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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

A 'disaster' for Danish wind energy, late cancer diagnoses linked to mental health, and a mixed bag for the labour market are among the top news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday
Denmark is very much not on track to meet its ambitious wind energy goals, according to data from the Danish Energy Agency. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

‘Disaster’ for Danish wind energy goals 

Despite lofty ambitions for increasing its wind energy capacity, Denmark will build zero onshore wind turbines in 2023 and 2024, broadcaster DR reports

“I actually think it’s a disaster,” Kristian Jensen, head of the industry association Green Power Denmark, told DR. “I am disappointed that all the talk about high ambitions has not resulted in better rules and better conditions (for the power companies, ed.), so that we could have an expansion and more green energy.” 

While parliament voted to construct 8 gigawatts of wind energy capacity by 2030, so far only 2.5 gigawatts’ worth is slated to be built, according to the Danish Energy Agency. 

“This means we don’t have the cheapest way to produce electricity,” says Brian Vad Mathiesen, Aalborg university professor of energy planning. “We are in an energy crisis that will not end in the coming years. If we don’t get a turbine up and running in 2023, it’s a declaration of failure in relation to countries that look to Denmark as a leader.” 

Report: Danish doctors miss important diagnoses like cancer in people with mental health concerns 

A new investigation by the Danish Treatment Council has confirmed what many advocacy organizations have long suspected — people with mental health concerns, including depression and anxiety, receive worse care from their doctors for the rest of their body. 

The report concludes that people with mental illness receive later diagnoses for cancer and receive worse treatment, DR says. 

“The risk of dying from all the major somatic diseases” — non-mental illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and infections — “is higher if you have a mental illness,” says Merete Nordentoft, a senior physician and professor of psychiatry who is a co-author of the report. “It almost doesn’t matter what your mental illness is.” 

READ MORE: Experts call for Denmark to spend billions on mental health services

Danish employment market: hot and cold since November 

The final statistics from November 2022 show 4,300 new jobs added that month, continuing record-setting growth. But economists say the market has since cooled. 

“Today’s numbers are already somewhat outdated,” Jeppe Juul Borre, chief economist at Arbejdernes Landsbank, wrote in an analysis. “A fresher picture of the job market shows that unemployment increased by 5,700 people during November and December.” 

READ MORE: Ten ways to improve your chances of finding a job in Denmark 

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For members


Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Wednesday

Støjberg attacks Rasmussen for relaxing tough migration laws, Danish IT company declared bankrupt, 'no quick fix' for cancer waiting lists, and record number of foreigners came to work in Denmark in 2022. Here's some of the morning's news from Denmark.

Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Wednesday

Denmark Democrat leader attacks government for relaxing migration policy

Inger Støjberg, the leader of the far-right Denmark Democrats, has attacked the government, and in particular Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen for relaxing immigration policy, and ignoring the principle that refugees who no longer need Denmark’s protection should go home. 

Støjberg was arguably Denmark’s most hardline ever immigration minister during Rasmussen’s second term as prime minister between 2015 and 2019. Both Støjberg and Rasmussen have since left the centre-right Liberal Party to form their own parties. 

As migration minister, Støjberg brought in a law allowing police to strip refugees of their jewellery, a ban on Islamic face veils, and a requirement that all those getting citizenship shake the hand of the mayor. 

“I carried it in my heart,” she said of those policies. “That is why I am infinitely sad that Lars Løkke Rasmussen did not take it to heart and is now doing away with the cornerstone, which is to send people home who no longer need our protection.”

Rasmussen has since called these measures “gesture politics”, saying that were only adopted to put pressure on the Social Democrats. 

However, he accused Støjberg of “overdoing it and overinterpreting things”.

“I completely agree that when you apply for asylum, it is because there is a special situation, and if it changes, you have to go home,” he said. “It just can’t be such a hard-boiled point of view, because then you have a heart of ice if you can’t also look at it a little practically.”

Danish vocab: grundstenen – the cornerstone

Danish IT company declared bankrupt after revelations

The Danish IT company Meew has been declared bankrupt by Denmark’s commercial court, weeks after it cancelled a listing on the Spotlight exchange in Stockholm following revelations that its founder fabricated qualifications. 

The Finans newspaper revealed in mid-March that Meew founder and managing director Armin Kavousi had falsely claimed to have a doctorate and to have been a brain researcher, among other things falsely claiming to have a master’s in neuroscience from Aston University in Great Britain. 

The following day, the company’s board resigned, and the stock market listing was abandoned.

“They tried to investigate whether there was an opportunity to transfer the healthy parts of the company,” Per Astrup Madsen, a partner in the law firm DLA Piper, told Finans. “There was contact with an investor, but it has not ended up with an actual agreement. Therefore, there was no basis for allowing the reconstruction to continue.” 

Danish vocab: at blive erklæret konkurs – to be declared bankrupt

‘No quick fix’ for Danish cancer waiting lists: health minister

Health Minister Sophie Løhde said on Thursday that she “deeply regrets” missed deadlines for bowel cancer treatment at Aarhus University Hospital, but that the government does not have an immediate fix for the problem.

Danish law requires cancer patients to be operated on within two weeks of the decision to operate being made.

Broadcaster DR recently reported that 182 patients had waited too long for an operation at Aarhus University Hospital (AUH). Following DR’s report, a Region Central Jutland survey found that 293 patients had waited for more than the two weeks prescribed by law over the past year.

Løhde was asked at a briefing on Tuesday whether bowel cancer patients at AUH can now expected to be operated on within two weeks.

“In reality, that should have happened the entire time. I can’t stand here and guarantee that it will happen again tomorrow or the next day, as much as I’d like to,” she said.

“What I can guarantee is that this has the utmost attention on the part of the government.”

Danish vocab: dybt beklageligt – deeply regrettable

‘Record number’ of foreigners move to Denmark for work

A record number of people moved to Denmark from abroad for work reasons in 2022, according to national agency Statistics Denmark.

A total of 31,600 people moved to Denmark to work last yer, according to a Statistics Denmark review released on Tuesday.

The figure corresponds to a 24 percent increase compared to 2021 and is the highest in the history of the statistic, which goes back to 1997.

The average number of work immigrants in the decade prior to 2022 was 21,000 people.

Specifically, the number describes the amount of people who were given work permits in Denmark in a given year.

Danish vocab: rekordmange – a record number (literally “record many”)