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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

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

Sunrise near Køge in Denmark in February 2021.
Sunrise near Køge in Denmark in February 2021. File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Messerschmidt chosen as new Danish People’s Party leader

Scandal-hit politician Morten Messerschmidt has been chosen as the new leader of the far-Right Danish People’s Party, despite an ongoing case over his alleged defrauding of EU funds.

Messerschmidt won 60 percent of the 825 votes, easily beating the two other candidates, Martin Henriksen and Merete Dea Larsen.

Messerschmidt was convicted in August of forging documents and defrauding EU funds. But the judge in the case has since been declared incompetent, meaning the case now needs to be heard in a district court, and perhaps later in Sweden’s high court.

In the run-up to the election, several Danish People’s Party MPs described the ongoing case as a serious hurdle for Messerschmidt’s candidacy.

READ ALSO: Far-right Danish People’s Party chooses new leader

Industry says energy bill up by 9.5 billion kroner

The Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) says that businesses in Denmark spent 9.5 billion kroner more on energy in 2021 compared to 2019 as a result of high gas, electricity and oil prices.

The sum represents a “near doubling of energy overheads for businesses, DI sector director Troels Ranis told broadcaster DR.

Electricity prices rose by up to 275 percent in 2021.

READ ALSO: What do Denmark’s politicians want to do about high energy prices?

More charging ports for electric cars  

The number of charging stations for electric cars jumped from 2,879 in 2020 to 4,828 last year, the Ministry of Transport said in a statement.

The 68 percent increase was praised by Transport Minister Benny Engelbrecht.

Sales of electric and hybrid cars have increased rapidly in recent years, hence the demand for more chargers. Denmark is backing green cars in its push to reduce emissions nationally by 70 percent by 2030.

42,018 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday

A total of just over 42,000 new cases of Covid-19 were registered on Sunday. Saturday’s total was 36,120.

Denmark continues to register very high daily figures for new Covid-19 cases, but the number of patients with Covid-19 admitted to hospital is on a relatively mild incline. The number of patients in intensive care with the virus is falling, meanwhile.

813 persons with Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals across Denmark on Sunday. 42 are receiving intensive care for Covid-19 while 27 are being treated with a ventilator.

READ ALSO: Omicron ‘sub-variant’ throws up new virus questions

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Murder at a luxury Copenhagen hotel, changes to laws on Ukrainian refugees, and new Covid surveillance strategies are among the top news stories in Denmark this Thursday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Danish government wants to make Ukrainian refugee “start date” more flexible 

As the law currently stands, Ukrainians who happened to have left their home country — perhaps for vacation or business — just before war broke out could have trouble gaining residence in Denmark. 

The Danish government have announced plans to change the ‘cut-off date’ for when people must have left Ukraine to be considered war refugees from February 24th to February 1st. 

Parliament will consider the amendment to the current “Ukrainian law,” which grants two years’ residence to refugees who meet certain stipulations, including when they fled the country. 

READ ALSO: Denmark plans ‘Ukraine towns’ to accommodate war refugees 

Without widespread testing, how will Denmark predict next Covid wave? 

With Denmark’s once-wide network of public Covid test sites nearly gone, the State Serum Institute — Denmark’s infectious disease agency — is piloting a new program that it hopes will detect upticks in infections.

Ten thousand blood donors and the members of their households will be randomly chosen to participate in the “PCR Home Test Study,” the SSI says. Those who agree to participate will receive test kits from the government and will be asked to self-test once a week for a month, registering each sample in TestCenter Denmark’s app and sending it to the SSI for processing. 

If a new wave is detected, the SSI will consider recommending boosters for groups at high risk, director Henrik Ullum told Danish newswire Ritzau. 

If the program is successful, it could be deployed to monitor other respiratory viruses, such as the flu, Ullum added. 

READ ALSO: Which Covid self-tests should you buy (and avoid) in Denmark? 

Danish man pleads guilty to bow and arrow attack in Norway 

Espen Andersen Brathen the 38-year-old Danish man accused of using a bow and arrow outside a supermarket and stabbing five to death with a knife in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg last October, pleaded guilty to all charges yesterday. 

Although the attack was initially thought to be an act of terrorism, three experts who observed him assessed that Brathen was experiencing paranoid schizophrenia, newswire Agence France-Presse reports. Both the prosecution and defense agree that a psychiatric commitment, rather than a prison sentence, is appropriate. 

Murder at luxury Copenhagen hotel 

The NH Collection on Strandgade — home to the “Feel Safe at NH” campaign during the Covid pandemic — was the site of what authorities describe as a brutal murder on Sunday.  

A 28-year-old man suffered head injuries in a room in the NH Collection, where rooms start at 3000 kroner a night, and died of his injuries Monday evening. Police have one man, a 20-year-old, in custody for the crime and are seeking a 24-year-old Dutch citizen as an alleged accomplice. 

Authorities also suspect the 20-year-old currently in custody in another crime three hours after the incident on Strandgade — a gruesome knife attack at an “apartment hotel” in Silkegade. According to charges read at a preliminary hearing in court yesterday, the second victim was stabbed repeatedly, his cheek was ripped open, and an ear was cut off. 

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