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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.

The day before Christmas will bring snow to most of Denmark.
The day before Christmas will bring snow to most of Denmark. File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Government wants Covid-19 test requirement for arriving travellers 

Rules requiring travellers to take a Covid-19 test prior to arrival in Denmark look to be on the way.

The government yesterday asked parliament’s Epidemic Committee to approve the measure, but technical details caused a delay, broadcaster DR writes.

According to DR’s report, a negative test will be required for travellers to enter the country. Residents of Denmark will however be permitted to take a test up to 24 hours after arrival, should the testing rules tabled by the government be approved.

Approval could be given sometime today with the government scheduled to provide answers to the committee on a number of questions. We’ll report any developments and confirmation of the potential new rule.

The committee meanwhile has approved the extension of coronapas rules to gyms.

Snow on the way for most of Denmark

The day before Christmas Eve will bring snow to most of the country, the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) said in its latest forecast.

“Snow will start from the morning hours. Firstly in central Jutland and then in the rest of the country throughout the morning,” DMI meteorologist Trine Pedersen told news wire Ritzau.

DMI’s forecasters earlier said this week that fine margins could decide whether Denmark gets a white Christmas.

High temperatures hit Greenland

Temperatures have soared in Greenland recently, DMI said yesterday, in line with warming trends experts have linked to global warming. 

In the capital Nuuk, the mercury hit 13 degrees Celsius on December 20th, compared to the -5.3C that is average for this time of year. 

In Qaanaaq in the north, temperatures reached 8.3C, when the seasonal average is usually -20.1 Celsius, DMI said.

“One of the reasons we’re seeing high temperatures is the foehn meteorological phenomenon,” a warm wind that is common in the world’s largest island, DMI climatologist Caroline Drost Jensen told news wire AFP in an email.

Denmark extends detention of four pirates

A Copenhagen court on yesterday extended the detention of four suspected pirates arrested by a Danish navy ship after a shootout off the Nigerian coast, but bringing them to justice in Denmark still poses a legal challenge.

The men’s detention was extended for another four weeks, Birgitte Skjodt, one of their lawyers, told AFP.

The four men — whose nationalities have not been made public — were arrested in November following a firefight with a Danish navy ship in the Gulf of Guinea.

Four other suspected pirates were killed in the skirmish, and a ninth is believed to have fallen overboard, according to the Danish authorities. 

One of the four prisoners, who was injured in the shootout and has since had a leg amputated, has been transferred to a hospital in Ghana under the supervision of Ghanaian police.

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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?