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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Thursday

An electricity price surge, lotteries for high school spots, and potential changes to permanent residence eligibility are among the top news stories in Denmark this Thursday.

Danish high school students lounge under a tree in Gentofte.
The Danish parliament is changing how students, like these Aurehøj Gymnasium pupils in Gentofte, are assigned to high schools. Photo: Mathias Eis/Ritzau Scanpix

Minister plans to change rules on permanent residence permit eligibility  

Kaare Dybvad Bek, Denmark’s new immigration minister, told newspaper Politiken “crazy” rules for allowing foreign citizens to obtain residence permits have to change. 

Specifically, Bek says paid internships and trainee programs should count toward the work requirement — applicants for permanent residency must have worked for at least three years and six months of the previous four years. 

Before 2016, education could also be used to satisfy the work requirement. Bek doesn’t seem keen to restore that particular policy, telling Politiken it’s only fair that working people are considered first.

We’ll have further detail of this announcement in an article on our website today.

READ ALSO: Could Denmark ease key work permit rule for foreigners? 

Flipping switches: cost of electricity up nearly 20 percent in a quarter 

The price of electricity has climbed 18 percent from the last quarter of 2021 to the first of 2022, according to the Danish Supply Agency (Forsyningstilsynet). That translates to about 1,953 kroner annually for the average customer, the agency adds. 

The Danish Supply Agency says it’s a good time to reevaluate your electricity plan and provider. You can check your options by inputting your postal code and approximate energy consumption at elpris.dk

READ ALSO: Food and energy prices rocket as Danish inflation hits 40-year high

Parliament mulls changes to high school selection process 

According to a previous agreement among several parties in parliament, students in parts of the country will be placed at high schools based on their parents’ income. 

However, new objections from the Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party have reopened the debate and put the deal in jeopardy. Their concern is that students will in some circumstances be assigned a school by lottery, a spokesperson told newswire Ritzau. 

“The agreement helps to solve a problem overall,” Anne Sophie Callesen, the Social Liberal party’s education spokesperson, said. “But the criticism is why we have a lottery instead of a proximity principle, where those who live closest to the secondary school are admitted first.” 

Minister for Children and Education Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil told Danish newspaper Berlingske she’s open to the proposed changes. 

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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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