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Hide your stars, groups warn Jews in Denmark

Fairy tales do come true, even for historians

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Language schools supplement inside

Langua SchooL ge S guide

Make lea rning Da New Ye ar’s reso nish your lution

Denmark’s

21 December 2012 - 4 January 2013 | Vol 15 Issue 51

only English-

language

newspaper

Denmark’s only English-language newspaper | cphpost.dk

NEWS

To keep the company on track, government decides it needs to “hold the hand” of DSB

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NEWS

Long wait can be “fatal” Waiting times for preliminary heart exams approach as much as six months

4 NEWS

2012 RECAP: THE YEAR67,THAT WAS 14, G3, G5 & G15

In Denmark for ten years, married to a Dane and employed, Peruvian mother faces expulsion

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BUSINESS

Banks to feel EU control Regardless of whether Denmark joins new banking union, its banks will probably be affected by its rules

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Government to take another look at dual citizenship RAY WEAVER Ministries to meet next spring to agree on a way forward for more residents to carry two passports

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N ORDER to fit in to what he called the “international world” and “modern society”, Justice Minister Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne) has conceded that laws must be established to allow more Danes to claim dual citizenship. Currently, dual citizenship is allowed in very few cases in Denmark. In certain circumstances, Danes can be born dual citizens, but they cannot go on to obtain

a second citizenship later in life without forfeiting their Danish citizenship. Likewise, foreigners wanting a Danish passport must first forfeit their original citizenship before becoming Danish. A team made up of members from four different ministries will meet next spring to develop proposals for rules making the possibility of dual citizenship a reality for more people. “Dual citizenship is an issue that affects many people living both in and outside Denmark, and the government wants to make it possible,” Bødskov said in a statement. Bødskov did not say precisely who might find it easier to obtain dual citizenship, only that the committee would

establish “different options” for increasing the availability of dual nationality. The committee will also explore the possibility of restoring Danish citizenship to some who have lost it by, for example, becoming citizens of another country. In October 2011, the newly-elected government announced its support for offering dual nationality. To the disappointment of many who had advocated for changes to the current rules, however, a law to allow dual citizenship was not included in the law catalogue for this parliamentary year. Even with Bødskov’s newly-announced plans, dual citizenship might still be some time coming. A majority of MPs voted against a 2009 proposal

from Liberal Alliance to allow dual citizenship despite the signatures of 10,000 Danes living abroad who demanded it. The proposal was torpedoed by opposition from Dansk Folkeparti, with former party MP Søren Krarup calling it “bigamy”. Even if dual citizenship were to pass, an immigration lawyer contacted by The Copenhagen Post estimated it may take up to five years to be fully approved. Should it become a reality, however, Denmark would be joining a growing group of EU member states that allow dual citizenship. Twenty of the 27 EU countries allow for dual nationality. The most recent to join the club was Belgium in 2008, while Sweden joined in 2001.

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Week in review

The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk

CPH Post Word of the Week:

21 December 2012 - 4 January 2013 THE WEEK’S MOST READ STORIES AT CPHPOST.DK

Nytårstale (noun) – The queen’s New Year’s speech. Where you heard it: If you’ve tried to make plans for New Year’s Eve, you know that almost everyone starts their evening by watching their beloved queen address the nation. Tivoli

Hello, 2013!

Jews advised to keep faith symbols hidden ‘Poverty’ media stunt backfires Police admit using Google translation in terror investigation was mistake Dating the Danes | A land of extremes! Attempt to send gift by train caused bomb scare

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Due to the Christmas and New Year holidays, The Copenhagen Post will not be printing in week 52. Likewise, our website, www.cphpost.dk, will only be sporadically updated during this time. Our next issue will come out on 5 January 2013. We look forward to continuing to provide you with the Danish news in English ahead of our 15th-year anniversary in February. The skies will be alight with fireworks as Danes ring in 2013, but for those who can’t wait until New Year’s Eve, Tivoli will be offering special colourthemed fireworks displays every evening between Christmas and December 30

count will only apply before 7am, between 11am and 1pm, and again after 6pm on weekdays, as well as all day during weekends and holidays. The transport minister, Henrik Dam Kristensen (Socialdemokraterne), still argued that the discount, even if limited, would promote public transport use during off-hours.

Denmark’s only English-language newspaper Since 1998, The Copenhagen Post has been Denmark’s leading source for news in English. As the voice of the international community, we provide coverage for the thousands of foreigners making their home in Denmark. Additionally, our English language medium helps to bring Denmark’s top stories to a global audience. In addition to publishing the only regularly printed English-language newspaper in the country, we provide up-to-date news on our website and deliver news to national and international organisations. The Copenhagen Post is also a leading provider of non-news services to the private and public sectors, offering writing, translation, editing, production and delivery services.

Visit us online at www.cphpost.dk

To the courts

A group of Copenhagen residents living close to Metro construction sites is considering complaining to the human rights court in Strasbourg in order to force construction crews to reduce noise levels. A law professor from Aarhus University said it would not be the first time that noise complaint cases have ended

President and Publisher Ejvind Sandal Chief Executive Jesper Nymark Editor-in-Chief Kevin McGwin Managing Editor Ben Hamilton News Editor Justin Cremer Journalists Peter Stanners, Ray Weaver & Christian Wenande

up at the human rights courts. Metroselskabet, the company that operates the Metro, had informed residents earlier this year that construction of the Cityring extension was entering its noisiest phase. While it said it cannot avoid making noise, it said it respected the group’s decision to complain to the court.

Editorial offices: Slagtehusgade 4 – 6 DK 1715 Copenhagen V Telephone: 3336 3300 Fax: 3393 1313 www.cphpost.dk News Desk news@cphpost.dk 3336 4243 The CPH Post welcomes outside articles and letters to the editor. Letters and comments can be left on our website or at: comments@cphpost.dk

Scanpix/uffe weng

From January 20, it will become up to 20 percent cheaper to use local public transport outside of rush hour. But public transport experts say few will benefit from the lower fares, which apply only to those who use the heavily criticised Rejsekort electronic travel card. The change would exclude most work commuters, as the dis-

Metroselskabet/Søren Hytting

Scanpix / Andreas Beck

Cheaper for whom?

Happy holidays to our readers from everyone at The Copenhagen Post!

Tabloid must pay

Former MP Naser Khader prevailed over Se og Hør tabloid in the City Court on Tuesday when the court ruled that the tabloid had no proof of its 2007 claims that Khader paid illegally for home improvements. “This is a clear victory,” Khader told media after the decision. “It means a lot because this really

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was an issue that hurt me.” The tabloid’s claims that Khader paid under the table for work done on his residence were made as he was competing in the 2007 election as a candidate for the now-defunct Ny Alliance party. The judge also awarded Khader 25,000 kroner in compensation. Khader left politics last year.

Layout and design Justin Cremer Aviaja Bebe Nielsen The Copenhagen Post accepts no responsibility for the content of material submitted by advertisers. The Copenhagen Post is published weekly by CPHPOST.DK ApS All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited by law. Founded in 1998 by San Shepard

News

The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk

21 December 2012 - 4 January 2013

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Grave concerns raised over nation’s oil spill-response capability Søværnet

Christian Wenande The increasing transport of oil through domestic waters coupled with the country’s out-of-date environmental response ships are a dangerous mix that leaves US vulnerable to a major disaster

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enmark’s ability to respond to a major maritime oil or chemical spill has come under fire from a number of fronts for being out-of-date, fragmented and “unacceptable”. An internal military report concluded that the two primary clean-up ships, ‘Gunnar Seidenfaden’ and ‘Gunnar Thorson’, are only able to deal with non-dangerous oil spills. The reason is that the ships, which fall under naval command, are not equipped with crew areas that can prevent harmful gases from being released from substances the ships collect. The areas also lack the electrical and machine installations that ensure that explosive gases are not ignited. “If we arrive at the scene of a oil or chemical spill that we don’t know the contents of, then I have to tell the Navy that it is a task that I’m unable to accept because it will endanger the lives of my

Crew members clean oil off the deck of the ‘Gunnar Seidenfaden’

crew,” Øjvind Bach, the captain of the ‘Gunnar Seidenfaden’, told DR News. “There is a risk of oil fumes entering the ship and that is dangerous to the crew.” In the event of an oil spill, the ships would need to wait up to 24 hours for any dangerous gases to evaporate before they could approach. The two ships were built in the 1980s and will officially become obsolete in 2015. At that time new ships will

have to be purchased at an estimated price of one billion kroner, or the task will need to be outsourced – something that the defence minister, Nick Hækkerup (Socialdemokraterne), is currently discussing with parliament. The concern about the ships is not the first time problems with maritime spill-response capabilities have been indentified. International municipal environmental group KIMO first criticised Denmark’s

ability to respond to a major spill back in 2010, calling it “unacceptable”. “KIMO finds that the connection between worn-out material and the mounting risk of a large oil spill in Danish waters should lead to an improvement of Denmark’s environmental response capability,” KIMO’s report at that time stated. KIMO hasn’t registered any attempts to improve coastal response efforts since then. And the risk of an environmental disaster occurring in Danish waters is steadily growing due to the increased transport of oil through sea lanes connecting the Baltic to the North Sea, according to a 2007 Defence Ministry report. The report indicated that, up until 2020, about one oil or chemical spill would occur in Danish waters every year. It’s been almost 12 years since Denmark suffered its most devastating oil disaster, when the ‘Baltic Carrier’ oil tanker collided with the cargo ship ‘Tern’, releasing almost 3,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil off the coast of the island of Falster. To further compound the dilemma, budget cuts could hinder the military’s ability to respond to spills. This may lead to the outsourcing of key operations and, according to biologists, a further enfeebling of the response capability.

“Outsourcing will lead to a further spreading of the response force into smaller units that don’t have the necessary competencies to handle the task,” Erik Kristensen, of the University of Southern Denmark, told science weekly Ingeniøren. “The response force requires centralised leadership and a larger capacity, not more fragmentation.” Kristensen is supported by other experts, who say Denmark should look to neighbouring countries for ways to improve its response capability. Germany, Sweden and Norway all operate with a coastguard who is responsible for a number of maritime tasks, including oil spills. It’s a clear advantage that one authority has an overview of the situation, Jan Isakson, the maritime environment specialist with Greenpeace Sweden, told Ingeniøren. “It is imperative in order to limit the oil spills, and it seems odd that Denmark has adopted the opposite tack, especially when you think how essential the Danish effort is given the geographical location of the country,” Isakson said. As it stands, the Navy, councils, the police and the national guard are just some of the organisations that are responsible for responding to a maritime environmental disaster.

State guarantee a lifeline for struggling DSB Parliament to beef up security Justin Cremer With eight billion kroner in state guarantees and some progress in the long-running IC4 debacle, rail operator hopes its fortunes will turn around

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tate rail operator DSB is getting a much-needed lifeline. It’s been reported that parliament will approve a bill this week that will give DSB eight billion kroner in state guarantees. The move comes in advance of the expiration of numerous governmentbacked loans and will put DSB in a better position to refinance its debts. “We need to hold DSB’s hand and give a state guarantee,” the transport minister, Henrik Dam Kristensen (Socialdemokraterne), said in parliament according to Berlingske newspaper. “I can’t say that it will result in bankruptcy if [DSB] doesn’t get [government backing]. But I think that it is essential for DSB’s future.” DSB entered 2012 with a debt of 17.55 billion kroner. The company will enter the new year tasked with finding a billion kroner in savings. One of its

biggest costs is the salaries received by employees. According to Ritzau news bureau, a DSB train driver earns an annual salary of 525,000 kroner. Kristensen stressed, however, that he would not get involved in DSB’s savings plan and that there would not be a repeat of the much-discussed move by the finance minister, Bjarne Corydon (Socialdemokraterne), who interjected himself into negotiations between SAS airline’s management and employees. But that the government is forced to step in and help DSB with its refinancing is a sign that further state help will be needed, according to Jens Kristian Elkjær, an economics professor at Copenhagen Business School. “This state guarantee and DSB’s running debt show that running a public railway cannot be done without the state giving a helping hand,” Elkjær told Berlingske. “And there is a risk that the state will be forced to hold DSB’s hand for a long, long time.” Among the reasons for DSB’s financial woes are the long-delayed highspeed IC4 trains that DSB purchased

from Italian train company Ansaldobreda. This summer, it was calculated that the numerous delays will cost DSB one billion kroner more than the original price tag for the 83 train sets (fourcarriage units). The IC4s that have hit Danish tracks were pulled out of use because of braking malfunctions. Although they were able to get back on the railways, it led to DSB declaring that it would refuse to pay Ansaldobreda. After months of trying to get out of the contract, the two companies struck an agreement this week that states that all the remaining train sets must be delivered by October 2013. If they are not, DSB can annul the rest of the order. The Italians still need to deliver 22 IC4 train sets and 14 IC2 train sets. The Italian company also granted DSB 550 million kroner in compensation for the delays. “The agreement clarifies a number of significant issues and uncertainties, but doesn’t change the fact that the delivery of the IC4s has been a disastrous situation for all involved parties,” DSB’s Frank Olesen said in a statement.

New measures will see drivers stopped at the main gates, but won’t affect cyclists or pedestrians

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ll public traffic passing through parliament’s main entrance will be stopped due to security concerns, it has been decided, although the restrictions will not apply to pedestrians or cyclists and are not expected to be enforced for a few more months. Folketingets Præsidium, parliament’s executive committee, has finally decided to follow the advice of the domestic intelligence agency PET, which in 2009 urged traffic restrictions in order to minimise the risk of a bomb attack. “It has been difficult to ignore the advice from PET,” Mogens Lykketoft (Socialdemokraterne), the chairman of Folketingets Præsidium, told Berlingske newspaper. “Other Nordic countries have already restricted motor traffic.” A temporary solution will be implemented in a few months time, followed

by permanent barriers that will only lift for important guests, deliveries and other specially-registered vehicles. The decision to restrict traffic has not been welcomed by opposition party Venstre, which also opposed increasing security when it was first proposed. “I know people will say this is only a small step, but it’s a step in the wrong direction,” Venstre’s deputy chairman Kristian Jensen told Berlingske. “It will increase the distance between politicians and the people.” Others argued that it was high time that security around parliament was beefed up, among them MP Pia Kjærsgard, a member of both Dansk Folkeparti and Folketingets Præsidium. “We live in a country that has steadily become a terrorist target, and I think we need to take that seriously,” Kjærsgaard told Berlingske. “I have been coming here for almost 29 years, and when I started there were neither bulletproof doors nor security at the entrance. But we have to acknowledge that reality has changed, and we have to adapt to it.” (PS)

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4 payout Jews advised to keep faith symbols hidden Huge to climate News

The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk

21 December 2012 - 4 January 2013

A Jewish faith organisation received dozens of reports of possible anti-Semitic harassment in 2012

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ews in Denmark are advised to avoid wearing the Star of David or the religious headpiece, the kippah, in public according to advice given out by the Israeli Embassy and Jewish faith groups. Israel’s ambassador, Arthur Avon, speaking to Jyllands-Posten newspaper for their report on anti-semitism, said that wearing these symbols in public increased the risk of harassment. “We advise Israelis who travel here and want to go to the synagogue that they should only put their kippah on once they are inside,” Avon told JyllandsPosten newspaper. “They shouldn’t wear them on the street, even in areas that are considered safe.” Avon and the Jewish faith group, Mosaisk Troessamfund, also advise Jews not to visibly wear the Star of David in public. The Mosaisk Troessamfund was informed of 37 cases of possible antiSemitism through the first week of December, including an incident in November in which an elderly Israeli man had a necklace bearing a Star of David ripped from his neck while eating at a shawarma restaurant. This incident took place in Nørrebro, a district of Copenhagen that has a large Middle-Eastern and Arab population, which according to the victims accounted for the majority of the physical and verbal attacks. But Imran Shah, a spokesperson for the Muslim faith group Islamisk Trossamfund, denied that there was widespread anti-Jewish sentiment within Denmark’s Muslim population. “Some of our rituals are almost identical, such as the slaughter of animals and other religious rituals such as circumcision,” Shah told Jyllands-Posten. Despite this, both the police and the

They shouldn’t wear them on the street, even in areas that are considered safe

The kippah, Judaism’s most recognisable symbol, can be seen in every city in the world, but wearing them in Copenhagen carries a risk, warns the Israeli ambassador

City Council have urged Jews to be particularly cautious in Nørrebro. In September, the council advised the Jewish participants of an international food fair that was being held in Nørrebro not to bring Israeli flags as a safety precaution. While Copenhagen’s deputy mayor for employment and integration, Anna Mee Allerslev (Radikale), faced accusations of discrimination over the flag saga, police have also suggested that Jews need to take precautions while in Nørrebro. “In areas where it is known that there is conflict and a risk of confrontation and harassment, it’s best to stay away,” police commissioner Lars-Christian Borg told Jyllands-Posten. “It’s sad to have to say, but it is some of the advice we give.” While Allerslev argued that the ad-

the majority against a minority. But we need to direct our efforts tackling antiSemitism towards the Muslim communities,” Aslan told Jyllands-Posten. Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen, the spokesperson for the far-left party Enhedslisten, framed the problems facing Jews in terms of a larger problem: the persecution of minorities in Denmark. “It’s completely unacceptable that Jews in Denmark feel the need to hide their religion,” Schmidt-Nielsen wrote on Facebook. “It’s not okay that Jews have to hide their kippahs, that homosexuals can’t hold hands, or that women wearing headscarves are spat at. Attacks against the Palestinian population by the Israeli government are no justification for ant-Semitism.” (PS)

vice to not bring flags was given to protect public safety, she acknowledged that it was disappointing that Jews in Denmark are harassed because of their faith. “I don’t think we have given sufficient attention to anti-Semitism,” Allerslev told Jyllands-Posten. “Minorities should never have to shoulder the burden of harassment alone.” Politicians from across the political spectrum have expressed sadness and disappointment following the release of last week’s report by Jyllands-Posten about the problems faced by Jews in Denmark. City councillor Lars Aslan Rasmussen (Socialdemokrater) said that it was “grotesque” and that more needed to be done to tackle anti-Semitism. “We often see racism as an issue of

demonstrators Copenhagen Police have paid over four million kroner to climate demonstrators who were wrongfully arrested during the 2009 UN climate conference

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t was an expensive decision by the Copenhagen Police to pre-emptively arrest over 900 climate demonstrators during the 2009 UN climate conference almost exactly three years ago. According to Politiken newspaper, Copenhagen Police have so far paid 4,203,000 kroner in compensation to 516 people who were caught in the mass arrest on 14 December 2009. This January the Eastern High Court upheld a ruling by the Copenhagen City Court that found the police had exceeded their powers by making the mass arrest. Those arrested were in a group at the back of a larger demonstration that police feared had become infiltrated by violent anarchists, known as the ‘Black Bloc’. In an attempt to capture them, the police executed a pincer movement and arrested the 1,000 strong section of the demonstration as it neared the city. The demonstrators, who included monks, nuns and elderly people, were forced to sit in rows on the road with their arms bound behind their backs in sub-zero temperatures for several hours. The ruling at the Eastern High Court reduced the maximum amount each protester could claim from 9,000 kroner to 3,300 kroner, while also increasing the number of people that qualified for compensation. The police may yet have to pay out even more money, however. “We are waiting for the bank details of a few foreigners, but it’s not really that many,” police spokesperson Klaus Pedersen said. (PS)

Man was accused of defrauding over 100 Mexicans of over 200,000 kroner, despite the fact he spoke no Spanish

Heart association says lives are at risk as waiting times for preliminary heart exams approach as much as six months

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eople who may have serious heart conditions are waiting up to six months to be examined, according to Hjerteforeningen, the Danish heart association. Although the recommended waiting time for an examination in the case of a suspected heart ailment is no longer than four weeks, people have reported waiting times of two, three and even six months. Annette Nejrup Hansen, a 53-yearold from Copenhagen, said the three months she waited to be examined only worsened her concern about her condition. “I only have one heart, so it was impossible for me not to be stressed,” she told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. Hansen was finally diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and is waiting once again – this time for treatment. Nejrup’s case is one of many pointing to a trend of increased waiting times over the past year to have potential heart conditions identified. “It goes without saying that having to wait for an examination for a potentially serious, life-threatening heart dis-

Waiting could actually be fatal in the case of a lifethreatening disease ease is a source of anxiety and insecurity,” Dr Henrik Steen Hansen, the president of Hjerteforeningen, told Jyllands-Posten. “Waiting could actually be fatal in the case of a life-threatening disease.” Waiting times have increased in the North Jutland, Mid-Jutland and Zealand healthcare regions. One patient in Zealand holds the current record of waiting 29 weeks to be examined. The health minister, Astrid Krag (Socialistisk Folkeparti), said she would urge regional councils to work to reduce waiting times for heart treatment. “Waiting 29 weeks for a preliminary heart exam is not acceptable,” she said in a written statement. Some have suggested that possible solutions to the backlog could be to allow nurses to perform preliminary screenings, and for hospitals to purchase more modern equipment to perform heart exams, including ultrasound machines. (RW)

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Danish man who spent a traumatic year in a Mexican jail returned home to his family last week. Hamza Karroum, 48, was arrested while on holiday in Rioverde, Mexico, last December by police investigating a complicated gang-related fraud case in which over 100 Mexicans were defrauded of money, land, jewellery and vehicles to the value of about 220,000 kroner. Karroum denied the charges from the outset. He was supported by witnesses who appeared on Mexican television, while Karroum argued that he could not have been in Mexico long enough to have carried out such a widespread fraud operation. “I don’t even speak Spanish,” Karroum told TV2 in February. “I was on a short holiday in Mexico to recover from an illness. I landed in the country on November 26 last year after being in Cuba and was planning on being home for Christmas. Then I was suddenly arrested by police and presented with these crazy accusations. How could I have created such a complicated fraud operation in only a few weeks as the police claim?” Despite all the evidence that supported his innocence, it took over a year

E21 Noticiero / youtube

Minister: Waiting times for Cleared of fraud, Dane released from Mexican prison heart exams “not acceptable”

In an image from Mexican news, Karroum is questioned by his captors

for a Mexican court to release him. “He was just incredibly unlucky and was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Denmark’s ambassador to Mexico, Susanne Rumohr Hækkerup, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. According to Hækkerup, the burden of evidence is the reverse in Mexico compared to Denmark, so it was up to Karroum to prove his innocence. Karroum explained that he was threatened and assaulted while in jail and was unable to buy clean bottled water like the other prisoners. The tap water was so filthy that it was not an option to drink it, and so

Karroum had to beg for water from his fellow inmates. Following his release, Karroum’s brother praised the Foreign Ministry for its handling of the case. “The Foreign Ministry has done a great job placing a lot of pressure on Mexico,” Nasser Karroum told Jyllands-Posten. Karroum arrived back in Copenhagen on a flight from Paris on December 13. Following Karroum’s case, the Foreign Ministry urged Danish travellers to take extra precautions while travelling in Mexico. (PS)

news

The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk

21 December 2012 - 4 January 2013

Uproar over rejected residency for employed Peruvian mother Peter Stanners

Peter Stanners Despite graduating from a Danish university, speaking Danish and having a Danish husband, Flavia Oregon has been told to go ‘home’

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Peruvian woman who has lived in Denmark for the past 10 years, and who is married to a Danish man with whom she has an 18-month-old son, has been told to leave the country by January 12. Flavia Oregon’s pending deportation has sparked uproar in the press and on social media. A photograph of the deportation date stamped in her passport has been shared almost 3,000 times since it was posted on Facebook on December 12, and a support ‘event’ on Facebook now has almost 8,000 attendees. If 36-year-old Oregon does have to depart, Denmark would lose a highlyqualified woman who has spent the last decade integrating into Danish society and who was about to start a new job. “The rules are absurd, and it’s not just my case; there are lots of people who get caught in these situations,” Oregon told The Copenhagen Post in her Nørrebro flat. “There are many Danes who have got in touch with me and said their families were in the same situation and they had to leave Denmark.” Oregon came to Denmark in 2002 as an exchange student, choosing Denmark, in part, because her mother in Peru has a Danish husband with whom she has lived for the past 17 years. Oregon met her own Danish husband, Jens Henneberg Andersen, in 2007, and in 2008 she graduated from

NOTE TO READERS Just before this edition went to press, Politiken newspaper reported that the Immigration Service has ruled that Flavia Oregon can remain in Denmark while her family reunification application is being processed. In an email to the newspaper, an Immigration Service spokesperson said: “Flavia Oregon does not need to travel home to file an application and can remain in Denmark during the process. We have contacted the family to inform them further.” It was not possible to get a reaction from Oregon before going to press.

