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Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Monday

Former leader of scandal-hit New Right party to return, detectorist finds on display at National Museum, and SSI director warns of future pandemics. Here's some of the news on Monday.

Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Monday
The New Right Party's former leader Pernille Vermund arriving for government negotiations after the 2022 election last autumn. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

Former leader of scandal-hit New Right party plans to return

Pernille Vermund, the co-founder and former leader of the New Right (Nye Borgerlige) party has announced plans to stand for election once again as party chairman with the hope of leading the party in the next general election. 

In January, Vermund announced that she would not stand for the far-right party in the next general election (likely in 2026), and would resign as leader of the far-right party.

Lars Boje Mathiesen then took over as new party leader on February 7th, only to be fired at the end of March after it emerged that he asked for 350,000 kroner to be transferred from party accounts to his own private account. 

“I am not stepping up again to be a career politician, but when duty calls, you step up,” Vermund told the broadcaster TV2 on Monday morning. “That’s how I was raised and that’s what I am doing now.” 

Danish vocab: når pligten kalder – when duty calls

Amateur treasure hunters’ gems go on display at Denmark’s National Museum

They may be derided elsewhere but in Denmark, hobby archaeologists who hunt treasures with metal detectors are such an asset that the National Museum has dedicated an entire exhibit to their finds.

“What they save now means the world for what we can do in the future and how we can build our museums,” exhibit curator Line Bjerg told AFP. “What they do really matters.”

In Denmark’s muddy soil, if objects “are not saved, then they are lost to history”, she added.

In three rooms on the museum’s bottom floor, visitors can learn about “detectorists” and admire some of their discoveries, including rings, necklaces and gold coins, all marked with the name of their finder.

SSI director warns of more pandemics in future

Henrik Ullum, director of Denmark’s SSI infectious diseases agency, has warned that the world is likely to see more global pandemics in the future, in an interview with the Poltiken newspaper held to mark the three-year anniversary of Denmark’s first lockdown. 

“We can in no way breathe a sigh of relief, even though we have put covid-19 behind us for a long time,” he said. “We saw with coronavirus how rapidly it spread from China to the rest of the world via plane passengers. In the old days, it could take many years for new diseases to spread, because man did not travel across the globe. It is different now.”

While he wouldn’t set a date for the next pandemic, he warned that rising temperatures, war, refugees, and modern industrial farming all came together to increase the risks. 

Danish vocab:  i fremtiden – in the future

Thousands queue online to access Danish tax returns

Over 77,000 people were on Friday morning waiting online to access their Danish tax returns – and find out whether they will receive a rebate from the tax agency.

At one point, the queue became so long that the Danish tax authority, Skat, paused the queue system to prevent it from growing further.

A message on the website read that “you cannot access” the portal.

“We apologise and will correct the error as quickly as possible. Leave the queue and log in again later,” the message read.

Danish vocab: en hjemmeside – a homepage

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Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Friday

Parliament votes for joining EU defence schemes, Danish PM 'rounded on' EU Council President, new fee for repeated citizenship applications, and Queen Margrethe to return to public duties. Here's some of the day's news.

Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Friday

Danish parliament votes to join EU ammunition-to-Ukraine scheme

A broad majority in the Danish parliament voted on Thursday for the country to join the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the Permanent Structured Cooperation (Pesco), meaning Denmark will be able to take part in the EU’s joint scheme for buying and delivering ammunition to Ukraine. 

The move was made possible by the referendum decision last June to end Denmark’s opt-out from the European Union’s defence policies. 

“One of the arguments for abolishing the defence reservation was that we should have the opportunity for greater, active participation in European defence policy,” Troels Lund Poulsen, Denmark’s acting Minister of Defence, said in a press release. 

Danish vocab: fælles – common/joint

Mette Frederiksen ’rounded on EU council president’ over inept chairing of summit

Danish Prime Minister gave EU Council President Charles Martel a public dressing down at a European Council summit in February, the Politico newspaper has reported. 

“In a rare interjection,” the newspaper reports, “the Danish prime minister took to the mic to voice her displeasure. But the target of her ire wasn’t the subject of the debate; rather, the way it was being conducted. Charles Michel, the president of the Council and the man responsible for running it, was allowing too much time for the discussion of specific texts instead of steering the debate toward a conclusion.” 

When Frederiksen was asked about the episode on arrival at a new EU summit on Thursday, she played it down, but did not deny it. 

“Ah, now that’s been twisted a little,” she told TV2, reportedly with a lopsided smile. 

Danish vocab: skæv – lop-sided 

Denmark to introduce new fee for repeated citizenship applications

The Danish government will ask persons applying for citizenship for the third or subsequent time after previous rejections to pay additional fees, the Ministry of Immigration and Integration has announced.

Under current rules, a person whose application for citizenship is rejected can apply again in future without paying an additional fee.

The government has decided to change this so that a third or subsequent application by the same person will incur an additional fee, the immigration ministry said in a statement.

The fee for applying for citizenship is currently 4,000 kroner. When a person submits an application, they can apply again at no extra cost should their application not be successful under the existing rules.

There are a number of reasons a Danish citizenship application can be rejected, including criteria related to residency, language, criminal records and financial self-sufficiency. A Danish citizenship test must also be passed before applying.

Danish vocab: et gebyr – a fee

Denmark’s Queen Margrethe to return to public duty on 83rd birthday

Queen Margrethe is scheduled to return to public duty on April 16th, her 83rd birthday, following a period of convalescence after a back operation.

The Queen’s return to public duty on her birthday was announced in a palace statement on Thursday.

“On this occasion, Her Majesty and The Royal Family will appear on the balconies at Christian IX’s Palace at Amalienborg at 12pm,” the palace said.

“It is expected that The Queen will resume her duties as the country’s sovereign the same day after her successful back operation in February,” it continued.

“The Queen’s physical rehabilitation is going well, but there will continue to be a number of major tasks that The Queen cannot carry out as planned in the coming months. Information about this will be shared on an ongoing basis,” it said.

Danish vocab: at genoptage – to resume 

Danish hospital made 293 cancer patients wait too long for surgery

Some 293 bowel cancer patients at Aarhus University Hospital waited longer than they should have to undergo surgery.

The Central Jutland health authority, which administrates the hospital in Aarhus, gave the figure in a review it released on Thursday.

The admission from the regional health board comes after broadcaster DR had reported that 182 patients with serious bowel cancer had waited too long for an operation at Aarhus University Hospital (AUH).

The period covered by DR’s reporting is May to December 2022, while the figure from Region Central Jutland is for January 2022 until February 2023.

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

Danish vocab: kræftpatienter – cancer patients