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Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Friday

First Irma supermarkets to close on Sunday, Covid-19 no longer 'dangerous to public health', Queen out of hospital, and Social Democrat mayor oppose new Master's course reforms. Here's some of the news on Friday.

Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Friday
Copenhagen mayor Sophie Hæstorp Andersen has criticised the plan to shorten Master's degrees as "completely wrong". Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

The first six Irma supermarkets set to close on Sunday 

The first six of the 65 Irma supermarkets set to close or be converted to Coops, 365discount, or Brugsen supermarkets are due to close their doors in Copenhagen on Sunday. 

Sunday will be the last opening day for Irma supermarkets at Nørrebros Runddel, Østerbrogade 162, Godthåbsvej, Hellerup Station, Roskildevej 148 and Finsensvej.

The ten largest of the 65 Irma shops will become part of the new Coop chain, 28 will become 365discount  supermarkets, the ten smallest will become Brugsen, and 17 will close completely. 

Danish vocab: en kæde – a chain

Social Democrat mayors attack own government’s plan for shorter Masters’ degrees 

The mayors of all four of Denmark’s major cities have criticised a proposal to halve the length of many Master’s degrees, with Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, mayor Copenhagen calling it “completely wrong”. 

Andersen said that the proposal would be “bad for the young and bad for business”, and would mean a significant weakening of the education system. 

The mayors of Aarhus, Odense, and Aalborg also joined in the criticism, saying they doubted it would solve the labour shortage in municipalities. 

Danish vocab: helt forkert – completely wrong 

Covid-19 no longer given special status in Denmark

Denmark will from next month no longer class Covid-19 as being “dangerous to public health”, meaning the government will have fewer powers to place social restrictions related to the virus.

There is no longer cause to class Covid-19 as being “dangerous to public health” or an alment farlig sygdom, the Danish Health Authority said in a statement.

Under Denmark’s Epidemic Law, the government can introduce certain public restrictions in response to illnesses considered a danger to public health. These include asking individuals to isolate or sharing personal information between different authorities.

This will no longer be valid when the classification expires from April 1st.

Danish Health Authority director Søren Brostrøm said the decision reflected that “the disease no longer presents a significant threat to society”.

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Danish queen out of hospital after back surgery

Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II was discharged from hospital on Thursday after back surgery last week though a full recovery is expected to last months, the Danish Royal House announced.

The 82-year-old, Europe’s longest reigning monarch, underwent a “major” back operation last Wednesday at Rigshospitalet, the country’s largest

“The medical team responsible for the operation and the subsequent hospitalisation is satisfied with the process and with The Queen’s condition,” the court said in a statement.

The Danish monarch is now staying at her palace in Amalienborg and will undergo “a lengthy physical rehabilitation process, which may extend over the next few months”, the court warned.

Crown Prince Frederik will “continue as regent for the time being.”

Danish vocab: udskrevet – discharged

Denmark could offer places to thousands of additional international students

The number of places on English-language Master’s degree programmes could be expanded by a Danish government proposal presented on Thursday.

A government proposal for a reform of graduate university education programmes was presented by government ministers at a briefing on Thursday.

According to the proposal, the number of places on English-language Master’s degree programmes in Denmark will be increased by 1,100 between 2024 and 2028, and by an overall 2,500 from 2029.

“Increased enrolment of international students is connected to additional expenses on SU [state student grant, ed.], but also a larger labour pool,” the proposal by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science states.

Danish vocab: kandidatuddannelser – Master’s programmes

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For members


Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Delayed budget proposal on the way, refuse collectors strike in Copenhagen and several injured in shooting in Greenland. Here are the main news stories from Denmark on Thursday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Budget proposal to be presented 

The coalition government is scheduled to present a new budget proposal at noon today. Danish budgets are usually proposed and eventually adopted during the autumn, but last year’s election disrupted the normal timetable.

A so-called “negotiation reserve” (forhandlingsreserve), a pool of money in the budget that can be allocated at a later date based on agreements between parties, has been significantly cut from the amount set down by the proposal made by the pre-election, single-party Social Democratic government, according to news wire Ritzau.

Most of the reserve in the earlier proposal was expected to be expected on the health system.

The lower amount is due to the shorter timescale of this year’s budget according to the report.

We’ll report any key announcements from the budget proposal in an article on our website later today.

Labour court orders Copenhagen refuse collectors back to work

Refuse collectors in parts of Copenhagen have staged a wildcat strike – a strike not sanctioned by their trade union – in recent days, due to a dispute between the workers and the Amager Resource Center (ARC) waste management company, related to working hours.

The Danish labour court (Arbejdsretten) has ordered them to return to work and their unions have also said they should not continue the walkout, union journal Fagbladet 3F reports.

The labour court has ruled the strikes in breach of the refuse collectors’ collective bargaining agreement, meaning they can potentially be fined for continuing the action.

Five injured in Greenland shooting

Two people were hit by shots fired in the town of Narsaq in Greenland yesterday afternoon and a further three were injured in the incident, Greenland police chief Brian Thomsen told local media KNR.

The two people who were shot are not in a life-threatening condition.

The three injured people were hit by projectiles caused by the shots, according to the report. Police are yet to ascertain a motive for the shooting.

Denmark against EU plan to limit use of biomass as fuel

The government opposes an EU plan to limit the amount of wood member countries can burn as biomass, according to newspaper Dagbladet Information.

The EU parliament wants to reduce the forms of biomass that are considered sustainable energy, removing wood from this list.

But the climate ministry is against such a move, according to a letter sent by the ministry to an interest organisation for the Danish timer industry, Dansk Skovforening, according to Information.

The newspaper reports that, in the letter, the ministry states that it “does not think the EU parliament’s proposal to implement a new definition and place restrictions on the use of primary wood biomass is the right way to go”.

UN rules hold that biomass must be CO2 neutral but some experts have said it emits CO2 directly into the atmosphere, according to the report.