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Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Wednesday

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Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Wednesday
Fog affecting traffic on the E45 around Randers this March. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Transport minister backs road use charges, schools minister wants to scrap 'readiness assessment', Danish banks well prepared for instability, and parliament to vote through work permit reform. Here's some of the day's news.


Schools minister wants to drop 'readiness assessment' 

Denmark's schools minister Mattias Tesfaye has said he wants to scrap the so-called educational readiness assessment, or uddannelsesvurderingen, which is used to check if primary school students are academically, socially, and developmentally ready to go on to upper secondary or vocational schools. 

Those who fail the tests are rated "ikkeparate", or "not ready". 

"I think young people should be assessed on what they can do, and not on who they are," Tesfaye told state broadcaster DR, saying he wanted the assessment to focus more narrowly on an academic assessment, such as whether a student is good at Danish or Maths. 

Danish vocab: ikkeparate – not ready


Transport minister backs driving tax plan 

Denmark's transport minister Thomas Danielsen, who represents the Liberal Party, has said he backs a long-term plan to impose tax on car drivers based on where, and what distances, they drive, called "road pricing". 

"I have no doubt that we will introduce road pricing for personal transport in the long term. It will be appropriate and wise, and that is my clear ambition," Danielsen said.  "We must make it cheap to drive out in the countryside, where there is a long distance between the houses, where you often need two cars, and where there is not much public transport, and expensive in the cities, where there is congestion and a lot of public transport." 

Danielsen said that his party had opposed the measure back in 2011 when the Social Democrats had proposed it because payment and tracking technology were not ready. 

Denmark is trialling the system in two months time in a test involving 2,200 motorists to be taxed, with the new tax expected to come into force around 2030.

Danish vocab: kørselsafgift – driving charge/road pricing

Danish banks ’well equipped’ for financial instability

Denmark’s banking sector is well equipped to deal with potential instability should uncertainty seen at some international banks reach Denmark, according to a national risk assessment council

In a statement, the Systemic Risk Council (Det Systemiske Risikoråd), which monitors potential dangers in the financial sector, said it assessed Danish banks to be equipped to ward off major crises.

“The Council finds that the Danish banking sector in general is in a good position to withstand the deterioration of the financial market conditions,” it said in the statement.

Danish vocab: et godt udgangspunkt – a good position/starting point


Danish parliament set to vote through relaxed work permit rules

Denmark's parliament is expected to vote on Thursday to make changes to the country's foreigners law designed to make it easier to for companies to hire internationally.

The bill went through its second reading on Monday without any Danish MPs making objections or calling for changes, suggesting it is likely to be voted through on Thursday without any serious opposition. 

The bill, which was submitted to parliament in February by Denmark’s immigration minister Kaare Dybvad Bek, will permanently reduce the minimum wage required under the Pay Limit Scheme (Beløbsordning), making it easier for companies to recruit skilled workers from non-EU countries.

It will also open up the country’s fast-track work permit certification scheme to companies with as few as ten employees, extend the job search period for foreign graduates of Danish universities to three years, add more job titles to the Positive List for People with Higher Education, and extend the Start-up Denmark scheme for entrepreneurs. 



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