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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Copenhagen memorial for mall shooting victims, an increase in filed bankruptcies last month and a shortage of nurse training applicants are the main stories in Denmark this Wednesday.

Crown Prince Frederik, Prince Christian and Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen attend a memorial service for the victims of the shooting in Copenhanen on Tuesday 5th July 2022.
Crown Prince Frederik, Prince Christian and Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen attend a memorial service for the victims of the shooting in Copenhagen on Tuesday 5th July 2022. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

Copenhagen holds memorial for mall shooting victims

Thousands gathered in Copenhagen on Tuesday evening to pay tribute to the victims of the weekend mall shooting that left three people dead, including two teenagers.

“Three lives were taken from us. A man and two young people. Several were injured, the attack has many victims,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told the massive crowd outside the Field’s shopping complex.

Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik was also in attendance at the service where speeches were interspersed with musical performances.

A 22-year-old man has been charged with three murders and seven attempted murders in relation to the shooting and has been remanded into psychiatric care for at least 24 days.

All four people who were seriously injured in the shootings are out of danger, according to broadcaster TV2.

The fact police said the suspected gunman was known to mental health services, has called many people to question the ten-year plan for psychiatry services in Denmark, promised by the Social Democrats.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Ministry of Health said they would work with the central region to uncover the suspect’s contact with mental health services. 

The parliamentary parties have also set up negotiations with the Ministry of Health for 9th September.

READ MORE: Denmark’s mental health services in spotlight after Copenhagen shooting

Increase in bankruptcies after coronavirus loans end

There was an increase in the number of filed bankruptcies and job losses due to bankruptcy in the month of June, according to Statistics Denmark.

The figures refer to active companies that have employees or a turnover of more than one million kroner. In June, there were 259 bankruptcies filed, which resulted in 1743 job losses. 

According to economists, this is the highest it has been since 2016. 

“The coronavirus aid packages held the companies’ hand during the worst…they are now a thing of the past and companies have to pay back the taxes and VAT that they were able to defer during the coronavirus,” Niklas Praefke, chief economist at the trade union Lederne told newswire Ritzau.

The rising prices this year are also a factor, according to Arbejdernes Landsbank’s chief economist, Jeppe Juul Borre.

“Production prices have risen by a staggering 37 percent compared to a year ago. At the same time, there are reports of a shortage of materials and labour, and this may cause the most hard-pressed companies to throw in the towel”, he said.

Low number of nurse training applicants in Denmark causes concern

There have been 28 percent fewer applications for nursing education this year compared to last year, which means not all study places have been filled, according to Camilla Wang, chairman of the Danish Professional Colleges.

“It also means that we will not be able to educate enough people for the needs that exist in the health care system”, Wang said.

In 2021, 43 percent of the advertised positions for nurse were not filled, according to the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment.

The Danish Nurses’ Council calls the low number of applicants “a bomb under an already shattered healthcare system”.

There are also fewer applicants for other types of welfare education: 17 percent fewer people than last year applied for social work training, 18 per cent fewer for pedagogical education and 12 per cent fewer applied for teacher training.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday

Parliament returns to spark election expectations, and Swedish investigations at the Nord Stream pipeline are the key news stories in Denmark on Tuesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday

Opening of parliament 

Denmark’s Folketing or parliament returns today, following the terms set out in the Danish constitution, which states that each new parliamentary year must begin on the first Tuesday in October.

The occasion is marked by a number of traditions, including an opening speech given by the prime minister and attended by members of the Royal Family.

Parliament’s return means that Danish lawmakers can again vote on and discuss law proposals.

READ ALSO: Denmark reopens parliament: Who does what during annual custom?

Social Liberals give government an extra day to announce election

This year’s reopening of parliament comes as the deadline of October 4th, given by the Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party for the government to call an election, looms large.

The Social Liberals have demanded Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen call an early general election, an ultimatum issued in response to the conclusions of an inquiry into the government’s 2020 mink scandal, which resulted in Frederiksen receiving a rebuke.

The party has threatened to bring down the government through a vote of no confidence if an election is not called before October 4th, the day after parliament reopens. As such, an election would have to be called today to meet the demand.

Talk of an election is therefore high as parliament returns, but the government now appears to have been given an extra day to call the vote, news wire Ritzau reports.

“The exact day means nothing for me. And I can also see that several commentators have noted that an election will be called on Wednesday [October 4th]. And that is completely fine with me and us,” Social Liberal political leader Sofie Carsten Nielsen said.

READ ALSO: KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in October 2022?

Sweden blocks off Nord Stream area for investigation

Swedish prosecutors said Monday that they had decided to block off the area around the Nord Stream pipeline leaks in the Baltic Sea, while the suspected sabotage was investigated.

In order to further the investigation into “aggravated sabotage,” the prosecutor in charge had decided “to block off the area in order to do a crime scene investigation,” the Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement reported by news wire AFP.

“The investigation continues, we are at an intensive stage… I understand the considerable public interest, but we are in the early stages of a preliminary investigation and I can therefore not comment on details about which investigatory measures we are taking,” public prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist was quoted saying in the statement.

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