The Week That Was, September 4th – 10th 2023

Posted on 10. Sep, 2023 in: TWTW


Opposition parties tabled a long list of demands for an independent legal inquiry into the Israeli arms affair – ex-defence minister Jacob Ellemann-Jensen has been accused of misleading parliament over the controversial DKK1.7bn ($250m) purchase of rocket launchers from the Israeli company Elbit.

Minister of Justice Peter Hummelgaard said the terrorist threat towards Denmark has increased following  253 book and flag-burning incidents over the past six weeks.

In a speech to the annual meeting of the Danish Chamber of Commerce, Minister for the Economy Jakob Ellemann-Jensen said the fear of being labelled ’soft on immigration’ has prevented lawmakers from passing legislation that could have made it easier to bring skilled foreign workers to Denmark to ease the manpower shortage.

The Danish People’s Party’s (DPP) move to display the controversial Mohammed cartoons in one of their offices at Christiansborg (parliament) was dismissed as a security risk by Danish Intelligence (PET) - party secretary Nicolai Søndergård Kjær called it ‘yet another sign of the increasing censorship we are witnessing in Denmark.’

Parliament (Folketinget) signed two agreements with its counterpart in Kyiv, Verkhovna Rada, aimed at helping to develop the Ukrainian Parliament’s administrative capacities.

In its latest Nordic Outlook, Denmark’s biggest bank, Danske, warned that while the Danish economy is performing there are ‘problems below the surface’.

Foreign Affairs/EU.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen made an unannounced visit to Kyiv, Wednesday, where she held talks with President Zelensky and addressed Ukraine’s parliament - she confirmed Denmark’s readiness to increase military assistance ‘because Ukraine’s  struggle is our struggle.’ President Zelensky expressed gratitude to the PM for helping to protect the lives of Ukrainians and noted that Denmark has already provided defence support totalling $1.6 billion.

Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen said Denmark is keeping a ‘close watch’ on how the millions of kroner donated in military equipment to Ukraine is utilised after his Kyiv counterpart, Oleksii Reznikov, was dismissed as part of a wider anti-corruption drive in President Zelensky's administration.

The Defence Ministry announced that delivery of the Danish Air Force's new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) jets has been pushed back by six months to the end of 2024 due to production issues with development and testing of software in the U.S.

The Russian Embassy in Copenhagen announced it will stop providing consular services after the Danish Foreign Ministry expelled 10 Russian diplomats following allegations of espionage  - Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said ‘Russia wants to bring diplomats to Denmark who are not really diplomats and we don't want them here’.

A joint investigation by tabloid daily Ekstra Bladet and research centre Danwatch found that despite EU sanctions three of the most modern and advanced submarines of the Russian fleet have recently been equipped with materials from Danish company Rockwool.

Lawmakers demanded answers as to why Denmark approved the sale of ship engines to Myanmar at the height of the military regime’s genocide against Rohingya in 2018 despite a ban on the export of military equipment.

Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy Dan Jorgensen announced a 100% increase in Denmark’s contribution to Africa's Green Climate Fund (GCF), to DKK1.6m ($230 million) over the 3-year 2024-27 period.

Denmark’s Executive Vice President of the European Commission Margrethe Vestager has taken a sabbatical from the Commission to focus on her candidacy for the presidency of the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Christina Markus Lassen, Denmark’s new Permanent Representative of Denmark to the United Nations, presented her credentials to UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

Danish-Bahraini activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja has gone on hunger strike in protest against his continued detention in a Bahrain jail and denial of access to medical care.

Social Affairs:

Local mayors throughout the country lashed out against the government for claiming there's plenty of money in the treasury while at the same time forcing municipalities to make cuts in welfare.

Following three murders in the ’free state’ of Christiania the government proposed doubling the fine for buyers of ‘weed’ and tougher penalties for sellers on the notorious Pusher Street.

Two criminal immigrants fighting deportation orders won a significant legal battle, Tuesday, when the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled their rights had been violated - the Court upheld the deportation of two others.

The unemployment rate remained fairly stable in July at 83,500, 600 more than the previous month and a slight 0.7% increase - the youth unemployment rate stayed at 1.2%, the same as in the previous nine months.

A political majority at Copenhagen City Hall is pushing for a trial period to test legalised cannabis in the capital following the gangland shooting in the ‘Free State’ of Christiania ten days ago, when 1 person was killed and 4 wounded - Copenhagen police have so far searched 200 people  since two stop and search zones were set up in the capital following the Christiania murder.

The armed forces are abolishing the height requirements for people serving with the Danish Royal Life Guards, mainly known for being a ceremonial unit outside Denmark’s royal palaces.

Immigration Minister Kaare Dybvad Bek urged restaurants to abide by labour market regulations after a TV2 documentary revealed the exploitation of foreign workers.


Pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk has reached a market capitalisation of DKK 3,000 billion ($441bn) following global success with its diabetes/obesity drugs Wegovy and Ozempic that have transformed the weight-loss market - despite struggling to keep up with demand, Novo launched its weight-loss injection Wegovy in the UK where nearly one in three adults are obese, the highest in Europe.

The Supreme Court overruled a lower court decision when it ordered shipping giant A.P. Møller Maersk to pay tax on DKK1.3bn ($190m) of income generated between 2006 to 2008 from oil and gas facilities in Algeria and Qatar.

Struggling Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) posted its highest passenger numbers and first quarterly profit since 2019 in Q2 - CEO Anko Van der Werff said despite the overhanging threat of bancruptcy he’s confident in the airline's market position amid challenges from cut-price rivals Norwegian Air and Ryanair.

Copenhagen Airport reached a new agreement with the largest airlines operating at the airport on the fees they wil be be paying over the next four years - CEO Thomas Woldbye said charges have decreased by 9% since pre-Covid but will increase by 28% ahead of 2027.

Toy giant LEGO increased its market share in the first six months of the year despite a fall in revenue.

Denmark’s Jobindex is suing global search giant Google, claiming the U.S. tech giant unfairly favours its own job-search service.

And That Was The Week That Was, September 4th – 10th: To read all the above articles in full see: (subscription required).

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