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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

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

The eight-metre high sculpture “Pillar of Shame” by Jens Galschiøt
The eight-metre high sculpture “Pillar of Shame” by Jens Galschiøt, which formerly sat on the University of Hong Kong’s campus, was installed at Rådhuspladsen in central Copenhagen on Thursday. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

309 Ukrainians given temporary residence under special law 

309 people from Ukraine have so-far been granted residence in Denmark under the special law enacted last week.

The law gives Ukrainians access to the Danish labour market, schools and social services with a simplified process that allows them to avoid the normal asylum system.

The number of 309 was correct as of March 22nd, broadcaster DR reports based on Immigration Service figures.

The government initially said it expected 20,000 refugees from Ukraine to come to Denmark as a result of the Russian invasion of their country, but has since said it now expects “significantly more” than that number.

READ ALSO: Does Denmark give money to people who let Ukrainian refugees stay at their homes?

8,580 cartons of milk recalled over possible cleaning fluid contamination

The dairy Thise Mejeri has recalled 8,580 cartons of its milk product Coop 365 minimælk, which is sold in Fakta and Coop stores across Denmark.

The recalled milk has a manufacturing date of March 22nd and a best before date of April 2nd, and a barcode number of 5701975300953.

The product is recalled due to an error in maintenance of a machine which resulted in cleaning produce being mixed into a quantity of milk during production.

Not all of the cartons of milk are affected, but Thise Mejeri said it was recalling all 8,580 cartons related to the production error. Customers who have one of the cartons should throw it away or return it.

Eriksen ‘very happy’ to be back with Denmark team

Christian Eriksen said yesterday he was “very pleased” to join up with the Denmark team, just nine months after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Eriksen has linked up once again with the national side ahead of friendlies against the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Saturday and Serbia in Copenhagen on Tuesday.

“I’m very happy and pleased to be able to be back with national team again. It’s been a while, so I am very happy to be back,” the midfielder said in Marbella, where the Denmark squad are training.

Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest in Denmark’s opening game of the European Championships against Finland in Copenhagen last June.

Weather: Forecasters promise sunny and pleasant weekend

A sunny weekend could see temperatures reach a balmy 15 degrees Celsius on Friday afternoon.

A westerly wind could cool things down on Saturday and Sunday, but the sun will remain and it should still be mild enough outside to enjoy a spring walk, with around 12 degrees forecast.

Sunday afternoon and evening could see some clouds draw in, however.

READ ALSO: Is Denmark having its sunniest March ever?

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Falling unemployment, the Danish government refusing to accept debt payments from citizens, and plans for a fully swimmable Copenhagen harbour are among the top news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Danish government returns debt payments from 138,000 people 

Having a debt to the Danish public sector on your books can have serious financial consequences, including jeopardizing your eligibility to secure a mortgage. But from January to October 2022, 138,000 Danes trying to square their debts with the government were refused due to confusion about whether the Danish Debt Collection Agency actually has the right to receive it, newspaper Berlingske reports.

Data from the agency indicate the number of debts considered “not ready for recovery” has leapt 1.5 million this year alone. Half of those debts are connected to Danish tax agency, Skat. 

According to Berlingske, the issues with ‘unpayable’ debts arose in 2015 when EFI, the IT system Skat used to collect debt, was shuttered. 

Based on the scale of the problem, the government will have to consider cancelling some of the debts, Peter Bjerre Mortensen, professor of public administration at Aarhus University, tells Berlingske. 

“They need to swallow some very big camels and/or simplify some legislation or forgive some debts, because right now it seems that things are still going the wrong way,” Mortensen says. 

READ MORE: ‘Topskat’: What is Denmark’s high income tax bracket? 

Politicians push for ‘fully swimmable’ Copenhagen harbour 

Currently, swimming in Copenhagen’s harbours is only allowed at 11 designated bathing zones — though that doesn’t deter the estimated 200,000 people who take a dip elsewhere in the harbour yearly, risking fines. Now, Copenhagen mayor Sophie Hæstorp Andersen and other local politicians hope to flip the system on its head, making the vast majority of the harbour swimmable with a few ‘no-go’ zones. 

City officials plan to mark certain areas — for instance, near wastewater outlets or sailboat traffic — with ‘no swimming’ signs. 

READ MORE: Why the shocking cold of winter bathing is a Nordic favourite 

Unemployment continues to fall in Denmark 

October marked another record-breaking low for unemployment in Denmark, according to data from the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment and the Danish Chamber of Commerce. 

Just 11,519 full-time workers were experiencing ‘long-term unemployment’ (meaning they had been unemployed for at least 80 percent of the previous year) in October. That’s down from 12,400 in September, which was the lowest figure in 26 years, according to newswire Ritzau. 

In March 2020, there were 22,000 long-term unemployment benefit recipients, which spiked to 40,000 in April 2021. 

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