The Week That Was, December 2nd – December 8th 2019

Posted on 08. Dec, 2019 in: TWTW

Politics/Economy:

The government and its allies finally reached agreement on the 2020 budget that will increase welfare spending across the board - more childcare workers, more funding for schools, and more money for mental health.

The Danish military was accused of not knowing where its money goes after a report by the National Audit office revealed major discrepancies in DKK500m of annual purchases.

The opposition Liberals accused the centre-left coalition of dismantling the previous government’s strict immigration policy, following the 2020 budget agreement that will allow refugees who’ve had a job for at least two years to remain in Denmark for an extended period.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was named as one of 50 people who ‘defined 2019’ on Bloomberg Businessweek’s annual list of ‘movers and shakers’.

Support for the Liberal Alliance (LA) has dropped to under the 2% threshold for parliamentary representation, increasing the risk of voter wastage for the ‘blue’ bloc opposition at the next election.

Economic growth slowed in the third quarter (Q3)- GDP growth was 0.3% while Q2 growth was revised upwards to 1.1 percent from 0.9 percent. Respected U.S. rating agency Moody's affirmed Denmark's triple-A credit rating, ‘reflecting a very high degree of economic and fiscal resilience’.

The government put forward a plan to stop ‘greedy’ property speculators, particularly U.S. company Blackstone, from acquiring a number of rental properties throughout the Copenhagen region and pushing up rents.

Gross unemployment fell very slightly to 103,900 in October from 104,300 in the preceding month as the unemployment rate remained at 3.7%, the same as in September.

The National Bank intervened for the second month in arrow and sold foreign currency to prop up the ailing krone and support its fixed link to the euro.

Jyllands Posten reported how the average emission from new cars has risen by nearly 8% since 2016 as Danish motorists have bought bigger and heavier cars

The government revealed plans to increase online gambling tax by eight percentage points in its 2020 budget.

Foreign Affairs/EU:

Following talks with U.S. President Trump at the alliance summit in London, Wednesday, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Denmark has agreed to make four more planes available to NATO in 2020 and 2021.

A former top-ranking naval official said it will need a lot of money and military assistance to keep Russian submarines away from Greenland, after Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced that Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands were working to establish greater strategic cooperation in the Arctic region together with the United States.

In its latest threat assessment report Danish Defence Intelligence Service (DDIS) warned of increasing tensions over Greenland involving major powers, including the US, China and Russia,

Denmark surprisingly broke with the U.S. by signing up to the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) a trade scheme created by Germany, France, and Britain to help EU companies circumvent trade sanctions on Iran.

Finance Minister Nikolaj Wammen was forced to offer an unconditional apology to parliament’s Europe Committee after it was revealed his ministry provided inaccurate figures for the EU’s 2020 Budget, which led the government to vote against.

Margethe Vestager, the EU Commission’s Executive Vice President for Digital, figured prominently on Politico Europe’s latest list of the most powerful politicians in European politics, ‘The 28 people shaping, shaking, and stirring Europe.’

Former prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged Denmark to drop its defence opt-out so it can participate fully in joint EU military operations.

Denmark took part in a major international crackdown on money laundering carried out by Europol, Wednesday, when 228 people were arrested in 31 countries.

The Faroe Islands’ home rule government took legal action to stop TV news coverage of a secret meeting between China’s ambassador to Denmark and Faroese officials.

The 68-kilometre ‘wild boar’ fence along the German border was completed Monday.

Social Affairs:

A distant relative of Conservative politician Naser Khader who travelled to Syria two years ago to join the Islamic State (ISIS) is hoping to return to Denmark.

Foreign Minister Mattias Tesfaye seized the passport of another foreign fighter, the third over the past 10 days in accordance with legislation passed in October.

28 vulnerable social housing districts are now officially characterised as ghettos, one less than last year.

As part of the new budget agreement the price of a packet of 20 cigarettes will rise to DKK60 by 2022, more than all EU countries with the exception of Ireland (DKK85).

Danish schoolkids have dropped down the rankings in the latest PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) report.

Business:

Danske Bank upwardly adjusted its 2019 profit expectation for the second time in less than a week despite an exodus of customers and a sharp drop in stock market value since the money laundering scandal.

Scandinavian Airlines’ (SAS) earnings for the 2018/19 financial year fell to DKK440m, a drop of 60% on last year.

A Danish court ruled that Nordea Bank has the right to prevent its employees from investing in Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies, even when they’re not at work.

Crown Prince Frederik followed in his father’s, Prince Henrik, footsteps by becoming a patron of the Chamber of Commerce Danish-Chinese Business Forum (DCBF).

Danish Rockwool group started production of mineral wool at its new factory in the Ploiesti West Park industrial park north of Bucharest, after an investment of EUR 50 million.

Enochian Biosciences (ENOB), a Danish biotech company focused on the treatment and cure of HIV, was given a $12m cash boost by a wealthy Saudi price.

PFA, the largest customer-owned pension company in Denmark, announced three new real estate investments totalling DKK3.4bn (€455m) in French assets.

Clean energy giant Vestas won a deal from existing customer China Datang Group to upgrade 50 of turbines at two Chinese wind farms.

Supermarket chain Coop Denmark announced plans to cut carbon emissions in its operations by 75% by 2025 and achieve a climate positive status by 2030.

Retail sales rose by 57% on Black Friday compared to the same day last year.

 And That Was the The Week That Was, December 2nd - –December 8th 2019: To read all the above articles in full see: http://seven59.dk/archive (subscription required).

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