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Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Wednesday

Police warn of icy roads, Denmark slams UN climate fund 'embarrassment', immigration agency fires employee for misusing database, and Nord Stream attack linked to Ukrainian-owned yacht. Here's some of today's news.

Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Wednesday
Heavy snow in Hirtshals, northern Jutland, Denmark, Tuesday March 7th. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Nord Stream sabotage linked to Ukrainian-owned yacht

German investigators have reportedly identified a boat they believe was used in the sabotage attack on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, a report in the Die Zeit newspaper has claimed, based on a joint investigation with the broadcasters ARD and SWR. 

According to the report, a group of five men and one woman rented the yacht from a Polish-based company with Ukrainian owners. The six people used false passports and their nationality is unknown.

Traces of explosives have been found on the yacht, which set sail from the German city of Rostock on September 6th, 20 days before the explosions which destroyed the two pipelines. 

“The traces lead in the direction of Ukraine,” Die Zeit wrote in its article. “However, investigators have not yet found any evidence as to who ordered the destruction.” 

The newspaper said that, “according to its information”, a western intelligence service had tipped off its European partners in the autumn that a Ukrainian commando unit was responsible for the attack. 

When confronted with the reports, Ukraine denied any involvement in the attack. The country, presidential adviser Mychajlo Podoljak told ARD, “of course had nothing to do with the attacks on Nord Stream-2”. There was, he said, “no confirmation that Ukrainian officials or the military took part in this operation or that people were dispatched to act on their behalf.”

It was still conceivable that Russia was behind it, he said. “There are many more motives and many more uses in this scenario.” 

Danish vocab: oplysningerne: the information

Police in Denmark warn that icy roads could cause accidents

Police across Denmark were warning on Wednesday morning of icy conditions which have caused several minor accidents in both Zealand and Jutland. 

Henrik Olesen, from the police in Zealand said there had been an accident in Jyderup on the Vestmotorvejen (E23), and a couple of other accidents elsewhere. 

“These are minor accidents where people have driven into the guardrail or slid out,” he told the Ritzau newswire.

The police in South East Jutland reported that four or five accidents had taken place during the night, none of them serious.

In North Zealand, the Helsingørmotorvejen (E47) between Copenhagen and Helsingør was closed in the early morning due to slippery conditions, but has since been reopened after salting.

Danish vocab: alvorligt – serious

Denmark slams other countries for ‘total embarrassment’ of climate fund failure

Denmark, an active foreign aid donor, on Tuesday slammed as a “total embarrassment” the fact rich nations have failed to raise a promised $100 billion a year to help poor countries battle climate change.

Dan Jørgensen, Denmark’s development minister, told the UN Least Developed Countries summit that “trillions” would be needed in coming decades to control the fallout from rising temperatures.

The impact of a heating planet on the world’s 46 poorest nations has been a key topic at the summit in Doha that ends Thursday.

Least developed countries account for four percent of polluting emissions but suffer more than two thirds of deaths from floods, storms and other climate related disasters, according to Simon Stiell, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“It is a total embarrassment that the developed world has not yet delivered on the $100 billion that was promised in 2009,” Jørgensen said.

Danish immigration agency fires staff member for misuse of database

The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) has fired a member of staff and reported them to police after discovering they looked up data of up to 3,300 individuals without authorisation.

SIRI, which processes applications for Danish work and residence permits on behalf of the immigration ministry, released a press statement on Tuesday relating to the matter.

The agency was last autumn contacted by a member of the public who said that a staff member at SIRI had accessed their information without authorisation.

Following this, SIRI identified the employee in question in November 2022.

This resulted in confirmation that the person had searched for information and accessed data which were unconnected to their job role.

The information included personal registration (CPR) numbers, income details, family relations and decisions on immigration cases.

Danish vocab: uautoriseret – unauthorised

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For members


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.