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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Today in Denmark: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
The Royal Couple with add a late summer tour to their cruising season on the Dannebrog yacht. Photo: Danish Royal Court

Leading Social Democrat interrupts May Day speech to address protesters, King and Queen to take late summer tour on royal yacht, defence minister says no ban on buying Israeli air defence, and other news from Denmark on Thursday.


Top Social Democrat breaks off May Day speech to address protesters 

A leading Social Democrat minister, Peter Hummelgaard, was forced to interrupt his May 1st speech at the Fælledparken park in Copenhagen, as he was being drowned out by the booing and shouting from pro-Palestine demonstrators. 

"I don't know if everyone out there can hear it, but there are some individuals who have come forward to drown out my speech," he said, before addressing the protesters.

"I understand that you are upset. I understand the frustration. A ceasefire and, in the longer term, a peaceful two-state solution is needed. You have a right to be here with your opinion. But I do too," he said. 

"I do not believe that this should destroy the democratic debate in Denmark. We all have to agree that Jews in Denmark must be able to live safely and securely," he said.

It is somewhat unusual for the May 1st Social Democrat speech in Fælledparken to be given by a minister, as the speech is normally given by the party chair, or if the party is in power, by the prime minister.

Danish vocabulary: en våbenhvile - a ceasefire

Danish Royal Couple to visit, Assens, Veijle and Bornholm on summer cruise 

Denmark's Royal Court has announced in a press release that King Frederik X and Queen Mary will take a late-summer cruise on their royal ship the Dannebrog, visiting the islands of Bornholm and Ærø, and the town of Assens on Funen. The cruise will take place between August 19th and August 22nd. 

In Assens, the mayor, Søren Steen Andersen, said he was looking forward to the visit, which coincides with the city's 500th anniversary.

"We are looking forward to a visit from the Royal Couple. It will be a fantastic day when we will have the opportunity to show some of the many places, projects and development initiatives we are proud of," he said. 

Danish vocabulary: Dannebrogstogter - Dannebrog cruises


Defence Minister says new defence deal allows purchase of Israeli air defence 

A new sub agreement under Denmark's cross-party defense deal does not forbid Denmark from buying a new air defense system from Israel, the country's defence minister Troels Lund Poulsen, who is calling for a "completely open discussion" over the system, told Ritzau.

"We have not said that we cannot acquire it from Israel. There is nothing about that in the agreement. Nor is it the case that we have said that it must be Israeli," Lund Poulsen said.

He points out that under the sub agreement the funds allocated for the system had been increased from 19 billion to between 19 billion and 25 billion kroner. 

The leader of the Socialist Left party, Pia Olsen Dyhr, has said that the wording of the agreement makes it "quite difficult" to buy an Israeli system, noting that it stipulates that "Nato interoperability must be taken into account". 

Danish vocabulary: at udelukke - to exclude  


Denmark's justice minister seeks to extend police powers to encrypted chats

Denmark's justice minister has asked the country's Criminal Justice Committee to investigate whether police powers legally allow them to crack encrypted digital chat such as WhatsApp. 

Peter Hummelgaard wrote in a press release that it was "absolutely crucial that the police get the necessary tools to investigate and solve crime".

"I am pleased that a number of the country's most competent forces will now assess whether the law gives the police the necessary powers to search, intercept and seize [chats] when the investigation takes place digitally and on new communication platforms," he said. 

Danish vocabulary: krypterede - encrypted 



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