The Week That Was, April 24th – 30th 2017    

Posted on 30. Apr, 2017 in: TWTW


Danish People’s Party (DPP) leader  Kristian Thulesen Dahl accused Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen of ‘unnecessary involvement’ in France’s election campaign after he publicly praised 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron for his strong showing in last Sunday’s presidential run-off.

The five leaders of the left-wing opposition parties met to discuss a joint strategy aimed at toppling the Liberal-led minority government – the Red/Greens’ Pernille Skipper said there’s a need to ‘heal the wounds’ from the previous left-wing coalition when the Social Democrats (S), Socialist People’s Party (SPP), and Social Liberals (SL) disagreed on a wide range of issues.

The Danish Tax Department (Skat) and local authorities could be forced to write off DKK80bn ($11.6bn) owed in back taxes, parking fines, speeding tickets, and TV licence fees.

Energy Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt said the renewable energy sector has been so successful it’s ready to survive on its own much sooner than anyone expected – energy providers who’ve relied on state-subsidies for decades won’t need them within the near future.

Legal experts warned the government that granting foreign spouses of returning Danish national dispensation from normal strict immigration requirements could be discriminatory.

Foreign Affairs/EU

A new Defence Intelligence (FE) report claiming a state-sponsored Russian group hacked Danish military computer servers for more than two years was immediately dismissed by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who said ‘Russia as a state does not do hacking attacks’ – opposition parties questioned Defence Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen’s reluctance to raise the hacking affair with Russia.

200 Danish troops who’ll be stationed in Estonia later this year as part of a NATO defence force were warned to be aware of potential ‘honey traps’ – according to a new report by Defence Intelligence Service (FE),  Russian and pro-Russian agents will ‘do their utmost’ to discredit Danish soldiers and their NATO colleagues in the area.

The Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, that will transport natural gas from Russia to Germany through Danish territorial waters south of Bornholm, moved a step closer after the company behind the project, the state-owned Gazprom, secured a DKK35bn (€4.75bn) loan guarantee from five major European energy companies.

During a meeting of parliament’s Europe committee, Thursday, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said Great Britain should foot the bill for Brexit – according to the PM ‘you can’t enjoy a meal at a fancy restaurant and then leave without sharing the bill’.

A majority of the EU Parliament voted for Denmark’s Europol compromise, Thursday, which will replace Denmark’s full membership of the cross-border police agency on May 1st.

Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen will visit China between the 2nd-4th of May, the first official Danish trip since 2008, for talks with both President Xi Jinping and Prime Miniser Li Keqiang.

After Danish politicians expressed concern about the recent spate of shootings in Malmø, mayor of the south Sweden city claimed many of the problems are imported from Denmark.

Danish-Bahraini activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja who’s serving a life sentence in Bahrain for inciting an insurgency against the Sunni Muslim regime in the tiny Gulf state, has been on hunger strike for two weeks to protest the treatment of prisoners.

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Social Affairs

Immigration and integration were the dominant issues at a Social Democrat conference in Odense – party leader Mette Frederiksen told delegates that, ‘unfortunately, immigrants and their descendants are over-represented in the crime statistics and under-represented in the labour market’. Leading political commentator, and ex-Conservative leader, Hans Engell, said the new ‘principles programme’ has moved the party towards the right and even closer to the Danish People’s Party (DPP).

Integration Minister Inger Støjberg warned of a crackdown on refugees who decline state-funded work experience jobs.

A new pan-Scandinavian survey showed that in this country refugees start to lose their foothold on the labour market after 10 years – 55% of male refugees are in work after eight years in Denmark but two years later the figure has dropped to 45%.

Significantly fewer refugees have been granted asylum this year – only 38% of all applications were approved during the year’s first quarter compared to an average of 78% over the previous three years. Nearly half of 326 failed asylum seekers registered at the Kjærshoved refugee centre awaiting deportation have gone missing and are wanted by the police.

A majority of voters believe the ongoing debate about unemployment has become too harsh – in a new poll, 46% of respondents agreed that the tone has become ‘degrading’ or ‘inappropriate’, while just 22% disagreed.

Somali said it won’t repatriate more than 12 of its nationals from Denmark every year even though the Danish immigration authorities are currently in the process of re-evaluating the residency permits of around 800.

Education chiefs sounded the alarm about ‘ghetto’ high schools and colleges where the high percentage of minority students is scaring off ‘ethnic’ Danes.

Denmark came in at no.4 on the 2017 Press Freedom Index, behind Nordic neighbours Norway (1st), Sweden, and Finland but just ahead of the Netherlands.

Despite a booming housing market 4,200 homeowners could be evicted this year because of unpaid property taxes.


Partially state-owned DONG Energy posted first quarter profit below analyst expectations – operating profit declined by 26 percent to DKK 2.14 billion in the first three months of the year from DKK 2.9 billion in 2016.

Budget airline Norwegian Air posted a worse-than-expected quarterly loss due to higher fuel costs and currency effects.

Shipping and oil giant Maersk joined forces with Microsoft in a strategic move to ‘revolutionise supply-chain management and global trade’.

Maersk Oil announced plans to cut 139 jobs as part of its cost reduction efforts, slightly less than the 160 predicted in January.

Vestas, the world’s biggest supplier of onshore wind turbines is determined to become the market leader in India – Clive Turton, head of the company’s Asia division, called the country ‘the crucial, most important market in Asia-Pacific.’

Danish pension funds are failing to ensure their multi-million investments in companies abroad are being used to improve the climate – Denmark dropped three places, to a modest no.8, on the latest Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP).

Business leaders warned U.S. President Trump’s move to lower corporate tax to 15% could have serious repercussions for Denmark.

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