The Week That Was, January 18th – 24th 2021:

Posted on 24. Jan, 2021 in: TWTW

Coronavirus/ What happened last week:

Despite a fall in infections the government warned that lockdown restrictions due to expire on February 7th may need to be extended due to the rapidly spreading.

By the end of the week the positivity rate of those being tested had fallen to 0.67, the lowest for nearly five months - the so-called ‘R’ rate, which indicates how many people one person infected with COVID-19 on average transmits the virus to, fell to 0.6, Wednesday, the lowest ever figure since the start of the crisis.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen lashed out at pharma giant Pfizer for cutting vaccine deliveries by as much as half to some EU countries – following Thursday’s virtual EU pandemic summit the PM stressed the importance of no more obstacles or delays from the EU in the vaccine process.

Denmark is facing a shortfall in vaccines after Pfizer announced a 10% reduction in deliveries during the first three months of the year.

The health authorities confirmed the first case of the B1351/501Y mutation, a variant first detected in South Africa towards the end of last year.

Two far-reaching corona containment proposals - mandatory face masks in public and forced testing for anybody who’s been part of a group in which the virus was confirmed - were dismissed by a parliamentary majority -

Homeless people were moved up the vaccination timetable after 39 residents of shelters were infected with corona

Politics/Economy:

Prime Minister Mette Fredriksen made a ‘mini’ cabinet reshuffle to accommodate a new ministry - the Ministry for the Interior and Housing will be headed by Kaare Dybvad Bek while Astrid Krag has lost the interior portfolio to become Minister for Social and Elderly Affairs. Magnus Heunicke had previously held the title of minister for the elderly but will now concentrate solely on health.

A new poll showed the anti-migrant New Right (Nye Konservative) would win nearly 11% of the vote if an election was held today and are now potentially Denmark’s 4th biggest party, after the Social Democrats, Conservatives, and Liberals (Venstre) – support for the Liberals has sunk to a 20-year low. Another poll showed voters on the right would prefer to see the Conservatives’ Søren Pape Poulsen lead the opposition instead of Jacob Ellemann Jensen.

The impeachment trial of former immigration minister Inger Støjberg moved closer, Wednesday, when a parliamentary majority agreed on the charges she will face.

Regional health chairman Stephanie Lose is the Liberals’ new deputy leader, replacing Inger Støjberg who was forced to step down 10 days ago due to the child brides affair

Foreign Affairs/EU:

U.S. Ambassador Carla Sands left Denmark on Monday before her boss Donald Trump’s departure from the White House the following day - the former soap opera actress made a low-key exit, posting a video on Twitter in which she offered thanks for her time in Denmark and highlighted her ‘achievements’.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, alongside the leaders of Greece, Austria, and the Czech Republic, urged the EU Commission to speed up the approval process for corona vaccines.

Transport Minister Benny Engelbrecht slapped a 1-week ban on all flights from Dubai following reports that tests carried out in the UAE before departure are unreliable.

Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod called for the immediate release of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny who was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on his return from treatment abroad.

As a member of Facebook’s Oversight Board, ex-Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt will be asked to decide whether to make former President Donald Trump’s ban from the world’s biggest social media site permanent.

The government is aiming to put together international support for its efforts to stop piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea - Denmark’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Jens-Otto Horslund. has been appointed ‘special representative for maritime security’ with the aim of paving the way for a joint military mission to secure safe passage for commercial shipping.

Business:

The real estate market boomed in 2020 despite the corona virus, as total transactions topped DKK252bn ($41bn) a 28% increase on the previous year.

Two of Denmark’s biggest pension funds – PKA and PFA – have made multi-million kroner investments in companies with ownership shares in a Chinese gold mine where twelve workers who were left trapped underground after an explosion are still thought to be alive.

Danish companies’ claim that their use of sustainable energy has saved the atmosphere massive amounts of CO2 was dismissed as ‘widely exaggerated’ by climate experts - Professor Brian Vad Mathiesen of the Institute for Energy Planning at Aalborg University accused big companies of ‘greenwashing’, defined as ‘making people believe that your company is doing more to protect the environment than it really is.'

The State Prosecutor’s Office for Serious Economic and International Crime (SØIK) is pursuing more suspects involved in the 2016 share dividend scam when the Danish tax authority was scammed out of DKK12.7bn (nearly $2bn).

Struggling Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) was reported to the police for failing to reimburse passengers for unused flight tickets.

And That Was the Week That Was, January 18th – 24th 2021: To read all the above articles in full see: http://seven59.dk/archive (subscription required).

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