Today in Denmark For Members

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday
Liberal Alliance leader Alex Vanopslagh has come in for renewed criticism over his "double home" scandal. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Municipalities criticise government bureaucracy, lawyers push for court case against party leader and Credit Suisse ripples reach Denmark. Here are the lead news stories in Denmark on Thursday morning.


Municipalities criticise state interference in local government 

The government is not keeping its promise to reduce bureaucracy and state involvement in the Danish welfare system, according to criticisms set down by the national organisation for municipalities, Kommunernes Landsforening (KL).

A note sent by KL to trade unions sets out criticism of state interference in local welfare matters, according to newspaper Politiken which reports to have seen the note.


The government has described its own project as “the most comprehensive release of the public sector”, but reality is proving the opposite according to the criticism.

KL’s chairman Martin Damm reiterated the organisation’s position in comments to Politiken and cited unemployment as a particular area where local staff are faced with too much emphasis on “putting the right tick in a box”.

Vocabulary: statsstyring -- state control

Parliament in double standards accusation over party leader’s apartment scandal

Two lawyers have accused parliament of double standards for deciding not to legally pursue Alex Vanopslagh, the leader of the Liberal Alliance party, after he was found to have breached rules relating to apartments provided to MPs.

Vanopslagh was provided with an apartment in Copenhagen and given parliamentary subsidies because he was registered as living at an address in Struer, West Jutland. It later emerged he did not genuinely use the Struer address as his home and had thereby broken the rules. He later paid back the subsidies in full and returned the Copenhagen apartment.

“I’m not for one second in doubt that if this had been a municipal case, the municipality would have asked for the money back and reported him to the police,” lawyer Mads Pramming, a benefit fraud specialist, told broadcaster DR.

The speaker of parliament, Søren Gade, has told DR that the case will not be taken further. A previous case from 2015 has been cited as precedent for the decision.

Vocabulary: socialt bedrageri -- social benefit fraud


Danish banks affected by Credit Suisse crisis

Uncertainty about the future of Swiss bank Credit Suisse, which saw its shares tumble on Wednesday, has sent ripples across Europe including to banks in Denmark.

Danske Bank saw its share price drop 5.8 percent with Nordea and Jyske Bank both losing over 6 percent, news wire Ritzau reports.

“The bank sector is very intertwined. But investors don’t know how big the interconnections are or where they are. That uncertainty makes investors go into their shells,” Sydbank senior economist Søren Kristensen said.

Credit Suisse's shares plunged yesterday by over 25 percent after its main shareholder, Saudi National Bank, said it would not provide more financial assistance to the embattled Swiss banking giant. It is now set to borrow over 50 billion Swiss francs from the Swiss central bank.

Vocabulary: chokbølger -- shockwaves

Danish house prices could fall by nearly 10 percent this year

 A forecast by Denmark’s central bank Nationalbanken yesterday predicted that house prices could fall by 9.4 percent this year.

In the forecast, the National Bank writes that the predicted trend “reflects a market where sellers have not sufficiently reduced asking prices in relation to what buyers are willing to and can afford to pay in relation to the steep interest rate increases”.

“There have been large knockdowns [due to interest, ed.] which have increased further in recent months. That indicates that further falls in price await,” it said.

Nationalbanken raised its lead interest rate in December by 0.5 percent to 1.75 percent.


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