The Week That Was, March 25th – March 31st 2019

Posted on 31. Mar, 2019 in: TWTW


The latest Megafon poll for TV2 showed the ‘red’ bloc parties – the Social Democrats, Red/Greens, Socialist People’s Party (SF) and Social Liberals (R) – would win 51.1% of the vote if an election was held today, with 45.1% for the ‘blue’ bloc. The ‘non-aligned’ Alternatives, previously seen as a powerbroker after the election, are at 3.8% and would have no influence on the outcome.

The Red/Green Alliance warned they won’t provide parliamentary backing for a Social Democrat-led government after the upcoming election unless they are offered ‘significant concessions’ by opposition leader Mette Frederiksen.

At a Copenhagen conference Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and Ms Frederiksen agreed that climate change is the biggest political challenge right now.

The PM came out in support of the Liberal’s policy spokeswoman, Britt Bager, Tuesday, who’s been accused of breaching political donation rules – he said it’s parliament that makes the rules and if anyone feels they aren’t working they should come up with a proposal to change them.

The Danish People’s Party (DPP) said the shortage of manpower is no excuse for mass immigration after the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) warned the welfare system will go bankrupt unless companies can attract skilled foreign workers.

The government will slash integration and immigration funding to help fund the DKK9bn health reform bill agreed this week with the Danish People’s Party (DPP).

A cross-party majority granted final approval for construction to start on the 89 km Fehmarn Belt link, a tunnel linking Denmark to Germany.

Baywatch star Pamela Andersen arrived in Copenhagen to help the transnational European Spring  party launch its Green New Deal campaign for the May 26th EU election.

Retail sales rose 0.2%, month on month, in February, after dipping by 0.4% in January.

Danish homeowners can look forward to one of the world’s lowest-ever mortgage rates – a 30-year loan at a fixed 1% rate.

EU/Foreign Affairs:

While border control and migration have dominated the EU debate over the past few years, 39% of respondents in a new Kantar Gallup poll said the climate should be the number 1 issue in Brussels. The poll also showed how Danish voters have become increasingly pro-EU following the chaos in the UK surrounding Brexit – 70% of respondents say they are supporters, or even ‘strong supporters’ of the EU, the highest level of support ever in this country.

The Danish People’s Party (DDP), who won an historic victory in 2014 when they became Denmark’s biggest party in Brussels, could lose nearly half their support at the May 26th EU parliamentary election

Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen backed Sweden’s called for an international tribunal to prosecute foreign fighters suspected of war crimes in Syria. Justice Minister Søren Pape Poulsen said Denmark is forced to accept Danish foreign fighters returning home from Syria and Iraq but it would have been better if they had died in combat.

Left-wing daily Information reported how Danish pension companies continue to invest in companies that supply arms to Saudi Arabia, a country the UN has accused of war crimes in Yemen.

Danish People’s Party MEP Jørn Dohrmann is facing charges of vandalism, theft, and illegal coercion after the EU parliament waived his right to immunity.

The company behind the controversial Russian Nord Stream 2 project said it’s confident of receiving approval from Denmark for the gas pipeline to pass through Danish territorial waters – it suggested a third gas route through the Danish exclusive economic south of Bornholm island that Denmark can’t refuse.

Denmark’s EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager fined sportswear giant Nike €12.5 million for illegally controlling the sale of merchandising from big European teams such as FC Barcelona, Manchester United and Juventus.

Social Affairs:

The Immigration and Integration Ministry announced Danish foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq will be stripped of their passports but human rights organisations warned that denying the children of foreign fighters citizenship is a violation of international conventions as it would make them stateless.

123,800 jobless people received either basic welfare assistance, a re-training subsidy, or the controversial integration benefit in December, a 20% drop since April 2016.

The Danish Debt Collection Agency (DDCA) hired a private firm to try and locate foreign students who’ve left the country owing the Danish state a total of DKK623m ($96m).

Denmark is seen as one of the most unwelcoming countries in the world for outsiders – Expat Insider, an international survey of life abroad, ranked Denmark a lowly 35th out of 68.

A number of right-wing Danish nationals excluded from Facebook have found a new forum for their extremist views  – VK, a Russian online social media and social networking service based in Saint Petersburg.

A Muslim preacher was given a conditional prison sentence for calling for death to Jews, while a 23-year-old man was remanded in custody for two weeks after issuing death threats against Rasmus Paludan, leader of the anti-immigrant, anti-Islamic ‘Stram Kurs’ (Firm Direction) party.

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Business Minister Rasmus Jarlov announced 16 new measures aimed at preventing fraud in the financial sector.

A 45-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of laundering DKK105m (€14m) through Nykredit in Copenhagen was linked to a Danish-Russian businesswoman, a Lithuanian front man, and shell companies involved in the Danske Bank scandal.

British retailer Debenhams rejected a DKK870m (£100n) takeover bid for its Danish chain of department stores, Magasin du Nord.

And That Was The Week That Was, March 25th – March 31st 2019: To read all the above articles in full see: (subscription required).