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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Legal gender reassignment for Danish children, a possible cap on visas for Russian tourists, and 'accidental' 6,000 kroner cheques are among the top news stories in Denmark on Wednesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday
Prime minister Mette Frekeriksen, seen here with partymate Nicolai Wammen, faces mounting pressure to call for a general election. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Russian tourists have flocked to Denmark. Ukraine wants us to cut them off. 

In the first months of 2022, Denmark issued three times as many tourist visas to Russians than in the previous year, newspaper Politiken reported Monday. But now, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is asking western leaders to close the door on Russian tourists, according to newswire Ritzau. 

Vladimir Barbin, Russian ambassador to Denmark, sees potential travel restrictions as an attack on human rights. “In short, human rights in the West are apparently only remembered when it is beneficial, and they are forgotten without remorse when it comes to Russians,” Barbin wrote to Ritzau. In the same statement, he described Russia’s invasion as a “special military operation.” 

Denmark’s minister of immigration plans to wait for a broader EU solution. “It is clear that if there is just one country in Europe where Russians can enter, then in principle you can enter the entire Schengen area,” Kaare Dybvad told Politiken.  “Therefore, it is the EU framework in which it must be done.” 

READ MORE: Who visits Denmark in the summer and where do tourists go? 

Government proposes removing age limit for legal gender change 

The government’s LGBTQ+ plan, presented Monday, includes a proposal to expand access to legal gender change to all children regardless of age. 

Currently, only after the age of 18 can people apply to legally change their gender marker on government documents. 

The new plan would strike that age cap, but children 15 years of age or younger would need the consent of their parents or guardians. It’s the second time the Social Democrats have proposed the change — it failed to garner enough support among other government parties two years ago. 

The Danish Parliament consulted with the Ethics Council on the issue of appropriate ages for legal gender change, which proposed lowering the age limit to 10-12 years old. 

Bank error in your favor! Some received heating subsidy in error 

When the 6,000 kroner cheques went out to households heated by gas boilers, some households with different heating systems received a happy surprise. 

The government used a municipal system called the Building and Housing Register (abbreviated BBR in Danish) to determine who should receive the cheques — if you make any changes to your home, including replacing a boiler or building a tool shed, you’re supposed to inform the municipality. The problem is that many people aren’t aware of this or believe it’s included in the permitting information contractors file with authorities. 

A provision in the legislation authorising the ‘heat cheques’ says that if a cheque is sent due to government error, the recipient isn’t required to return the money. (In fact, you can’t even if you want to — authorities are asking accidental recipients not to contact them.) 

READ MORE: Denmark boosts heating bill help and will give it to more households 

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Prince Joachim’s reaction to his children losing their titles, a potential MitID security weak spot, and other news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

‘No timeframe’ for fixing Nord Stream pipelines

Nord Stream’s operator said yesterday it was unable to immediately assess damage to pipelines linking Russia to Europe, threatening an indeterminate outage. That came after Sweden detected a fourth leak and NATO decried “acts of sabotage”. 

Nord Stream’s operator said it “intends to start assessing the damage to the pipeline as soon as it receives necessary official permits”, news wire AFP reports.

It said access could be allowed “only after the pressure in the gas pipeline has stabilised and the gas leakage has stopped”. 

“Until the completion of the damage assessment, it is not possible to predict the timeframe for restoration of the gas transmission infrastructure”, the operator said.

NATO declared the damage was “the result of deliberate, reckless and irresponsible acts of sabotage” and said it supported investigations to determine the origin of the damage.

READ ALSO: Could Baltic Sea gas pipe leaks affect Denmark’s election timeline?

Prince Joachim not happy after children lose titles

In a rare episode of public drama in the Danish royal family, Prince Joachim, the Queen’s second son, yesterday went to the media to express his disappointment over the decision to remove the titles of ‘prince’ and ‘princess’ from his children as of next year.

Prince Joachim’s four children will no longer be princes or princesses but will retain their other titles as Count or Countess of Monpezat, the royal palace announced on Wednesday. The decision was taken by Queen Margrethe.

“It’s never fun to see your children harmed in this way. They themselves are in a situation they don’t understand,” Prince Joachim told newspaper Ekstra Bladet.

In a longer interview with another newspaper, BT, the prince said the decision to change the children’s titles had been moved forward.

“This whole idea was take my children’s identity from them when they each reach 25 years of age… I was given five days’ warning when the decision was brought forward,” he said.

‘Simple hack’ can breach MitID, media reports

Media Version2, a supplement of engineering journal Ingeniøren, reports that a coding trick can enable hackers to easily identify the usernames of MitID users.

The MitID digital ID system is gradually replacing NemID as the online ID used in Denmark for access to public service platforms, online banking and shopping online.

READ ALSO: MitID takes over as default option on Danish platforms

The Danish Agency for Digitisation (Digitaliseringsstyrelsen) told Ingeniøren that it would investigate the issue.

NemID will be turned off for secure platforms like banking and public services on October 31st. After this date, only MitID can be used to log on.

Other platforms, like online shopping, will still accept NemID for now. The old system will be fully decommissioned on June 30th, 2023. 

Cancer charity wants to ban solariums for under-18s

The Danish Cancer Society (Kræftens Bekæmpelse) says that increasing numbers of young people are using solariums in Denmark and that regulation is therefore needed on the area.

A report from the charity finds that 16 percent of young people aged between 15 and 25 use tanning salons, an increase from 10 percent two years ago.

“This calls for us needing an age limit of 18 years for use of solariums. Because if this continues, we will have more cases of skin cancer in future,” project manager Peter Dalum told news wire Ritzau.

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