Oregon, Andersen and son Camilo on the sofa in their Nørrebro flat

Aalborg University with a master’s degree in international studies. She was subsequently granted a green card in January 2009 and secured a job at the Cuban Embassy the following March. Oregon fell pregnant the following year, but it was a difficult pregnancy. After 21 months at the Cuban Embassy, and four months pregnant, she decided to go on sick leave. In April 2010, a month before her son was born, Oregon applied to extend her green card. Seventeen months later, on November 21, her application was rejected because, immigration authorities told her, she had been unemployed for 12 months prior to the decision being made. Oregon contends that the Agency for Labour Retention and International Recruitment, which makes decisions

about work-related residence permits, failed to take several factors in to consideration in her application. Firstly, Oregon’s green card extension took 17 months to process instead of the three-month target set by the Employment Ministry. If the target had been met, she would only have been unemployed for three months in the 12 months before the decision was made. Secondly, Oregon was on maternity leave for six of the 12 months prior to the decision being made this November. “But as I’ve understood Danish law, you don’t consider maternity leave to be a period of unemployment; in almost every other field it’s considered a fulltime job.” The green card extension was Oregon’s only chance of being granted residency in Denmark despite the

fact she had lived in Denmark for ten years, graduated from a Danish university, spoke Danish and had a Danish husband. The application for family reunification she submitted in April 2011 was rejected because she hadn’t been employed full-time for three years, which was a prerequisite at the time. As a student, however, Oregon was only allowed to work for a maximum 15 hours a week. Changes to family reunification laws implemented in 2012 removed this hurdle. But because her green card extension application was taking such a long time to process, she was prevented from applying as it is not permitted to have two immigration applications being considered at the same time. Permanent residency was also out of

the irish rover

the irish rover

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COPENHAGEN

upstairs lounge upstairs lounge

Christmas Dinner

New Years Eve Party

Here at the Rover our Christmas menu is served every day from the first of December until the first of January, including the 24th and 25th December.

Come and join us for a fantastic NYE night at The Irish Rover. A fun and Friendly atmosphere with all you will need to make this New Years eve one of the best.

Book your seat early to avoid disappointment and enjoy a traditional three-course Irish Christmas feast.

We are offering an International buffet combined with a bottle of champagne each, all for the price of only

Starter Irish cream of winter vegetable soup Main Course Roast stuffed Turkey Breast, served with Roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Dessert Hot Apple Pie with vanilla Ice cream

Price: 249kr per cover

245 dkk pp.

Entertainment will be provided by EVOLUTION! A live 3 piece band playing Irish/cover music So come JOIN us! We are open every day over the festive period from 10am until very late!! And that INCLUDES the 24th & 25th December. The Irish Rover would like to wish all of our customers a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. We look forward to seeing you for a great time over the festive season.

Please call for group Booking price. T: +45 3333 7393 | www.theirishrover.dk Vimmelskaftet 46 | 1161 Copenhagen, Denmark

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the question since Oregon would have had to have lived in Denmark for seven years on the same type of residence permit. But because she switched from a student visa in 2008 to a green card in 2009, she did not qualify. Oregon feels like she made all the right decisions all the way through the process. She accepted work when it was offered to her and looked after her son when he needed her. “I have followed the rules and I have done so for ten years,” Oregon said. “But I ended up in a position where I had to choose between staying in work during a pregnancy that was making me sick the whole time, or taking early maternity leave to look after myself and risk losing my residency and leaving the country.” Oregon and her husband submitted an appeal this week. Politiken newspaper reported on Wednesday that the employment minister, Mette Frederiksen (Socialdemokraterne), promised to re-examine immigration regulations and see if “there was a need to change the rules for the green card scheme”. She added: “It sounds like this woman and her family face a tough situation. Most people can probably sympathise with them, but I can’t comment on specific cases.” Oregon was told of the rejection on December 12 after returning from a holiday with her son to Peru – her last holiday before her new job that was due to start on December 17. If pressure to allow her to stay does not succeed, she’ll be returning to her home country sooner than she expected.

6

Year in Review

The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk

21 December 2012 - 4 January 2013

January

February

March

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13 - 19 January 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 2

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6

OPINION

Reflection of reality? Transparency International gave Denmark high marks, but even we are vulnerable to greed and weakness

8

BUSINESS

40 years on and still beloved

Is ‘inshoring’ the new trend? Several businesses are moving production back to Denmark

The “versatile” Queen Margrethe II celebrates four decades on the throne

15

4

Government proposes end to points system

SPORT

The week that Woz How is one of the world’s most talked about athletes preparing for 2012’s first grand slam

14

JENNIFER BULEY Disagreement over strictest family reunification rules splits opposition

W

HEN THE government presented a bill to parliament on Monday proposing to scrap the controversial points system for family reunification, it received significant support from half the opposition as well. “The points system doesn’t work optimally. There are things that need to be adjusted, and we want to help those adjustments happen,” the opposition Konservative (K) party’s immigration

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spokesperson, Mike Legarth, told Poli- unable to make the cut. In September, it was reported that the number of resitiken newspaper. Just last summer K helped their dent permit approvals had fallen by 70 former coalition partners, Venstre (V) percent due to the points system. That result has led to K, another and the Dansk Folkeparti (DF), implement the current points system for fam- opposition party, Liberal Alliance (LA), ily reunification, which requires non- and many business organisations proEU spouses of legal Danish residents testing against the same strict rules that and citizens to earn the right to stay in the left-of-centre parties Radikale (R) Denmark by amassing points for higher and Enhedslisten (EL) have condemned education, full-time work, Danish lan- on civil rights grounds. “At a time when the business comguage skills, community service, and munity needs competent workers from other criteria. The criteria are so strict – and the outside, a person can be hired by a Danminimum number of points needed to ish company at a high salary and still not qualify for residency is so difficult to be able to get residency for their spouse the spouse doesn’t also have a full-time achieve – that a number ofOrganise highly-ed- aifpersonal meeting ucated, top-earning spouses have been job,” K immigration spokesperson Mike

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Legarth explained to Politiken. LA political spokesperson Simon Emil Ammitzbøll said his party was also ready to negotiate with the left-of-centre government on the immigration rules, “if we think it will pull Denmark in a more liberal direction”. LA does not, however, support the plan to reduce the cash security deposit required for non-EU spouses from 100,000 to 50,000 kroner, as the government is proposing. Ammitzbøll told Politiken that foreigners ought to be able to prove they can support themselves without help from the welfare sys-

Points continues on page 5

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during Margrethe’s reign. Aa anachronistic as a monarchy may be in a modern democracy, for a society bombarded by issues that call into question what it means to be a Dane, it is the perfect lighthouse. While no commoner can ever hope to approach the queen, what they can do is look towards her for direction when they lose track of where they have come as a nation and, more importantly, where they should head. 

Kevin McGwin

When Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne) was elected as Denmark’s first female prime minister in late NEW REALITY4 2011, there was a sense that the red mentality of poor money management and a free-for-all ideology would once again manifest itself in the halls of National energy deal edges closer to completion parliament. But that early impresA sion was quickly quenched FULL TIME MBA in early 2012 when the FULL TIME MBA PM began to address the a sport Want to play high wages, short working weeks and idle work ethic that had compromised Denmark’s long-term ability to compete globally. The government began behaving in a very unsocialistic way, warning of revoked holidays, the loss of free lunches in the public sector and a tightening up of the welfare system in general. It quickly became clear that 2012 was about trying to cut costs and save money where possible. Thorning-Schmidt thus illustrated that a staggering economic crisis can turn even the most devout welfare-state disciples into disbelievers by adopting bluish policy that would continue throughout the year. The Danish workplace underwent some serious changes in 2012, and all signs indicate the trend will continue. Wondercool: February’s fab festival. Special section

The Church of Denmark’s empty pew syndrome

Our Olympic predictions for 2012

Obama tells PM to shelve proposed magazine levy

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Longer hours, pay freezes, no free lunch

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OPINION

Those fine Finns

Defending the Danes

Columnist Clare MacCarthy, fresh from covering Finland’s elections, says Danes could learn from the Finnish model of democracy

Columnist Justin Cremer worries that he will be infected with ‘bitter foreigner syndrome’

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COMMUNITY

SPORT

Interview with church and equality minister Manu Sareen: “I represent two countries: India and Denmark”

Lace up those jogging shoes; it’s time to end your winter hibernation and get back into running shape

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Still need plans for Valentine’s Day or the children’s half-term holiday? The InOut team has got you covered

InOut

DEAL ON the future of the nation’s energy came a step closer this week after opposition party Venstre (V) stated that they are finally willing to meet the government to discuss the decisive issue of the plan’s cost. The government’s initial plan from November had a price tag of 5.6 billion kroner but they have since cut it down to 3.9 billion in order to keep V onboard. V was still unhappy with the price, however, and demanded that the total

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BUSINESS

Showdown looming

pletely phased out. Switching over to the only other alternatives, geothermal heating or wood-chip heaters, will cost each household up to 150,000 kroner, a cost V is not willing to accept. The compromise suggested by K is to compensate those who will be hit by switch-over costs. The party has their eye on a 500 million kroner pool of money which will be available in 2013 and 2014, which is currently used to give home owners a tax deduction on home improvements. Next year, the money is being reassigned to subsidise improving energy efficiency in homes and K is demanding the money be targeted towards rural Denmark.

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which an additional 53,000 Danes currently receive full-time salaries for parttime work, because they are considered too sick to work full-time, but not sick enough for permanent disability. The state currently subsidises a set percentage of their full-time salaries, but there is no ceiling on how much the state will pay. As a consequence, critics note, the programme rewards high earners and their employers, while taxpayers have to pay half the salary of some individuals who end up earning as much as 60,000 kroner per month for working 15 hours per week. The reform calls for a five-year, renewable limit on a person’s part-time

Reform continues on page 5

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VAST WELFARE reform spearheaded by the political left is gaining broad support from a wide spectrum of society, including social workers, economists, mayors and leaders of the political far-right. Socialdemokraterne (S) are behind the proposed reforms that aim to reduce the number of people under 40 on permanent welfare benefits and revolutionise the way the state assists people with mental and physical illnesses. “We’re working to make it so that

will never be able to work”. Instead, benefit recipients under 40 will have their cases assigned to multidisciplinary “rehabilitation teams”, which will create individualised rehabilitation plans, which may include, among other things, psychological counselling, social skill training, education, job training, a mentorship and – initially – a state-subsidised job. Rehabilitation periods will last up to five years and will be renewable. During the five-year periods, individuals will be allowed to both collect welfare benefits and work, if they can, in order to incentivise working. A second part of the reform aims to re-engineer the part-time disability job programme (fleksjobordningen), under

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while you’re in Denmark?

Proposed changes shift focus from lifelong benefits to rehabilitation

nobody under 40 will be given permanent disability status. Of course, there are exceptions,” the prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt (S), said in her weekly press conference on Tuesday. Some 245,000 people – approximately 9 percent of the potential work force – have permanent disability status (førtidspension), which means they have a full state pension for life. Of those, one in seven – or 33,500 – are younger than 40. In a written plan laid out by the social minister, Karen Hækkerup (S), and the employment minister, Mette Frederiksen (S), on Tuesday, the government proposed to end lifelong disability benefits for people under 40, unless they are so physically or mentally compromised that it is “absolutely obvious that they

A new

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JENNIFER BULEY

If Ryanair refuses to negotiate, trade union 3F says the airline’s planes will be denied fuel and services

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cost of the plan, including the cost of a Denmark’s reliance on fossil fuels and as coming NOx air pollution tax, should a result the government wants oil-fired heaters to be completely phased out. not exceed 3.6 billion kroner. V has been particularly critical This development created an unusual impasse between the government of this decision, arguing it will be too and opposition – Danish governments expensive for ordinary households to traditionally try to secure a broad cross- switch over, but K support the plan and party consensus before trying to pass have attempted to forge a compromise. “It’s important that we switch over energy plans. While Jyllands-Posten newspaper from oil-fired heaters to sustainable enerreported that there were indications that gy,” K energy spokesperson Mike Legarth V was willing to return to the table, the told Jyllands-Posten. “That’s why new opposition party declined to comment oil-fired heaters should not be installed after 2017, though exemptions should be on this information. But should V decide to return to the granted to those with special needs.” About 200,000 oil-fired heaters talks, it could be down to the mediation of fellow opposition party Konservative cannot be replaced by district heating or gas heaters by 2030, the date by (K). The government’s energy plan has anatural Organise personal meeting which the government wants them coman ambitious view to completely and sitendin on a class.

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School’s request to teach Turkish as a second language sets off a debate on culture versus commerce

6

The Konservative Folkeparti is trying to forge a compromise between the government and opposition party Venstre to ensure broad political support

3

NEWS

OPINION

Romance and child’s play

‘Cigar-gate’: Did the US overstep its bounds?

10

2 - 8 March 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 09

Nation’s workers brace for a

The opposition stalls and the government dithers as congestion charge battle drags on

The Dominican first lady and the missing millions

3

Rock ✽

INSIDE

PETER STANNERS

The mayor’s behaviour at an office Christmas party has left him with a political hangover

The internet is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the freedom it provides for searching, sharing and discovering has defined a generation and toppled dictators. But illegal peer-to-peer file sharing has brought the 10,000 strong: music and film industries to ‘Don’t ACTA fool’4 their knees. Welfare reforms target young benefit recipients Enter the Anti Counterfeit Trade Agreement A (ACTA), a multinational treaty for enforcing intellectual property rights. The Do you speak Danish? world executive mba treaty created protocols for pursuing and convicting copyright violators, but it was feared that the treaty would diminish internet freedom and criminalise legal generic medicines. Protests were formed across Europe in opposition to ACTA and after enormous pressure the EU parliament voted not to ratify it. It is unlikely to be the last effort by powerful lobbies to restrict internet freedom, but ACTA’s defeat was seen as a decisive victory by those who think an open internet is preferable to using restriction to revive industries that didn’t adapt quickly enough to the digital age.

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Whether it’s her annual New Year’s Eve address or events like this January’s 40th jubilee, Queen Margrethe is a public rallying point unparalleled by anything else in this country, including the various national teams and even Hans Christian Andersen. Were you to ask Danes today whether they would be in favour of elevating a single arbitrary person above all others, they would almost universally be against the idea. Oddly though, the Royal Family’s popularity has only grown

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Taxing the risk: Debate over THEExpat Sporting POST COPENHAGEN CPHPOST.DK SPORTIN financial transaction tax Sunday SUNDAY G takes off INSIDE!

ACTA support cools as debate heats up

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Smokers under siege: New efforts to butt out habit

King Beer! Your bard’s down the pub

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Søvndal pledges Danish support for Syrians

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Denmark looks to lay Europe’s energy

Mayor Frank Jensen calls on Microsoft employees on the first leg of a tour to learn how the city can preen itself for foreigners

CULTURE

7 HISTORY

The bricks of Billund

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M

O H

The economic storm cloud’s silver lining JENNIFER BULEY

Everyone knows Lego, but do you know the story behind the iconic building blocks?

EXPLO TED

Indications that former defence minister was aware that prisoners were being tortured 4

Amidst gloom and doom recession worries, the last days of 2011 served up a few happy surprises

G

OOD ECONOMIC news was a rare find in the final months of 2011. Nevertheless, there were a few bright spots in Denmark’s economic outlook as we turned the page on the new year. Just before Christmas, Moody’s – one of the world’s top three credit rating agencies – gave Denmark a shiny present: a renewed AAA credit rating. Moody’s praised Denmark for trimming back its early-retirement programme (efterløn) and raising the retirement age (see story on page five).

“The government’s top-notch rat- mark’s central bank is currently reaping ings reflect Denmark’s stable macro-eco- a “premium” to hold investors’ capital, nomic and political environment and writing that stable Denmark is perceived relatively healthy government balance as a safe haven in the financial storm. While Italy, near the centre of the maelsheet,” the credit agency wrote. But as with most economic prog- strom, was selling government bonds at noses in these uncertain times, the tri- an interest rate of close to seven percent ple-A rating was delivered with a dose last month, Danish bonds were selling briskly at just 0.03 percent interest, or of caution. “The generous social welfare system even at a negative interest rate, meaning is becoming less affordable following the that investors are, in effect, paying Denglobal economic crisis, as debt to GDP mark to safeguard their cash. In light of the record-low interratios have climbed sharply,” the agency est rate – and with no expectation of continued. Speaking of interest, foreign inves- a reversal soon – lenders introduced a tors continued to turn in large numbers record-low 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to Denmark as a safe spot to park their at just 3.5 percent. Financial analysts money while the Eurozone countries predict that consumers could soon see 30-year fixed mortgages at three percent. ride out the euro storm. A brighter, meeting though still turbulent, picGermany’s Financial Times Deut- a personal Organise schland newspaper marvelled that Den- ture could also be found on the Copen-

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Food price comparison exposing high Danish prices is unfair, businesses charge. Let’s have more competition, consumer advocates fire back

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Youngsters in Denmark are faced with the double gauntlet of getting through their high school years without succumbing to the national youth pastime – being drunk all day, everyday – and then graduating in an deterioA reason to celebrate? rating economy offering 4 not much hope for a job Businesses call on state to trim fat and sugar taxes in their chosen fields. “You could want to T become a lawyer, but end FULL TIME MBA up in a grocery store,” one FULL TIME MBA student just completing gymnasium and headed towards university told us this summer. More than a quarter of Denmark’s recent university graduates are still looking for work one year after getting their degree. Meanwhile, figures suggest that many teens may not be sober come graduation day. One in 12 teens responding to a survey indicated that they regularly used alcohol and drugs to a degree that experts BS u ba M w called “serious substance abuse”. m v w u Celebrating American independence

G3

Too big to fail

CELEBRATING

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NDENCE DAY

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While tax negotiators use controversial levies as bargaining chips, business leaders just want them gone

HE COUNTRY’S business leaders are unequivocal in their desire for the nation’s new tax deal to toss the current fat tax and proposed sugar tax into the bin. “These taxes cost Danish jobs,” Jens Klarskov of Dansk Industri, a Danish business advocacy group, told TV2 News. While the taxes remained in place Friday evening when the government forged its tax reform deal with the oppostion party Venstre, Politiken newspaper reported that by Sunday the government had offered to eliminate them

in exchange for making up the funds by jobs out of the country,” Hoppe told raising the basic tax rate by 0.34 per- Politiken newspaper. Hoppe said he believed that the two cent. MPs from Venstre would not agree levies could easily cost 2,000 jobs in to the deal, however. “We can not raise the threshold Denmark. The fat tax garnered international for top-bracket tax on Friday and then raise the marginal tax rate on Sunday,” attention when it came into effect last Torsten Schack Pedersen, Venstre’s tax year with news outlets as far-flung as the spokesperson, told the newspaper. “That BBC, Time Magazine and Al-Jazeera all reporting on the levy. Health specialists is not how we work.” Meanwhile, the country’s business and policy makers around the world are leaders continued to call for the taxes to waiting to see if the fat tax will actually cut the country’s obesity rate or, as busibe dropped. Jørgen Hoppe, the president of ness leaders claim, just send customers HK, a union for clericial and service- to Sweden and Germany to load up on sector workers, said he was “enormously lardy foods. Business leaders warn that the sugar happy” when he heard there was a chance they would be cut from the tax tax set to come into effect next year will not only cost jobs, but may even cause reform deal. “Every time you put new taxes on some businesses to close. Food manufacturer fat, sugar and alcohol, people simply a personal Organise meetingBeauvais said cross the border to shop and that sends the tax will cause the price of a jar of

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4-5

Solution to city’s traffic and air-pollution problems pushed off until next year

T

ENSE, eleventh-hour meetings between top ministers from the Socialistisk Folkeparti (SF) and Socialdemokraterne (S) on Tuesday resulted in the plug being pulled on the Copenhagen congestion charge (betalingsring) – a proposal that aimed to diminish traffic jams and airpollution, while financing lower public transport fares through tolls on cars that come and go from the city. Instead, the government is now promising to spend a billion kroner to

cut ticket prices and raise public transAs part of its new plan, the governportation standards nationwide – but, ment is also creating a special commission crucially, without any penalty on those to study Copenhagen’s traffic and airwho drive cars into the city. The financ- pollution problems and offer a solution. ing will now come from higher taxes on Their commission’s findings, due leased vehicles. out on 1 January 2013, will supplement Addressing the backtrack, PM Helle several earlier traffic and air-pollution Thorning-Schmidt wrote on her Face- studies that went into the congestion book page on Wednesday: “The govern- charge proposal. ment has listened to the many objections Berlingske newspaper reported that against the congestion charge, even here transport experts were quick to note that on this page. It’s made an impact. We half a billion kroner would not go very have therefore decided to seek another far towards reducing fares at the national solution to the traffic problems in the level, as promised. capital. We will improve public transThe experts also noted that the lowport throughout Denmark with a billion er fares would not change the habits of extra kroner: 500 million for cheaper drivers – only higher prices on driving tickets, and 500 million forOrganise investment awould do that,meeting they argued – suggesting personal in new buses, trains and equipment.” thatathe compromise was more of a poand sit in on class.

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litical solution for SF and S, than a real traffic solution for Copenhagen. The congestion charge, in conjunction with reduced fares, was a key political promise by SF – and particularly its leader Villy Søvndal, who appeared in ads before the election promising 40 percent cheaper bus and train fares if voters backed SF and S. Voters did, but when a closer look at the numbers revealed that the congestion charge would bring in less than half the original estimate of 2 billion kroner in revenue – and when local, left-of-centre politicians, business leaders and the opposition, all banded together to block it – S began looking for a way out.

Macaroons & French pastry in a modern enviroment Brasserie Degas reopens its doors in a new location, presenting once again to all its customers, the famous club sandwich & foie gras salad

Congestion continues on page 10

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September

PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt admits missteps

No porkies, just good honest puppets

5 G2

17 - 23 August 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 33

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NEWS

No, really, it’s art: Silkeborg gallery to battle porn’s pervasiveness by showing ... two people having sex

6

OPINION

“The stench of power” Søren Pind argues that the left wing needs to speak up against the Obama administration’s use of drones

8 NEWS

Pia’s lasting legacy

jam to nearly double and could cause the company to shut down its Danish plants. “It would be a counter-productive move to increase taxes that are likely to cause much more damage than the modest benefit it will bring to the treasury,” said Klarskov. Even though Venstre rejected the government’s latest proposal, the economy minister, Margrethe Vestager (Radikale), said the issue is still open to discussion. “Negotiations are not over and we realise that these two taxes are harmful,” Vestager told Politiken. “The contribution that sugar and fat taxes make to better health is outweighed by their effect on businesses.”

