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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday

The Danish frigate joining NATO forces, rare baby sharks, and a Christmas with fewer lights are among the top news stories in Denmark on Tuesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday
Both companies and private super-decorators are reconsidering their Christmas displays in light of electricity prices. This is Jeppe Guldbrandsen's impressive 2020 display in Zealand. Photo: Bax Lindhardt/Ritzau Scanpix

Danish frigate joins NATO fleet 

The frigate ‘Esbern Snare’ and its crew compliment of 140 Danish servicemembers will help defend NATO in the Baltic Sea after training exercises off the coast of Portugal, according to a press release from Danish Defense (Forsvaret). 

“When we enter the Baltic Sea, we must expect to be visited by Russian planes,” Lars Povl Jensen, commander of the Esbern Snare, said in the release. “That has been the case in the past. Of course we are ready to defend ourselves, but we are not on a mission to hurt anyone. We are there to defend NATO.” 

A darker Christmas for Denmark 

With electricity prices sky high, Christmas won’t be quite as bright in Denmark this year, broadcaster DR reports

The Hotel D’Angleterre on Kongens Nytorv has flipped the switch on plans for its famously extravagant Christmas lights, as have the residents of Angolavej in Amager. 

“We are in a crisis. There are problems with energy. And we have to show that we also want to be part of this,” Henrik Petersen, an Angolavej resident, told TV2 Lorry. 

READ MORE: How much will Danish energy bills go up this winter? 

Rare shark pups hatch in Danish aquarium 

The Kattegat center, an aquarium in Grenaa on Jutland’s east coast, has  announced the birth of two zebra bullhead shark pups. The two new arrivals, whose species is native to waters from north Japan to North Australia, are the first to hatch in a European aquarium. 

The pups’ father is something of a teen dad — while the scientific literature suggested that male zebra bullhead sharks reached sexual maturity at about a year of age, he was only six months old when he fathered the small clutch. 

Some sharks give birth to live young, but many species, including the zebra bullhead, lay egg pouches colloquially called ‘mermaid’s purses.’ 

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Social Democrats put election ads in newspapers, ‘free’ electricity this afternoon and other news in Denmark on Wednesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Social Democrats place election ads in newspapers

According to expectations, a general election will be called today by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

Suggestions that an announcement will be made have been further backed up by the appearance this morning of election-related ads in Danish newspapers, placed by Frederiksen’s Social Democratic party.

The ads don’t directly confirm a general election, but do explicitly mention it, saying “Reality is about working together. The election is about who can make it happen”.

Major newspapers Jyllands-Posten, Berlingske and Politiken all carry the ad this morning.

READ ALSO: Danish PM strongly hints at general election after opening of parliament

Electricity price could be 0 kroner at 2pm today

The market price of electricity could confound the zeitgeist and fall to 0 kroner for a short period around 2pm this afternoon, according to broadcaster DR.

Data from electricity exchange Nord Pool predicts that electricity will cost nothing this afternoon because of windy weather across Europe. That will result in huge electricity production from both on- and offshore wind turbines.

Combined with solar energy, which doesn’t factor in when electricity prices fall at night but does in the afternoon, this will force the market price of electricity to zero.

Before you connect everything to the grid at 2pm, keep in mind that electricity won’t be completely free to consumers. Transport and taxes mean you will pay around 1.40 kroner per kilowatt hour, according to DR.

READ ALSO: How people in Denmark are changing their energy use to keep bills down

Parliament to consult on energy relief cheques

A parliamentary committee has been called by energy minister Dan Jørgensen.

The committee will discuss future one-off relief payments similar to the 6,000-kroner “heating cheque” paid directly to around 400,000 eligible homes in Denmark in August, in a measure to help households cope with soaring energy bills.

The payments have been criticised after media reported a significant amount had been sent in error to ineligible homes.

Jørgensen wants to discuss whether a similar model to the energy relief could be used again in future, DR reports.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s state auditor to review potential errors in energy relief payments

Sweden, Denmark and Norway block Nord Stream from examining pipeline

Nord Stream, the company which owns and operates the gas pipeline hit by suspected sabotage last month, has said it cannot examine the pipeline because it has not been given permission by the Swedish, Danish and Norwegian authorities. 

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Nord Stream AG, the company which owns and operates the pipelines, said it had so far been unable to carry out its own inspections. 

“As of today, Nord Stream AG is unable to inspect the damaged sections of the gas pipeline due to the lack of earlier requested necessary permits,” the company, which is 51 percent owned by the Russian gas giant Gazprom, wrote. 

We have more on this story in this article.