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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

New stone throwing incidents in Sweden, possible cash boosts for students and Denmark moving forward with a prison agreement with Kosovo are among the main news stories on Wednesday.

File photo of a spring garden in Denmark
File photo of a spring garden in Denmark. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Concerns over new spate of stone throwing at Danish cars in Sweden 

New episodes of stone throwing targeted at cars on the road between Ystad and Malmö in Sweden – used by many Danish motorists heading to the island of Bornholm – have resulted in eight reports filed to Swedish police in April, including three from Danes.

Last summer and autumn saw as many as 140 instances of stone throwing, mostly targeted at Danes on their way to or from Bornholm.

“It’s naturally unsettling for us to hear about stone throwing because you can’t avoid thinking about it when you drive through Sweden,” a representative from a society for Bornholm ferry passengers told broadcaster DR.

Police in Sweden recently closed investigations into last year’s episodes but are prepared to reopen inquiries, the broadcaster writes.

READ ALSO: Swedish police investigate spate of motorway attacks on Danish cars

Hotel sector makes up for lost ground after pandemic 

A large number of overnight stays lost by the Danish hospitality sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 were recovered in 2021, according to new data from Statistics Denmark.

Commercial accommodation in Denmark recorded 52.4 million overnight stays last year, an increase of 16 percent compared to 2020.

Danes themselves are responsible for a large proportion of the increase with many people deciding to holiday domestically. 35.1 million Danes stayed “away at home” at hotels and other accommodation in 2021, 21 percent more than in 2020.

Political parties keen on financial support for students hit by high price of goods

Minister of Finance Nicolai Wammen will today discuss financial support for people in Denmark hard hit by ongoing price increases impacting the cost of food and other everyday goods.

Several parties want focus to be on students in particular, DR reports.

The Socialist People’s Party (SF), a close political ally of the government, said it wants to give students a one-off cash payment of 2,000 kroner.

An increase to a tax deduction for commuters was announced yesterday in response to high fuel prices.

Denmark signs treaty to rent 300 prison cells in Kosovo

People with criminal convictions who are to be deported from Denmark in connection with their convictions could find themselves serving their sentences in Kosovo after Denmark yesterday signed a treaty to rent 300 prison places in the Balkan country.

“Our expectation is that the practical side of things can be ready in the first quarter of 2023,” Justice Minister Nick Hækkerup told news wire Ritzau. Hækkerup called the agreement with Kosovo “absolutely marvellous”.

Although inmates will serve their sentences in Kosovo, they will have the right to live under the same conditions as prisoners on Danish soil. As such, adaptation and renovation of the Kosovan prison facility will take place before the deal becomes active.

The treaty is also subject to final approval from the Danish and Kosovan parliaments. It follows an agreement in principle between the two countries late last year.

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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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