For members


Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Wednesday

The Nordic defense cooperative surveying the Russian border, sweeping cancellations of SAS flights, and dashed Eurovision dreams are among the top stories in Denmark this Wednesday.

SAS aircraft grounded in Stockholm in April 2020
SAS aircraft grounded in Stockholm in April 2020. Photo: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / AFP

Nordic defense cooperative convenes to discuss Russia 

Defense ministers from Nordic nations will meet today in Norway to discuss what they’re referring to as “Russia’s aggressions,” Danish newswire Ritzau reports. 

Representatives from the member nations of the Nordic Defense Cooperation (Nordefco) — including Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland — will visit observation posts in the Norwegian town of Kirkenes on the border with Russia. 

Danish defense minister Morten Bødskov says Nordefco expects “increased Russian aggression and presence in the Baltic Sea.”

Although there’s no current threat to Denmark or other NATO countries, Bødskov says, “we see a Russia that is constantly testing borders and has been doing so for several years.”

At the end of March, a Russian aircraft briefly entered Danish airspace east of Bornholm and was greeted by Danish F16 fighter jets, the Defense Operations Center said. The Russian plane promptly left Danish airspace. 

READ ALSO: Denmark accuses Russian spy plane of violating airspace 

Denmark eliminated from Eurovision 

For the second year in a row, Denmark’s Eurovision hopes are dashed before the finals. 

Danish entrant Reddi and their song “The Show” failed to secure a spot in yesterday evening’s semifinals. Bookies have apparently been “lukewarm” as to Denmark’s chances, Ritzau reports, so it’s not exactly a shock. 

The bookies are bullish, however, on Ukraine’s chances, and not purely on the merits of the Kalush Orchestra’s song “Stefania.”

Several countries advance automatically to the final because they pay for the lion’s share of the Eurovision Song contest — those are France, Germany, Spain and Italy. You can watch the official music video to Denmark’s ill-fated song here

Prime minister opposes change to NATO defense treaty 

Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen told parliament she’s against any change to the NATO defense treaty that could eliminate the veto in the defense cooperation. 

“It is not just me as Danish prime minister who is opposed,” Frederiksen said. “It is a number of countries. Denmark, Sweden and 11 other countries are opposed.” 

Meanwhile, the Danish public is set to vote on whether to overturn the opt-out on European Union defense requirements on June 1st. Frederiksen has previously urged voters to overturn the opt-out. 

“These times need togetherness, not opt-outs [Danish: sammenhold, ikke forbehold, ed.]. Partnership and not isolation. The Russia crisis is showing more than anything how important it is for Europe and the West to move closer together and take greater responsibility for our own safety,” she said.  

READ ALSO: Denmark’s PM makes appeal over EU opt-out referendum as support for ‘yes’ vote dwindles

SAS cancels thousands of flights, blaming staff shortages 

It might be time to re-evaluate your travel plans — SAS has cancelled 4,000 flights between May and August, according to Swedish news outlet Dagens Industri. 

SAS’s press officer in Denmark says very few passengers will even notice the cancellations, beyond the fact that some may be rebooked to a different flight. “We’re doing this to prevent a situation this summer where it turns out we can’t fly and passengers are stranded,” the press officer told Ritzau. 

The cancelled flights account for about 5 percent of SAS’s summer travel, according to the airline. 

SAS laid off nearly half its employees during the Covid-19 pandemic, and is still feeling the squeeze. 

READ ALSO: Scandinavian airline SAS launches drastic cost-cutting program

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


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.