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TODAY IN DENMARK

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.

People in Kolding look on as a tug boat removes a dead North Sea beaked whale from the town's harbour on January 26th.
People in Kolding look on as a tug boat removes a dead North Sea beaked whale from the town's harbour on January 26th. Photo: Søren Gylling/Jysk Fynske Medier/Ritzau Scanpix

Government could give tax-free sum to families with high heating bills 

Amid ongoing political talks over how to tackle the very high current cost of energy for households and businesses, the government wants to pay out a one-off, tax-free sum to families particularly hard hit by the price rises, newspaper Jyllands-Posten reports this morning.

Both individually gas heated homes and houses on district heating systems could be offered cash under the political initiative.

“We propose that we put together a heating cheque for Danes who are hardest hit – specifically, that means people who have individual gas heating or live in district heating areas where the district heating supply relies on gas,” the minister for climate, energy and critical supplies, Dan Jørgensen, told Jyllands-Posten.

We’ll have more detail on this story in an article today.

READ ALSO: Why some homes in Denmark are more affected by rocketing heating bills

Prime Minister touts return to ‘life as we knew it’ after announcing end of Covid restrictions

Denmark will remove virtually all Covid restrictions from next Tuesday despite record infections, counting on a high vaccination rate to cope with the milder Omicron variant, the government said yesterday.

“We are saying farewell to the restrictions and welcome to life as we knew it before corona,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told a press conference.

Denmark is set to become the first European Union country to lift domestic curbs despite the Omicron wave sweeping the continent, news wire AFP writes.

The successful vaccine programme proved a “super-weapon”, Frederiksen said. 

“It has given us a solid defence against infection that continues.

“That’s why the government decided that coronavirus should no longer be considered a threatening disease for society,” she said.

READ ALSO: Denmark confirms plan to lift Covid-19 restrictions on February 1st

Businesses consider retaining Covid restrictions

Although government-mandated Covid-19 restrictions will largely end on Tuesday, some businesses are considering keeping rules in some form, broadcaster DR reports.

The Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri) said that a number of companies would like to continue using the coronapas while others would like to retain face mask rules.

Mali repeats demand for Denmark to withdraw its forces

Mali’s military government on Wednesday repeated a demand that Danish special forces withdraw from the Sahel state, noting recent “inappropriate” comments made by Denmark’s foreign minister. 

The junta, which came to power in a coup in August 2020, had first asked Denmark to withdraw its troops on Monday, following a deployment it said had been undertaken without consent. 

A contingent of around 90 Danish soldiers arrived in Mali to join European special forces supporting the country’s anti-jihadist operations earlier this month.

On Tuesday, Denmark’s Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod told reporters that Danish forces were in Mali “on a clear basis” and that his government was seeking to clarify the issue. 

“There is currently a difficult diplomatic discussion with the transitional government,” he added. 

“They have suspended democracy, and we want to see it return as soon as possible”. 

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

A new military hub for Nato on Danish shores, a filmmaker representing Denmark at Cannes, and a slightly cooler weekend are among the top news stories in Denmark this Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

‘Military hub’ for US, Nato forces coming to Denmark 

The port city of Esbjerg, which also played host to this week’s green energy meetings, has been flagged as the site of a new mustering point for Nato and especially United States military forces, according to a press release from the Danish Ministry of Defense. 

The United States expressed interest in Esbjerg, on Jutland’s west coast, in particular as a jumping-off point to transport troops and technology to the Baltic Sea area. 

“The Port of Esbjerg has a good location and size, proximity to the airport, good connections to the railway and motorway network and is close to several large barracks,” the press release said. 

The Danish government plans to make a number of costly improvements to the port to better support the new military hub. Those are expected to be completed by the end of 2023, the release said. 

READ ALSO: Denmark prepared to send 800 troops to Baltic states

Iranian living in Copenhagen shines at Cannes Film Festival

Danish-Iranian Ali Abassi, 40, is making waves at the Cannes Film Festival with his new film “Holy Spider,” the “gritty story of a serial killer ‘cleansing’ the Iranian holy city of Mashhad,” newswire Agence France-Presse reports. 

Abassi grew up in Iran and immigrated to Scandinavia to study architecture in Stockholm at the age of 21, ultimately settling in Copenhagen after attending the National Film School of Denmark. 

In 2018, Abassi brought home the trophy for Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section with “Border,” which AFP describes as an “eccentric troll-fantasy film about a border guard.” 

Cooler weather ahead 

After two balmy days, Denmark can expect a cooler and cloudier weekend, according to the Danish Meteorological Institute. 

“The beautiful weather has almost disappeared like dew to the sun,” meteorologist Klaus Larsen told newswire Ritzau with a little poetic flair. 

We can look forward (or not) to a Saturday with minimal sunshine, “fresh” winds, occasional showers, and temperatures between 14-18 degrees. 

Sunday is your best chance for outdoor fun, Larsen says. “It will stay mostly dry with little or no sun and winds that will decrease and become light to steady during the day.” 

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