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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday
Finance Minister Nicolai Wammen meets the press at the launch the Reform Commission earlier this year. Photo: Emil Nicolai Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

Danish PM to meet Joe Biden, Finance Ministry ups spare cash estimate, Conservative mayor under fire for use of public funds, and government announces five billion kroner in extra health spending. Here's the day's news.


Mette Frederiksen to visit Joe Biden on June 5th 

Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen is to visit US President Joe Biden in the White House on June 5th in her first visit to the White House since taking power in 2019. 

At the meeting, which will take place on Denmark's Constitution Day, the two will discuss Danish-American cooperation, continued support for Ukraine, expectations for the Nato summit in Vilnius in Lithuania in July, and cooperation on future threats and green transition and climate.

Frederiksen's visit to the White House will take place almost a year after she first received the invitation from Biden at the Nato summit held in Madrid last June. 

Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Denmark's prime minister between 2015 and 2019, met with President Donald Trump in March 2017 and Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Denmark's prime minister between 2011 and 2015, visited Barack Obama in February 2012. 

Danish vocabulary: samarbejde – cooperation

Conservative mayor used public cash to go to concerts 

Gert Jørgensen, the Conservative mayor of Sorø in the centre of Zealand, spent over 30,000 Danish kroner of municipality money on concert tickets and dinners, the BT tabloid has reported.

According to Jørgensen's accounts, which BT has been given access to, the mayor spent 33,198 kroner on five local concerts and related dinners between 2014 and 2018.

The municipality has said that it believes that the the concert tickets were an appropriate staff benefit given to a limited group of employees, with the municipal director and deputy municipal director also attending. 

Danish vocabulary: personalegode – staff benefit


Danish finance ministry ups spare cash estimate by 16 billion kroner

Denmark's finance minister has adjusted its estimate of the government's financial "room for manoeuvre", or råderum, upwards by 16 billion kroner, giving the government increased leeway to fund new projects or cut taxes without finding additional financing. 

"The Danish economy is booming even more strongly than we had expected," Nicolai Wammen, the country's finance minister said when announcing the adjustment, which was done as part of Denmark's annual reporting to the EU Commission's stability and convergence programmes. 

In the last report, submitted in the summer of 2022, there was 48bn kroner of "room for manoeuvre", which has been increased to 64 billion kroner in the most recent report. 

"This is primarily because we have seen the Danish economy develop very strongly. We have massive employment levels and we have more foreign labor contributing to the Danish economy than we had expected," Wammen said. 

Danish vocabulary: råderum – leeway, room for manoeuvre


Danish government announces five billion kroner health spending plan

A new spending plan for the Danish public health system was announced on Tuesday, including investment aimed at improving treatment times for cancer patients.

An extra five billion kroner per year is to be spent on Denmark’s health service, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told press on Tuesday.

Along with Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and Health Minister Sophie Løhde, Frederiksen presented a major new spending scheme aimed at patching up the public health system.

“Many things are going well” in the health system, Frederiksen said, while conceding there were also "some major challenges”.

“That’s why we have decided to carry out massive investments in our health in Denmark,” she said.

Danish vocabulary: sundhedsvæsnet – the health system


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