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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.

øresund bridge
The 200-meter-high pylons on the Øresund Bridge, between Denmark and Sweden, light up in yellow and blue, in support of Ukraine, seen from Copenhagen on Saturday Feb. 26, 2022.. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

Prime Minister says volunteers can join Ukraine fight

Denmark will let its nationals join international brigades forming to fight in Ukraine against Russian forces, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said yesterday.

“It’s a choice that anyone can make. This goes for all Ukrainians who live here, but also for others who think they can contribute directly to the conflict,” she said in a press conference on Sunday. 

“There is nothing at first sight that would legally prevent someone from going to Ukraine to participate in the conflict, on the Ukrainian side,” she added. 

Earlier Sunday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky urged foreigners to head to Ukrainian embassies worldwide to sign up for an “international brigade” of volunteers to help fight invading Russian forces.

READ ALSO: Denmark prepares to close airspace to Russian planes

Denmark to refuse to play football matches against Russia

The Danish football association DBU has followed a number of other countries in saying it would refuse to play against the Russian national team due to the invasion of Ukraine.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with the associations that have stated they will not play against Russia,” DBU director Jakob Jensen told news wire Ritzau.

FIFA on Sunday said that the Russian national team would be forced to play its matches at neutral venues without displaying the Russian flag or playing the anthem, and using the name “Football Union of Russia (RFU)”.

Poland earlier refused to play against Russia in a scheduled World Cup qualifying playoff in March with Sweden and the Czech Republic, who could also face Russia in a subsequent playoff, taking the same stance as Poland.

The Polish FA rejected the decision by FIFA on Sunday saying it would not play against Russia under those circumstances.

“As the situation is now, Russia is a state which has made an unacceptable, aggressive invasion of a free and independent Ukraine,” Jensen said.

Denmark’s GDP grew by 4.1 recent in 2021

The economy recovered strongly in 2021 following the Covid-19 crisis, growing 4.1 percent compared to the previous year according to Statistics Denmark figures.

The GDP in 2021 was also 1.8 percent higher than in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.

“Denmark has, as such, come strongly through the Covid-19 crisis like Sweden and the US, which in 2021 are 1.8 percent and 2.1 percent above 2019 (GDP),” the agency writes.

Growth in Denmark can be attributed to factors including increased employment, more industry and higher consumer spending.

Danish People’s Party hits new low in poll

After a week in which six of its members of parliament quit the party and accusations were thrown and its leadership, the far-right Danish People’s Party (DF) has more bad news with a poll showing its support sinking to a historical low.

According to the poll, conducted by Voxmeter for Ritzau, DF currently has the backing of 4.3 percent of voters, down from 6.1 percent last week.

At the height of its powers, 21 percent of the electorate voted for the national conservative party in the 2015 general election.

READ ALSO: Is the Danish People’s Party chaos a sign of far-right party’s impending collapse?

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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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