Historic move is in the works for all of the sea creatures that call Denmark’s national aquarium home

10

HISTORY

PETER STANNERS

Denmark’s Iron Lady Queen Margrethe II takes her name from a formidable princess who unified Scandinavia

19

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How the outgoing DF leader inspired rightwing movements throughout Europe

4

Police blunder in case of ‘unidentifiable’ officers Media storm leads to police prosecutor reopening case days after announcing it was impossible to identify policemen charged with abusing power

C

ONFUSION over a name was enough for a young couple and an elderly woman to get arrested on suspicion of terrorism during the COP15 climate conference in 2009. The police soon realised its mistake and released all of them, but only after subjecting the man to hours of demeaning treatment in a police van – treatment that the man subsequently complained about. But after two and half years, the Copenhagen Police’s public prosecutor,

Lise-Lotte Nilas, last week announced she was closing the case because despite managing to identify the two officers driving the van, the officers in the back of the van had eluded her. “It has unfortunately not been possible to identify the people in the cell van,” Nilas wrote in a statement. The announcement sparked a media outcry not least because the officers in questioned were clearly photographed escorting the man into the back of the police van. The question that rang out was how could it be possible for the police not to know who these officers were? The incident in question occured one evening in December 2009 when the man – referred to as ‘Muhammed’ in some media reports – was stopped by police on his way to an apartment that he

was employed to empty of its contents. He was arrested when the name of one of the men he had taken with him to do the job was mistaken for that of an international terrorist. Muhammed was placed in the back of a police van with several police officers, who he claims subjected him to humiliating treatment. They also denied him access to a toilet and forced him to urinate into plastic bottles – in the process, he ended up urinating on himself. His wife was also arrested in their apartment, while a 61-year-old woman was arrested in the apartment that Muhammed had been employed to clear. Speaking to Politiken newspaper, Muhammed’s wife described the harrowing experience and expressed anger at the public prosecutor’s findings. “We experienced a nightmare when

we were arrested and suspected of being terrorists. Even when the police acknowledge that they have made a mistake, it is frightening that they can get away with saying they don’t know who they were. I can’t help but think that they are covering for each other.” Speculation about the inability to identify the police officers focused on the police force’s culture of solidarity and their unwillingness to give each other up. Well-known defence lawyer Knud Foldschack argued that giving police officers visible ID numbers would be the best solution to solving identity problems. “The best option would be to pass a law so that police officers would carry numbers so that they can be

Police ID continues on page 5

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end of 2011. In Copenhagen, city administrators have seen a ten percent increase in the number of forced evictions, where a bailiff shows up at a person’s home and forces them to remove their belongings and vacate the premises on the spot. Children are involved in one out of every five of these evictions, Politiken newspaper reports. “Ten years ago, we had one or two evictions per week. Now we have two every single working day – and that’s just in our company. And ten years ago, we almost never saw children in this situation. Now we see many,” KAB’s president, Jesper Nygård, told Politiken.

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ple over their limit. According to Louise Skjødsholm, a department manager at Finanstilsynet, that fact is revealing. “What it shows is that, at the most basic level, these people don’t have any savings that they can draw on if something goes wrong and the refrigerator suddenly has to be replaced,” she told Politiken newspaper. But for another group of Danes, it is not the surprises that push them over the edge into insolvency but rather predictable monthly expenses, like rent, that are beyond their means. Two of the country’s largest rental management companies, KAB and Boligselskabet Danmark, are reporting a 25 percent increase in the number of forced evictions from the end of 2010 to the

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homeless children across Denmark. In 2009, at the height of the recession, 16 percent of the population did not have the cash to pay their bills. But two years later, during the recovery, the figure has risen to 28 percent, according to the financial supervisory authority Finanstilsynet. The number of debtors has risen fast in the past two years, and Experian’s analysts also note that the amount owed has also risen sharply. In January 2008, unpaid consumer debt totalled 7.4 billion kroner. In January 2012, it topped 13.5 billion kroner. In 49 percent of all cases of unpaid debts and delinquency, an unexpected expense – like a car in need of repairs or a broken appliance – is what pushed peo-

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N ECONOMICALLY depressed areas of Denmark, such as Lolland Council, ten percent of the population are behind on their bills. But even in affluent areas, like Copenhagen’s posh northern suburbs, 2.5 percent of the residents owe creditors for products or services they purchased but never paid for, according to a new study by the credit rating agency Experian. End-of-year reports from 2011 showed a worrying upswing in unpaid bills, consumer debt levels, and even

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Danske Bank has become so large that if it were to fail, it would take the country with it, experts say

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are opposed to joining the fiscal compact. “There is no way we could vote in favour of it,” Nikolaj Villumsen, an Enhedslisten MP, told Politiken newspaper. “The financial compact forces countries to adopt a bourgeois politics of austerity that will just make the crisis worse, both in Denmark and in Europe. Helle Thorning-Schmidt was voted for by Danes on a platform of creating jobs, but this pact would cut back spending.” Both Enhedslisten and Dansk Folkeparti also argue that Denmark loses sovereignty by having the EU watch over its budget, meaning that Danish participation can only be approved via a referendum.

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Countries that break these limits, and do not take the necessary action to bring their spending under control, can be fined up to 0.1 percent of their GDP by the EU courts. Countries using the euro will pay the fines to the bailout fund, the EFSF, while non-euro countries will pay to the common EU budget. The new budgetary rules have to be enshrined in law by the parliaments of the countries that have signed up – so far all the EU member states bar the UK and Czech Republic. The law will probably pass in Denmark after opposition parties Venstre and Konservative said they would support the coalition government. But three parties – the far-left government support party Enhedslisten, the Euro-sceptic Danish People’s Party and the libertarian Liberal Alliance –

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“I think the fiscal compact that was agreed yesterday is sensible for Denmark because it creates security about the European and Danish economies,” the Europe minister, Nicolai Wammen, wrote on his Facebook page. “Seventy percent of Danish exports are to EU countries, and almost 500,000 workplaces are dependent precisely on these exports. Therefore, the deal is of great importance for Danish businesses and workers.” The new treaty, the fiscal compact, was designed to prevent Europe from developing another debt crisis by forcing countries to maintain stricter budgetary discipline. The main points of the treaty limit countries to a structural deficit of no more than 0.5 percent of GDP and accumulated debt of no more than 60 percent of GDP.

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Straying from legal limits on state spending would result in fines under new EU budget discipline deal. Critics argue against tying the country into the “bourgeois politics of austerity” HIS MONDAY European leaders took a step toward establishing a closer European financial union with strict fines for countries who do not take adequate steps to restrain their spending. While the treaty is only compulsory for the 17 Eurozone members, Denmark and seven other EU countries not using the single currency have decided to sign up for the new regulations.

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Foreign students: We love it in Copenhagen and want to stay here, but we can’t find jobs

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The surge is golden for handballers, who mount Europe’s throne after nearly crashing out of the European Championship in Serbia early doors

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hagen Stock Exchange one day into 2012. The C20 Index, Denmark’s blue chip stocks, was at its highest level since the beginning of August 2011. Pandora and Carlsberg – companies whose share prices took hard hits in the second half of 2011 – made significant gains in the final days of the year, as did Vestas, which gained big and then lost bigger. Like Pandora last summer, Vestas now faces a reorganisation that may put it back on track. In a new Rambøll/Jyllands-Posten poll, one third of Danish export firms reported softer sales in recent months, but a majority reported no negative change. “That underscores that the crisis is a debt and finance crisis that, so far, has only had a minor effect on the real economy,” Aarhus University business

Hackers publicly expose suspected paedophiles, but police and ethicist question their methods

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Torture allegations reach top brass

In a forced cost-cutting move, there will be mass layoffs at the Royal Theatre and fewer productions

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Vigilantes or heroes?

Youngest kids spared Criticised practice of deporting minors will now end – at least for children under the age of eight

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Should academics work at Netto? Minister’s suggestion that they need to be realistic sets off debate

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Cycling fines take big jump Riding no-handed, cycling through a red light, or failing to signal a turn will cost dearly

24 February - 1 March 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 08

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Admitting that forced co-operation doesn’t always work, state changes custody laws

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Ravaged by fire, KB-Hallen hopes to emerge as a modern event facility. But a looming historic preservation could force them back to 1938

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The queen and the prime minister address the nation and receive less than glowing reviews

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For a decade, the Pia Kjærsgaard-led Dansk Folkeparti (DF) supported a centre-right government in exchange for laws that were both hard on immigration and the rights of immigrants in Denmark. These policies were the product of a new type of nationalism and value politics that has since been emulated across Europe. Immigrants, she argued, threatened both the Danish identity and the welfare state because they drain social resources and seek to replace Danish traditions

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After a poll of 1,000 Danes revealed that fully 75 percent would turn to the state before their own families in times of need, the perennial cries that Big Mother, the Danish Nanny State, was getting out of hand grew ever louder. Henrik Gade Jensen, a senior fellow at CEPOS – the group that conducted the study – found the numbers disturbing. “This clearly shows that the welfare state has become so extensive that we have forgotten our obligations to ourselves and our

with their own. Immigration is not without its social problems – Danes with immigrant backgrounds are the worst performers in school and claim a disproportionate level of social welfare – but her detractors argued that her stark generalisations about immigrants were counterproductive and only served to increase cultural divides. Kjærsgaard stepped down as DF’s leader in September, but her legacy will live on as far-right parties across Europe generalise and stereotype migrants instead of reaching out to help them fulfil their potential.

loved ones,” Jensen said. Jensen said that the constitution’s intent was never to have the state take the place of families, and argued that Denmark’s famed high levels of welfare were creating a loser mentality that made people slaves of the state. With the current economic conditions putting the government’s ability to provide universal services in jeopardy, 2012 may go down as the turning point in the discussions regarding the vaunted ‘Danish model’.

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Summer Summer in Denmark:

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Grade requirements leap as record number of new students are accepted at nation’s universities

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NASA salutes Niels Bohr Institute’s key role in analysing soil samples from Mars

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A threat to social security

Research reputation in shreds

Labour leaders say Amin Skov’s deal with an independent union will lead to the downfall of the social welfare system

Another round of fraud allegations levelled at disgraced neuroscientist Milena Penkowa could damage country’s academic standing

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Heading into the weekend, most of Denmark’s best medal chances see them pitted against the Brits Concern about not having enough to eat – not eating too much – is the real cause of obesity, claims one scientist

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One British family is on a quest to cycle from Denmark to Britain in order to raise money for charity and honour their deceased daughter

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Danish design, now made in Poland KEVIN MCGWIN

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The ride of a lifetime

Job losses in the furniture industry continue as maker of classic designs announces plans to stop production in the home market

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he company that makes some of Denmark’s most recognisable – and expensive – chairs is moving the last vestiges of its production to Poland, continuing a trend of massive job losses in one of the country’s biggest export industries. Allerød-based Fritz Hansen already produces iconic Danish-designed chairs such as the Egg and the Swan in Poland, but the 140 year-old company announced on Monday that it would stop making stackable chairs

at its plant in the Zealand town of Vassingerød. Fritz Hansen will retain about a dozen workers who will be responsible for assembling components produced at its Polish factory, but the company said it made the decision to move its remaining production after concluding that it would be more cost-effective to open a new plant in Poland than upgrade the Vassingerød facility. “In a global market where the competition is tough, it is hard to overlook that there were so many benefits of moving production to Poland”, Jacob Holm, Fritz Hansen’s managing director, said. According to Holm, the company had managed to put off the move for a number of years, but the final decision came after it had concluded that there were no longer any productivity gains to be made in Denmark.

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“We reached the point where our employees couldn’t work any harder,” Holm told financial daily Børsen. Holm added that “terrible” conditions for doing business in Denmark, combined with lower wages in Poland, meant the decision was inevitable. “Factors such as costs and taxes were an enormous. They were what made the decision for us.” The move, according to Holm, does not mean the company’s products will be produced under worse working conditions or would be of a lower quality. “Ten years ago, it would have worried us, but today it’s not a problem in terms of what the consumer will experience,” he told Børsen. Danish furniture holds a vaunted place among design aficionados, but that status has not been enough to prevent the industry from shedding half of its work-

force in Denmark over the past 15 years. In 1993, furniture makers employed 23,000 people in Denmark. Today the number is 11,000, and 4,000 of those job losses have come since 2008. “Companies are moving their labour intensive production out of Denmark and employment opportunities in the industry are grim. Wages are too high and productivity is too low,” Keld Korsager, of Møbel+Interiør, a furniture makers’ interest group, said in 2011 in conjunction with the release of a report about the industry. Holm said, however, that even though Danish design is now being produced abroad, it did not mean consumers would associate them any less with Denmark. “Fritz Hansen still needs to give its seal of approval that the craftsmanship is up to standard.”

A medal in the men’s handball will further improve Denmark’s best Olympic haul since 1948

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Back to school! As more companies outsource their production abroad, experts advise those remaining to retrain their workers

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while she takes on a new role as ‘values spokesperson’. Kjærsgaard said she would still stand in the next elections for the party, which she established in 1995 and led into parliament in 1998 with a quarter of a million votes. DF quickly grew to become parliament’s third largest party (out of eight) by the time of its second general election in 2001. But despite its size, it never attempted to join a coalition government and instead opted to influence policy as outsiders. This strategy proved extremely effective during the ten-year reign of the former centre-right coalition government whose legislation they supported in exchange for implementing stricter immigration laws. DF was named in polls as the party that most Danes associate with ‘Danishness’, a concept that Kjærsgaard has sought to defend throughout her leader-

ship through a tough anti-immigration dialogue. Kjærsgaard has been quick to identify threats from abroad: whether it’s from Middle Eastern immigrants who refuse to integrate or travelling gangs of burglars from eastern Europe. To tackle these threats, DF influenced the government to tighten the requirements for Danes to marry foreigners from nonwestern countries and introduce shortlived border controls with Germany. A polarising figure, she nevertheless commanded respect from her political opponents. The former PM and leader of the centre-right party Venstre, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, praised her impact on Danish politics. “Not everyone predicted that Dansk Folkeparti would survive for long after Pia Kjærsgaard broke away from the Fremskridtsparti. But, as a result of Pia’s integrity, unfailing spirit and ceaseless effort, DF is now an unavoidable element

in Danish politics. She has delivered an impressive chairmanship!” Health minister Astrid Krag (Socialistiske Folkeparti) didn’t share Rasmussen’s views, however. ”I won’t miss Pia,” Krag wrote on Facebook. “She poisoned the immigration debate for ten years and pushed false politics in which she presented herself as the protector of the little man, while also granting enormous tax breaks to CEOs.” This morning’s Danish papers were filled with commentary pondering the future of the party in the hands of Dahl, an intellectual and respected politician who lacks Kjærsgaard’s common touch. But even with a leadership change, DF’s influence is unlikely to change, as economy minister Margrethe Vestager summed up on Facebook. “Pia K is leaving,” she wrote. “The views will remain the same. The debate about respect, openness and inclusion will continue.”

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Immigration continues on page 3

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work. This law will help keep more foreign students and professionals in Denmark. Additionally, the system in which applicants must amass 100 points through work, language and volunteer requirements will be removed. • As of now, applicants for citizenship must show that they have been self-supporting for four and a half out of the last five years. That will be changed to two and a half out of the last five years. Additionally, the Danish Test 3 (Prøve i Dansk 3) will be lowered to Danish Test 2 (Prøve i Dansk 2) and the difficult citizenship test, which even native Danes have trouble passing, will also be

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ITH THE right-wing Dansk Folkeparti (DF) astutely leveraging its status as governmental support party over the past couple of years, Denmark’s immigration rules were decisively stiffened to a point where immigration from outside the EU became incredibly difficult. But the current government took office with a pledge to ease up on the strict regulations and are now making an attempt to honour those promises. New immigration laws are scheduled

THE CHIL

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Regulations are set to be eased a bit under the new government reform policy, but some argue it’s not enough

council as a bank guarantee, thereby illustrating that they will not be seeking social benefits. Additionally, the 50,000 will be structured in a way that it can be significantly reduced with the passing of Danish language tests. • The Danish test level needed to be passed will be lowered from Danish Test 2 (Prøve i Dansk 2) to Danish Test 1 (Prøve i Dansk 1) for permanent residence applicants. • To achieve permanent residence, applicants must have worked three out of the last five years instead of two years and six months out of the last three years, as the rules currently stand. The new regulations will also consider most educations to be the equivalent of full-time

POST

Don’t speak Danish but want to enjoy the art scene? ‘Desdemona’ and ‘The Good Doctor’ are for you

to be implemented on May 15 for family reunification cases and on June 1 for cases involving permanent residence. Some of the more significant changes scheduled to come into effect are as follows: • The points system used in family reunification cases will be removed. The points system, which was ratified in 2011, has been a massive hindrance to family reunification in Denmark. • The immigration test ‘invandringsprøven’ will be removed. Anyone who currently wishes to immigrate under the umbrella of family reunification must take this test. • The economic safety net will be reduced from 100,000 kroner to 50,000 kroner. This is the amount the individual has to deposit to the

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Ben Hamilton

8 - 14 June 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 23

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OPINION

Money for McDonald’s

A swift kick in the pants

Opposition upset that taxpayers are being asked to pay for fast-food joints to develop healthy options

That’s what our economy needs, argues the editor-in-chief of financial weekly Økonomisk Ugebrev

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Should Denmark follow Norway’s lead and officially end the church-state relationship?

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NATO summit in Chicago agreed on timetable for Afghanistan exit and the pooling of military hardware, including drones partially funded by Denmark

ENMARK continued to position itself as a key player in ensuring the future security of Afghanistan at a summit of leaders from the military alliance NATO in Chicago over the weekend. The summit agreed to maintain the planned withdrawal of the NATO-led forces by the end of 2014, which will

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ish troops in Afghanistan – of a total 130,000 troops, which are provided by 42 countries from around the world. The Afghanistan army now numbers about 330,000, and its annual bill is expected to reach about 24 billion kroner. With Afghanistan expected to cover about three billion kroner and the US about 13 billion kroner of that amount, about eight billion kroner remains unaccounted for. Denmark has spearheaded efforts to find funding to make up the shortfall. It has so far committed 100 million kroner to funding the ANSF and another 530 million for civilian purposes, while also drawing pledges for funding from other

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Cimber Sterling goes bust, leaving some stranded

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Holy Moly! Are two of our holidays going away?

Happy never after in the Black Fairytale

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We may be small, but our global footprint is big

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Four terrorists sentenced to 12 years in prison for plotting strike against newspaper office

JURY in Glostrup ruled on Monday that the four men charged with terrorism for planning an assault on the Copenhagen offices of Jyllands-Posten newspaper are guilty. Found guilty were Swedish citizens Munir Awad, Omar Abdalla Aboelazm and Sahbi Ben Mohamed Zalouti, and Mounir Ben Mohamed Dhahri, a Tunisian national. All four were arrested in December 2010 after joint surveillance by Danish and Swedish security services uncovered the plot in which the

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Three days with the junkies in Aarhus

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Following his best actor win at Cannes, Mads Mikkelsen wins the lead in coming TV series ‘Hannibal’

NATO summit continues on page 3

Justin Cremer

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Mads the cannibal

NATO members. Late on Monday night, ThorningSchmidt announced that she had managed to raise almost six of the eight billion kroner. “Our effort has borne fruit,” Thorning-Schmidt said according to Ritzau. “It’s far more than we had imagined when we started the meeting.” Denmark’s commitment to Afghanistan was praised by NATO’s secretary general, and former Danish PM, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. “Denmark has made a positive contribution by being a driving force in the

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Implosion!

leave the security of the country entirely in the hands of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). Despite the agreement to withdraw forces, PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne) conceded that some foreign personnel will remain in the country. “There is no doubt that we will have Danes in Afghanistan after 2014,” Thorning-Schmidt said at a press conference. “There will be a need for military training personnel and those who can help with civilian reconstruction. And when Danes are deployed, we must also ensure their security.” There are currently about 650 Dan-

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King Frederik VII signed it into law in 1849, but now the constitution is in need of change, some MPs say

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and the Swedish security police Säpo, revealed that the men intended to attack the newspaper’s offices. She also mentioned the conflicting reasons the men had given during the trial as to why they were in Copenhagen when they were arrested. One man had said that the trip was planned to coincide with New Year’s Eve so that the suspects could enjoy what he called Copenhagen’s ‘famous’ year-end fireworks. But, earlier in the trial, the men had said that they had only been in Copenhagen to grab a bite to eat. “We only came to Copenhagen because Mounir Dhahri wanted a Big Mac from McDonalds,” said Zalouti. When the group was arrested, they had an assault rifle, ammunition, a silencer and plastic strips, which investigators initially believed were to be used

in the New Year’s Day attack. The four men, who had been charged with one count of terror crimes and two counts of violating weapons laws, showed no emotion when the verdict was read. All four had adamantly denied the terrorism charge, but Dhahri pleaded guilty to arms possession. The court sentenced each of the men to 12 years in prison for their part in the plot. The prosecution had asked for a 16year penalty, citing the preparations the men had made and pointing out that they were just hours away from making their attack when they were stopped by police. The court decided that there was not a compelling reason to give the four a harsher penalty than had been doled out in previous terrorism cases.

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men vowed to “kill as many people as possible” during a planned attack on the 2010 Årets Fund, a high-profile sports awards ceremony that is held in the Jyllands-Posten building. Jyllands-Posten has been the target of Islamic-inspired terror ever since it published cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in 2005, drawing the ire of Muslims around the world. Awad, Aboelazm and Dhahri were arrested at a flat in the Copenhagen suburb of Herlev on 29 December 2010. They had travelled to Denmark by car the night before. Zalouti was arrested at his apartment in Stockholm and later extradited to Denmark. Judge Katrine Eriksen said that the evidence revealed that the men were a terrorist cell and that communications, which had been intercepted by both PET

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Time is running out for jailed activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja as Bahrain stonewalls Danish diplomatic efforts

Our new section gives you all the seasonal lifestyle advice you need. First up, gardener Toby Musgrave

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25 - 31 May 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 21

Fake boob contest has mysterious end

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MOHAMMED ALJISHI

Alleged increase in cross-border crime used in defence of border controls never existed

I’m not sure where my idea for a Euro 2012 wallchart came from. In the past, I’ve done bar previews for football championships that show off the multicultural identity of our city, but had overlooked doing something to celebrate the international make-up of our Terror suspects guilty of planned Jyllands-Posten attack own office. Maybe it was some A banter between Mike the Dutchman and Claudia from Portugal that made ifair 2012 thE chilDrEn’s th me realise that with Franziska the German ballet i ii i writer, we had all of Denmark’s opponents in the Group of Death – it would have been rude not to include photos with employee expectations. With a compressed game plan (it would have been harder for the World Cup!), it had the makings of a great double page spread. But compiling it brought a few challenges, given our budget of a mere zero kroner. Take the German shirt that Franziska wore. We looked for one via Facebook, picked it up from a bar off Gothersgade, and then dropped it off in Lyngby – it sounds like a really sordid date. But in the end, it was worth it.

