish Liberals want from government negotiations?

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