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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Elizabeth Anne Brown
Elizabeth Anne Brown - [email protected]
Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday
Politicians and dignitaries honored Denmark's Queen Margrethe, now Europe's longest-serving monarch, at her 50th Jubilee celebration on Sunday at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

Another major bank ending negative interest rates, red tape tying up wind energy development, and the start of 'hygge' weather are among the top news stories in Denmark on Monday.


Danske Bank ends negative interest 

As of October 1st, private Danske Bank customers don't have to worry about negative interest on their accounts, according to the company's website. 

Instead, customers who have their NemKonto (a designated account for paying and receiving money from the government) at Danske Bank can look forward to a modest positive interest rate — 0.4 percent annually for balances up to 100,000 kroner and 0.6 percent annually for 100,000-500,000 kroner. 


Children's savings and certain other accounts will also flip to positive interest rates, newswire Ritzau reports. 

Starting in 2012, Denmark’s National Bank set negative interest rates, meaning it cost customers money to have money sitting in banks in the country. But as the National Bank adjusts interest rates to keep pace with the European Central Bank, interest rates have crept closer to 0 and finally crossed into positive territory last Thursday, September 8th. That same day, Nordea Bank ended their negative interest rates.  

A handful of other Danish banks did away with negative interest rates earlier this year, among them Nykredit, Arbejdernes Landsbank and Saxo Bank.

Red tape ties up wind energy development, industry says 

Denmark's plans to increase its offshore wind energy capacity fivefold by 2030 are jeopardized by government red tape, industry representatives told newspaper DR.  

"As it is today, I just have to be blunt and say that it is completely unrealistic to achieve it," Lars Sandahl, director of the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri) said. 

Gumming up the works are time spent collecting bids, investigations (including environmental impact) and paperwork with the authorities, they explain. 

Lena Kitzing, head of research at DTU's wind energy department, and climate minister Dan Jørgensen agree that the timelines for building wind turbines needs to be dramatically reduced. Jørgensen figures that the time to build an offshore windfarm can be whittled down to seven years. 

"We are in the process of thoroughly going through level by level, link by link: how can we do it faster," Jørgensen told DR. 

READ MORE: Danish offshore wind could help Europe ditch fossil fuels 

Autumn weather sets in this week 

Break out the blankets and the tea — according to the Danish Meteorological Institute, it'll really start to feel like autumn in the next several days. 


"It will be windy for the rest of the week, and temperatures will drop steadily, so when we get to the end of the week, we will probably be between 12-16 degrees," says DMI meteorologist Mette Wagner. 

There's a possibility for showers throughout the week, particularly on Tuesday. 

READ MORE: Essential rain gear for a wet Danish winter (and autumn, spring and summer) 

Denmark tightens visa rules for Russian citizens 

After the EU's decision to restrict tourist visas for Russian citizens, Denmark will follow suit. 

Russians hoping to visit Denmark will face longer processing times, be asked to present more documentation, and pay higher fees, Ritzau reports. Russians applying for visas to Denmark will join a category with countries including Syria, Somalia, and Eritrea.

Denmark has a legal reservation exempting it from EU-wide visa agreements and had its own bilateral agreement with Russia. 

"It is provocative that Russians travel to European countries — among other things for holidays — while their country has invaded a free and democratic European country," Danish minister for immigration and integration Kaare Dybvad Bek said. 




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