Film’s skin colour-based rejection sets off debate

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PE

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In a rocky year for the Danish state church, the voices calling for a separation of the church from the government got ever louder. After even his own party had questioned the relationship between Time to split? church and state, Church 4 Minister Manu Sareen Denmark’s Afghanistan efforts earn praise at NATO summit (Radikale) set up a commission to look at “modernising” the Church of D Denmark (folkekirken). A new A new The church-state relaworld executive mba tionship was further – and severely – strained with the June law change that allowed homosexuals to get married in church. Another sign that the church’s sway over Danes is waning emerged in the form of a change allowing citizens, who are default members of the church upon birth, to withdraw by sending an email to their local priest. The discussion over whether to separate church and state has increased since May, when Norway opted to formally separate the two. Some 20,000 Danes – a historically high number – left the church in 2012. City’s goal: Carbon neutral by 2025

ILDRENN’ ’S CH

14 - 19 April 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 15

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BLACKOUT! Drugs, dance and defiance

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Abulhadi al-Khawaja finished 2012 in the same place he started it: a Bahraini prison. Despite the efforts of the Danish government, al-Khawaja remains jailed in Bahrain on charges of plotting against the state. Tick, tock Al-Khawaja spent over a 4 decade in Copenhagen and New immigration laws set to kick in next month earned Danish citizenship. His role in the Bahraini W uprising earned him the admiration of many of his A new A new countrymen, but the wrath i world executive mba the children’s fair 2012 of the Bahraini authorities. i Jailed since June 2011, i i i i al-Khawaja has been subjected to torture, violence and sexual abuse at the hands of his captors, and his 110-day hunger strike brought him international attention and another spot on our cover (left). Denmark’s massive diplomatic effort to have him released included a personal appeal from PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt, but despite political pressure, Queen Margrethe refused to get involved or to take back the Storkors she gave the king of Bahrain in 2011. City well placed in competitiveness study

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June

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April Iraq War commission to dig into past decisions

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Year in Review

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THE COPEN 11 - 17 May 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 19

18 - 24 May 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 20

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Are Danes impolite? That depends on who you ask, of course, but columnist Frank Theakston has some thoughts

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Part two of our photo essay on the lives of junkies in Aarhus takes us inside a popular community centre

2020 vision: government releases financial plan RAY WEAVER

London calling! Get the low-down on the Danish Olympic team as it gears up for the 2012 Games

ii i ii i i i i i

Nørrebro community centre aims to change the asylum experience

Jobs and education key points of economic 2020 plan

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HE PUBLIC sector needs to shrink, Danes have to get back to work, and young people need opportunities for education and jobs. Those are some of the conclusions reached in the government’s 2020 plan. Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne), Foreign Minister Vily Søvndal (Socialistisk Folkeparti) and Economy Minister Margrethe Vestager (Radikale ) unveiled the S-R-SF government’s long-awaited plan at a joint press conference on Tuesday morning. “We believe it is possible to maintain the welfare state, but only if more Danes

can find work,” said Thorning-Schmidt. The blueprint calls for finding 180,000 new jobs by 2020 and a public/ private plan to get young people back into the workforce. The prime minister said the money to create new partnerships between businesses, schools and the government would come via savings realised by streamlining the public sector, cutting defence costs, and trimming public initiatives like flex and retirement plans. The plan calls for private sector economic growth of 2.25 percent per year until 2020. Education and greater opportunity for young people were also major lynchpins of the 2020 plan. Søvndal said that Denmark risks losing an entire generation to unemployment and a lack of opportunity.

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“We are convinced that young people will work and want to contribute to society. They just need a chance,” said Søvndal. The plan calls for 60 percent of students to undertake continuing education – up from the current 54 percent. The plan also calls on businesses to create opportunities and apprenticeships for students and new graduates. While the plan calls for 2.25 percent growth in the private sector, public growth would only be 0.8 percent annually. Frank Aaen of Enhedslisten released a statement that indicated strongly that the government would need to make some serious changes in the plan before it could count on his party’s support (see related story on page 3). “Wage earners, the unemployed and people with disabilities are footing the

They’re back! Dating the Danes returns. This week: Snogging Down Under ... and against the wall of a bank

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TATE-RUN marijuana dispensaries won’t be popping up in Copenhagen any time soon after the Justice Ministry this weekend turned down the City Council’s request to experiment with legalising cannabis in the city. In a letter to the council, the justice minister, Morten Bødskov (Social-

demokraterne), wrote that the govern“It’s very disappointing,” Warmment could not permit the experiment ing told public broadcaster DR. “The as they believed that legalising marijuana prohibitive policies we have operated would probably increase both availabil- under in Denmark for so many years ity and use, which was unwise given the have not worked. You can still buy canrange of side effects that cannabis has nabis on street corners across the city, been linked to. which also means the cannabis is mixed “Because of this, the government up with other harder drugs. Criminals will not permit the experiment,” Bød- also pocket about two billion kroner a skov wrote. year from the trade.” The rejection was met with disapWarming added that he would pointment from members of the City continue to work toward the legalisaCouncil, including the deputy mayor tion of marijuana, pointing out that it for social affairs, Mikkel Warming (En- took ten years to convince parliament hedslisten), who argued that legalisa- of the need for an injection room for tion was the only solution Organise to the crime a users of hard drugs. personal meeting caused by the illicit drug trade. City Council member, Lars Aslan and sit in on aAclass.

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Rasmussen (Socialdemokraterne), also criticised the government’s decision, arguing that the criminalistion of marijuana was the root cause of the high level of gun crime in the city. “[Legalisation] would limit the gang conflict and it would also give us access to the group of users who have been left to the criminal environment,” Rasmussen told Ritzau. “We had hoped that they would take our proposal seriously, as we have the support of 80 percent of the City Council. Copenhagen has a serious problem because the gang conflict is a result of the trade in marijuana. The gangs turn over more money than 7-Eleven.”

CULTURE

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Agony and ecstasy Danish drama ‘Borgen’ cleans up at the BAFTAs, but Danish entry bombs at Eurovision

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The arrest of two Danish-Somali brothers is the first time potential terrorists arrested on home soil have received proper training, according to an expert

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OMESTIC intelligence services have picked up two DanishSomali brothers suspected of plotting a terrorist attack. The two brothers, who are believed to have connections to the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab, were arrested on Monday evening and appeared in an Aarhus court on Tuesday for preliminary questioning. One of the brothers was arrested in Aarhus while the other was arrested at Copenhagen Airport. Authorities have

ransacked two addresses in connection prison for breaking terrorism laws. with the arrests. PET and police in east-Jutland are Domestic intelligence agency PET continuing with their co-operative efsuspects the brothers, aged 18 and 23, forts to investigate the case, while the of planning a terror attack in Denmark. two brothers are expected to be remandPET said they heard them discuss po- ed after the preliminary questioning. tential targets, methodology and weapPET said that the arrests had defionry. Both brothers are Danish citizens nitely averted an act of terrorism. of Somali heritage who have lived in the “It is the belief of PET that a conAarhus area for about 16 years. crete terror action has been prevented One of the brothers is suspected to with these arrests,” PET wrote on have received training at an al-Shabaab its website. “But these arrests do not base in Somalia, which is a first for a change the assessment of the terror terror arrest in Denmark, according to threat level in Denmark, which is still Hans Jørgen Bonnichsen, PET’s former viewed as serious.” head of operations. Jacob Scharf, the head of PET, said “It is the first time that an individ- that between 25 and 40 Danish-Somalis ual arrested in Denmark has received have received training or participated in training,” Bonnichsen told Politiken activities organised by al-Shabaab, and newspaper.  many of meeting those involved were reOrganise a that personal The brothers could receive in on cruited by operatives in Denmark. and life sit in a class.

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Peter Skaarup, a spokesperson for Dansk Folkeparti, was shocked by the number and said that anyone who has trained in the camps or has ties to alShabaab should be prevented from entering the country. “The number is very surprising. Anybody who’s been in a terrorist training camp should never be allowed to enter Denmark again,” Skaarup told JyllandsPosten newspaper. AarhuSomali, a group of Somali organisations, has vowed to help authorities with the case. “I am concerned, shocked and sad about the situation concerning two young Somali brothers arrested for terror,” AarhuSomali spokesman Abdirahman M Lidle told Ekstra Bladet. “We want the case to be solved and will help any way we can.”

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Euro MPs lambast Denmark over border control PETER STANNERS

Twin and donkey show Where censors fear to tread, Danes rush in. Banned in the US, ‘Fear Factor’ episode is shown on TV3

The decision by EU ministers to allow member countries to introduce border controls left European Parliament feeling it was being sidelined

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ENMARK has reached a lowpoint in its six-month EU presidency after MEPs launched vicious attacks on the justice minister, Morten Bødskov, over changes to the Schengen Border agreement that circumvented the European Parliament and the European Commission. The row concerned last week’s decision by European justice ministers to bypass the two EU bodies to allow member states to introduce border controls with Schengen members that per-

sistently fail to protect their borders with is no longer a credible interlocutor. From non-EU states. now to June 30 at midnight, we shall adWith Denmark chairing the negotia- dress ourselves exclusively either to the tions, it became the target of the MEPs’ European Council or informally to the attacks, and allegations were made that next presidency of the Republic of Cythey had acted undemocratically and prus,” Dual said. undermined the borderless principles be“We simply will not accept this. We hind the Schengen agreement. must challenge the council’s decision “You have broken the relation of before the European Court of Justice,” trust with this parliament and broken said Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the away from the community method, liberal ALDE group. “We should halt all which guarantees that larger member ongoing negotiations in the area of jusstates cannot impose their will on smaller tice and home affairs under the Danish ones,” Joseph Daul, the leader of the cen- presidency.” tre right EPP group, told the parliament. Some MEPs also accused the DanDaul called for parliament to refuse ish presidency of appealing to popto work with the Danes for the remain- ulism by allowing inter-Schengen border of its presidency, while others prom- der controls. ised to legally challenge the move. It did not help Bødskov that Denmark “For my part, starting from the a was the target ofmeeting heavy criticism in the EU Organise personal evening of June 7, the Danish presidency after chose to introduce customs conand sit in on a itclass.

A small community garden in Nørrebro is raising spirits and pushing out drug dealers

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Join Scandinavia’s most internationally diverse program your career a new dimension. Organise a personal meeting E-mail lm.mba@cbs.dk or call 3815 6022and sit in on a class The general management full-time MBA at CBS focuses on toone-year organise a personal meeting. Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Practical Business Skills. E-mail lm.mba@cbs.dk or call 3815 6022 to organise a personal meeting

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Scandinavia’s secret: What’s the British attraction with our shows?

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Ambitions for sustainability conference in jeopardy PETER STANNERS

Polar poster boy Peter ‘the Great’ Freuchen was a legend of the Arctic revered as an adventurer, resistance fighter and even a film star

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Border control continues on page 10

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trols at the behest of the anti-immigration Dansk Folkeparti last summer – though the new government elected in September promptly removed them. The changes to Schengen stem from concern voiced last year about the threat to the EU from the large influx of migrants created by the Arab Spring uprisings. Specific concerns were raised by France over the tens of thousands of Libyan migrants who had been given sixmonth residency in Italy and could travel freely throughout the EU. Last week, EU justice ministers voted unanimously to allow the introduction of border controls between Schengen members, but only after large-scale illegal immigration had been identified through careful monitoring.

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Weeding out crime

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“You may now kiss the groom!” Same-sex couples can now marry in Danish churches

On the road: Travelling the cycle superhighway proves a bike path too far for the average commuter

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New deal will allow asylum seekers to live among us, but only if they agree to go home

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PET arrest two, foiling “concrete terror action”

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“It should pay to work” G3, G9

City Council members criticise the decision, arguing that legalisation is the only solution to the crime created by the booming and illicit trade of cannabis

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Government rolls out its tax reform plan

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China critics say they were silenced during visit of President Hu

Kindness or killing?

Ahead of the photography festival, a look at the best services on offer and an icon who bathed in Hitler’s tub

Government rejects proposal to legalise cannabis

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Ethics experts are discussing assisted suicide again, and this time around, not all of them agree it’s wrong

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bill, while wealthy Danes can count on tax cuts,” Aaen said. “This was probably not what the voters expected when they elected a social democratic government.” During last year’s campaign, the S-R-SF coalition promised 1.4 percent growth in the public sector. Thorning-Schmidt said that tough times require tough measures. “The whole world has been through a severe crisis that has also seriously affected Denmark,” said the prime minister. “Even getting to 0.8 percent requires tough decisions.” The PM declined to say when the government would start negotiations with its partners and parliament on the 2020 plan, but acknowledged that the SR-SF coalition is a minority government and that it would need help getting the 2020 plan approved.

After 110 days, the most prominent hunger striker – Abdulhadi al-Khawaja – decides to eat again

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On track. Off message.

22 - 28 June 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 25 NEWS

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PHOTOS

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Beer war brewing! Ale fans are in for a treat this weekend as not one, but two, beer festivals take place

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The Children’s Fair is back and it’s grown. Find out why Danish companies are keen on foreign kids

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... but not in Bahrain

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Bonjour Monsieur Hollande Danish leaders were quick to congratulate France’s incoming president François Hollande

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Several groups of protesters stage hunger strikes nationwide to bring attention to their uncertain futures

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15 - 21 June 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 24

Denmark’s only English-language newspaper | cphpost.dk SCANPIX/KELD NAVNTOFT

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A former minister’s comparison raises eyebrows and reveals “frightening homophobia”

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1 - 7 June 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 22 SCANPIX/NILS MEILVANG

PETER STANNERS

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The achievement gap between the nation’s private and public schools continues to widen

Denmark’s only English-language newspaper | cphpost.dk

Danish ministers attending the global sustainability conference may have to lower their expectations as concern is voiced over ‘weak’ commitments to global sustainability

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HE ENVIRONMENT Ministry is pushing for a ‘green GDP’ and a global commitment for sustainable development at the United Nations Earth Summit. Thousands of participants from governments, NGOs and business have gathered at the conference, more commonly referred to as Rio+20, with the aim of creating a global vision for tackling the stress on resources brought about by climate change and an expanding global population.

Ahead of the conference, the environment minister, Ida Auken (Socialistisk Folkeparti), said there was a need for growth and development that can lift people out of poverty. “But if there are to be enough resources for everyone, we need to move toward a green economy,” Auken wrote in a press release. “We need businesses to integrate environmental concerns into the core of their work. That is what we will achieve at Rio+20 through concrete decisions and a transition to a green economy.” The development minister, Christian Friis Bach (Radikale), was a key player in bringing together 105 countries to make a joint declaration last week calling for global goals on sustainability and a green economy, and to ensure stronger global organisations.

“The common declaration underlines that more and more poor countries no longer see the development of a green economy as a limitation, but rather as an opportunity to create sustainable growth and new workplaces,” Bach said in a press release. Bach also stated earlier this week that Denmark would donate 10 million kroner for research into how to integrate environmental costs into calculations of GDP. Denmark will also be a trial country for the new ‘green GDP’ measurements. Global leaders flew into Rio on Wednesday to discuss the final draft text that was released on Tuesday night by the Brazilian hosts after weeks of negotiations. But alarm was immediately raised on Wednesday morning by a number of or-

ganisations, who say the text is so weak that it would be useless in the transition to a more environmentally sustainable global economy. “Nobody in that room adopting the text was happy. That’s how weak it is,” the EU’s climate commissioner, and former Danish environment minister, Connie Hedegaard, tweeted. “Rio cannot afford not to have concrete results. Rio must get it right,” Hedegaard added in an opinion piece for EurActiv, an EU news website. Concern focused on the lack of timetables, financing and environmental monitoring. Aspects of the text that were welcomed included commitments to eliminate fishing subsidies that contribute to overfishing, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, and strengthening the UN environment agency, UNEP.

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Northern Europe’s leading Executive MBA and is moving with the times. Join a life-changing career-enhancing journey. Move thethe times Join awith life-changing and career-enhancing journey. Move with times Information Meeting 7th June 2012 Join a life-changing and career-enhancing journey Personal Join a life-changing and career-enhancing journey Information Meeting 7th June 2012Meeting at your convenience Sign up via www.cbs.dk/embainfo Personal Meeting at your convenience Next starting September 2012 or call (+45)2012 38 15 60 21. Nextclass class starting September Sign up via www.cbs.dk/embainfo For more information call +45 3815 6021 For more information orvisit call (+45) 38 15 60 21. call +45 3815 6021 or www.cbs.dk/emba

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October

November

December

For the better part of autumn, Morten Storm was the gift that kept on giving. The former biker Exclusive: Brits feel gang member turned milibetrayed by PET agent tant Islamist turned double 4 agent came forward in Jyllands-Posten newspaper in October and detailed how he infiltrated the terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki’s inner Shake-up: Out with the new, in with the old circle while working with both PET and the CIA. T The CIA used Storm’s information to kill al-Awlaki Full-time MBA in a drone attack, throwing Storm into the midst of well, a storm. In the weeks that followed, more allegations continued to surface – one each more seemingly outlandish than the next. From providing a Western wife to al-Awlaki to being offered hush money from PET, Storm let it all out. But many questioned his intentions and his integrity, including those I spoke to who knew Storm from his time in England and claimed that he was a hot-headed “infiltrator” who tried to sell drugs to young Muslims. With PET head Jakob Scharf now denying that the agency participates in targeting killings, despite audio evidence from Storm that contradicts this claim, it’s a safe bet we haven’t heard the last of this story. Which is probably just the way Storm would have it.

The American election this November was always going to attract a great deal of media attention. But how can we explain the focus on the US when the EU and China are arguably just as significant when it comes to affecting the lives of Danes? ARE WE LOOKING THE WRONG WAY? 4 China, for example, is exBudget deal kills fat tax and leaves allies unhappy pected to invest billions of kroner in mines in GreenA land over the coming years, while the EU sets about 80 percent of DanLearn Danish! CBS ExEcutivE MBA ish legislation. Shouldn’t we be spending more time reading and writing about them? Well, it’s not quite as simple as that. The American presidential election was seen by many Danes as a classic battle of good versus evil, while they regard the EU as a complicated and bureaucratic institution and China as a difficult culture to relate to. The hardly-unsurprising message is that having an easy story to tell will increase the number of column inches the story gets. But given this truth, it’s worth asking whether we’ve got our priorities, and attention, focused on the right place.

Let’s face it, 2012 was a tough year for many people. Denmark is still mired in an economic downturn, jobs have been sparse and those lucky enough to be employed find themselves working more for less. But nothing is better Bewa e he ma p for forgetting one’s woes than the infamous Christm m mas lunch, the julefrokost. For many, the holiday seaF son offers a way to focus on not what went wrong Do you speak Dan sh? during the year, but rather what went right. However, the julefrokost offers some well-known obstacles that must be overcome before the passage to a, hopefully, more joyous and prosperous 2013. A jovial year-ending celebration that draws people closer together during times of sub-zero temperatures and blustery winds sounds innocent enough. But it has a dark side that many succumb to – particularly uninitiated foreigners spending their first year in Denmark. The gregarious consumption of schnapps, Christmas beer and gløgg can combine to produce outrageous and volatile behaviour, much to the consternation of co-workers and bosses. To this end we offered our julefrokost novices six tips on what NOT to do when taking in the delights, or nightmares, of the traditional Danish work feast. We hope you took it to heart.

2014 World Cup dreams lie in tatters

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Breivik play garners international attention

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19 - 25 October 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 42

Renaissance Music Fest guide inside

Denmark’s only English-language newspaper | cphpost.dk

Birmingham resident says Morten Storm was a violent man who brainwashed youths and sold them drugs

Oops! Air Force’s redaction blunder adds to fallout of an already damaging report

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Tourist’s family sues

Family of American killed by runaway lorry on Strøget seek compensation from the city

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InOut

An old hand has added two new faces to bring us Pinter’s classic ‘Old Times’

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BUSINESS

PETER STANNERS

Neighbour wars

A government reshuffle adds experienced left-wing politicians but PM insists government will pursue the same policies

Sweden’s tax cuts and Norway’s protectionist measures heat up Scandinavian rivalries

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HE GOVERNMENT performed its largest shake-up since last year’s election and replaced two of its ministers on Tuesday morning. The reshuffle was widely anticipated after Villy Søvndal stepped down as leader of Socialistisk Folkeparti (SF) in September and a five-week election campaign was carried out to find his replacement. Søvndal’s departure as leader was seen as a reflection of dissatisfaction in SF’s heartland following a precipitous drop in confidence by voters follow-

ing the election. SF polled at about 20 percent amongst voters three years ago, against about six percent today. 51-year-old Annette Vilhelmsen, a relative political novice who was elected to parliament last year after her third attempt, won a landslide victory over Astrid Krag on Saturday to become the new party leader. With almost 20 years experience in education, Vilhelmsen’s defeat of 29-year-old Krag – a career politician with little professional experience – demonstrated a will by SF members to return to more traditional roots. Among Vilhelmsen’s first decisions were appointing herself as the new business and growth minister in place of the recently-resigned Ole Sohn and firing Thor Möger Pedersen as the tax minister. Pedersen has been replaced by Holger K Nielsen, an MP for SF between 1981

and 2005 (bar three years) and the party’s leader from 1991-2005. The 26-year-old Pedersen was given a ministerial post despite failing to get elected in the last election. He was, however, a key strategist who over the past five years helped turn SF from a ‘protest party’ into a party with ambitions for power. His efforts helped SF assume a position in government for the first time ever last year after it entered into an election coalition with the Socialdemokraterne (S). It may then seem ungrateful to dismiss Pedersen from his post as tax minister after only a year holding the position. But clearly Vilhelmsen was looking for different qualities from one of SF’s key ministers in a three-party cabinet that spans the policial spectrum from the centre to the left. And if anyone can argue SF’s case, it

is Nielsen. Throughout his long career he served as the party’s spokesperson on defence, foreign affairs and media and also occupied powerful positions, including a stint on parliament’s executive committee. Reports now suggest that Nielsen will be expected to extend his influence as member of the government’s powerful co-ordination committee that, under PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s (S) leadership, has the final say on the political line taken by the government. Whether the new SF ministers will end up moving the government further to the left remains to be seen. Two days of talks between Vilhelmsen and Thorning-Schmidt seemed to establish that SF would not challenge the pre-election policy agreement with S. And, of course,

Shake-up continues on page 5

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Huge SAS cuts aim to avoid permanent grounding

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16 - 22 November 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 46

Oh, Christmas tree! National drama rages

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Denmark’s only English-language newspaper | cphpost.dk

JUSTIN CREMER

JYLLANDSPOSTEN

NEWS

If you had a week like Viktor’s, you’d smile too

NEWS

Pension funds invest in companies that produce drones which are “terrorising” civilian populations

6

NEWS

PET hid terror suspect’s alibi

Intelligence agency neglected to say that video surveillance showed that defendant never left his home

5

OPINION

If not for her helmet, we might not have had another ‘Brick by Brick’ column from Stephanie Brickman

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COMMUNITY

Shaking a leg with Henrik

The president of the Danish American Society on embracing diversity and dancing with Prince Henrik

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KEVIN MCGWIN

Far-left agrees to budget that scraps maligned levies and temporarily helps those facing benefit cuts, but negotiations leave them unsatisfied

FTER two months of negotiations with parties on both sides of the political aisle, the government over the weekend agreed on the details of the 2013 budget with its far-left ally, Enhedslisten (EL). The first details of the 690 billion kroner agreement between the Socialdemokraterne-led coalition and EL began to fall into place on Saturday with the elimination of levies on fat and sugar (see related stories on pages 5 and 15).

