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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Thermostats turned down at workplaces, a bleak security outlook and other news in Denmark on Monday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday
Danish Red Cross volunteers during the country's national fundraising day in 2020. File photo: Nils Meilvang/Ritzau Scanpix

Take a warm jumper to work 

Schools, educational institutions and public workplaces – as well as private workplaces wishing to do so – are now running their thermostats at 19 degrees Celsius as one of a number of measures implemented or recommended by the government to save energy in the coming months.

Normally, thermostats are at least a couple of degrees warmer than this, but this year’s fyringssæson or heating season will be a thrifty one due to inflation and potential energy shortages.

The measure came into effect on October 1st, so now’s the time to start bringing that chunky woollen jumper with you to work.

READ ALSO: How are Denmark’s schools preparing for lower heating this winter?

Security policy report to be published

A major report on Denmark’s security situation, the Zilmer report, will be published today. The report is scheduled to be presented at a briefing at royal residence Fredensborg Palace north of Copenhagen.

According to broadcaster DR, the report makes for bleak reading, with threats against Denmark piling up as the international security situation deteriorates.

An analysis in the report, “Danish security and defence towards 2035”, posits that a new iron curtain is likely to fall over Europe in coming years and that nuclear arsenals will grow.

Denmark to send howitzers to Ukraine

Denmark, along with Germany and Norway, will supply Ukraine with 16 armoured howitzer artillery systems from next year, Berlin said yesterday. Kyiv has sought heavier weapons to boost its fightback against Russia.

The weapons will be produced in Slovakia, with delivery to Ukraine to begin in 2023.

The three countries agreed to jointly finance the procurement of the Slovakian Zuzana-2 guns at a cost of 92 million euros, the defence ministry in Berlin said.

You can read more on this story here.

Danish Red Cross brings in 12.8 millioner kroner in national fundraiser

Sunday’s annual Red Cross fundraising day resulted in the charity receiving 12.8 million kroner in donations.

The total amount is 2.5 million kroner less than was raised in 2021, but Secretary General Anders Ladekarl praised the charity of Danes during a time of economic hardship.

“We are experiencing a lot of goodwill to donate,” he told news wire Ritzau.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Falling unemployment, the Danish government refusing to accept debt payments from citizens, and plans for a fully swimmable Copenhagen harbour are among the top news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Danish government returns debt payments from 138,000 people 

Having a debt to the Danish public sector on your books can have serious financial consequences, including jeopardizing your eligibility to secure a mortgage. But from January to October 2022, 138,000 Danes trying to square their debts with the government were refused due to confusion about whether the Danish Debt Collection Agency actually has the right to receive it, newspaper Berlingske reports.

Data from the agency indicate the number of debts considered “not ready for recovery” has leapt 1.5 million this year alone. Half of those debts are connected to Danish tax agency, Skat. 

According to Berlingske, the issues with ‘unpayable’ debts arose in 2015 when EFI, the IT system Skat used to collect debt, was shuttered. 

Based on the scale of the problem, the government will have to consider cancelling some of the debts, Peter Bjerre Mortensen, professor of public administration at Aarhus University, tells Berlingske. 

“They need to swallow some very big camels and/or simplify some legislation or forgive some debts, because right now it seems that things are still going the wrong way,” Mortensen says. 

READ MORE: ‘Topskat’: What is Denmark’s high income tax bracket? 

Politicians push for ‘fully swimmable’ Copenhagen harbour 

Currently, swimming in Copenhagen’s harbours is only allowed at 11 designated bathing zones — though that doesn’t deter the estimated 200,000 people who take a dip elsewhere in the harbour yearly, risking fines. Now, Copenhagen mayor Sophie Hæstorp Andersen and other local politicians hope to flip the system on its head, making the vast majority of the harbour swimmable with a few ‘no-go’ zones. 

City officials plan to mark certain areas — for instance, near wastewater outlets or sailboat traffic — with ‘no swimming’ signs. 

READ MORE: Why the shocking cold of winter bathing is a Nordic favourite 

Unemployment continues to fall in Denmark 

October marked another record-breaking low for unemployment in Denmark, according to data from the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment and the Danish Chamber of Commerce. 

Just 11,519 full-time workers were experiencing ‘long-term unemployment’ (meaning they had been unemployed for at least 80 percent of the previous year) in October. That’s down from 12,400 in September, which was the lowest figure in 26 years, according to newswire Ritzau. 

In March 2020, there were 22,000 long-term unemployment benefit recipients, which spiked to 40,000 in April 2021. 

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