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 received on Wednesday an award for political communication, while also being reported as saying cocaine should be legalised. Photo: Emil Nicolai Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

Explosion in Copenhagen under investigation, party leader wants cocaine legalised and Vikings were more refined than we thought. Here’s the news from Denmark on Thursday.


Police investigate explosion in Copenhagen 

An explosion in the Nordvest neighbourhood in Copenhagen early this morning left several windows broken but no injuries, police said.

The blast happened at around 3:30am in a building on Frederiksborgvej. The ground floor of the building is used as a café or restaurant and is not lived in, officer Michael Andersen of Copenhagen Police told Ritzau.

An area around the location was closed off as police conducted investigations. The cause of the explosion is so far unclear.

Vocabulary: afspærret – closed/blocked off

Party leader talks up legalisation of cocaine

Alex Vanopslagh, the leader of the libertarian opposition party Liberal Alliance, has been criticised for saying in a podcast that cocaine should be legalised.

“If you are a grown man, have control of your life and want to take some cocaine three times a year at a party, I think that should be legal,” Vanopslagh said in a podcast with comedian Casper Christensen.

“I think to start with we should decriminalise, but in the longer term legalise and regulate it,” he also said.


Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard went after Vanopslagh in a social media post in response to those views.

“In view, Vanopslagh’s point of view is theoretical libertarianism at its most extreme and detached from reality,” Hummelgaard wrote on Facebook.

Vocabulary: afsporet – detached/derailed/misguided

‘Hollywood image’ of Vikings shattered by windows

The image of a Viking as a primitive barbarian has become a little more difficult to imagine after scientists from the National Museum of Denmark concluded that they in all likelihood had windows in their homes back in the period 800-1,000 CE.

It was previously thought that windows first appeared in Denmark several centuries later, when castles and churches used them in the Middle Ages.

“The Hollywood image we have of Vikings sitting in their dark halls around the long fire, drinking mead, is maybe more sophisticated [in reality]," senior researcher Mads Dengsø Jessen of the National Museum told news wire Ritzau.

The conclusions are based on the discovery of glass fragments at six different archaeological sites from the Viking era.

Vocabulary: mjød – mead

Ethics Council advises against legalising euthanasia

An overwhelming majority of the Danish Council on Ethics have advised the country's parliament against voting to legalise euthanasia.

Fully sixteen out seventeen members of the committee concluded in a report that it was "in principle impossible to establish proper regulation of euthanasia", and as a result recommended that the law in Denmark should not be changed to allow people suffering mental or physical distress to receive help to end their own lives. 

The council's verdict is likely to strongly reduce the chance that parliament votes for Denmark to follow The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Portugal, Spain and some states in the US and legalise euthanasia. 

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen brought the issue back onto the agenda in June when she said that she, herself, might be in favour of a law allowing some people to choose to end their own lives. 

Vocabulary: aktiv dødshjælp – euthanasia


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also