The Week That Was September 14th – 20th 2020:

Posted on 21. Sep, 2020 in: TWTW

Coronavirus/ What happened last week:

The number of corona cases rose to the highest level since March as the World Health Organisation was warning of ’alarming rates of transmission’ of COVID-19 across Europe and cautioning countries against shortening quarantine periods.

The government imposed a 10pm curfew on bars, cafes, and restaurants following a significant increase in the number of corona cases.

Restaurant owners warned of a ’wave of bankruptcies’ after the government imposed a 10pm closing order on the ‘nightlife’ sector following a surge in infections amongst young people.

Politics/Economy:

Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod, at the centre of a ‘Me Too’ storm for having sex with a 15-year-old girl at a Social Democrat youth party in 2008, when he was 34, offered a full-blown apology after suffering a week of criticism - in an interview with TV2 he said he wished the affair had never happened but he’s determined to carry on as foreign minister. Leading political commentators said Mr Kofod’s attempt at crisis management could save his career – however, youth-wing leaders called for the Foreign Minister to be fired, with immediate effect.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen came out in support of the growing campaign against sexual harassment in the workplace - in a Facebook message the PM wrote it’s 'really quite simple - sexual harassment is wrong’.

Defence Minister Trine Bramsen was summoned to a parliamentary consultation to defend her handling of the growing Military Intelligence (FE) scandal - the Liberals’ (V) defence spokesman, Lars Christian Lilleholt said he’s concerned that the affair could have damaged Denmark’s security.

Leading political analyst Henrik Qvortrup said Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s wave of popularity since the outbreak of the corona epidemic in March is slowly ebbing out and there are signs of ‘corona fatigue’ amongst the electorate.

The opposition Liberals have moved closer to the far-right Sweden Democrats - after a meeting with the controversial Jimmie Åkesson, head of the anti-migrant party, in Copenhagen, Monday, the Liberals’ deputy leader, Inger Støjberg, said she believes many Swedes should say thank you to Mr Åkesson for daring to take the immigration problem seriously.

Police protection for head of the far-right ’Stram Kurs’ party, Rasmus Paludan, has so far cost the state DKK127m ($20.1m) - DKK13.2m this year on personal protection for the anti-Muslim politician at his Quran-burning demonstrations, in addition to the DKK113.8m spent last year.

Insurance and Pension Denmark CEO, Kent Damsgaard, called on the government to explain why it intends to fund its new DKK3bn early retirement scheme with a special tax on the financial sector.

Foreign Affairs/EU:

Danish lawmakers denounced European Commission President von der Leyen’s proposal for a pan-EU minimum wage - the Danish People’s Party’s deputy leader, Morten Messerschmidt, dismissed the proposal as a potential ‘bomb under the Danish labour market model’ that could even force low wages down.

Climate Minister Dan Jørgensen (S) welcomed the EU Commission’s new target of a 55% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 but warned there’s still a long way to go before it’s passed by the EU parliament.

Following talks with her with her Estonian counterpart, Jüri Ratas, in Tallin, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen took the opportunity to visit 200 Danish troops stationed at the Tapa Army Base, part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP), in the Baltic States and Poland.

Following the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called for a ‘new discussion’ on the controversial Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline currently under construction in Danish territorial waters.

In an interview with right-wing news website, the Daily Signal, U.S Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands the said the U.S. works very, very closely with the government in Copenhagen because it has responsibility for Greenland’s security and foreign policy.

Denmark suffered a defeat at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) where judges ruled that keeping a mentally ill man strapped to a restraint bed in hospital for a long period was unlawful.

Denmark is one of the few countries that lives up to the UN target of 0.7% of GNP in development aid but a new study showed that poorer countries contribute more to the Danish economy than they receive, in the form of raw materials, energy, and manpower.

Denmark was among 29 countries in a joint statement issued by the U.S. State Department on Thursday condemning the internet shutdown in Belarus.

Prince Joachim announced he’s ready to assume his new role as Denmark’s defence attaché at the Danish Embassy in Paris after recovering from a blood clot on the brain.

Social Affairs:

Former interns at DR News launched a compaint about ’sexism and harrasment’ at the state-run broadcaster - ten women employed as trainee journalists at DR between 2015-19 fired off a letter to management listing the ‘sexually violating’ behavior they experienced.

Ex-prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt urged bosses to send their employees on a mandatory course to help prevent sexual harassment.

In a turnaround from previous policy, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen came out against a bill that would outlaw non-medical circumcision - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the PM for taking a stand and expressed his appreciation for her ‘steadfast defence’ of Denmark’s Jewish community and the tradition of circumcision.

Three terrorists convicted of supplying drones and other equipment to the Islamic State had their prison sentences increased by the High Court.

Climate activists glued themselves to Danske Bank’s headquarters in Copenhagen, Thursday, in protest against the government’s policy of continuing to invest in oil - the ‘happening’ was part of a 5-day demonstration by the Extinction Rebellion group who vowed to disrupt traffic throughout the capital.

Business:

Danske Bank, still dealing with the fall-out from the Estonian money-laundering affair, admitted on Friday it had known for years that it was collecting outdated or excessive debt from customers and had not properly addressed the problem.

Copenhagen’s leading and most famous department store, Magasin du Nord, was put up for sale by its bankruptcy-threatened UK owners, Debenhams.

Electric car sales surged in August, albeit from a very low staring point - there were 3,500 new registrations last month, corresponding to a 20% market share, way above average. 15,000 ‘green cars’ have been registered so far in Denmark this year.

And That Was the Week That Was, September 14th – 20th 2020: To read all the above articles in full see: http://seven59.dk/archive (subscription required).

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