The Week That Was, March 18th – March 24th 2019

Posted on 24. Mar, 2019 in: TWTW


Leading political commentator Hans Engell said a pre-Easter election is highly unlikely as the prime minister still needs to conclude pension and health agreements before clearing his desk.

Although the Social Democrats are trying to push green energy higher up the election agenda, party whip Henrik Sass Larsen promised there will no climate duties on meat or air travel if they regain power at the upcoming election.

The Danish People’s Party (DPP) suggested Denmark should pull out of the European Human Rights convention by the end of this year as it would get in the way of the proposed paradigm change in immigration policy.

Tax Minister Karsten Lauritzen said he believes around half of the DKK12.7bn defrauded from the Danish Tax Department (SKAT) in the share dividend scandal can be retrieved through legal channels.

Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said he’s ready to increase the price of a packet of cigarettes but it’s a decision parliament needs to make after this year’s election.

The ruling Liberals’ policy spokeswoman Britt Bager dismissed allegations she broke campaign donation laws when she received DKK100,000 in 2015 from one single donor.

An MP and her baby created international headlines after being ordered to leave the chamber of the Danish parliament by Speaker of the House Pia Kjærsgaard for ‘creating a disturbance’.

In its latest ‘state of the economy’ report the National Bank predicted the economic upswing will continue but with lower growth – at the same time Governor General Lars Rohde said international confidence in Denmark has been reduced following the Danske Bank money laundering scandal.

Consumer confidence rose to 3.8 points in March from 3.3 points in February, matching the average of the last six months - consumers believe both their own and the economic situation has improved over the past year and the upswing will continue.

Housing prices are at the highest level for nearly 30 years - new property figures showed the average price of a one-family dwelling rose by 4.2% last year.

EU/Foreign Affairs:

Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen warned he will vote against any UN resolution that specifically targets Israel.

Former Social Liberal leader Margrethe Vestager was named on a list of candidates put forward by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) for a top commission role after the upcoming election - Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said Ms Vestager has done an ‘excellent job’ as EU Commissioner but it’s too early to say whether she’ll have support from Denmark to stay on in Brussels.

The government lost its battle with the EU to protect Denmark’s generous unemployment insurance scheme (dagpenge) from potential abuse by foreign nationals - the EU Commission, EU Parliament and EU Council reached agreement on a new, wide ranging labour agreement that will provide EU nationals with the right to unemployment benefits after only one month in this country.

Queen Margrethe and Crown Prince Frederik arrived in Argentina on an official state visit, accompanied by Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen, Minister for Food Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, and top business leaders in a trade push targeting food, the environment, sustainability, and health issues.

A leading Muslim imam was refused entry to New Zealand following the Christchurch massacre as his name appears on the Danish government’s ‘blacklist’ of preachers barred from entering Denmark.

Denmark’s biggest telecom company, TDC, shunned Huawei by choosing Swedish mobile phone giant Ericsson to set up Denmark’s upcoming 5G network, following security concerns surrounding the Chinese tech giant.

The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) announced a collaboration with Egypt to help the North African country achieve its goal of increasing the share of renewable energy consumption to 43% by 2035 from 9% currently.

A young Danish woman suspected of suspected of recruiting western women for the Islamic State (ISIS) was deported from Turkey to Denmark

Social Affairs:

Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen vowed to halt the growth of the parallel society following a new report showing 76,400 people from ethnic minorities in 2015 were living isolated from mainstream Denmark with their own cultural norms and values – 3,100 more than five years earlier.

MPs denounced Islamic organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir’s plan to hold Friday prayers outside parliament at Christansborg to commemorate those who died in last week’s terrorist attack in New Zealand.

A new report showed 10% of the Danish labour force is ‘foreign born’ compared to around only 7% ten years ago.

Copenhagen City Hall’s latest integration barometer showed that overall, integration is moving forward - more people from ethnic minorities are in work, but the same group has less respect for democracy.

Morten Storm, who helped Danish Intelligence (PET) and the CIA to locate and eventually murder al-Qeada leader Anwar al-Awlaki, was awarded DKK175,000($27,000) in damages for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Denmark was ranked 2nd on the 2019 World Happiness Report, behind Finland but ahead of Norway, Iceland and Sweden.

Copenhagen is 7th this year on Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual list of the world’s most expensive cities.

To read all the above articles in full see: (subscription required)


One of the country’s smallest banks could have been at the centre of the biggest money laundering scandal ever on Danish territory - foreign business customers funnelled up to DKK4bn (€550m) through Københavns Andelskasse (Copenhagen Cooperative) in just one year before the bank was wound up by the authorities in September.

Two US law firms filed a DKK3bn ($456m) lawsuit against Danske Bank on behalf of investors from 19 countries.

Danske Bank executives declined financial bonuses for 2018 following the money laundering scandal - at the bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), Monday, 96,2% voted against a proposal from Brussels-based consultancy firm Deminor for an independent probe into the bank.

Ex-prime minister and former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen was appointed ‘strategic advisor’ for billionaire Lars Seier Christensen’s latest investment, the blockchain network Concordium.

Danish-owned ISS, one of the world's leading facility services companies, was accused of abusing workers’ human rights by banning a UK trade union from conducting political campaigns.

Danish pension fund Sampension invested DKK90m (€12m) in new, green bonds issued by the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia, with proceeds earmarked for environmental and social initiatives.

And That Was The Week That Was, March 18th – March 24th 2019: To read all the above articles in full see: (subscription required).

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