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day and evening classes

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e-learning combined with classes

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focus on pronunciation

On Sunday, both sides shook hands on a budget that will reduce the 2013 deficit by half, to 36.5 billion kroner, after EL received a guarantee that jobless benefits set to be eliminated at the end of the year would be extended until July. Calling the deal a “temporary solution to a permanent problem”, EL leader Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen said her party had agreed to the budget, even though it considered it flawed. “We didn’t do this for the government’s sake,” Schmidt-Nielsen said, speaking during a press conference after refusing to appear with the government’s negotiators after the deal was signed. “We did this for the thousands of people who wouldn’t have had any money come January 1.” Schmidt-Nielsen admitted on Sun-

day that the budget negotiations made it clear that her party had mistakenly thought the government stood further to the left than it actually did. Nevertheless, she underscored that the 2013 budget had set aside funds to areas EL had sought funding for, including a number of social welfare programmes, public transport and renewable energy. Political commentators said it was unprecedented for a party not to appear together with government representatives after shaking hands on a budget deal, but the finance minister, Bjarne Corydon (Socialdemokraterne), nevertheless underscored that the budget had been something all parties involved had agreed to. “The budget has been agreed upon,

and Enhedslisten was a part of the productive negotiations that brought it about,” he said in a statement. Within EL, however, the decision to accept the budget has led to turmoil. EL executive committee member Bjarne Thyregod told Politiken newspaper that the budget agreement represented “a betrayal of our ideals” and called for the election of a new executive committee. Nine of the 25 members of EL’s executive committee voted against the budget. 2013 budget winner and losers

Government says budget will “create jobs and prosperity for Denmark” page 5 First-in-the-world fat tax repealed page 5

Business leaders: fat tax was a failure page 15

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Peter Stanners

Just n Cremer

Chr st an Wenande Here we mo’ again: Time to ditch the razor

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‘Pay to swipe’ fee has politicians ready to fight

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26 October - 1 November 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 43

Forget autumn, this is the season of the witch

2 - 8 November 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 44

Denmark’s only English-language newspaper | cphpost.dk

Denmark’s only English-language newspaper | cphpost.dk COLOURBOX

COLOURBOX

NEWS

Solar panels have become incredibly popular, but many are installed incorrectly and can lead to damage

5

NEWS

Two-speed Europe The PM looks to her Swedish counterpart to ensure that Denmark is not left in the slow lane

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Crime doesn’t pay

NEWS

(and not for the state either) Denmark has tried to get tougher on crime, but it has run into a funding and space issue

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The new Bond film, ‘Skyfall’, is out. Does it reach for the sky or fall flat on its face?

G18

CULTURE

PETER STANNERS

Fued brewing Zentropa Films sues Ekko film magazine for libel; nothing but a ploy to bleed them dry, says expert

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Iraqi abuse video leads to cover-up allegations Video surfaces showing Danish military personnel looking on as Iraqi forces abuse prisoners, leading to a new investigation

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HE DANISH military is reopening an investigation into whether Danish soldiers failed to intervene when Iraqi security forces abused prisoners. The announcement arrived one day after a former intelligence officer, Anders Kærgaard, released a video that proved Danish forces did witness abuse. The military has previously denied that the soldiers had any cameras, and even last week on Thursday, the day Kærgaard’s video was made public, the Defence Command stated that it

did not know that Danish soldiers had witnessed abuse. “It is with great regret that I can reveal that the military has passed on information that turns out not to be comprehensive,” the Chief of Defence, General Peter Bertram, stated in a press release. “It is not good enough, so now I want a thorough investigation of the actual events.” The prisoner abuse case is based on claims made after a September 2004 large-scale joint mission called Green Desert, in which the Danes worked alongside American, British and Iraqi forces. Following the mission, an Iraqi newspaper published a story claiming that Danish soldiers stood by while 36 prisoners were abused by Iraqi security forces. The military has repeatedly denied

knowing anything about the abuse, and in February 2011, the Military Prosecution Service decided not to pursue a criminal case due to a lack of evidence. After the revelations, however, the Military Prosecution Service said it would reconsider the case and would meet with Kærgaard next week, though no details about the meeting were revealed. Following the decision not to pursue a criminal case, eleven Iraqis launched a civil case against the Ministry of Defence and are each seeking 50,000 kroner in damages. Kærgaard’s video will be entered as evidence into a case that the Iraqis’ lawyer, Christian Harlang, fears is being deliberately slowed down by the state. Two weeks ago, several politicians demanded the state drop its procedural questions

about whether the case had passed its statute of limitations. Harlang also accused the Defence Command of lying after it declared in a written statement in December 2011 that “the Defence did not make video recordings during Operation Green Desert in Al-Zubair in Iraq on 25 November 2011”. “What has happened is fraudulent towards the criminal process, and that is a punishable offence,” Harlang told Politiken. The revelations of the video are particularly embarrassing for the Danish officer responsible during Green Desert, Lt-Col John Dalby, who had previously denied his soldiers had cameras. The video clearly shows soldiers

Military continues on page 7

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Defendants take stand in left-wing terror trial

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OLOTOV cocktails, clubs, flares, pepper spray, copies of the Anarchist’s Cookbook and a fertiliser bomb manual have all been presented as evidence in a trial against five men charged with terrorism that started this week. Four of the men were caught in April 2011 attempting to set fire to a

suburban Copenhagen police academy, and one was later apprehended by the police. They are all now charged under anti-terrorism legislation that carries a maximum penalty of life in prison for co-ordinating attacks designed to “grossly intimidate the population”. The case is without precedent as anti-terrorism legislation, first passed by parliament in 2002, has only been used to prosecute Islamic extremists such as the men that plotted a ‘Mumbai-style’ attack on the offices of Jyllands-Posten newspaper in retribution for printing the Mohammed cartoons. The men’s backgrounds have also been the focus of attention as they have all been linked to far-left activist groups

range of targets i

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OPINION

THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK

21 December 2012 - 4 January 2013

READER COMMENTS You’re still here? Ancient Danish Christmas traditions are anything but

Dear readers and partners,

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N BEHALF of the Copenhagen Post I would like to wish all of you a happy Christmas and a prosperous new year. This past year has offered its share of challenges for The Copenhagen Post – but it hasn’t been without its successes either. On the one hand, we continue to face the same difficulties as most other newspapers, but at the same time we can see that Denmark’s growing internationalisation has resulted in more people visiting our website and following us on social media. And while our news journalists continued to cover the issues facing the nation and our readers, we increasingly became a source of information for foreign media looking for information about Denmark. In the past year, our reporters were quoted by media organisations ranging from the BBC down to the Hill Country Happenings, speaking about issues ranging from the serious (including the repeal of the fat tax) to the light-hearted (including the nursery that stayed open late so parents could have time to make more babies). We again this year worked to deepen our involvement in efforts to attract and maintain highly-skilled workers. One particular area of concern for us remains the social integration of expats and their families. In order to help do our part in this area, we again organised a Children’s Fair this summer. This year’s second annual festival for expat families saw a significant increase in both the number of partners and participating organisations. With upwards of 700 families attending, 65 cultural and sporting associations on hand, as well as the police department and fire brigade, the fair was a resounding success for everyone involved. In the coming year, The Copenhagen Post will continue to make sure that decision-makers maintain their focus on not just attracting but also retaining highly-skilled labour. We will also continue to support many of the positive initiatives that have been put forth, both by lawmakers and other non-governmental organisations in this area. And I can only stress that, regardless of what people here believe, Denmark is neither the first choice for people looking to live and work abroad, nor is it as open-mined as we like to think. This is something Danes need to recognise. Denmark needs to attract highly-skilled foreign labour, and the average Dane has to be made more aware of just how great this need is. Lawmakers and the media are aware of this and have already begun a necessary change in the direction of discussions about the challenges we face in this area. But, ultimately, success rests on whether there is a clear signal from parliament that we want highly-skilled foreign labour to come to this country. Simply stated: Denmark needs foreign labour more than foreign labour needs Denmark. They can choose other countries; we have no alternative. What ought to be obvious is that talented potential employees will find their way to the country that offers them the best living standard and the most welcoming environment. It is in everyone’s interest – Danes and foreign residents alike – that we make Denmark as open, tolerant and internationally orientated as possible, both so we can secure our longterm growth, but also so that we can get through the current global economic downturn. We’re looking forward to continuing to work towards achieving this goal in the coming year. Happy Christmas from all of us at The Copenhagen Post and best wishes for a prosperous 2013.

JESPER NYMARK, CEO

The fact is that most of the cultural, and especially religious, traditions are imports – it’s all thrown into the 1,000-year history. It would burst the bubble to put it up for discussion, and then they couldn’t continue to propagate the myths; if it happens in DK, it must have originated here. Made in Denmark, period. I guess not. Djeep by website The thought of mixing things up a bit is not novel, but it counters the last bastion of Danish defence against modernity and ultimately ethnic diversity. One wonders if Danes were to start to change some of these culinary customs anchored in concrete, if the nation as a whole would then become more tolerant about their changing community. Wishful thinking, I guess. Since the nation is a country full of lemmings, it would take a popular and progressive example to bring about any change. Maybe some Norman Rockwellésque photos of the Royal Family gathered at the Christmas table with large varieties of meats and vegetables at the table could symbolise the changing nature of Danish society? Nah, forget it. Pass the rødkål please. SNCO by website It would do people good changing things now and then. It becomes very irritating when you’re forced into celebrating an event in exactly the same way, year after year. I dread Christmas precisely because it will be the same as ever, and I will be expected to sit through it all, glued to the rest of the revellers, with a grin on my face. Maybe you’ve never had the misfortune of having to endure the Danish family’s ability to drag everything out just because “that’s what we always do”? Nebsy by website I know there’s going to be tutttutting this year if I dare bring a fresh green salad to the jule table, so I won’t even attempt it. But Christmas at lunchtime? That salad is going on the table! HeidiakaMissJibba by website Firstly, I think it’s sad that the world has come to having to ‘apologise’ for wishing someone a Merry Christmas, Eid, Hanukkah or likewise – it is never meant offensively. If someone wished me Happy Hanukkah, I wouldn’t

feel they needed to apologise for thinking I may be Jewish, but rather that they had included me in their celebration. Secondly, the celebration of Christmas seems to me to be traditional in most places, along with set routines. Where I come from, we have the same food year after year, which to a greater way is what makes it Christmas (food-wise). If I suggested my family to celebrate on the 23rd for a change or have risalamande instead of bûche de Noël, I think I know what the answer would be. Thirdly, a tradition is something that happens once and for some reason is continually repeated – they don’t need to have started on a particular date 12 centuries ago to be validated. Sorryaboutthat by website Personally, I would be happy to celebrate ‘Vintersolhverv’ (winter solstice) and drink lots of mjød (mead) and eat delicious whale steak while commemorating our gods Thor and Odin, like the Vikings did. But the pseudo-Christians of today’s Denmark won’t have that. In my family though, we have actually mixed the traditional Danish Christmas meal up a bit, since we had some Norwegians visiting quite often: now duck and pork go along side Norwegian Christmas sausage and the multebær cream is made out of Norwegian wild berries. In total, the Christmas meal is one of the things done well by both the Danes and Norwegians, although I can understand how it can be a heavy meal if you haven’t tried it before. Also, never go to a Danish public church at Christmas time. The priests seem to think they are some kind of philosophers borrowing a little from Buddha, Mohammed and popular culture – it’s a complete lack of ceremony and seriousness. Ree by website I like this idea of critiquing how people celebrate their own holidays by spicing them up with attractive and fun elements from other cultures: I think the Diwali Hindu festival could be improved by the presence of some jack-olanterns and some star wars light sabres. For Passover may I suggest maybe some nice Chinese food? Or if we are telling other people how to observe – or not – their religion, then maybe the Muslim call for prayer would sound more fun, if it was set to a country tune with some yodelling added? Or is that the wrong kind of diversity? Cliff Arroyo by website

Dating the danes: A land of extremes! Be grateful you were not dating Danish men in the 1980s, when the pick-up lines were even more vulgar. But I guess American men aren’t much better. Michael West by e-mail The reason why 99.9 per cent of Danish men don’t even know what the word chivalry means is because those few man who have actually tried being a gentleman have been beaten down by uppity Danish women who just don’t get it. It took me about one year to get my Danish wife to keep her hands off the door handle and wait for me to do it when entering or leaving a building, to sit like a lady in the car until I came around and opened the door for her (“Pretend you are royalty, honey”), and not to stare at me with a WTF? expression, when I stood behind her chair and helped her as she sat down in a restaurant. She eventually got it, so Danish women can be trained, but it takes patience. I suspect that Danish men can be trained as well, but the Danish propensity to discuss everything (translation: argue about un-Danish) will severely try one’s patience. Tom by website My Danish ex already knew to hold doors open, push in chairs at the dinner table, and other such behaviours associated with treating a woman “like a lady”. On top of that he cooks, sews, writes poetry, remembers anniversaries and other important days, pampers you when you’re sick, is very affectionate and considerate and is one heck of an awesome single dad. And no, he’s not gay. There are good Danish men out there Nicole Grzeskowiak by website Exodus 2012: State church loses record number of members For such a “progressive” country that Denmark portrays itself to be, it’s amazing how it retains some of the most primitive aspects of administration, like a state church. DanDansen by website I would guess that, historically, the real reason for linking the church and the state together was to ensure that the government could control the church, so it didn’t become an opposition party in itself. It doesn’t appear that the Danish ‘Folkekirke’ (pub-

lic church) in its present state works very much at evangelism or politics, but rather as another generic public institution with a few apathetic public employees sitting in their offices twiddling their thumbs. It has already been established that the priests don’t even have to believe in God to hold their positions, and many churches admit to only having a few participants at the regular Sunday worship services. As the financial crises bite into personal and public budgets, something that provides as little value as the Danish Folkekirke is bound to go down the drain. Since Danes seem to love the tradition of going to church on Christmas Eve, Easter and confirmations, perhaps private theatres (or even the Royal Theatre) could cover this need with some sort of service or show, the cost of which would be covered by ticket sales. Thorvaldsen by website Most Danes who are still ‘members’ are just too lazy or disinterested to cancel their church tax. The truth is that most people are now free of the guilt-trip that they ‘must’ be members and ‘believe’ as dictated by generations before. Supernatural beliefs are low on the list of modern priorities, and to have a state church is totally outdated. Mythirdotheralias by website The church is a true non-entity. Kicking a stone is more exciting than attending a sermon at one of these establishments. Elsewhere it is different. As opposed to Denmark, in Germany the churches are open for the public to come in pretty much all times of the day to have a bit of quiet time. Hamish Carey by website City and driver charged with manslaughter in tourist’s death The driver is to blame for being such a knucklehead about safety Bill Jones by Facebook I truly and honestly feel for this family. I’ve dealt with enough organisations here to sympathise, and I know how hard it is to get someone to help you. I can’t possibly imagine having to get them to care about something as important as this. You just can’t avoid feeling helpless and frustrated. I think lawyers are the only ones who will get anyone to care. And even then, it’s far from guaranteed. Shufflemoomin by website

OPINION

THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK

21 December 2012 - 4 January 2013

Cornflake-fuelled language lessons

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Brick by Brick BY STEPHANIE BRICKMAN Stephanie Brickman has recently made the hop across the North Sea from Scotland to live in Denmark with her distinctly unDanish family. This 40-something mother, wife and superstar is delighted to share her learning curve, rich as it is with laughs, blunders and expert witnesses.

RACTICE makes perfect, they say. But unfortunately one of the many problems associated with learning Danish is that you don’t get any practice, which makes it hard to get perfect. “The guy in the bicycle shop down the street doesn’t speak English,” I excitedly told my classmates at Danish lessons the other day. “No really, all he can say is kvickly kvickly when he points at bicycles.” Mr Kvickly is probably wondering at this very moment why he’s had so many people in who speak dreadful Danish and never actually buy bicycles. Opportunities to speak Danish with Danes are as rare as hen’s teeth. As a result, successful purchases effected in Danish are a source of great celebration for me, although regarded with relative scorn by my daughter, who has picked up Danish like a wee sponge. Glowing with pride having bought a snow shovel and some shower curtain hooks in the hardware store recently, entirely in Danish, I asked my daughter how she thought I was doing. Was I

We had that conversation, the one about where you’re from, the one you get good at because you get to say it quite often hard to understand? “No,” she said with a pause for effect. “You’re just not very good.” For a while I thought my daughter’s friends could be a good opportunity, being as they’re too young to speak English. That was before I realised they were actually trying to come up with ways to make me say rugbrød because they thought it was so funny. The saving grace has been older people. They take the time to listen to you, they are patient, they generally speak more clearly and they’re genuinely pleased that you’re learning

Danish. It was just such an older lady I bumped into in Irma the other day – note well, Irma in the afternoon comes highly recommended as a place to find older people with whom to practice your Danish. “Is this pure butter?” She asked me, holding out a tub. I read her the text on the tub with my best soft Ds. “Where are you from?” she asked. “How lovely that you’re learning Danish ...” We had that conversation: the one about where you’re from, the one you get good at because you get to say it quite often. Bolstered with new confidence, I wandered over to the luxury olives that cost a month’s mortgage. But the best was yet to come. As I rounded the corner, the same lady stopped me again with a question about her cornflakes. I felt we were like old friends as I read her the ingredients, until she said once again: “Where are you from? How lovely that you’re learning Danish …” And, thanks to my new, old friend’s lack of short-term memory, we had that conversation all

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over again. However pointless it may seem to learn Danish, you never know when it might prove useful. Although it’s hard to imagine a critical situation that would require it, I recently came close. I have a totally irrational, longstanding fear of flying. It’s at its worst during takeoff and I find it calming to talk to whoever is next to me. To be honest, I probably seem slightly manic, but just as they’re thinking: “Lord help me, I have to get through seven hours with this woman prattling away,” there’s the moment the flight crew come round with drinks and peanuts and I realise we’ll probably live. At that point I shut up and don’t speak for the rest of the flight. On a recent long-haul flight from the US to Amsterdam, the guy next to me apologised in broken English when I tried to strike up a conversation. “Sorry,” he said, keeping a grip of the novel he was probably hoping to read. “I only speaking Kurdish and Danish …” “Nå!” I said. “Hvor er det sjovt!”

An open letter to the minister of social affairs and integration

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Grain of Sand BY TENDAI TAGARIRA Tendai Tagarira is one of Africa’s most prolific independent authors, having penned over 16 books. Also a filmmaker and activist, he lives in exile in Denmark after receiving death threats from the Mugabe regime. He refuses to cut his hair until democracy reigns in Zimbabwe. Visit www.tendaitagarira.com for more.

EAR MINISTER, I have chosen to address this matter publicly because I have come across a costly oversight in the Integration Act. In my personal experience, it fails to recognise and support foreign innovators and inventors living in Denmark and aims to create mainly employees and not employers. Remedying this could create long-term employment and boost the Danish economy. It is no secret that the Danish economy has been adversely affected by the global financial crisis. We are living at a time when the demand for jobs is much higher than the supply. Against this background, the Integration Act is failing to live up to its original premise of enabling foreigners living in Denmark to access employment and active participation in society. The integration system is designed to make you fit into society in the way the system thinks is best, but in my mind, there is more than one way to get to a destination, and some of them are worth exploring. It’s a way of life, and many self-taught foreigners, like myself, are often misunderstood. Great companies like Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Ford were started

by innovators who started in backyards, car garages and basements. People like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are all university drop-outs. They could have all become great employees of other companies, but I think the world was better served when they took the path of innovation and invention. Some foreigners who come to Denmark have this ability to create great technological inventions and think outside the box. But Denmark does not cater towards this way of doing things. I am no Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, but I like to innovate and invent. For instance, I created a movie out of a poem (with no budget) and won the prestigious Nice French Film Award of 2012. I am not saying this to sound boastful, but to illustrate a greater point. In September of 2012, I created the most diverse cultural publication in Jutland called www.aarhusblog.com after experiencing blatant racism. Within the space of four months, it has garnered over 50,000 hits and has a diverse team of 24 local bloggers and writers. Even the mayor of Aarhus has called it a great platform for people to meet and be active participants in the city. In the future there are several ways

In most cases I suffer the brunt of Jante Law. I am misunderstood because I look at things differently the website can be monetised, but for now the priority is on growing the readership. Most publications in Denmark receive support but we have received no such support as authorities don’t quite understand new media or our unique concept. We are also creating a crowdfunding platform to fund cultural, social and humanitarian projects in Jutland. With time, these ventures will create employment and opportunities for many people, but the Integration Act and Aarhus Council are failing to grasp the potential of these social innovations. Personally, I have had trouble getting the immigration authorities to recognise that what I am doing is ultimately good for society and the economy as it has the potential to employ people in the near future. In most cases I suffer the brunt of Jante Law. I am misunderstood because

I look at things differently. Getting the integration officials to support this path of innovation has proved a challenge. In their normal way of operating, I should be striving to become an employee under some already established company or institution. I have already created a non-profit institution called Aarhusblog Association to run these platforms, but the officials seem determined to get me to apply for ‘normal jobs’ like everyone else. But we all know there is rife unemployment out there. What I am doing with the community is trying to leverage the unemployment situation by creating platforms that will create employment and financing solutions for many cultural producers in Jutland. I believe there are many autodidacts in Denmark who are potential inventors and innovators. Some of them are refugees and foreigners who end up becoming frustrated with the endless cycle of searching for scarce jobs and trying to comply with the integration legislation. It would be prudent and mutually beneficial if the Danish government could tap into these opportunities and support them because that is how great initiatives and companies are born.

CPH POST VOICES

MACCARTHY’S WORLD

CHRISTIAN VALUES

STILL ADJUSTING

CRAZIER THAN CHRISTMAS

THE WORDS OF ÖZ

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TO BE PERFECTLY FRANK

Clare MacCarthy

Christian Wenande

Justin Cremer

Vivienne McKee

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Frank Theakston

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The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk

21 December 2012 - 4 January 2013

Cinemas unhappy with DFI funding

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NEWS

Christian wenande

stream film production because they are better at attracting funding. “Comparing ‘Den skaldede frisør’ Movie screen association contends that and ‘Viceværten’ is an extremely simmoving funds away from commercially plistic way of looking at it. Our job is to viable pictures will damage Denmark’s restore some of the balance that has disfilm industry in the long run appeared in recent years as other financial partners have flocked to the comhe national film academy, mercial films,” Nielsen told DR News. Det Danske Filminstitut (DFI), is “Danish film development will become drawing criticism for redirecting static if we don’t give the artistic films a five million kroner from commercial- chance, and it’s not like we’ve revoked ly viable film projects to low-budget support for mainstream film.” The DFI supports mainstream film niche productions in next year’s budgby giving money to films that it deems et. The country’s cinema association commercially viable, while a separate lashed out at DFI managing director scheme supports artistic films withHenrik Bo Nielsen after the announce- out considering their audience appeal. ment was made during last week’s Lastly, the DFI also supports minor budget presentation, contending that and co-produced films. Shaky Gonzalez, a Danish-based, the decision to focus on the niche Chilean-born direcmarkets will ultimately tor whose films include damage the nation’s film ‘Nattens Engel’ (‘The industry. Angel of Darkness’), “One of the conse‘Speak of the Devil’ and quences of what the DFI ‘Pistoleros’, graduated is doing is that fewer cin- The industry has from the national film ema tickets will be sold. focused heavily school Dansk Filmskole You risk replacing a film in 1997 and was delightlike ‘Den skaldede frisør’ on mainstream ed that more funds were [‘Love Is All You Need’] being made available to with ‘Viceværten’ [‘A films while new artistic films. Caretaker’s Tale’],” Kim directors just “I think it’s great Pedersen, the head of cinema association, Danske don’t get a chance because for the past five to ten years the industry Biografer, told DR News. in Denmark has focused Zentropa’s ‘Viceværten’, which had a budget of nearly heavily on mainstream films while new seven million kroner, received poor re- directors just don’t get a chance,” Gonviews and sold only 556 tickets during zalez told The Copenhagen Post. “Noits opening weekend – the worst ever one knows any of the faces of the Filmfor a film receiving support from the skole graduation classes of the past few years because the DFI gives so much DFI’s niche production fund. On the other hand, ‘Den skaldede support to the directors of big film frisør’, which opened in September projects. Of course, the financial criand had a budget of over 40 million sis didn’t help, but it’s nice to see that kroner, grossed nearly seven million things are starting to turn around.” Mainstream films and artistic films kroner during its opening weekend. But Nielsen said that he didn’t ex- both received nearly 50 million kroner pect the new budget to impede main- in 2011, according to DFI figures.

