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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Denmark mulls restarting ammunition factory, Nord Stream sabotage yacht 'docked at Christiansø', fewer receive kontanthjælp benefits, and CO2 storage facility opens in North Sea. Here's some of the day's news.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday
Sweden's Defence Minister Pal Jonson (L) receives Denmark's Minister for Economic Affairs Troels Lund Poulsen at the informal meeting of EU defence ministers at the Scandinavian XPO in Marsta outside Stockholm, Sweden March 8, 2023. Christine Olsson/TT/Scanpix

Denmark mulls restarting former ammunition factory

Denmark’s government is considering restarting an old ammunition factory in Frederikshavn to help supply munitions to the Ukrainian army, the country’s acting defence minister, Troels Lund Poulsen, said after a meeting of EU defence ministers in Stockholm.

The suggestion is part of a three-party plan drawn up by the EU’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, to obtain more ammunition for Ukraine and refill half-empty ammunition stocks in the EU, in part by increasing production in the EU.
“All countries will have to consider what can be done. Therefore, we in Denmark will of course also have to consider what we can do,” Poulsen said. “We have a facility in Frederikshavn, which until a few years ago was used for weapons production. I want to take the lead in investigating whether private companies might be interested in establishing production there.”
The facility is owned by the Spanish company, Expal, which a few years ago decided to shut down production in Denmark.
Danish vocab: at genskabe – to restore/rebuild

Nord Stream sabotage boat ‘docked in Christiansø’

The boat German investigators reportedly suspect of being used to carry out the sabotage on the Nord Stream pipelines docked on the tiny Danish island of Christiansø, north of Bornholm, between September 16th and 18th, according to ARD and Die Zeit, the German media outlets which broke the story. 

Berlingske has spoken to the island’s administrator, Søren Thiim Andersen, who confirms having received a request from the police to ask if anyone had pictures of ships in the harbour over these three days. 

Separate reports in German and US media on Tuesday linked the attack to Ukrainian groups, with ARD and Die Zeit linking the attack to a boat owned by a Polish company owned by Ukrainians. 

Danish vocab: en henvendelse – a request

Fewer people receive benefits in Denmark despite rising unemployment

The number of people in Denmark who receive the basic form of unemployment benefit, kontanthjælp, fell in the final quarter of last year. Data released by Statistics Denmark on Tuesday show that there were just over 98,000 people in receipt of kontanthjælp at the end of 2022. The number is lower than in the preceding quarter but higher than in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Kontanthjælp is the basic form of public benefit given to people who are not employed. It is distinct from dagpenge, which requires membership of a semi-privatised A-kasse and gives them the right to receive unemployment benefits should the member become unemployed.

Danish vocab: att modtage – to receive

Denmark opens undersea graveyard for imported CO2

Denmark inaugurated a project on Wednesday which will store carbon dioxide 1,800 metres beneath the North Sea, the first country in the world to bury CO2 imported from abroad.

The CO2 graveyard, where the carbon is injected to prevent further warming of the atmosphere, is on the site of an old oil field.

Led by British chemical giant Ineos and German oil company Wintershall Dea, the “Greensand” project is expected to store up to eight million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030. In December, it received an operating permit to start its pilot phase.

Still in their infancy and costly, carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects aim to capture and then trap CO2 in order to mitigate global warming.

Around 30 projects are currently operational or under development in Europe.

Danish vocab: at lagre  – to store

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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.