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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

A possible 'second wave' of Ukrainian refugees, the Moderates downplaying the importance of joining government, and big savings from heat adjustments are among the top news stories in Denmark on Thursday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday
Lars Løkke Rasmussen, leader of the Moderates, says it's immaterial whether his party joins Mette Frederiksen's vision of a 'broad, central' government. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark braces for potential ‘second wave’ of Ukrainian refugees 

With much of Ukraine’s infrastructure in shambles after targeted Russian attacks, NATO is telling European countries to prepare to receive more refugees ahead of a harsh winter. In response, municipal governments in Denmark are calling for a new strategy to distribute Ukrainian refugees across the country, broadcaster DR reports. 

Currently, the Danish Immigration Service uses a ‘distribution key’ to decide where to settle refugees — as it stands, larger municipalities are expected to host a number of refugees proportional to their population. 

But Copenhagen municipality in particular says it’s flat out of housing. “They should look at where there are municipalities in the country with empty houses where people can be accommodated, and then distribute according to that instead of distributing according to the size of the municipalities,” Jens-Kristian Lütken, Copenhagen’s ‘mayor’ of employment and integration, tells DR. 

“If there is a new wave of displaced people from Ukraine, they will initially be staying in hotel rooms,” Lütken adds. 

Thus far, 34,945 Ukrainian refugees have been granted temporary protection in Denmark, DR reports. That’s far below initial projections of up to 100,000 from spring 2022. 

READ MORE: ‘Over a quarter’ of Ukrainian refugees in Denmark now working

Moderates downplay importance of joining government 

After another round of negotiations with Mette Frederiksen, Moderate leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen says it’s beside the point if his party joins Frederiksen’s vision of a ‘broad, central’ government, newswire Ritzau reports. 

“For us, it’s not a separate ambition to be part of such a government,” he said outside of the prime minister’s official residence at Marienborg. “Whether we are in or not is less important. But we want to put ourselves in a position where we can influence the content. That’s what matters.” 

However, Rasmussen adds “it strikes me that Mette Frederiksen and I go a long way towards sharing the analysis of what’s good for Denmark.”

Danish municipalities save big with heat reductions 

Beginning in October, almost all Danish public buildings, from schools to town halls, turned the thermostat down to 19 degrees in an effort to save on energy costs as prices skyrocket. A DR survey shows some municipalities generated savings much higher than expected. 

Municipal buildings in Tårnby consumed 20 percent less in October 2022 compared to October 2021, even after compensating for this year’s mild autumn, DR says. And Fredensborg city hall has seen a 45 percent drop in consumption compared to October of the previous year. 

“There are blankets here at the town hall, if there is anyone who thinks that it is too cold at 19 degrees,” Fredensborg mayor Thomas Lykke says. “People are doing breaktime calisthenics and wearing finger gloves, so we try to keep warm, but I don’t see it being a problem for our employees.” 

READ MORE: Energy prices in Denmark rise as winter weather sets in 

Captain Kjær insists Denmark still ‘amazing’ despite World Cup flop

Simon Kjær insisted that Denmark are still a top team despite their dismal 1-0 defeat to Australia which knocked them out of the World Cup at the group stage. 

Denmark had come into the tournament on a high after getting to the semi-finals of last year’s European Championship and beating world champions France home and away in the Nations League.    

But they slumped out of tournament in humiliating fashion, finishing bottom of Group D with just one point and a single goal scored after Mathew Leckie fired Australia into the last 16.    

“We didn’t deliver as a team, massively disappointed but that’s part of football, we were flying very high in the Euro, now we’re pretty far down,” said captain Kjær, who sat out of Wednesday’s match injured.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

UN slams Denmark for 'racist art exhibition', scam email warning, Denmark calls for tougher EU borders, and decommissioned tanks to go to Ukraine. Here's some of today's news from Denmark.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

UN committee faults Denmark for failing to probe ‘racist’ art exhibit

Denmark failed to take effective measures against racist hate speech when it dropped an investigation into an art exhibition depicting “racist hate images” nearly a decade ago, a UN watchdog said on Tuesday.

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) ruled in favour of a Swedish man who filed a complaint against Denmark’s lack of action over a 2014 art exhibit in which he and other people of colour were depicted in a humiliating way that could incite racial hatred.

“It does not suffice merely to declare acts of racial discrimination punishable on paper,” committee member Mehrdad Payandeh said in the statement. “Criminal laws and other legal provisions prohibiting racial discrimination, including racist hate speech, must also be effectively implemented.”

The case was brought in 2017 by Momodou Jallow, the former spokesman for the National Association of Afro-Swedes and the national coordinator for the European Network Against Racism in Sweden.

He complained that Danish authorities had discontinued their investigation into an exhibit at a private gallery in Copenhagen three years earlier by Swedish street artist Dan Parks, who had already been convicted in Sweden for defamation and incitement to hatred.

‘Just delete it’: Danish police warn against allegation scam emails

Scam emails which include serious allegations and demands for large sums of money should be flatly ignored according to a Danish police special crime division.

The National Special Crime Unit (National enhed for Særlig Kriminalitet, NSK), which is concerned with fraud and cyber-crime as well as organised crime, issued advice on Twitter, saying it had been contacted by “many” members of the public over the fake emails.

“The recipients in these emails are accused of committing serious crimes,” NSK tweeted.

The emails include accusations of sexual assault against children and possession of child pornography.

They also claim that further action will be taken if the recipient fails to respond.

Danish vocab: slet dem blot – just delete them

Denmark demands tougher EU borders to prevent ‘migration crisis’

Eight EU nations including Denmark called on Brussels to significantly toughen the bloc’s borders to “prevent another large-scale migration crisis,” according to a letter seen by AFP ahead of a key summit.

The overall tone on migration has hardened in Europe since 2015-2016, when it took in over a million asylum-seekers, most of them Syrians fleeing the war in their country.

Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Slovakia sent the letter dated Monday to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council President Charles Michel.

They said it was “high time” for a “comprehensive European… approach for all relevant migratory routes” to tackle irregular migration.

The letter called for “additional financial support” within the existing budget to enhance “relevant operational and technical measures for effective border control”.

Denmark to send decommissioned tanks to Ukraine

Denmark is to send Leopard 1A5 tanks which it had taken out of service to Ukraine, as part of donations to be made by several countries.

Tanks previously used by the Danish military are to be prepared and sent to Ukraine, broadcaster DR reported on Tuesday.

No specific number for the total number of tanks has been confirmed and the participating countries not specified.

But a three-figure number of older models could be donated once contributions from all countries are added up, according to the report.

A newer version of the tank, the Leopard 2 model, is currently used by the Danish military.

Denmark’s old Leopard 1A5 tanks were sold in 2010 to company FFG in northern German town Flensburg, where they are still located, DR reports.

The tanks are expected to be sent to Ukraine in the coming months.

Danish vocab: udfasede – decommissioned

Carlsberg expects ‘challenging 2023’ following Russia exit

Danish brewer Carlsberg warned Tuesday that 2023 would be another “challenging year” as it reported increased revenues but swung to a net loss owing to its exit from Russia.

“The development of the war in Ukraine and the impact on our business remain highly uncertain, as is the Covid-19 recovery in China, including consumer off-take during the Chinese New Year celebrations,” the company said in its earnings report.

Revenue for the global beer maker came in at 70.26 billion Danish kroner ($10.1 billion) for 2022, up 16.9 percent from the year before.

The revenue growth was just short of analysts expectations, who had pencilled in 70.43 billion kroner according to a Bloomberg survey and 70.44 billion kroner according to one by Factset.

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