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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

A proposal to deport more foreigners, where tax kroner will be spent in 2023, and the PM rejecting the mink 'scandal' are among the top news stories in Denmark on Wednesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday
Leaders from Baltic countries and the EU commission convened at Marienborg in Kongens Lyngby to present a new energy agreement. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Danish immigration minister pushes for more deportations 

Minister for Immigration and Integration Kaare Dybvad Bek hopes to make it easier to deport foreign citizens who break the law in Denmark, newswire Ritzau reports. 

His proposal aims to ensure that anyone without permanent residency or citizenship would be deported if given an unconditional prison sentence. Bek would do away with current standards, referred to as the ‘stepladder model,’ which mean that only more serious crimes can trigger deportation if the offender has lived in Denmark for longer than five or nine years. 

However, Bek’s own ministry issued a press release saying the proposed changes would be ineffectual and are based on a misunderstanding of the current law. 

“Every criminal alien who is deported is good. No matter how many there are,” the minister wrote to news outlet Information. “We must do everything we can to get criminal aliens deported.” 

READ MORE: Danish authorities criticised for use of physical force on asylum seeker 

Where will your tax kroner go in 2023? 

Printed versions of the government’s draft budget for next year were distributed to ministers late Tuesday afternoon. 

Highlights include a 1.3 billion kroner Covid warchest, 2 billion set aside for inflation aid, and 100 million to boost internet access in rural Denmark. 

Keep an eye out for a more detailed breakdown from The Local today. 

Russia shuts off gas to Germany — again 

As scheduled, Russia has cut off the flow of gas to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline citing maintenance needs, though German analysts say the continued disruptions are theatre designed to punish Germany and the EU for sanctions against Russia. 

Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom says the outage will only last 72 hours, but there are fears the tap won’t be turned on again — with potentially disastrous consequences for Europe’s winter gas supply and the current price of electricity.

READ ALSO: Why this week could be crucial for Danish heating this winter

PM: is mink saga really a scandal? 

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen took issue with a reporter referring to the ‘mink scandal’ at a Wednesday press conference. 

“When a minister resigns, a commission inquiry is launched and the government is criticised. Is it a scandal? Yes, it’s a scandal. It is a political scandal,” Frederiksen later wrote on Facebook. 

“But is it a scandal that the mink were killed? No, I don’t think it is. The mink were culled because the government received a risk assessment that made clear that continued mink farming would pose a ‘significant risk’ to public health, including the possibility of preventing Covid-19 with vaccines,” her post continued.

“I do not believe there is any villain in this mink issue,” Frederiksen said at the press conference. “A mistake has been made. There was no legal basis for a decision that was necessary.” 

These statements have rankled critics who see Frederiksen as unrepentant for her administration’s mishandling of the case, despite the suspension of two ministers and several officials warnings last week. 

READ MORE: Half of Denmarks’ mink breeders did not take Covid-19 tests despite requests 

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For members


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.