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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Children receiving deportation letters from the government, 'dark ships' seen on satellite images before NordSteam explosions, and 70,000 trout at large are among the top news stories in Denmark on Monday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday
Two 'dark ships' were spotted in the area of the NordStream pipeline leaks in the days just before the suspected sabotage. Photo: REUTERS/Anton Vaganov/File Photo

Refugee children receive letters from government telling them to ‘leave Denmark,’ threatening ‘force’ 

A new documentary from broadcaster DR reveals that the Danish government sends frightening letters to children under 15 as their families’ refugee applications are being processed. 

Ghazal Sbinati, a 12-year-old featured in the documentary, is Syrian by birth but has spent eight years living and studying in Denmark. Sbinati received a letter, addressed to her by name, from the Danish Immigration Service telling her “if you do not leave voluntarily, you can be forcibly sent to Syria.”

Immigration Services tells DR it’s standard practice to communicate with every member of a family during application processing — for children under the age of 15, these communications are sent by mail and addressed with their name. 

The Danish Refugee Council has objected to this policy, and the Danish Immigration Service says they’re “currently considering” the practice.

Despite the letter she received, Sbinati and her family received a two-year extension to their residence permit. 

READ MORE: Denmark reverses residence decisions for hundreds of Syrian refugees 

‘Dark ships’ spotted on satellite imagery just before NordStream explosions 

On September 26th, bubbling seas off the coast of the Danish island of Bornholm alerted officials to major gas leaks from the Russian owned and operated NordSteam 1 and 2 pipelines. Now, satellite imagery from the days before the leaks provides clues to what might have happened. 

An article from technology magazine WIRED details an investigation by SpaceKnow, a satellite data monitoring firm that claims to have spotted two ‘dark ships’ traveling near the leak sites with their identification beacons switched off in the days just before the suspected sabotage. 

The team has reported its findings to NATO, and officials there have confirmed to WIRED that satellite imagery “can prove useful for its investigations.”  

READ MORE: Russian NordStream operatives to investigate damage in Danish waters

Tens of thousands of fish escape into Danish waters 

In a scene reminiscent of Finding Nemo, an off-course ship in Denmark’s Great Belt accidentally freed as many as 70,000 rainbow trout from a breeding facility, TV2 reports

Over Friday night or in the wee hours of Saturday morning, a fishing vessel rammed into a 120-metre floating ring, tearing nets below containing the trout. The ship remains trapped in the ring, while the fish remain at large. 

They are described as “healthy and strong” with a weight of three to four kilos each and were set to be slaughtered just before Christmas. Held og lykke (good luck) to them. 

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For members


Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

The Conservatives leave government negotiations and a 'draft' among nursing staff are among the top news stories in Denmark on Monday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Conservatives bow out of government negotiations 

Over the weekend, the Conservative party walked out after weeks of negotiations with Mette Frederiksen and the Social Democrats. 

Conservative chairman Søren Pape Poulsen announced the departure on Facebook. “At the end of the day, I don’t think [joining a government with Frederiksen and the Social Democrats] is compatible with the promises we made in the election campaign and what I’ve said about such a government. Politics is also very much about credibility,” Poulsen wrote. 

Christine Cordsen, a political correspondent at broadcaster DR, sees the move as strategic. “If the Liberals end up joining the government — which is very likely —then Pape will have the opportunity to take on the role of opposition leader in the remnants of the blue bloc and perhaps use it to revive the Conservatives,” Cordsen says. 

What the Liberal Party wants from government negotiations 

On December 6th, the current government negotiations will have tied the all-time record for Denmark’s longest ever with the 35-day negotiation of 1975. But the Liberal Party (Venstre) is still holding out for more concessions from Frederiksen and the Social Democrats. 

Liberal leader Jakob Ellemann-Jensen points to changes to the top tax bracket as a party priority, though that’s been a non-starter for the Social Democrats. 

Newswire Ritzau reports the Liberals also hope to lower inheritance tax as well as income taxes for Denmark’s most modest earners. 

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

Nurses ‘drafted’ for hospital shifts 

The Danish Regions plan to require nurses who work at outpatient clinics  to fill night and weekend shifts in hospitals, newspaper Jyllands-Posten reports.

Hospital nurses — particularly those working in intensive care, surgery, and emergency departments —bear the brunt of the nurse labour shortage, taking on an untenable number of night and weekend shifts as many of their colleagues leave the public system for more favourable working conditions at private clinics. 

The Regions propose that nurses employed in outpatient clinics “spend a third of their working time on the duty schedule in an inpatient ward,” according to Ritzau. 

“We have to share the heavy on-call load on to more shoulders, and our clear message is that all hospitals must work with this systematically in all areas, otherwise we will not achieve our goal,” Stephanie Lose, chair of the Region of Southern Denmark’s regional council and vice-president of the Danish Regions, told J-P.

READ MORE: Denmark takes ‘far too long’ to approve qualifications of foreign medics, nurses