­­­The Week That Was, May 16th–22nd 2022:

Posted on 22. May, 2022 in: TWTW

Politics/Economy:

Former defence minister, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, won’t be charged with leaking state secrets after a parliamentary majority opposed lifting his political immunity - Justice Minister Mattias Tesfaye said he would be informing the public prosecutor there’s no basis for moving forward with the indictment.

Leading economists cast doubts on the government’s optimistic inflation forecast - in its latest economic review the Finance Ministry projected inflation under 2% by next year but according to the Nordic region’s biggest bank, Nordea, in all likelihood it will be much more.

The normally anti-EU, anti-NATO Red/Green Alliance's adopted a more accommodating policy towards both at its annual convention.

Charismatic Christian Democrat leader Isabella Arendt stepped down, leaving the party in disarray ahead of the next general election that has to be held before June 5th 2023 - Ms Arendt, a popular vote-getter who nearly led the party into parliament at the 2019 election, said she had lost the will to lead and needed a ‘change of air.’

EU/Foreign Affairs:

During a visit to Copenhagen, Thursday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg highlighted Denmark’s leadership role in the military alliance, citing Danish contributions to NATO’s multinational battlegroup in Estonia as well as Danish air and naval deployments.

The government is planning to extend Esbjerg Port so it can be used as a military hub for the U.S. and NATO - Defence Minister Morten Bødskov said it would need a massive investment but it’s something the government is ready to make so allies can transport military materiel through Denmark to the Baltics.

In a TV interview, Mr Bødskov said Denmark is ready to go to war to defend Sweden and Norway, who formally applied to join NATO this week - Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Denmark ‘wholeheartedly’ supports its two Nordic neighbours’ entry bid. Despite Turkey’s public opposition, Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said he still expects unanimous support for the two Nordic countries’ application process. At an EU ministers meeting in Brussels, Mr Kofod said the cost of reconstructing Ukraine when the war is over will be massive and it’s Russia that will pay the bill - “How we force them to do it needs to be discussed but Denmark’s position is very clear – maximum costs for Moscow,” he said.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and the leaders of Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium signed a declaration, Wednesday, to build 150 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity in the North Sea to help achieve the EU's climate goals and, eventually, break away from Russian energy.

The ‘yes’ side has taken a significant lead in the run-up to the June 1st EU referendum – the latest Megafon poll for TV2 showed 59.1% would vote to drop the defence opt-out if the referendum was held right now, while 40.9% would vote to maintain it.

Denmark and Greenland reached agreement on the extra DKK1.5bn in military spending passed by the Danish parliament last year for Arctic defence.

Social Affairs:

Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod again appealed to foreign fighter mothers in a Syrian detention camp to allow their children to be evacuated to Denmark.

A regional health director who was fired last over the leg amputation scandal has been awarded a DKK6.5m ‘golden handshake’ - Ole Thomsen was head of the mid-Jutland health authority when it was revealed that up to 500 patients could have had a leg removed over the past 10 years due to a ‘lack of preventive treatment’ at Viborg Hospital.

Business:

Denmark has so far frozen DKK33m ($4.8m) of assets belonging to Russian oligarchs or companies.

The Danish business sector is being hard hit by fast-rising prices - producer prices, often used to gauge inflation, rose by 37.4% year on year in April, the biggest increase since 2005.

The 10-year property boom that gained even more strength during the pandemic appears to be slowing down - according to a new Handelsbanken report, rising interest rates and high inflation will cause house and apartment prices to fall by between 10-15% before the end of next year.

Danish clothing giant Bestseller is closing down all its physical 1,300 stores in China that trade under the ‘Selected’ brand - the company said that despite reporting record figures in the 2020/21 financial year the pandemic brought great changes in consumer demand, impacting China’s traditional retail industry.

Shares in Danish biotech company Bavarian Nordic surged by 26% on Thursday after the company received an order for its vaccine to treat monkeypox, a rare disease that has cropped up recently across a handful of European countries.

Danske, Denmark’s biggest bank launched a new lending policy with emphasis on ’green’ customers, making it easier for customers to get financing for an electric car instead of a traditional petrol-driven vehicle.

Copenhagen Airport officials warned that the long queues at security ahead of last week’s public holiday that caused a number of passengers to miss their flights could be repeated around the Ascension Day break this week when 70,000 people are expected to fly.

And That was ­­­The Week That Was, May 16th–22nd 2022: To read all the above articles in full see: http://seven59.dk/archive (subscription required).

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