The Week That Was, February 11th – 17th 2019

Posted on 17. Feb, 2019 in: TWTW

Politics/Economy:

Jens Stoltenberg praised Denmark for increasing defence spending and contributing to military missions around the world. Speaking at a meeting of allied defence ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, the NATO Secretary General welcomed the government’s recent commitment to increase its military budget from 1.3% to 1.5% of GDP by 2023 - Defence Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen refused to rule out a nuclear response to counter Russian aggression.

The Red/Greens will push for an increase in the price of petrol and diesel fuel even though the French government was forced to back down from similar proposals after violent ‘yellow vest’ protests over rising living costs - titular leader Pernille Skipper said her ‘fair’ climate proposals for green conversion wouldn’t increase inequality in this country, the main argument in France. The government dismissed the Red/Greens’ proposals as a ‘pipe dream’ and wishful thinking’.

A new report by parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (Rigsrevisionen) estimated that around DKK50bn ($8bn) of unpaid debt will need to be written off as ‘uncollectable’ - the Red/Greens called for at least 600 extra tax collectors to be hired to deal with the ever-growing debt mountain.

Chairman of the Board at the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA), David Lando, refused to bow to political pressure and resign - the Social Democrats called for a new board to restore trust in the financial sector’s watchdog.

The Tax Ministry expressed concern that leading law firm Bech Bruun, hired by the government to investigate the DKK12.7bn tax refund scandal, could have passed on confidential information to other clients implicated in the DKK12.7bn share dividend scam.

Danish inflation increased to a 14-month high in January after low readings in the final quarter of last year – the consumer price index jumped to 1.3 percent from a year earlier, up from 0.8 percent in December.

EU/Foreign Affairs

Denmark welcomed a new EU gas directive on gas pipelines but Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen said it wouldn’t influence the government’s decision as to whether to allow Russia’s Nord Stream 2 project to pass through Danish territorial waters.

New gender-based data published by Eurostat showed Denmark is one of only five EU countries that employs a majority of women in science and technology in the EU.

Minister for Food & Environment Jakob Ellemann-Jensen touted Denmark’s organic credentials at the World Trade Fair for Organic Products in Nuremberg.

The government welcomed a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decision to reject a complaint from a former Danish national who was stripped of his citizenship and deported to Morocco last month. Tagged the “Bookseller of Bronshøj,”58-year-old Said Mansour was put on a plane to Morocco almost two years after his citizenship was revoked in 2016.

Social Affairs

Copenhagen and the Swiss capital of Bern topped the 20 most liveable cities for European expatriates for the second consecutive year in a survey by global mobility expert, ECA International (ECA).

A British-owned building firm agreed to pay DKK6.8m ($1m) in compensation to 115 foreign workers employed on the construction of Facebook’s prestigious new datacentre in Odense - the company had cheated workers on overtime payments and also admitted to using a system in which a part of their employees’ wages weren’t subjected to Danish taxes.

In violation of the Danish constitution the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Jaochim, has been granted permission to take his monthly DKK300,000 ($46,000) appanage – royal salary – with him when he moves to Paris later this year.
55,232 people passed away in Denmark last year, the highest number since 2007 and nearly 2,000 more than the previous year.

The disparity between immigration and emigration continues to shrink - 4,000 more people left Denmark last year than in 2017 but immigration remains significantly higher.

The Conservative Party demanded answers from the two leading Prime Ministerial candidates on the future price of cigarettes. Although Denmark is one of the world’s most expensive countries, the price of a packet of cigarettes is amongst the cheapest in western Europe. A general election must be held in Denmark by June 17 this year and public health is likely to be a key issue

Business

2018 was a good year for Denmark’s leading executives - a review of the top 25 Danish companies’ annual accounts by financial daily Børsen showed Carlsberg’s Cees ’t Hart was the highest earning CEO last year with a salary of DKK52.5n ($8m).

Just short of two million passengers passed through Copenhagen Airport in January, 2.3% more than in the same month of the previous year, primarily due to an upturn in growth on long-haul flights to Asia – the airport was ranked the world’s seventh-best by travel magazine Wunderlust,

And That Was The Week That Was, February 11th – 17th 2019: To read all the above articles in full see:
http://seven59.dk/archive (subscription required).

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