The Week That Was, April 12th – April 18th 2021:

Posted on 18. Apr, 2021 in: TWTW

Coronavirus/ What happened last week:

A cross-party political majority reached agreement to ease virus restrictions even further from Wednesday (April 21st).

Denmark will no longer use the AstraZeneca vaccine due to concerns about rare cases of blood clots - Head of the Danish Health Authority (DHA) Søren Brostrøm said it had been a "difficult decision" but there are other vaccines available and the epidemic is currently under control in this country. The nearly 150,000 people who’ve already received the first shot of the Astra Zeneca vaccine will be offered a second shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

Sir John Bell, professor of medicine at the University of Oxford, who helped develop the AstraZeneca vaccine criticised Denmark for halting use of the drug completely and said it could lead to many more lives being lost - opposition parties said it should be up to people themselves to decide whether they receive the Astra Zeneca vaccine or not.

Denmark’s stockpile of unwanted Astra Zeneca doses could be given to poorer countries despite the health authorities declaring the vaccine dangerous – within the EU, Lithuania, Latvia and the Czech Republic expressed an interest.

Denmark won’t be buying Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to fill the gap - Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said she could see no point in purchasing a vaccine that hasn’t been approved by the EU when Denmark has millions on order that have.

There was some good news - Denmark will receive 650,000 more Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines than expected ahead of summer.

By the end of the week more than 1 million people had received the first shot of a corona vaccine and just under half a million had been given the required two shots.

37 people in this country have demanded financial compensation after suffering side effects from a Covid-19 injection.

Politics/Economy:

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen declined to issue any guarantees that corona restrictions will disappear when everybody in Denmark has been vaccinated.

Liberal leader Jakob Ellemann-Jensen acknowledged he’s the leader of a party in deep crisis after a new poll showed the party’s support has halved since the 2019 election and more than 200,000 voters have defected to the Conservatives.

After months of speculation, Lars Løkke Rasmussen finally confirmed he’s starting a new political party - leading political commentator Henrik Qvortrup predicted the party could win up to 6-7% of the vote at the next election and attract voters from ‘across the centre’ if the former prime minister can convince them it isn’t just an ‘ego project’

Conservative MP Naser Khader took sick leave from parliament, Monday, after Berlingske reported how he has for years threatened rivals who spoke out against him - the newspaper cited a number of critics who claimed to have received threatening messages.

The Danish People’s Party’s (DPP) deputy leader, Morten Messerschmidt, was formally charged with misappropriating EU funds in the so-called ‘Meld and Feld affair.’

Three U.S. and three U.K. citizens were charged in the multi-billion share-dividend scam - the State Prosecutor’s Office for Serious Economic and International Crime (SØIK), popularly known as the fraud squad, said that for more than a year, between 2014 and 2015, hundreds of fake share trades were carried out via the Mainz-based North Channel Bank in Germany.

Foreign Affairs/EU:

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen confirmed Denmark’s collaboration with India on green solutions in an opening message to the Raisina Dialogue, Tuesday, India's flagship conference on geopolitics and geo-economics.

Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod gave Ukraine a show of support as Russia continues its military buildup along the country’s border - in a phone conversation with his Ukranian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, Mr Kofod underlined ‘Denmark's unwavering support to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.’

The operator of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline claimed that Russia has been forced to deploy fighter jets to protect a pipe laying vessel in the Baltic Sea, off the cost of Bornholm.

Three members of an of an Iranian separatist group were charged with promoting and financing terrorism in Iran in coordination with Saudi Arabian intelligence.

Denmark was one of only two EU countries that saw an increase in life expectancy last year - new Eurostat figures showed the average lifespan rose by a slight 0.15 of a year in this country and Finland but stagnated or even declined in all other EU member states.

Social Affairs:

Denmark is only the 12th-best country in the world according to the 2021 Best Countries Report, a study conducted by US News & World Report - Canada is in first place this year, beating out 78 other countries including Japan, Germany, Switzerland, and Australia, which respectively round out the top five. The US, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands and France all came ahead of Denmark.

987 men were charged with rape in Denmark last year, a 100% increase on 2012, of whom 217 were convicted, including 53 foreign nationals, signalling an ‘over-representation’ of ethnic minorities according to Justice Minister Nick Hækkerup.

The majority of Syrian refugees who came to Denmark during the massive refugee influx of 2015 have failed to find work - only 40% had a job at the end of last year, significantly fewer than those from Iran, Afghanistan, or Eritrea.

The government is reportedly preparing to repatriate a 4-year-old Danish girl from a Syrian detention camp who’s suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and possibly her mother too, despite Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s oft-repeated warning that anyone who left Denmark to fight for the Islamic State will never be allowed to return.

A new poll showed the government is out of step with voters regarding Danish kids in Syrian detention camps - 32% agreed that both the children and their mothers should be brought home while 30% said only the children should be repatriated. 31%, around 1 in 3, said both mothers and children should remain in Syria.

Three people have died so far in a salmonella outbreak that has left 33 people ill - all those affected ate Husk brand psyllium husk capsules, generally used as a laxative, which have now been recalled.

Business:

France’s Alstom won the DKK20bn ($3bn) contract to supply state-owned rail network DSB with 100 new electric trains.

LEGO was again named the World’s Most Reputable Company - the Danish toy giant is number 1 on the 2021 Global Reptrak 100 study that ranks companies based on Products & Services, Innovation, Workplace, Governance, Citizenship, Leadership and Performance.

11 Danes made Forbes’ billionaires’ list this year with the richest, Anders Holch Povlsen, founder of global clothing company Bestseller and the biggest landowner in Scotland, coming in at number 161 with an estimated wealth of DKK82.6bn ($13.2bn), a DKK50bn increase since last year.

Copenhagen Airport continues to struggle with the downturn in traffic caused by the COVID-19 pandemic - only 430,000 people passed through the airport during the first three months of 2021, the same number as traditionally handled in any five-day period prior to the COVID-19 pandemic when the daily average was 83,000 passengers.

And that Was The Week That Was, April 12th – April 18th 2021: To read all the above articles in full see: http://seven59.dk/archive (subscription required).

 

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