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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

A new 'pavilion village' for Ukrainian refugees, a chance for snow this weekend, and a grim climate change milestone are among the top news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday
Look forward to some classically Danish winter weather this weekend -- cold and wet. Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

Official calls on Danish government to help Ukrainian refugees secure housing 

Since March, 30,807 Ukrainian refugees have been granted residence permits in Denmark — but with the state of the Danish housing market, finding them somewhere to live has been a tall order. Copenhagen in particular has struggled to accommodate the nearly 2,600 Ukrainian refugees that landed in the municipality.

“The empty places we have had — such as abandoned nursing homes — we have put to use,” Jens-Kristian Lütken, Copenhagen’s employment and integration ‘mayor,’ tells newswire Ritzau.  “It’s hard to pull more out of the hat.” 

The municipal government is currently constructing a fourth ‘pavilion village’ for Ukrainian refugees. Despite what the name suggests, these aren’t tent encampments, but rather modular buildings. Lütken says the construction process is slow and expensive. 

“We need the state to step in with some of the properties that the state owns around the country, which could be absolutely ideal for housing Ukrainians. We haven’t seen much interaction there so far,” he adds. 

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: Why is Denmark treating Ukrainian refugees differently to those from Syria?

Hygge time: a chilly weekend ahead, with a chance of snow 

Get ready for a cold, damp weekend, the Danish Meteorological Institute suggests. Daytime temperatures will hover at or just above freezing, and some areas could even see the first snowfall of the year. 

Zealand could see snow as early as Saturday afternoon, the DMI says, though no promises as to whether it will stick. “It is difficult to estimate, but it could perhaps be a few centimeters,” says DMI meteorologist Martin Lindberg. 

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

Temperature rise in Denmark has already exceeded 2.0 degrees 

Denmark’s average temperatures have already blown past the limit set by the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, newspaper Jyllands-Posten reports. 

The Paris Climate Agreement saw 190 countries commit to lowering emissions with the goal of keeping average global temperature increases ‘well below’ 2 degrees this century. However, according to data from the Danish Meteorological Institute, average temperatures here in Denmark over the last five years were up 2.2 degrees relative to 150 years ago. 

Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen, University of Copenhagen professor of ice, climate, and geophysics, says these increases are “completely in line with what we see throughout Europe…Europe is the region where the temperature, apart from the Arctic, has risen the most.”

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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