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Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Thursday

Pay deals reached for transport and retail, climate change could render Denmark's smaller islands uninhabitable, and Novo Nordisk quadruples use of monkeys in research. Here's some of the day's news from Denmark.

Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Thursday
The 3F transport union has reached a two-year pay deal with employers. Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

Transport union strikes two-year pay deal with employers 

Denmark’s 3F transport workers union struck a two-year deal with the Confederation of Danish Industry late on Wednesday night, which will apply to 48,000 workers, the broadcaster TV2 has reported

The two sides will hold a joint press conference at 11am to outline the details of the agreement on pay and other benefits. 

Danish vocab: et forlig – a settlement

Danish store workers get pay rise in new bargaining agreement

Some 150,000 people who work in retail in Denmark will see their pay increase after trade unions and employers’ organisations came to a new agreement on working terms.

The union HK Handel and the Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv) announced the conclusion of collective bargaining negotiations on Wednesday, news wire Ritzau reported.

The agreement covers around 150,000 people who work in the retail sector.

Under the new agreement, the lowest wage that can be paid to staff will go up by the equivalent of 721 kroner per month. The increase is set to take effect through pay rises once per year during the two-year term covered by the agreement.

Additionally, a so-called fritvalgskonto (“free-choice account”) will see its deposits rise by two percent. Workers can choose whether to use the account for salary, holiday or pension.

Danish Vocab: en stigning – an increase

Denmark’s smaller islands ‘could be uninhabitable due to storm surges 

A new study by the Danish Meteorological Institute has warned that more frequent storm surges due to climate change will make many of Denmark’s smaller islands uninhabitable even if the goal of the Paris Agreement goal of a 2C temperature increase is reached. 

By the end of the century, the institute warns, storm surges which today occur only every 20 years will hit every three years, at the same time as sea levels will have risen by 30 cm. 

The islands in the South Funen Archipelago, on the west coast off the Limfjord, and the Baltic Coast of Møns and Falster will all see much greater threats. 

Nina Baron, a climate and preparedness researcher at University College Copenhagen, said that many of these islands are very low-lying. 

“So they are particularly vulnerable if the sea level rises and if there are more extreme weather events where the sea rises two meters above the daily level. So some of the islands risk being swallowed up by the sea or becoming uninhabitable.”

Danish vocab: ubeboelig – uninhabitable

Novo Nordisk quadrupled use of monkeys in drug research 

The Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk has quadrupled the number of monkeys used in its medical research since 2019, Danish state broadcaster DR has reported, meaning it has failed to meet its goal of reducing their use in research. ¨

“We cannot avoid using experimental animals. We cannot stop using monkeys within such a short number of years. It is simply not realistic to imagine,” Jan Lund Ottesen, vice president of Novo Nordisk, told DR.

The charity Animal Protection Denmark accused the company of using “a complex and intelligent animal” in its research. 

Danish vocab: firdoblet – quadrupled

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Today in Denmark: a roundup of the day’s news on Tuesday

Danish extremist barred from UK, Islamic State sisters lose case against Denmark, Denmark only second happiest country, and home sales in Denmark at lowest level since 2013.

Today in Denmark: a roundup of the day's news on Tuesday

Rasmus Paludan barred from entering UK 

The Danish anti-Islamic extremist Rasmus Paludan had been barred from entering the UK after it emerged that he planned to burn copies of the Quran in the city of Wakefield. 

The UK’s security minister, Tom Tugendhat, told the UK parliament that Paludan has been added to the UK’s “warnings index” after he announced his plans to ban a Quran in the city to mark the start of Ramadan on Wednesday and “will not be allowed access” to the country.

“His travel to the United Kingdom would not be conducive with the public good and he will not be allowed access,” he said, according to The Guardian newspaper.  

Danish vocab: adgang – access 

Islamic State twin sisters lose case against Denmark 

A court in Copenhagen on Monday acquitted Denmark’s immigration ministry for stripping two twin sisters of their Danish citizenship in 2020. 

The sisters were born in Denmark to Somali refugees, and then grew up in the UK before going to Syria to join the Islamic state caliphate in 2014, aged 16. The two are now held in the al-Roj prison camp in Kurdish-held northern Syria. 

The sentence is conditional on the women not becoming stateless.

In 2020, ministry said that the sisters were also Somali citizens and therefore would not be left stateless, but their lawyer, Eddie Omar Rosenberg Khawaja, said that the law in Somalia prohibits dual citizenship, meaning the two had lost their Somali citizenship automatically on becoming Danish citizens at aged four. 

He plans to appeal the judgement. 

Danish vocab: tvillingesøstre – twin sisters

Home sales in Denmark sink to lowest level since 2013

The number of home sales in Denmark fell over the last three months to the lowest level since the start of 2013, when the country was still emerging from a protracted housing slump.

Only 9,931 homes were sold in the last three months of 2022, according to the latest figures from the trade body Finance Denmark, the lowest number for 39 three-month periods. At the same time prices have fallen back to the levels they were at at the end of 2020. 

Prices of apartments fell by 7.2 percent last three months of the year compared to the same period in 2021, while prices for detached houses fell by 6.3 percent.

Danish vocab: bolighandler – home sales

World’s second happiest country: Denmark loses out to Finland again

Denmark is listed at number two on this year’s World Happiness Report, coming second to Finland for the second year in a row.

The UN’s World Happiness Report, published on Monday, puts Denmark second on its national happiness ranking.

Finland takes the title of world’s happiest nation, once closely associated with Denmark, for the sixth year in a row.

The Danish second place is the same as its 2022 ranking and one spot better than in 2021. Denmark once took first place regularly, but this has not happened since 2016. Denmark was also second behind Finland in 2019.