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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

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.

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

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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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.