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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

National conscription, protection against a new Omicron sub-variant, and a sharp increase in the number of homes for sale are among the top news stories in Denmark on Wednesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday
Conscripts to the Danish Armed Forces can elect to serve with the cyber unit, which combats cyber attacks, hackers, and digital influence campaigns. Photo: Claus Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix

Thousands of young men could be exempt from national service 

A new government proposal could let 30,000 young men off the hook for conscription in Denmark. 

The government has struggled to hold Defense Day — when young men are assessed for suitability and then draw numbers to see if they’ll be required to serve — during the pandemic due to lockdowns and other restrictions, broadcaster DR reports

Rather than work through the enormous backlog, a proposed bill would allow the government to cancel conscription under certain circumstances — including retroactively for the pandemic years. 

All ‘physically fit’ and ‘partially physically fit’ young men over the age of 18 are required to draw a number. Very high numbers are called ‘free numbers’ and will not be called to serve in peace time, while lower numbers are ‘maybe numbers’ that could, in theory, be conscripted. However, according to the government website on conscription, 99 percent of the spots are filled by volunteers, “which means that nobody is forced to do military service.” 

READ MORE: Number of Danes unsuitable for military service a concern: soldiers’ union

Studies: previous Omicron infection protects against new variant 

Three recent studies, including one conducted by the State’s Serum Institute (the Danish infectious disease agency), suggest reinfection from Omicron variant BA.5 is less frequent than previously feared. 

The Danish study, which has yet to be peer reviewed but has been published as a preprint by respected medical journal the Lancet, indicates that a full course of vaccination coupled with infection from a previous Omicron variant provides strong protection against BA.5.  

However, researchers remain uncertain how long this protection lasts. 

READ MORE: Omicron subvariant now dominant in Denmark 

Dramatically more houses, apartments for sale in Denmark 

The once-sparse housing market is getting a little crowded, according to new figures from real estate company Boligsiden.

Compared to last year, there are 13.8 percent more houses and 30.9 percent more owner-occupied apartments for sale nationwide. (There are 11.9 percent fewer summer houses on the market — Danes have their priorities.) 

READ MORE: Red-hot Danish housing market cools 

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Copenhagen Pride, billions raised for the Ukraine war effort, and a steamy weekend ahead are among the top news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Copenhagen Pride kicks off 

Copenhagen Pride begins this weekend with events across the city, from film screenings and concerts to historical walking tours and good-old-fashioned parties — here’s the full schedule of events.

You’ll have to wait until next weekend for the iconic Copenhagen pride parade. 

Donors raise 10.8 billion kroner for Ukraine 

Representatives for 26 countries convened in Copenhagen for a fundraiser for Ukraine, ultimately committing to more than 10.8 billion kroner (that’s over $1.5 billion) to support training and equipment this year and the next. 

France, Germany and the United States have yet to announce how much they contributed to the impressive total, but Denmark and the UK, the two countries behind the fundraiser, have revealed their supplemental donations were $114 million and almost $300 million, respectively. 

“Our partners know that we need funding and they articulated readiness to support us financially,” Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said, according to the Agence France-Presse 
“That is a marathon and for a marathon you need energy and frankly
speaking, the main energy in this case is money.” 

READ MORE: Denmark’s government supports EU candidacy for Ukraine 

Brace for heat 

We’re in for a steamy weekend, according to the Danish Meteorological Association. 

Forecasts predict cloudless skies Saturday and Sunday with temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees — perhaps as high as 32 on Saturday. 

If you decide to break out the grill, though, be mindful — Danish Emergency Services says the warm weather and recent lack of rain mean an elevated risk for fires this weekend. 

READ MORE: Three great open-air swimming spots in Copenhagen 

Minister of Justice calls for meeting with…football fans 

Football players and fan club leaders have been invited to meet with Danish minister of justice Mattias Tesfaye after yet another week of unrest surrounding matches, TV2 Lorry reports. 

Tesfaye says he’s willing to do what’s necessary to make the stadium environment safe for the 99 percent of fans who come for “football and partying.” Possible measures include making penalties harsher for crimes connected with games (again) and increasing police presence.

This follows several weeks of dust-ups between rival fans, fans and stadium staff, and fans and police that sent several to hospital and involved considerable destruction at various stadiums. 

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