The Week That Was, September 9th – 15th 2019

Posted on 15. Sep, 2019 in: TWTW

Politics/Economy:

Voters have deserted the Liberals (Venstre) following the internal drama within the party over the past few weeks – a new poll showed the former ruling party has dropped to 20.7% from 23.4% since July, a potential loss of six seats.

Danish People’s Party (DPP) leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl acknowledged that the party’s disastrous election this year was a direct result of its failure to enter government in 2015.

In a new book, ex-justice minister Søren Pind  revealed the previous Liberal (Venstre) government discussed building a wall along Denmark’s southern border with Germany at the height of the refugee crisis in 2015 because it feared Europe was on the verge of collapse.

The Conservatives’ Rasmus Jarlov summoned Finance Minister Nicolai Wammen and Labour Minister Peter Hummelgaard to a parliamentary consultation to explain why baggage handlers at Copenhagen Airport were allowed to go on strike three times over the past week because a temporary worker refused to join their union, 3F.

Inflation rose by no more than 0.4% on an annual basis in August as consumer prices remained extremely stable.

Altinget.dk reported how confidential government information has been leaked from parliament’s Foreign Policy Committee at least nine times since 1996 yet the Foreign Ministry has failed to investigate who was behind the illegalities.

Former health minister Ellen Trane Nørby announced her candidacy for deputy leader of the Liberals.

Foreign Affairs/EU:

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen laid out a 4-point plan to strengthen Denmark’s military presence internationally - the U.S. Department of Defence (Pentagon) welcomed the government’s move to send medical and intelligence personnel to Syria to support the US military presence. Ms Frederiksen also said the government is in talks with a number of European allies about an international naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz.

President Trump’s abrupt decision to cancel his state visit to Denmark this month cost Danish police around DKK4m ($600,000) – a new pan-European study showed Danes no longer trust the USA and believe the EU is a stronger guarantor of Denmark’s security.

The government granted an extra DKK180m ($28m) to humanitarian aid projects in Syria.

Former deputy prime minister Margrethe Vestager, who ahead of this year’s EU election was in the running to become president of the EU Commission, was appointed to an unprecedented second term as the EU’s competition commissioner.

The European Commission is continuing its probe into the financial supervisory authorities in Denmark and Estonia even though the European Banking Authority (EBA) cleared both agencies of any wrongdoing in the Danske Bank money laundering scandal earlier this year.

Social Affairs:

Left-leaning daily Information revealed how a business network of Syrian foreign fighters, jihadists, and others found guilty of terrorism have built up a debt in excess of DKK800m in unpaid VAT (Moms) and tax - two of the 14 suspects are linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS).

Two Aarhus gang members who claimed the police used inaccurate mobile data evidence to convict them had their appeals rejected by the High Court - 32 prisoners have so far been released as part of an ongoing review of 10,700 criminal cases ordered by Justice Minister Nick Hækkerup after serious questions arose about the reliability of geo-location data obtained from mobile phone operators.

A tent camp built specifically to house migrants following the 2015 refugee crisis has stood empty for three and a half years, costing the state DKK20.8m($3m).

International experts accused Denmark of willfully manipulating its CO2 emissions to appear more climate-friendly.

A Copenhagen City Hall proposal for a trial period to test legalised cannabis was dismissed by the minister for health.

The Liberals (Venstre) threatened to put together a cross-party majority, excluding the government, to increase the price of cigarettes by at least 20 kroner – at the same time the Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen) advised children, youths, pregnant women, and young breast-feeding mothers against smoking e-cigarettes.

Less than one year after praising Copenhagen as ‘the world’s best city to visit’, global travel guide Lonely Planet this week warned tourists against visiting the capital ‘because it’s become too popular’.

A new international survey showed Denmark is a difficult country for expats to settle in.

Business:

The National Bank cut its key deposit rate by 10 basis points to minus 0.75%, a record low among developed economies, following a similar move by the European Central Bank.

National Bank Governor Lars Rohde criticised Denmark’s financial sector for a long line of recent scandals but at the same claimed that regulation has gone too far.

Danish Crown, the world's largest pork exporter, opened a new factory in Pinghu, China - CEO Jais Valeur called the investment ‘an important step’ in the company’s aim to establish Danish Crown as a premium brand in China within the next five years.

Novo Nordisk, the world's largest maker of diabetes treatments, will offer cheaper insulin to U.S. diabetics in response to criticism of its high prices.

A new report revealed that Samsung smart phones slightly outsold Apple in June – both are sitting on around 40% of the market, with Chinese Huawei at 13%.

2.9 million passengers passed though Copenhagen Airport in August, an all-time high.

Denmark's exports grew 3.8 percent year-on-year in July, following a drop of 4.2 percent in June, while imports grew by 0.8 percent.

And That Was The Week That Was, September 9th – 15th 2019: To read all the above articles in full see: http://seven59.dk/archive (subscription required).

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