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“You sure nobody will ever find out about this?” “No, of course not Mr Kinnock”

PM’s husband a closet Russian film star Ray Weaver Stephen Kinnock is revealed to have landed the leading role in an unknown Russian film, after its director thought he looked “like a young Tom Hanks”

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he 2007 Russian film ‘Haute Couture Dress’ has yet to show up on any ‘best of ’ lists. In fact, most people have probably never heard of it. But the face of the trim young man playing Tim, a wealthy American who rescues the beautiful Masha from suicide and then falls in love with her, is certainly well-known in Denmark. It belongs to Stephen Kinnock, the husband of PM Helle ThorningSchmidt. Kinnock and the film’s director, Tatiana Kanayeva, have confirmed that he is indeed the lead male actor in the film. Kanayeva discovered Kinnock when, in his capacity as head of the

British Council in St Petersburg, he introduced her to a theatre director at a festival being held in the city. “I thought that he looked like a young Tom Hanks,” Kanayeva told Politiken newspaper. “I asked him if he would like to be in a movie, and he agreed to look at the script.” Kanayeva felt Kinnock did a good job and that he could have become a strong actor had he chosen to follow that path. Prior to his involvement in ‘Haute Couture Dress’, Kinnock’s only acting experience was in a nativity play when he was nine. Kinnock said that he checked with his wife before taking the role, and she told him to go for it. “She mercifully does not judge me for my acting skills,” Kinnock told Politiken. Kinnock explained that taking the role was a spur of the moment decision to do something that “seemed fun and would give me an opportunity to im-

prove my Russian”. The film has only been shown in one cinema in Russia, apparently to great success. It has also been shown on Russian television and in other eastern European countries. But Kinnock’s time in Russia wasn’t all fun and potential Oscar bids. He was head of the British Council in St Petersburg in 2006 when relations between London and Moscow hit a low point following the poisoning of Russian exile Alexander Litvinenko in London. Russian spies have also been blamed for circulating rumours that Kinnock is gay. Those rumours popped up during the final days of the campaign that saw his wife become Denmark’s first female prime minister and were viewed as an attempt to derail her bid. Thorning-Schmidt was forced to address the rumours about her husband’s sexuality after it became apparent they would be made public during an investigation into possible political misdoings during the couple’s 2010 tax audit.

Jessica Hanley A total of eight runs will be available if the plans for the new alpine-style park near Randers come to fruition

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he world’s largest indoor ski park may be coming to Denmark, according to online innovation magazine Gizmag. Danish architecture firm CEBRA is working in collaboration with travel company DanSki to design Skidome Denmark, an indoor ski park that will be near the city of Randers in Jutland. If built, the park would measure 100,000 square metres in total and offer 70,000 square metres of skiing, accommodating up to 3,000 skiers and snow-

boarders at any one time. Skidome Denmark would take the world record for the largest indoor ski facility from SkiDubai, which holds the current record thanks to its 22,500 square metres of skiing facilities. “The ski park will provide over 3km of indoor and outdoor slopes as well as a freestyle park,” Gizmag reported. The dome is designed in the shape of a six-point snowflake, with three overlapping arches that contain the slopes. Measuring 700 metres in diameter and 110 metres high, the snowflake would stretch over Denmark’s longest river, the Gudenå. Six indoor runs would be available − with two runs each for beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers − all year round.

“Indoor temperatures would be maintained at a constant -1 C,” winter sports website PlanetSKI reports. Two outdoor runs − for advanced skiers only − would also be open on the dome’s roof during winter, while other roofs are expected to host skateboarding and BMX parks during the warmer months. In addition to alpine runs, the centre would offer other facilities including a hotel, restaurant, shops, as well as changing and bathing facilities. While CEBRA has released the elaborate design details of the park, no actual plans to begin construction, or funding details, have been announced. If the plans don’t come to fruition, it won’t be the first time that an ambitious skiing project has been proposed

Skidome Denmark

World’s largest indoor ski centre planned for Jutland

If constructed, Skidome Denmark would accommodate eight ski slopes

and then rapidly shelved. A rather bizarre plan to build a ski slope on the top of the Amagerforbraending trash

incinerator in Amager was scrapped in December 2011 less than a year after being announced.

Online this week Attempt to send gift by train caused bomb scare A couple’s plan to save money by sending a package unattended on a train to a friend in Sweden backfired after the package was suspected of being a bomb. The couple placed the package on the train to Sweden that was waiting to depart from Copenhagen Central Station last week on Wednesday. But

after the package was discovered, a bomb warning was called in, leading to the station being evacuated and train traffic being halted for several hours. The couple later contacted Copenhagen Police to explain that they were the ones that had left it on the train. No charges will be filed in relation to the incident.

Stolen millions confiscated from Bagger accomplice Missing money belonging to Mikael Ljungman, the Swedish partner of fraudster Stein Bagger, has been found in two overseas accounts. Ljungman and Bagger were both given seven-year sentences in 2009 after defrauding investors of over 1.2 billion kroner by artificially inflating the profits of their company, IT

Factory. After their conviction, 200 million kroner remained missing. The public prosecutor for financial crime, SØK, announced last week that 2.3 million kroner had been confiscated from a bank account in Hong Kong, while an account on the island of Jersey – a notorious tax haven – had been frozen.

Fire at city power plant expected to burn for days Copenhagen police say that it will take firefighters several days to fully put out a fire at Amagerværket power plant. Firefighters are working on removing the wood pellets from the power plant’s silos, but it is still uncertain just how long that pro-

cess will take. Police Commissioner Allan Wadsworth-Hansen stressed to DR News, however, that there is no danger to nearby residents. “Our experience is that it can take a long time to fix it,” a police spokesperson told Ekstra Bladet tabloid.

Read the full stories at cphpost.dk

community

The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk

21 December 2012 - 4 January 2013

Props for a party where other halves mix freely with hookers

11

Photos: Christina Mark wORDS: Ben Hamilton

The Exiles international rugby club in Lyngby celebrated its annual dinner and dance on November 24 at the Dubliner pub in the city centre. It was another unforgettable occasion as players and other halves, and no doubt a few scrum and fly halves, mingled to make merry and look back on a job well done on the pitch in 2012

Rugby as a sport always looks so much more appealing when you contemplate getting to grips with the ladies’ team – although there are some right bruisers at the back

The men’s team, sporting a few Movember competitors, raise a glass to 2012

Vody good Serge! The men’s player of the year was Serge Smirnoff – I’m sure he’s heard them all before

The ladies player of the year was Sophie Rosgaard, and she won No wine here: pints for everyone. It’s a rugby club not a sorority the highest attendance award for good measure – a tankard’s worth it would seem

The guests then soaked up all the booze with a sit-down dinner … with more pints

Timed before the arrival of the snow, there were no cold shoulders, only shapely ones

Phillipe Holt won the Club Captain’s Cup for services to the club – Nicklas Gregersen was the most improved player of the year. He the cups need to be big to take all the beer arrived a lightweight and is now a member of AA

The winner of the trophy for the oldest player of the year was Nick Blake. A strong favourite to win next year, let’s hope it isn’t a poisoned chalice

The top try scorer of the year was Steven Allen – he’s going to spend the rest of his life raising his grandchildren’s awareness of Movember and men’s health issues. Good on him!

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COMMUNITY

THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK

21 December 2012 - 4 January 2013

ABOUT TOWN PHOTOS BY HASSE FERROLD UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED

A special event took place last week on Thursday when 19 children from Rådmandsgades Skole in Nørrebro joined 16 kids from the Sandholmlejren asylum centre in Amager to take part in a traditional Saint Lucia parade at City Hall. “We wanted to give the kids a positive experience and an insight into Danish society,” explained Lucas Skræddergaard from Danmissions Youth, the organiser of the event, which is a Christian organisation that works in Africa, Asia and the Middle East to encourage dialogue between different cultures and religions in an effort to reduce poverty. “They experienced a Danish Christmas tradition and got an impression of how Danish democracy works by being at City Hall.” Photographs: Anne Katrine Ebbesen

They were dreaming of a red, white, and blue Christmas like the ones they used to know at the residence of the US ambassador Laurie S Fulton (centre in red blouse) at her embassy’s Christmas reception last week on Thursday. It was a merry occasion with lots of traditional American drinks, food and songs, even if the news that Fulton will soon be leaving these shores cast a small shadow over the proceedings

French and US ambassadors Veronique Bujon-Barre and Laurie S Fulton were proud attendees at the Niels Bohr Institute last week on Friday where the annual lecture was delivered by their respective compatriots, Serge Haroche and David J Wineland, the 2012 Nobel Prize winners for physics. Pictured here are (left-right) are Fulton, Wineland, Haroche and Bujon-Barre

LIVING IN AN EXPAT WORLD Belgium’s Tiny Maerschalk, who has worked for the International Community networking platform since its foundation in 2008, knows how it feels to settle in a new country. Dedicated to improving conditions for new arrivals, here she shares her insights about the issues that mean most to internationals in Denmark

Christmas hygge and hysteria

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O come all ye faithful and many more to the residence of British ambassador Vivien Life for her embassy’s annual Christmas reception last week on Thursday. Pictured here (left-right) enjoying the proceedings are British Chamber of Commerce president Mariano Davies, Life and BCCD chairman Thomas Thune Andersen

Fredens Church was the venue for a special service last week on Thursday that featured songs sung in nine different languages, which was organised by the Tværkulturelt Center, an intercultural Christian centre. Among those gathered were asylum seekers from Eritrea, Sierra Leone and Serbia. Afterwards everyone enjoyed homemade English mince pies. Photo: Ben Lloyd-Roberts

hristmas is upon us – a time when the Danes go bananas! For many people it is the highlight of the year when one can learn the core meaning of Danish hygge. The agenda of the month is baking, making decorations, drinking gløgg (mulled wine), eating æbleskiver (Danish donuts), and attending several julefrokoster (Christmas parties) with colleagues and friends where schnapps and pork prepared in ten different ways are a big part of the menu. It is also the time of year when expats find it even harder to get in touch with Danes. Not even Christmas can bring out spontaneity in the Danes. Hygge is planned to perfection and noted in a Dane’s calendar weeks and months in advance. I have been so privileged to take an active part in the Christmas traditions ever since I arrived. It all started with a julefrokost with Danish friends where I somehow ended up in charge of the food. I am not a fan of the traditional Danish Christmas meal, so I decided to throw a vegetarian julefrokost. I was wise enough not to announce this before they sat down and had taken the first

bite. Well, the announcement press their mother-in-laws with was followed by a few minutes inside knowledge about the of silence. In their denial, they Danish Christmas and maybe started discussing whether I had even a handmade Christmas orfooled them and put meat in the nament in red and white. pâté after all. This year my family has Since I am married to a decided to put their fate in my Dane, I have hands. It only also taken took them part in Danish eight years to Christmas celbrace themebrations in a Hygge is planned to selves for havfamily setting. perfection and noted in ing the forI soon found eigner in the out that there a Dane’s calendar weeks family take reare many un- and months in advance sponsibility for written rules the most tradiand they are hard to pinpoint tional event of the year. Howevand follow. As I wanted to estab- er, I will refrain from cooking a lish and maintain good relations Danish Christmas meal. I could with my mother-in-law, I pre- probably pull it off, but I am pared myself by reading about quite sure that no matter what, the traditions. I also made up ‘it would not be the same’ for certain signals, such as a certain the Danes. look, a little nod or an almost I will do my best to make unnoticeable point of the finger this a wonderful experience. Yes, that my husband could throw to the menu will be a bit different me if I was on the verge of a big (not vegetarian), but there will no-no. be room for most of the other I have also attended many Danish traditions. However, I multicultural Christmas cel- have to draw the line at lit canebrations through International dles on the Christmas tree. I Community. We had our an- simply do not have the nerves to nual Christmas event earlier this put candles on a dried pine tree. month, and participants from As to the candles − somehow many parts of the world enjoyed Danes aren’t as prudent as I had learning some of the Danish tra- presumed. At Christmas time, ditions. I bet they can now im- they truly go all in.

COMMUNITY

THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK

21 December 2012 - 4 January 2013

13

Weird or wacky: deciphering the code that defines the Dane DAVE SMITH How are our hosts different from other nationalities? Extremely, says an anthropologist in his presentation ‘Why are the Danes so weird?’

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T’S NOT always easy coming to Denmark to work as a foreigner. Danes have a reputation for being reclusive, irreligious, naive – and weird! But according to anthropologist Dennis Nørmark, if international newcomers have a better understanding of the Danes, it gets easier to crack the code to Danish society. Some 350 internationals and a group of curious Danes attended Nørmark’s fully-booked seminar ‘Why are the Danes so weird?’ on Tuesday 18 December at Aarhus University. Nørmark took his audience on a journey through Danish mentality and culture. Judged by the reaction of the cheerful audience, Nørmark hit the nail on the head more than a few times without being too hard on the natives in the crowd. “I have lived in Denmark for quite some time now, and I’ve always wondered why Danes behave like they do without really being able to pinpoint the cultural differences,” said physi-

otherapist Katie Leabourn from Danes value the rules and trust New Zealand, who was among that they have created for the the attendees. common good. But some of “Dennis was able to iden- them make no sense to foreigntify many common Danish pe- ers. culiarities that most foreigners “I don’t understand why have probably experienced, and Danes never walk on a red light,” he did it without being mean to commented another audience either Danes or foreigners. For member, market researcher instance, I always thought that Francois Guillome from France. Danes were just closed off, but “If you are out late and there most of the time it just turns out is a red light, you will see Danes that they have a huge respect waiting patiently for the light to for others’ privacy and are very turn green even though there are formal. I actually understand no cars in sight. You don’t see Danes better now. Dennis put that anywhere else in the world. my thoughts into words.” Sometimes Danes have too According much respect for to Nørmark, the rules and just the biggest culdo as they are tural shock to told instead of foreigners often And if you get the going their own comes when chance to go to one of way.” they attend soThe seminar cial events and the infamous Danish was co-hosted are introduced Christmas lunches, by the internato the Danish tional network way of drinking please go organisations alcohol. International “If you don’t drink – re- Community and Expat in Denconsider,” suggested Nørmark. mark, who work to support in“And if you get the chance to go ternational employees and their to one of the infamous Danish families by offering platforms Christmas lunches, please go. for networking, a wide range of But be prepared for the Danes events and practical informaopening up and everything com- tion about settling in the couning out – it is like the ketchup try. The hosts were impressed effect. And when you go to the by Nørmark’s performance and office on Monday, it didn’t hap- hope that his insight can be valpen.” uable to internationals trying to According to Nørmark, settle in Denmark.

It was a fair old crowd that turned up to listen to the presentation

You know you’ve been in Denmark too long when ...

“With so many people showing up wanting to get insight knowledge about the Danes, it just proves that many internationals wish to crack the code to Danish society,” commented International Community’s project manager, Tiny

Thank the lord for the Danish Christmas biscuits that look like dung pellets

Maerschalk. “And since International Community is here to build bridges between internationals and Danish society in general, I hope that an event like this is another step in the right direction for some of the participants.”

If you didn’t attend, you’ll get the chance next year as Nørmark’s giving the same presentation in Herning on January 21, Copenhagen on January 29 and Esbjerg on January 31. See www.expatindenmark.com or www.internationalcommunity. dk for more details.

An evening of fine wine paired with politics COMING UP SOON PAMELA JUHL

Cast Calling

Scene Kunst Skoler, russell@scenekunstskoler.dk Last we heard, Scene Kunst Skoler was still searching for two Englishspeaking male actors, living in the Copenhagen area, aged 35 to 40, for a short run of a Peter Asmussen play to be played early next year.

Meetup NYE dinner

AmCham executive director Stephen Brugger with panellists Poul Erik Skammelsen and Spencer Oliver, Søren Eltorp from Iron Mountain, and panellist Søren Pind

DAVE SMITH AmCham hosts a night of US election insight, networking and exclusive American vino

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MCHAM Denmark and the US Embassy’s Commercial Service teamed up for this annual holiday reception at the Hilton Copenhagen Airport, which provided guests with a fascinating insight into the recent US election and its potential implications. After an initial taste of sparkling wine from Washington

State, guests assembled in the hotel’s ballroom for a panel discussion on lessons from the US elections. To set the scene, TV2 reporter Poul Erik Skammelsen, who is a US political expert, shared his observations about the election and why the election, which may have been the Republicans to lose, became a win for Barack Obama. Skammelsen went on to describe how both changing demographics and innovative campaigning helped the Democrats to win. Skammelsen then joined an experts panel – which included Søren Pind (MP for Venstre), Torsten Jansen (public

Keld Johnsen (right) from American Wine ensured the wine kept on flowing

affairs executive) and Spencer Oliver (the secretary general of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly) – who all more or less agreed that Mitt Romney had taken the Obama campaign by surprise by moving so far centre and, in fact, attacking Obama from the left in the first debate. On most other issues, the panellists had differing perspectives and opinions, which made for a fascinating and enlightening debate. It was clear that a key issue for the future is how the climate at Congress will evolve, and what the president can do to engage the Republicans. Finally, all the panellists were asked to consider who the

candidates in 2016 might be. While there was no clear consensus regarding the Republicans, everyone seemed to agree that Hillary Clinton would be a formidable candidate for the Democrats – if she wants to … Following the session, members and partners enjoyed a festive holiday reception featuring great food from the hotel and an American wine tasting courtesy of Copenhagen Wine (Tom Henriksen) and American Wine (Keld Johnsen and the Diplomat). This event was proof positive that the US is a diverse and dynamic country – in terms of both its politics and its wine.

Ankara, Vesterbrogade 35, Cph V; Mon Dec 31, 18.30; price: 149kr; www. meetup.com/american-233 What’s your plan for New Year’s Eve? This is the traditional question everyone asks when the last night of the year is getting closer. This time we have the answer! Joint fellow Meetup members for a tasty and saucy highquality Turkish dinner for a reasonable price! And then, when your appetite is delightfully satisfied, the real party will start!

Water is Life

European Environment Agency, Kongens Nytorv 6, Cph K; Tue Jan 15, 16:0019:30; register at www.bccd.dk/Events Water is essential to life and in the near future, due to climate change, pollution and over-exploitation, this element will be the new gold! This seminar will analyse the present situations in European countries, evaluate needs and impact, and try to figure out the possible strategies to safeguard this precious resource.

Gypsy dining

Argentinsk Vinbar Tango y Vinos, Herluf Trolles Gade 9, Cph K; Fri Dec 21, 19:00; 3332 8116; www.tangoyvinos. dk Enjoy the nostalgic and melancholic but charming atmosphere of the gypsy life: food, wine and, above all, music and dance performed by the Michael Dahls Gipsy Trio.

New Year’s Reception with Minister Margrethe Vestager

Rydhave, Strandvejen 259, Charlottenlund; Thu Jan 10, 16:30-18:30; register at www.amcham.dk US ambassador Laurie S Fulton and AmCham Denmark are pleased to invite you to a New Year’s reception that will host the Danish minister of economy and the interior, Margrethe Vestager.

Legal Integration in Europe

iCourts, Studiegaarden, Studiestraede 6, Cph K; Jan 10, 12:15-13:15; register at www.jura.ku.dk/icourt no later than Jan 9 Another step forward has been taken in the creation of a European legal system that will be recognised by every country in EU: find out more about this historic agreement that establishes a European patent court system aiming to simplify relations between companies all over the continent.

Carpe Diem!

Genforeningspladsen 54, Cph N; Sat Dec 22, 10:00; www.meetup.com/ photo-cph Seize the day and capture memorable moments in the ice rink with your camera! You will improve your technical skills and laugh with your models, making new international friends. If you are brave enough you can try ice skating and taking pictures at the same time! At your own risk!

MARIA ANTONIETTA RICCI

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YEAR IN REVIEW

THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK

21 December 2012 - 4 January 2013

Sports Personality of the Year 2012: who impressed the most this year? The Copenhagen Post’s three main sports contributors, Ben Hamilton, Christian Wenande and Bjarke Smith-Meyer, have chosen the five Danish sportspeople who have impressed them the most this year. Who will succeed 2011’s winner Thomas Bjørn as The Copenhagen Post’s Sports Personality of the Year 2012? The competition was fierce, but in the end only one sportsperson made all three lists. Read on to find out who

BEN HAMILTON

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T’S BEEN another good year for Danish sport, and it’s a testament to its depth in talent that none of the 2011 Copenhagen Post top five have made my shortlist this time around. Before I reveal who’s in it, let’s take a brief look at those who nearly made the grade. Football continues to be the country’s most popular sport, and while Christian Eriksen somewhat stalled, his fellow countrymen Jores Okore, Daniel Agger and William Kvist all

CHRISTIAN WENANDE

had storming years. And while two Olympians have made it, a special mention must go to Jonas Høgh-Christensen in the laser sailing class, who in the end faced an opponent who had history and the host nation willing him over the finish line. Meanwhile, Caroline Wozniacki had a year she will want to forget, and the swimmers’ failure to medal in London was also disappointing. So, in a very particular order, here are my top five.

Rasmus Quist

5

Thorbjørn Olesen

4

Mikkel Hansen

3

Lasse Norman Hansen

2

Most rowers are tall. Even when they’re lightweights, they tower over you. So how refreshing to see stocky powerhouse Rasmus Quist, an everyman Dane just 173cm tall, propel his lightweight double sculls partner Mads Rasmussen across the line to beat the cheating Brits. It was a victory for rump steak over steamed broccoli and fish.

As Europe’s brightest golfing prospect since Rory McIlroy, the 21-year-old snappy dresser Thorbjørn Olesen underlined his immense potential in 2012 by finishing in 9th place at the British Open and jumping into the world’s top 50, which should see him compete in all four majors next year. You know something: he might win one.

It’s no exaggeration to say that for a sustained ten-minute period during the second half of the European Handball Championship final that Mikkel Hansen produced a Maradona 1986-esque performance to carry Denmark to the title. It completed a fairy tale finals for Denmark who recovered from losing two of their first three to win their first major title since 2008. Sadly, though, they came up short in London and went out in the quarters. Hansen, 25, is the best player is the world and should be around for two more Olympics.

Let’s keep Lasse Norman Hansen’s performance in London in perspective. The omnium only made its Olympic bow in 2012, and history has shown us that vast improvements often follow introductions. And his recent two-medal haul at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup was at a championship bereft of most of the 2012 gold medallists – strange as it was once again taking place in the UK. Nevertheless, Hansen showed tremendous spirit to win gold in London, battling back from a crash in the penultimate discipline that could have derailed his bid. Just 20, he could go on to dominate for two, maybe three, more Olympics.

