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

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AFP/Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Today in Denmark: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
A pilot sits inside an F-16 jet at Norway's Rygge Airbase as Norway hands over its first jets to Ukraine. It is not yet known when Denmark will hand over its F-16s to Ukraine. Photo: Ntb/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark announces new defence package for Ukraine, subsidies to museums boosted, economy growing faster than expected and other news from Denmark on Friday.

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Denmark donates billions to Ukraine for air defence and ammunition

Denmark has agreed to donate 5.6 billion kroner to Ukraine, in its 18th donation package to the country to help it repel Russia's invasion.

"This is quite a large package: we are currently the country which provides the largest military support to Ukraine pro rata," Denmark's foreign minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, told the Ritzau newswire. .

Around 2.4 billion kroner is set earmarket for improving Ukraine's air defences and part will go towards developing Ukraine's new fleet of F-16 fighter planes, some of which Denmark has given. It is not yet known when Denmark's planes will be sent to Ukraine. 

"Everyone knows that Ukraine is in desperate straits for better air defences. We have nothing, but we have the resources. We have included that in this package," Rasmussen said. 

Danish vocabulary: luftforsvar - air defences

Denmark to boost subsidies to museums in new cross-party deal 

Denmark's government has struck a deal with opposition parties to increase the annual subiduy to museums in the country by 75 million kroner a year, pushing the annual grant to 565.7 million from 2025. 

Under the news subsidy system, museums will be divided into five categories, which will determine how big its basic grant will be. A new national museum board will be set up to assess whether museums will be among those eligible for subsidy or be stripped of state recognition. 

To be categorised as a state-recognised museum, museums must have an annual income of at least 4m kroner and at least 10,000 annual visitors, although this is reduced to 3m kroner and 8,000 visitors for museums on Denmark's smaller islands. 

The deal was struck between the three government parties and all other parties in government apart from the Alternative and Nye Borgerlige parties. 

Danish vocabulary: museumsnævn - board of museums 

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Denmark's economy growing faster than expected 

Denmark's economy is growing faster than the government expected, inflation is falling faster, and employment is holding up better, Denmark's economy minister, Stephanie Lose, said at a press conference announcing the government's Økonomisk Redegørelse, or financial statement, for May.

"In the past two years, the pharmaceutical industry in particular has driven growth in the Danish economy, while there has been stagnation or decline in large parts of the rest of the economy," she said. "In the coming years, other industries again look set to contribute to growth. Added to this is the reopening of the Tyra field in the North Sea, which also contributes to growth in GDP." 

The government has increased its expectation for Denmark's growth rate since its last statement in December, with it now expecting 2.7 percent growth in 2024, up from the 1.4 percent it expected for the year in December. 

The government has significantly upgraded its expectations of what will happen to the price of domestic property this year. It now expects prices to increase by an average of 3.2 percent in 2024 and 3 percent in 2025, a rise of two percentage points on the 1.2 percent rise for 2024 it expected when it made its last forecast in December. 

Danish vocabulary: forventningen - the expectation

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Denmark joins countries calling for asylum centres outside EU

Denmark is one of 15 EU member states who have sent a joint letter to the European Commission demanding a further tightening of the bloc's asylum policy, which will make it easier to transfer undocumented migrants to third countries, such as Rwanda, including when they are rescued at sea.

The letter, sent to the European Commission on Thursday, comes less than a month before European Parliament elections, in which far-right anti-immigration parties are forecast to make gains.

The letter asks the European Union's executive arm to "propose new ways and solutions to prevent irregular migration to Europe".

The group includes Italy and Greece, which receive a substantial number of the people making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to reach the EU -- many seeking to escape poverty, war or persecution, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Denmark's former government sought to open an asylum reception centre in a third country, with the then immigration minister Mattias Tesfaye visiting Rwanda. But the current govermment has pledged to try and establish centres in a third country through the EU. 

They want the EU to toughen up its recently adopted asylum pact, which introduces tighter controls on those seeking to enter the 27-nation bloc.
That reform includes speedier vetting of people arriving without documents, new border detention centres and faster deportation for rejected asylum applicants.

The 15 proposed in their letter the introduction of "mechanisms... aimed at detecting, intercepting -- or in cases of distress, rescuing -- migrants on the high seas and bringing them to a predetermined place of safety in a partner country outside the EU, where durable solutions for those migrants could be found".

Danish vocabulary: modtagecenter - reception centre

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