The Week That Was, February 17th – 26th 2020:

Posted on 23. Feb, 2020 in: TWTW


Danish politicians and IT experts reacted angrily to reports that the Danish Military, and Defence Ministry, have since the 1990s spent millions on encryption devices from the Swiss company Crypto AG, owned and operated by US and German intelligence who ‘snooped’ on unwitting customers.

Denmark and Danish health care have become a political issue in the US election campaign - during Wednesday night's Democratic presidential debate in Nevada one of the leading candidates for president, Pete Buttigieg, claimed that the "number one place to live out the 'American Dream' right now" is not the United States, but Denmark.

Berlingske reported how Social Democrat leadership has attempted to coerce critics of the party’s, or government’s, policies.

Initial investigations into allegations of fraud and misappropriation of public funds at the Ministry of Defence Estate Agency (MDEA)revealed extensive problems.

Denmark's economy grew at a slightly slower pace in the final quarter of 2019.

Foreign Affairs/EU:

The Trump Administration has appropriated $587.000 (around DKK4m) to establish a 'permanent diplomatic presence in Greenland’ to reduce growing Russian and Chinese influence in the region.

Greenland’s self-rule government acknowledged the need for more professional, ‘high-intensity’ marketing to reach its goal of becoming a profitable oil province, economically independent of Denmark.

U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette predicted Russia won’t be able to complete the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea that’s currently under construction in Danish territorial waters because of damaging sanctions.

Germany’s finance minister, Olaf Scholz, backed Denmark’s bid to cap the EU’s long-term budget.

Defence Minister Trine Bramsen said Danish military personnel will be sent back to the Iraqi al-Asad base on March 1st after temporarily being relocated to Kuwait due to security concerns.

Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod held talks with his Iraqi counterpart, Mohammed al-Hakim, in Baghdad, Tuesday, centering on boosting bilateral relations and the reopening of the Danish embassy in the Iraqi capital - parties on both sides of the aisle are ready to financially support Kurdish efforts to prosecute thousands of Islamic State (ISIS) combatants, including Danish nationals.

Denmark’s Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s digital and competition chief, presented the long-awaited details of an EU digital strategy that the U.S. fears will have major consequences for technology giants such as Apple, Facebook, and Google.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Jeppe Kofod launched a new national strategy for attracting foreign investments to Denmark, focusing on knowledge-based, green investments.

Social Affairs:

The government ruled out forcibly repatriating failed asylum seekers to Syria - Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Denmark will never cooperate with President al-Assad and his regime.

The number of migrants claiming social benefits has fallen to a 16-year-low – a new study showed 29% of all non-western immigrants were living off public entitlements last year, compared to 39% in 2016, the lowest figure since records started in 2004. At the same time the number of migrant workers coming to Denmark has slowed considerably, leading to warnings of a labour shortage.

Social fraudster Britta Nielsen was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison, Tuesday, after Copenhagen District Court found her guilty of embezzling DKK117n ($17m) of welfare money for decades - Social Affairs Minister Astrid Krag said all financial controls have been tightened so large-scale fraud can never happen again.

Previously anonymous Arab donors demanded DKK15m back from the ‘super mosque’ in Rovsinggade, Copenhagen because the money was ‘misspent on gold, baby clothing, or given to various Muslim groups.'

More than 500 fines have been handed down to homeless people over the past three years for setting up ‘intimidating camps’ in public places, leading to demands from the government’s allies for a change in the 2017 law that gives the police the authority to forcibly remove anyone living rough in Copenhagen.

Police arrested 27 foreign nationals and seized around 100 kilos of cocaine from a Bahamas-registered cargo ship passing through Danish waters.

The General Practitioners’ Organisation (PLO) warned that the number of people without a doctor could grow to around 300,000 within three years.


Denmark's biggest financial institution, Danske Bank, fell into line with other banks by imposing a negative interest rate on wealthy customers.

A.P. Moller-Maersk (APM), the world’s largest container shipping firm, signed a $545 million deal to buy U.S. warehousing and distribution firm Performance Team - shares in the Copenhagen-based shipping giant slumped by almost four percent on Thursday, impacted by measures designed to halt the spread of the coronavirus in Asia.

Chinese Sunay Healthcare Supply purchased self-driving Danish disinfection robots to help hospitals in China  fight the coronavirus.

And That Was the Week That Was, February 17th – 26th 2020: To read all the above articles in full see: (subscription required).

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