Frederik Løchte Nielsen

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If you’d told Caroline Wozniacki last Christmas that a Dane would win a grand slam in 2012, she would have said: “Thank you, Santa” and slept like a baby. For never in her wildest dreams could she think he was referring to Frederik Løchte Nielsen, a now 29-year-old who has never been higher than #190 in the world. Enter Jonathan Marray, an experienced doubles player who in the spring persuaded Nielsen to play in a few tournaments with him, the third of which was Wimbledon. Granted a wildcard, due mainly to Marray being British, they required five sets to see off four of their first five opponents. But as the momentum grew, so did the home support as they dug deep to see off the defending champs in the semis. The final was an emotional one, and Nielsen showed nerves of steel at critical times in the decider to see them home. In doing so he became the first Dane to win a grand slam since his grandfather, Kurt Nielsen, in 1957. Still, there’s a general consensus that Nielsen is a bit of a ninny as he’s decided not to pursue a doubles career with Marray and instead concentrate on his singles. Which is a shame as he’s hopeless on his own.

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HE YEAR 2012 was a rollercoaster ride for Danish sports, including an exciting 2012 London Olympic Games that yielded more highs than lows. Honorable mentions must go to young footballers Viktor Fischer, who should be on this list by next year, and Jores Okore, whose excellent season has resulted in a league championship and a debut for Denmark. One could also talk about any of the nine medal winners, the most since 1948, with particularly the badminton team

BJARKE SMITH-MEYER

and the rowers, including Mads Rasmussen and Rasmus Quist, making a lasting impression with their last second comefrom-behind gold against the unsympathetic British pair. There were also lows, however: the heralded swimming team coming home empty-handed, Jonas Høgh-Christensen losing the gold to Ben Ainslie on the last day of sailing, and the collapse of the men’s handball team. Nevertheless it was a solid year for Danish sportspeople and below you can find my five of the best.

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ORGET THE World Cup in 2014. Brazil may have the weather, women and wild festivities, but they don’t have ‘The Killing III’, Tuborg juleøl, and røde pølser. Sometimes it’s better to enjoy the home comforts rather than going to exotic countries, where people don’t even speak English. So maybe it’s not THAT important that Denmark’s national football team is about to crash out of World Cup qualification. Besides, it’s two years down the line.

And when you consider how great a year it’s been for Denmark’s sportspeople, it’s hardly worth worrying about the future when there’s so much we can enjoy in the past. This year has been witness to Danish Olympic Gold winners, world boxing champions, Champions League football and even the country’s growing popularity of kabaddi. So here are just a few of the stars that deserve a mention for my top five Danish sportspeople of 2012.

Lasse Norman Hansen

5

Mikkel Kessler

4

Viktor Fischer

3

Michael Laudrup

2

Jores Okore

1

Nicolai Stockholm

5

Men’s handball team

4

Thorbjørn Olesen

3

Frederik Løchte Nielsen

2

Laudrup’s first managerial position in the Premier League might not be with one of the biggest clubs in world football, but that’s what makes his success all the more impressive. Swansea currently lies tenth in the table, six points off the Champions League places. And while Laudrup may have played down expectations, his recent away wins against Newcastle (1-2) and Arsenal (0-2) have left pundits tipping Swansea as the possible dark horses in the fight for European qualification. That managerial prowess has also led to Laudrup becoming the bookies’ favourite to succeed Morten Olsen as Denmark’s national coach.

Lasse Norman Hansen

1

From the time that he made his debut for FC Nordsjælland in April of 2011, he’s won the 2012 Superliga title, played Champions League football and been called up for international duty. Oh, and he’s also been named ‘Denmark’s Best Under 21 Talent’ of the year. All at the ripe old age of 20. FC Nordsjælland may have tried to tie their star defender down by giving him a new lucrative four-year contract this year, but that hasn’t warned off the growing interest from English clubs. Okore’s already been linked to the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United, and he has been quite open about his ambitions to play abroad. “I want to play for a big club, and I want to play Champions League,” Okore told The Copenhagen Post in November. “I greatly appreciate what FC Nordsjælland has done for me in terms of development, but my dream is to play in the English Premier League.” No matter where Okore ends up, when you consider the amount of success he’s managed to achieve within the first two years of his professional footballing career, it’s difficult to imagine that he’ll still be in Denmark past the summer of 2013.

It may seem odd having Stockholm on this list, but the midfield veteran has had the season of a lifetime. FC Nordsjælland’s captain first led his team to their first ever Superliga title, before leading them during their Champions League adventure. His efforts also led to his return to the Danish national team, all at the ripe old age of 36.

It was way back in January, but the men’s handball team deserves much acclaim for becoming European champions for the second time in four years. The Danes scraped through the opening groups after losing twice, but won five straight games, including the final against the Serbian hosts 21-19.

The young golfer from northern Zealand burst onto the golf scene in earnest this year, capturing his first victory on the European Tour in a one-stroke victory in the Sicilian Open in April. His rise continued with solid performances in his first two major appearances: a top ten placing at the British Open and a top 30 placing at the US PGA. The 22 year-old’s meteoric rise sees him sit only five spots behind the top Dane, Thomas Bjørn, in the official World Golf Rankings, where he is number 50. That’s quite an achievement considering he wasn’t even in the top 100 when the year began.

Denmark’s new tennis darling, Fredrik Løchte Nielsen, could very well have deserved a place at the top of this list. Along with his British partner, Jonathan Marray, he made tennis and Danish history when he pulled off one of the greatest upsets in tennis history when he won the Wimbledon men’s doubles in July. Nielsen became the first Dane to win a grand slam for over 50 years, and the first wildcard entry to ever win the Wimbledon Men’s Doubles. To top off his amazing year, the 29 year-old was crowned the Danish tennis player of the year for the first time, breaking Caroline Wozniacki’s five-year streak.

Young Hansen was considered a solid young talent before 2012. Not anymore. After winning the bronze medal at the 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne in April, the 20-year-old from Funen burst onto the world scene during the London Olympics by capturing the gold in the omnium. Hansen showed incredible poise and mental strength when he somehow managed to claw his way back into contention despite being bruised and battered from a crash in the fifth of the six disciplines. Hansen followed up on his Olympic triumph by becoming the Danish champion in omnium, before securing a couple more gold medals in the team pursuit and the individual pursuit at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Glasgow in November. Hansen said that he plans to win the omnium and team pursuit in Rio in 2016, before following in the footsteps of his idol Bradley Wiggins by switching to road racing and eventually winning the Tour de France.

The 20-year-old cyclist didn’t really grab the nation’s headlines when he won bronze in Melbourne at the 2012 UCI Track Cyling World Championships. But he became a national hero after winning gold in the omnium event at the London 2012 Olympics. One to watch out for in Rio 2016.

The Viking Warrior’s recent victory against Brian Magee has put him back on the international scene, making 2012 a comeback year for Mikkel Kessler. Injuries have limited the boxer to only four fights in three years. But with his demolition of Magee, Kessler will be eager to get in the ring next year. Rumours suggest Carl Froch or Andre Ward will be his next opponent.

It’s been a big year for the young striker, who’s managed to break into Ajax’s first team at the age of 18, scoring three goals in seven appearances. One of the big up-and-coming star strikers of Danish football, you might say he was destined for big things as a boy when he managed to score a total of 80 goals in a single season for his childhood club Lyseng IF. His prolific statistics in front of the goal attracted the likes of Manchester United and AC Milan, after spending two years at FC Midtjylland’s academy from 2009-2011.

Business

The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk

21 December 2012 - 4 January 2013

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In or out, EU banking union will be critical to Denmark Airport completes revamp

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t is likely that Denmark will join the new banking union that was discussed at last week’s summit of European leaders. But even if Denmark chose to go the way of the UK and Sweden and opt out of the new rules and supervision of the union, Denmark’s largest banks would still have to submit to the new regulations. The new banking union is only compulsory for the 17 Eurozone countries, but the remaining eight EU countries are welcome to join it. PM Helle ThorningSchmidt (Socialdemokraterne) has argued in favour of a common regulatory body. “The common bank supervisor will create trust in our financial sector,” Thorning-Schmidt said according to Information newspaper. “It will create security for the banks’ customers.” Members of ThorningSchmidt’s party, as well as other pro-EU parties, have argued, however, that they will not take a position for or against the bank supervisor until the final details have been identified. The final negotiations to determine the structure of the new banking union will be made next

Christian Wenande

Scanpix / Erik Vidal

Regardless of whether Denmark chooses to join the union, its banks will still be affected by its rules and supervision

In a bid to accommodate the rise in foreign passengers, airport has finished renovation work costing hundreds of millions of kroner

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Helle Thorning-Schmidt talks with France’s president Francois Hollande and Belgium’s prime minister Elio Di Rupo (bowtie) during a European Union leaders summit in Brussels on December 14

year, and only then do the nonEU countries have to formally sign up or opt out. The European Central Bank (ECB) will be given new powers as a bank union supervisor that can demand problem banks to close or recapitalise if they pose a risk to the economy. As only Eurozone countries have influence within the ECB, there was concern that non-Eurozone countries would not have sufficient influence over how the union is run. A compromise reached at the summit, however, found a method to give countries that have not adopted the common currency a say.

At first, the new supervisor will cover banks with assets of over 223 billion kroner, or 20 percent of their home country’s GDP. This would mean between five and ten Danish banks would be under its supervision, while the rest would remain under Danish supervision, at least at the beginning. “The new banking supervisor will probably not be as comprehensive as the current Danish supervisor,” Jesper Ragnvild, a finance professor at Copenhagen Business School, told Information. “But we have seen how lacking supervision in other countries, such as Spain, has

been, so it may end up improving the quality of European banking supervision on the whole.” Ragnvild added that the union will end up indirectly affecting how the largest Danish banks are run, even if Denmark doesn’t join the union, because these banks will have be active in Eurozone countries. The new bank supervisor is hoped to be up and running from March 2014, at which point the Eurozone countries will be able to turn to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) bailout fund to help struggling banks instead of having to turn to their own national funds. (PS)

Signs that lost jobs are starting to return Foreign investment sees some jobs return, but unemployment levels to remain gloomy

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he outflow of jobs from Denmark seems to be slowing according to numbers from Statistics Denmark and reports from the business sector. “We have spoken to many businesses and my impression is that the outflow of jobs is flattening out,” Jan Stentoft Arlbjørn, a professor at the University of Southern Denmark, said. “I think a lot of jobs are returning to Europe and many even to Denmark.” New numbers from Statistics Denmark suggest that one in five businesses moved jobs out of the country between 2009 and 2011, which was slightly less than during the period between 2001 and 2006. “Lots of businesses left the country during the economic boom, both because they couldn’t find enough workers

here and because salaries were substantially lower in Asia,” Arlbjørn said. Arlbjørn added that many businesses have now realised that there are drawbacks to moving production to Asia despite the low salaries they can pay workers there. Transport costs are often higher, quality is lower and there is less security that deliveries will be made on time. Electronics firm Kamstrup – which makes 85 percent of its sales abroad – is one of the businesses that chose to retain production in Denmark by increasing efficiency and automatisation. “It was necessary for us to keep production in Denmark because of the high level of automatisation and technological development,” Kamstrup CEO Per Asmussen said. “But it has also allowed us to grow and expand our workforce. Keeping production in Denmark, rather than moving to a low income

country like many other international businesses have done, was the right choice for us.” While there are no statistics available for the number of jobs returning to Denmark, some evidence suggests the flow of jobs has started to reverse. For example, Chinese baby nutrition firm Biostime is financing half of the cost of expanding Arla’s baby formula factory in Videbæk, west of Herning. The factory is expected to provide 20,000 tonnes of formula to the Chinese business. While Statistics Denmark reports that employment levels were unchanged between the third and fourth quarters of this year, large-scale lay offs are soon expected from Dong, Vestas and Danske Bank. According to Nykredit Markets, November saw 2,237 announced lay offs – up from 900 last November – while unemployment is expected to rise by 15,000 by the end of 2013. (J-P)

Exchange Rates

Sell

Australian Dollars AUD

Canada Dollars CAD

Euro EUR

Japan Yen JPY

Russia Rubles RUB

Sweden Kronor SEK

Switzerland Francs CHF

UK Pounds GBP

United States Dollars USD

5.73

5.57

7.36

0.07

0.17

0.82

6.07

9.03

5.56

openhagen Airport’s busy Pier C area, which caters to all intercontinental flights coming in and out of the Danish capital, has opened following renovation work costing 255 million kroner. The area will aim to stop passenger congestion and bottlenecks from occurring at security and passport control. “The first impression of Denmark is very important so we have added 1,900 new square metres, which includes an expansion of the airport security check area and more boxes for police passport control in Pier C,” Thomas Woldbye, the managing director of Copenhagen Airport, told Ekstra Bladet tabloid. “That will increase capacity by close to 50 percent and reduce waiting times.” Copenhagen Airport welcomed over 22.7 million passengers in 2011 − more than any other Nordic airport and over three million more than Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport in second place. All passengers travelling to and from countries not in the EU or the Schengen Region must go through Pier C. Aside from the security and passport

control remodelling, there will also be new lounges and stairwells and an additional 2,200 sqm arrival tier. It is hoped that the construction project will prove as popular with the prospective passengers as it is with the government. “An attractive airport with good connections is the path to growth. Export and foreign investment depend on customers and investors having positive connections with Denmark,” the trade and investment minister, Pia Olsen Dyhr (Socialistisk Folkeparti), told Ekstra Bladet. “So I hope that the Pier C expansion will lead to more airlines choosing to add routes to and from Copenhagen.” Dyhr went on to underline how the airport is one of the biggest single employment sites in the country, with over 22,000 workers distributed amongst 500 businesses, and how an expansion of Pier C will help secure their futures. A number of airlines are already poised to jump at the new possibilities generated by the Pier C revamp. From February, Emirates will have a Boeing B777 with 428 seats making ports of call at Pier C, as will SAS (flights to San Francisco), Royal Air Maroc (to Casablanca) in March, Singapore Airlines (to Singapore) in April and Air Canada (to Toronto) next summer.

BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN DENMARK

The Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link – Opportunities and Challenges Technical Director Femern A/S Steen Lykke graduated in 1978 with an MSc from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), majoring in civil and structural engineering. He is a highly qualified project manager and has considerable experience from major international projects, including as Contract Director of the immersed tunnel and the dredging & reclamation contracts for the Øresund Fixed Link. He was subsequently appointed Project Director and the client’s representative on the Marmaray Tunnel and Railway Project in Istanbul. Steen Lykke is currently Technical Director at Femern A/S where one of his main responsibilities is to manage the development of the concept design and the contracts, and the construction and commissioning of the 18 km long immersed tunnel under the Fehmarnbelt. Programme: • 11.45: Registration and welcome drinks • 12.00: Welcome and introduction by Mariano A. Davies, President, BCCD • 12.10: Guest speaker - Steen Lykke • 12.40: Questions and discussion • 12.55: Announcements by Penny Schmith, Executive Director, BCCD • 13.00: Buffet lunch and networking

Venue 18 Januar 2013 11:45 Conference Suite on 1st floor Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Hammerichsgade 1 Copenhagen K

Non-members are very welcome. Please contact BCCD or go to www.bccd.dk for further information. Buy

6.25

6.02

7.59

Price in kroner for one unit of foreign currency

0.07

019

0.86

6.27

9.39

5.82

Date: 19 December 2012

If you would like to attend then please send us an email (event@bccd.dk) or call +45 31 18 75 58 • official media partner Denmark’s only English-language newspaper

16

THE COPENHAGEN POST THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK SPOUSE EMPLOYMENT PAGE

SPOUSE: Geet Shroff FROM: Bangalore, India SEEKING WORK IN: Midtjylland / Copenhagen / Odense QUALIFICATION: Bachelor’s degree in Communicative English from Bangalore University, India. EXPERIENCE: 8+ years of experience as Senior Copy Writer, Assistant Manager – Marketing Communications, Executive – Customer Loyalty & Communication, Customer Service Associate respectively. Through these years, I have developed content, handled complete marketing communications, organized numerous corporate (internal & external customer), private and institutional events ranging from 50 to 1000 people and also handling special projects that have included training & internal communication campaigns. LOOKING FOR: A Corporate or Marketing Communication (Internal or External) position or that of a Copy Writer at an advertising agency or a corporate house. Also open to a position at an event management company. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Danish (Beginner). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office, Adobe In Design CS3 (Basic). CONTACT: geet_shroff@yahoo.co.in, Tel: +4550834024 SPOUSE: Vidya Singh FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, Aalborg or nearby areas. QUALIFICATION: Master in Computer Management, Bachelor of Science, Certified Novell Engineer, Microsoft Certified Professional. EXPERIENCE: Total 8 years (4 year in telecommunication as customer care + 4 year as HR recruiter consultant). LOOKING FOR: HR (Trainee/Assistant/Recruiter/consultant), Customer service, office work, IT LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Hindi and Danish (currently learning). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office, Hardware, Networking, Intranet and Internet. CONTACT: vidya.singh37@gmail.com, Tel: +45 71443554 SPOUSE: Nitisha Sinha FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Masters in Geography and B.Ed EXPERIENCE: 4 years 3 months in teaching geography in schools for the middle to senior level. I was also a foreign expat teacher and General Education Officer at Ministry Of Education,of Singapore in Singapore. LOOKING FOR: Full time / Part time jobs in International School/Colleges/Universities to teach Geography. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Hindi and Bengali ( reading, writing and speaking) IT EXPERIENCE: Familiar with MS Office (Word, Powerpoint,) and Photoshop. CONTACT: nitz84@gmail.com, Tel: +45 71496579 SPOUSE: Heike Mehlhase FROM: Berlin, Tyskland SEEKING WORK IN: A job opportunity in Copenhagen (administrative position, research assistant or psychosocial care). QUALIFICATION: MPH, Master degree in Psychology, Lerntherapeutin. EXPERIENCE: Five years experience in psychological research and child psychology. LOOKING FOR: A position to expand my experience where I can use my excellent organisational, social and communication skills. LANGUAGE SKILLS: German (mother tongue), English (fluent), Danish (Module 2). IT EXPERIENCE: I am proficient in software such as word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software and basic graphic editing programs (Microsoft Office, Open Office) plus statistical software (SPSS). CONTACT: heike@mehlhase.info SPOUSE: Debjani Nandy Biswas FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Would like to join in kindergarten, School teacher in English, official work in English. QUALIFICATION: B.A., M.A in English literature and language (American, European and Indian). EXPERIENCE: Temporary school teacher in Bongaon, India and involved in social work (handicapped society). LOOKING FOR: A possibility in getting practical experiences in kindergarten or any international school, official work (administration) in English, voluntary work also. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Hindi, Sanskrit, Bengali, little Danish (currently learning). IT EXPERIENCE: Diploma in basic computer applications. CONTACT: debjaninb@gmail.com, Tel: +45 50219942. SPOUSE: Maihemutijiang Maimaiti FROM: China SEEKING WORK IN: Aarhus area, Denmark QUALIFICATION: M.Sc. In Computer Science, Uppsala University, Sweden; Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science, Southwest University. LOOKING FOR: IT jobs. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Chinese, Uyghur. IT EXPERIENCE: 1 year experience in Java programming and modelling in VDM++. CONTACT: mehmudjan@live.se SPOUSE: Deepak Kumar Koneri FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: M.Sc in Electrical Engineering specialization in Embedded Systems (Jönköping, Sweden), B.Tech in Electrical and Electronics Engineering (Hyderabad, India). EXPERIENCE: Worked as Electrical Distribution Design Engineer in Electrical Consultant company for more than 2 years. I was responsible from the start of design definition phase till the implementation phase of individual project. LOOKING FOR: Full and part time job opportunity in Energy, Robust Electronics design, PCB Design, Thermal Analyst, Design & Modelling of power systems, power optimization, simulation and also in constructional, architectural consulting organization. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English (Fluent), Hindi (Mother Tongue), Swedish (Basic) and Danish(Basic, Currently learning). IT EXPERIENCE: MS-Office (word, Excel, Power point, Visio), CFD (Mentor Graphics FloTHERM, FloVENT, Noesis OPTIMUS, Electrical CAD, Assembly Programming (PIC 16f77, 8086,8051), WireMOM, Telelogic SDL-99, C and VHDL. CONTACT: konerideepak@gmail.com, Tel: 71561151 SPOUSE: Monika Sysiak FROM: Poland SEEKING WORK IN: Greater Copenhagen / eastern Zealand QUALIFICATION: Master degree in Environmental Engineering from Cracow University of Technology. Major in Water Supply, Sewage and Waste Treatment and Water Quality Protection. Completed one semester in Environmental Engineering at Engineering College of Aarhus. EXPERIENCE: Internship during studies in designing water supply systems and sewerage systems. LOOKING FOR: Graduation programme, internship, training, part time or full time job related to my qualifications. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Polish (mother tongue), English (fluent), Danish (starting). IT-EXPERIENCE: AutoCAD, MOUSE DHI, MS Windows, MS Office. CONTACT: EMAIL: monikasysiak@gmail.com, Tel: +45 50 43 70 43 SPOUSE: Sadra Tabassi FROM: Iran SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Master of Business Administration (MBA) LOOKING FOR: Any full time job related to my qualification field LANGUAGE SKILLS: Languages Fluent in English; Native in Farsi (Persian) and elementary level of Arabic. IT EXPERIENCE: Basic knowledge about computer (Windows), Office 2010 (Word, Excel, Power Point),Statistical software (SPSS) CONTACT: sadra.tabassi@gmail.com, Tel:+4550337753

PARTNERS:

21 December 2012 - 4 January 2013 SPOUSE: Isaac P Thomas FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: East Juthland preferably Århus QUALIFICATION: Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Science). EXPERIENCE: Process Consulting, Quality Assurance, CMMI, ISO, Quality Audit, Process Definition, Software testing, software development, data analysis, best practice sharing, quality gap analysis and “sharepoint” expertise. LOOKING FOR: Process Consulting, Quality Assurance, CMMI, ISO, Quality Audit, Process Definition LANGUAGE SKILLS: Danish beginner, English, Malayalam, Hindi and Tamil. IT EXPERIENCE: 8 years experience in IT Industry in software quality assurance, software quality control, software development. CONTACT: isaacpthomas@gmail.com, Tel: +4552225642 SPOUSE: Rita Paulo FROM: Portugal SEEKING WORK IN: Great Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Architect . EXPERIENCE: I am an architect and I have experience in Project and in Construction Supervision. In the past 7 years, I have worked mainly in housing, master planning and social facilities buildings. My last employer was a Project and Construction company where I had the opportunity to complement my experience in projects together with construction related tasks, developing myself as a professional. LOOKING FOR: Job in Architecture or Construction Company. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Native Portuguese, Proficiency in English, Basic user of Spanish and Danish IT EXPERIENCE: Strong knowledge of AutoCad and ArchiCad. Experience in Studio Max, CorelDraw, Photoshop, Office tools. CONTACT: rita.vaz.paulo@gmail.com, Tel: +45 2961 9694 SPOUSE: Jik Boom FROM: The Netherlands SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Teacher EXPERIENCE: CELTA (Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) see also Linkedin profile http://dk.linkedin.com/in/jikboom) LOOKING FOR: Work in the area of teaching (English), proofreading (English) and translation (English/Dutch - Dutch/English) LANGUAGE SKILLS: Dutch, English, French, German, Danish IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office (Powerpoint, Word, Excel) CONTACT: jikboom@yahoo.com, Tel: +45 42129175 SPOUSE: Jennifer Bouma FROM: The Netherlands SEEKING WORK IN: Egedal Kommune, Copenhagen 30 km. QUALIFICATION: Managers Secretary, hands on, reliable, structured, self reliant, social, team player). LOOKING FOR: Secretary job. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Dutch, Danish, English, German, French, Italian. IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office ( Word, Excel), Outlook, SAP. CONTACT: jenniferbouma@ hotmail.com SPOUSE: Mohammad Ahli- Gharamaleki FROM: Iran SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Master degree in chemical engineering. EXPERIENCE: 5+ years as a chemical engineer in R&D oil/gas projects as a team leader or member in Iran. LOOKING FOR: A position in an Intrnational company to expand my experience and expertise. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Azeri (native), English (fluent), Farsi (fluent), Arabic (good), Turkish (good), Danish(beginner). IT EXPERIENCE: Professional (MATLAB, Hysys, Aspen plus, Auto Cad, others (Office, Minitab). CONTACT: mohammad_ahli@yahoo.com, Tel: (+45) 71 63 12 85 SPOUSE: Lillian Liu FROM: Taiwan SEEKING WORK IN: Marketing/Public Relations. QUALIFICATION: Bachelor of Foreign Language and Literature (Major in English, and minor in French) EXPERIENCE: 5+ years of professional experiences in Marketing and PR. I am a dynamic and creative marketing communications talent with substantial international working experience in large corporation and in agencies, possessing Integrated Marketing Communication ability. Proficient in analyzing market trends to provide critical inputs for decision-making and formulating marketing communication strategies. Familiar with brand image build-up, channel marketing, media communication, issue management, etc. Possess in-depth understanding/knowledge of APAC market and Chinese culture. LOOKING FOR: Marketing jobs in Jylland. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Mandarin Chinese, English, Danish, French. IT EXPERIENCE: Familiar with Windows O/S and MS Office. CONTACT: sugarex@hotmail.com SPOUSE: Simon Rigby FROM: United Kingdom (originally Scotland) SEEKING WORK IN: Jylland, Fyn or Sjælland (anywhere in Denmark). QUALIFICATION: Secondary High School - 8 ‘Ordinary’ levels & 3 ‘Advanced’ levels achieved. EXPERIENCE: Business Development, Sales & Marketing and Client Relationship Management specialist. 15+ years experience in securing ‘insurance and lifestyle benefits’ contracts with high volume and high consumer numbers within the Affinity Group Marketing sector from a wide variety of distribution channels including banks, financial institutions, large membership affinity groups and employers, credit card issuers and insurers. Highly accomplished and skilled at ‘low cost, high perceived value’ large scale marketing to B2B and B2C target audiences through both on-line and other direct marketing channels. Entire career spent in the banking, finance and insurance sectors the latter of which I have spent in the UK employment of 3 of the top 4 global insurance brokers. A team player and a ‘people person’ with the skills and abilities to easily and comfortably interact with individuals at all levels. Natural problem solver who sees opportunities rather than obstacles. Simplistic and structured approach to finding straightforward and practical solutions to problems. LOOKING FOR: A job within an organisation (financial services or otherwise) where my Sales & Marketing and Key Account managerial skills and experience are fully utilised and where I can provide a sustainable and tangible long term contribution to my new employer as well as to my new country within which I have chosen to permanently live. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English (mother tongue); German (very good); French (good); Danish (basic, but currently enrolled on a ‘Danskuddannelse 3’ language course). IT EXPERIENCE: Word - Advanced user. Powerpoint - Proficient user. Excel - Basic. CONTACT: simon040561@hotmail.co.uk, Tel: +45 60 16 80 40. SPOUSE: Debasmita Ghosh FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Pharmachemistry specialization). EXPERIENCE: 4 years in Clinical Research (Pharmacovigilance/Safety and Medical Coding) in a leading CRO (Quintiles) and 6 months experience as a lecturer for bachelor degree students in Pharmacy College. LOOKING FOR: Job in pharmaceutical industry, CRO or any vocation suitable per qualification and experience. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English (fluent written and spoken), enrolled for Danish language classes, Indian Languages (Hindi, Bengali, Kannada). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office Applications i:e Microsoft office word, excel, outlook, power point and tools, lotus notes, medical and drug softwares like micromedex and ISIS draw. CDM systems like ds Navigator-Medical coding tool and AERS database. CONTACT: ghoshdebasmita@gmail.com, Tel: +4571488438

SPOUSE: Chia-Pei CHEN FROM: Taiwan SEEKING WORK IN: Business Chinese/ Tutorial Chinese teaching in corporations, institutions or International schools. QUALIFICATION: A certified teacher of teaching Chinese as a second language. A degree in Social Science discipline. Continuously participation in training program (organized by Beijing Hanban of CHINA and CBS) to teach Chinese to foreigners in western context. Enrolment to distance Chinese teaching education system that keeps professional Chinese teachers resourceful. EXPERIENCE: I am a certified teacher of teaching Chinese as a second language to foreigners. And I have started teaching Chinese with English in my class for 2 years. I design suitable materials to teach Chinese with different phonetic systems (PinYin for China and Hong Kong, and Mandarin Phonetic Symbols for Taiwan) as well as to interpret differences between simplified and traditional Chinese characters. My past positions were Chinese language-related, such as: reporter, translator and social science researcher. Students who I taught before regard me as a sincere, discreet teacher who helps learners to progress in short time. LOOKING FOR: Business Chinese/ Tutorial Chinese teaching. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Chinese (mother tongue), English (Fluent), French (basic), Danish (beginner). IT EXPERIENCE: Word Office, SPSS statistic software, Basic Video and Audio editing, Blog writing. CONTACT: teacherchen@live.com, Tel: 25 81 65 18 SPOUSE: Momina Bashir Awan FROM: Pakistan SEEKING WORK IN: All of Denmark QUALIFICATION: MBA (Degrees Assessed by Danish Agency for International Education). EXPERIENCE: 4 years of wide experience as Human Resources Analyst in a USA based Pakistani. Organization. Involved in Recruitment of IT personnel for outsourcing, Compensation and benefits planning, Wage analysis, Conduct Training and Development Seminars and Team building. One year of Experience in Telesales of Citibank NA., 6 months of experience in Customer Services in Telecom sector. LOOKING FOR: Jobs in HR and Customer Services LANGUAGE SKILLS: English [Fluent], Urdu [Mother tongue], Hindi [Fluent], Danish [Beginner’s Level]. CONTACT: mominabashir@msn.com, Tel: +4571352387 SPOUSE: Magdalena Bogusz FROM: Poland SEEKING WORK IN: Greater Copenhagen, North Zealand QUALIFICATION: Master degree in Economy EXPERIENCE: 8 years of experience in purchasing and sourcing in Asia and Europe, knowledge of Chinese market, experience in export to Russia, and European countries. Organising exhibitions and business trips. Sourcing and purchasing for supermarkets chains stores. LOOKING FOR: Position in import/export department in trading company – buyer/sourcing specialist/purchasing specialist LANGUAGE SKILLS: Polish (mother tongue), English (professional usage), Russian (professional usage), German (basic), Danish (beginner) IT-EXPERIENCE: MS Office. CONTACT: EMAIL: magdalena.bogusz@interia.eu, Tel: 5178 1195 SPOUSE: Sucharita Reddy FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Anywhere in Denmark QUALIFICATION: Bachelor in Technology (Electrical Engineering) EXPERIENCE: 4+ years of professional experience in SAP ABAP & OO-ABAP programming for Material Management(MM), Plant Maintenance(PM), Document Management and Record Management System(DM/RM), Extended Warehouse Management (EWM), Sales and Distribution(SD) and Finance (FI) modules. LOOKING FOR: Job opportunities in IT (technical or Functional),Consulting,Management or Business Field. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Proficient in English & Hindi. Danish(learning Intensive course) IT EXPERIENCE: SAP ABAP/4 technical skills include ABAP Programs (Dialog Programming, Standard and Interactive Reports), ALV Reporting, Smartforms, User Exit and Field Exit Development, Interfacing Data with external systems, Data conversions, Programming using BDC, ABAP/4 Workbench, Data Dictionary, Batch Job management, Workflows, Adobe Forms, Webdynpro, ABAP Objects CONTACT: sucharita17.reddy@gmail.com, Tel: 0045-5271184. SPOUSE: Lorenzo Albano F. FROM: Venezuela SEEKING WORK IN: Greater Copenhagen and Capital Region QUALIFICATION: PhD, MSc in Physics, BSc in Geophysics. EXPERIENCE: Lecturer in physics, mathematics and informatics. Researcher in theoretical quantum optics and quantum information. Researcher / teacher / programmer of numerical/computational methods in geophysics, signal processing, tomographic inversion, wave propagation. LOOKING FOR: Short and long term employment, in education of science and mathematics / research / scientific computing / geophysical applications LANGUAGE SKILLS: Fluent in Spanish (native), English and Italian. Danish (Modul 3, DanskUddannelse 3). IT EXPERIENCE: MSDOS, Windows 7/Vista/XP, Linux (Ubuntu), Solaris, incl. Shell scripting. BASIC, ANSI C, C++, FORTRAN. Web: HTML, CSS, Joomla!. LaTeX2E. Mathematica, MATLAB, MS Office/ OpenOffice, PhotoShop/Gimp CONTACT: lorenzoalbanof@gmail.com, Tel: +45 50 15 98 19 SPOUSE: Nina Chatelain FROM: Vancouver, BC, Canada SEEKING WORK IN: Midt - og syd jylland QUALIFICATION: BA courses in English and anthropology, certificate in desktop publishing and graphic design, internationally certified yoga teacher since 1999. EXPERIENCE: Over 7 years experience as the assistant to the director (what would correspond to a direktionssekretær position) at an international university museum where i also was seconded to act as the program administrator – a project management internal communications role – for the museum’s major renovation project. I acted as the director’s right hand and the museum’s communications hub where I had daily contact with the visiting public, community stakeholders, volunteers and students. I have earlier worked as an editor and writer in various capacities, as well as a desktop publisher/graphic designer. LOOKING FOR: An administrative role in a creative company that needs someone who can juggle a variety of projects and use excellent English writing and editing skills LANGUAGE SKILLS: English (mother tongue) and Danish (fluent comprehension-studieprøven / university entrance exam). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office Package, PC and Apple, have earlier worked with various desktop publishing software, quick to learn new software and systems. CONTACT: nina.chatelain@gmail.com, Tel: +45 29707430 SPOUSE: Dr Tessa Kate Anderson FROM: UK SEEKING WORK IN: University, education, research, social science, geography, GIS, spatial analysis, urban geography. EXPERIENCE: PhD from UCL (UK) in GIS and road safety, Assistant Professor at University of Canterbury, New Zealand for 3 years, Assistant Professor in GIS at University of Queensland for 1 year, Research Fellow at University of Hong Kong for 3 years. I have experience in project management and working in both the private and public sector. I have taught up to Masters level and have design courses and taught extensively. LOOKING FOR: Research, teaching, consultancy positions. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, French (small amount), Chinese (beginner), I am enrolled at Danish language school IT EXPERIENCE: ArcGIS, MapInfo, GeoDa, Global Mapper, GWR, Python, Image J, SPSS, Excel, Work, PowerPoint, Access, Dreamweaver, Adobe, SAS, open source GIS programmes. CONTACT: tessaanderson@gmail.com

THE COPENHAGEN POST 21 December 2012 - 4 January 2013 SPOUSE EMPLOYMENT PAGE SPOUSE: Yelynn Kim FROM: South Korea SEEKING WORK IN: Greater Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Craftsman Cook, Korea Food,2004/Craftsman Bartender,2005/ Craftsman Cook, Japanese Food,2006(Certified by Human Resources Development Service of Korea). EXPERIENCE: I’m educated and trained chef who can make Korean Japanese and Chinese food. I have strong cooking skills on healthy Korean food. But I think the food that I cook is not only tastes good and healthy but also should be art on a dish. I can develop and implement of new dishes for the menu. I’m experienced chef and can work under multifaceted and busy environment. I am accurate, fast and precise in my work and I’m also a flexible and stable person. I can do supervision of the kitchen in general, including control of cleaning, hygiene, stock and other ad hoc tasks. LOOKING FOR: Chef LANGUAGE SKILLS: Korean(native),English(fluent),Chinese(good), Japanese(a little bit), Danish(currently learning) IT EXPERIENCE: MS office CONTACT: tilsat.jod@gmail.com SPOUSE: Malgorzata Tujakowska FROM: Poland SEEKING WORK IN: Aarhus and the surrounding area QUALIFICATION: Masters in Ethnolinguistics with major in Chinese and English, Chinese HSK and Business Chinese Test certificates, 2-year long studies at Shanghai International Studies University and National Cheng Kung University,Taiwan. LOOKING FOR: Working for companies hiring Polish and Chinese employees, teaching Chinese, Polish, Business English, linguistics, translation and interpretation, proofreading, Chinese business and culture consulting, administrative work. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Polish (native speaker), Chinese – simplified and traditional (fluent), English (fluent), German(intermediate), Danish (intermediate-currently learning). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office. CONTACT: Tel:+45 28702377, m.tujakowska@gmail.com SPOUSE: Christina Ioannou FROM: Greece SEEKING WORK IN: Central Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: MA in HRM London, UK. Bsc. American College USA. EXPERIENCE: Worked as a manager for 11 years in the retailing sector - fashion industry for a big international corporation. I had budget and personnel responsibility. I was in charge of the purchasing department. LOOKING FOR: Any kind of industry.Not simply in fashion.Where I will apply my leadership, sales, communicative and purchasing skills. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Swedish,Italian, French, Greek IT-EXPERIENCE: MS Office CONTACT: EMAIL: christina_ioannou@yahoo.com, Tel: +46768435211 SPOUSE: Christina Koch FROM: Australia SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Drama, 1997 University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Experienced actor and voice coach for speakers, with parallel high level experience in written communications. LOOKING FOR: Voice coaching for corporate presenters and speakers, Writing and Communications work, work in theatre organisations. IT EXPERIENCE:Microsoft Office, Office for Mac. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English – Native speaker, excellent written and oral expression. German – good reading and listening skills. Spanish – fluent oral communication, good reading and listening skills. Danish – beginners level speaking and writing skills. CONTACT: Christina@hermionesvoice.com, Tel: +45 52 77 30 93, www.hermionesvoice.com.

PARTNERS:

THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK SPOUSE: Erik Metzger FROM: San Francisco, CA USA SEEKING WORK IN: Drug & Alcohol Counselling QUALIFICATION: Masters degree in addiction counselling from Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies; Currently preparing for the IC&RC counselling exam. EXPERIENCE: Drug & Alcohol Counsellor; Masters in Addiction Counselling from Hazelden Graduate School in Minnesota, USA, August 2012. Ten years of active work in various 12-step programs. I can meet with you and/or your family to develop a custom recovery plan; all ages welcome. Registered Yoga Teacher through: www.yogaalliance.org since July, 2010. I can supply yoga mats and supports; my apartment or yours! Teacher of business English with training from Berlitz, Virksomhedsskolen and Denmark’s Library School (Cand.scient.bibl., 2007). *All diploma’s and certifications available upon request LOOKING FOR: Part/Full/Freelance/Volunteer work at treatment center and/or outpatient clinic. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English: Native; Danish: Fluent verbal skills and intermediate reading and writing. IT EXPERIENCE: PC and Mac – trained in many software packages and databases. CONTACT: erikmetz@gmail.com SPOUSE: Chiara Stevanato FROM: Italy SEEKING WORK IN: København or nearby areas QUALIFICATION: Bachelor degree in Physics. EXPERIENCE: Now completing the Master’s degree in Physics at Københavns Universitet. LOOKING FOR: Research in Physics. Research projects related to scientific areas. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Written and spoken Italian, written and spoken English, written and Spoken French, very basic written and spoken Danish (still attending a second level course). IT EXPERIENCE: Operating systems: Windows, Linux. Programming languages: basic C, C++; Python. CONTACT: chiarasteva@gmail.com, Tel: 41681741 SPOUSE: Lorena Augusta Moreira FROM: Brazil SEEKING WORK IN: Great Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Interior Designer. EXPERIENCE: + 3 of experience with interior design and sales of furniture and decoration products. LOOKING FOR: Position in an Organization/Company in the fields of: Interior design, lay-out and organization of vitrines, sales and assistance management. IT EXPERIENCE: Microsoft office (word, excel, outlook, access and power-point) access to internet. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English (fluent), Portuguese (native) and Spanish (pre-intermediate). CONTACT: lorena-augusta@hotmail.com, Tel: + 45 52177084 SPOUSE: Katarzyna Szkaradek FROM: Poland SEEKING WORK IN: Mental hospitals, voluntary(Ngo) organisations, kindergartens, nurseries, babysitting QUALIFICATION: Ma in Psychology (2008), post graduate studies in psychotherapy (4th year/ 5 year). EXPERIENCE: I am a highly motivated and creative individual with excellent communication skills. From January 2010 till August 2010 I worked independly in private practice. For the last 2 years (January ,2009 -October, 2010) I worked with children (also with special needs -Autism, Asperger, Down syndrome etc) and their families as a psychologist. My duties included organizing games, monitoring children’s development , consulting teachers and parents where appropriate and providing individual therapy. For the last 10 years I was member of NGO organisation and I was a volunteer in Israel, Italy, Portugal and Romania. LOOKING FOR: Internship in mental hospitals, part – time or full time jobs in kindergartens, nurseries, job as a babysitter, voluntary job in hospitals. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English–advance level (C1), Danish – (module 3 /module 5), Polish-native speaker IT EXPERIENCE: MS Windows, basic MS Office, Internet. CONTACT: szkasienka@gmail.com, Tel: 50828802

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SPOUSE: Shilpa Lingaiah FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense and nearby areas of the mentioned cities. QUALIFICATION: PG Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (JSS University, India); Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (RGUHS, India). Danish agency for international education has assessed the above qualification and corresponds to Danish Master’s degree in Health Sciences. LOOKING FOR: Research related to health science, jobs in pharmaceutical industry or new challenging career opportunities. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English(fluent written and spoken), Enrolled for Danish language classes, Indian languages(Kannada and Hindi). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office. CONTACT: drshilpalingaiah@gmail.com, Tel: +4552742859 SPOUSE: Dolon Roy FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Sjælland QUALIFICATION: Masters in Science(Chemistry), BEd. (Teacher training course). EXPERIENCE: St. John Diocessan School February-May 2005, Kolkata, India. The Assembly of God Church School April-May 2006, Kolkata, India. Disari Public School June 2006-October 2007, India. Research project work Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Copenhagen University, March-July 2009. LOOKING FOR: Part time or full time work teaching in primary,secondary or higher school level (Chemistry, Mathematics, Science). LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Hindi, Bengali, Danish (modul 3/modul 5). IT EXPERIENCE: Microsoft office. CONTACT: dolonroy2005@yahoo.com. Tel: +45 60668239 SPOUSE: S.M. Ariful Islam FROM: Bangladesh SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: PhD student (2nd year) in Language Policy and Practice in Aalborg University, MA in Bilingualism, MA in English Linguistics, BA in English. EXPERIENCE: 18 months as a University lecturer in English in Bangladesh. Taught advanced grammar, four skills (listening, speaking, reading & writing), ELT courses, Second Language theories, Psycholinguistics, Sociolinguistics. LOOKING FOR: A position of English teacher/lecturer in English Medium Schools, Colleges and Universities. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Bengali (mother tongue), English (second language), Danish (fluent) Danske Uddannelse PD3, Hindi and Urdu (Spoken) and Swedish (basic). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office. CONTACT: ariful@id.aau.dk, arif401@yahoo.com, Tel: +45 42778296

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WHY: The Copenhagen Post wishes to help spouses looking for jobs in Denmark. We have on our own initiative started a weekly spouse job page in The Copenhagen Post, with the aim to show that there are already within Denmark many highly educated international candidates looking for jobs. If you are a spouse to an international employee in Denmark looking for new career opportunities, you are welcome to send a profile to The Copenhagen Post at aviaja@cphpost.dk and we will post your profile on the spouse job page when possible. Remember to get it removed in case of new job.

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CULTURE

THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK

21 December 2012 - 4 January 2013

Unknown Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale discovered Scholars are ecstatic over the discovery of what appears to be the author’s earliest known attempt at a fairy tale

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LOCAL HISTORIAN has seen a fairy tale come true after discovering an unknown Hans Christian Andersen work in the historical archive on the island of Funen, where the author was born. The sensational find was made in October by Esben Brage, who discovered the 190-year-old piece, entitled ‘Tællelyset’ (The Tallow Candle), among 4,000 other documents while conducting unrelated research. ‘Tællelyset’ is what is known as an anthropomorphic story, in which inanimate objects are given life and have human characteristics, something that Andersen is known for in his works. The story is about a prized tallow candle that becomes grimy and neglected, but winds up being rediscovered and lit again. The work, written for a Madame Bunkeflod by a “devoted HC Andersen”, is the first significant Andersen text found since the 1920s, when the author’s memoirs were found in the Royal Library. Brage, 72, a retired local his-

torian from Middelfart, Funen, written sometime between 1822 said he found the text by chance and 1826, when Andersen was and that he instinctively knew in his late teens, is still very imthat he had uncovered some- portant. thing “very special”. “It’s like a high being able “I’ve handled thousands to work with his first effort in of historical documents so I’ve the fairy tale genre. Reading it developed a kind of sixth sense for the first time was an amazabout them where I say: ‘Hey, ing experience,” Askgaard told this is out of the ordinary. I Politiken. “It’s a fantastic little shouldn’t keep this to myself and document in the history of Anput it back in the box,’” Brage dersen. The fairy tale was a gift told Politiken newspaper. to a woman whose home meant Although Brage found the a great deal to him.” text in October, it took some That woman was the widow time for Andersen scholars to of a preacher, who lived in an esverify its autablishment for thenticity. They worthy virgins said there was and widows no doubt he had across the street written it. from AndersIt’s like a high being “This is en’s childhood a sensational able to work with his home. She was find,” Ejnar Stig first effort in the fairy a woman who Askgaard, from historians know Odense City tale genre. Reading it Andersen visMuseum, told for the first time was ited, read to and Politiken. “Not borrowed books only because it an amazing experience from as a child. must be regardAndersen ed as Andersen’s first fairy tale, made his literary debut in 1829 but also because it proves that he at the age of 24 and became was writing the fairy tales when known as one of the most imhe was young and before he had portant authors in Europe in the developed his craft. There is no 1800s. He first started publishdoubt in my mind that Anders- ing his fairy tales in the 1830s. en wrote it.” Andersen’s works have been From a literary standpoint, translated into about 125 differ‘Tællelyset’ isn’t on a par with ent languages, a feat bested only some of Andersen’s later works, by the Bible. the experts said. But the docuAndersen died in 1875 at ment, thought to have been the age of 70 near Copenhagen.

SCANPIX DANMARK

CHRISTIAN WENANDE

The Tallow Candle bone marA candle made of sheep lard and pot. The ting mel row is born in the heat of a design, and ur colo in ess pristine candle, flawl re. futu ant radi and ht brig a for is destined plans t eren diff However the world has benown its for dle can and decides to use the black with s nger stra by sed abu it efit, leaving te exterior. hands who stain its pristinely whi grow tired ly tual even These ‘false friends’ reach its to ble una g bein r afte of the candle e as an asid inner beauty. They cast it angrily useless piece of wax. , but still There it lies, ugly and unloved cted and Reje ce. essen its in t ocen inn pure and and sees d resse dep alone, the candle becomes e. tenc exis no purpose in its candle Finally, a flame finds it way to the of its dges smu the and sees its purity under riage mar a in t mee two e black exterior. Th and pose pur r thei nd fi ther toge of light and happiness in life.

For the second Christmas in a row, Hans Christian Andersen is big news. Last year’s headline-grabber outed him out of the closet – is this a conspiracy to sell more books in China?

Who is … The Little Matchstick Girl?

PETER STANNERS

She’s a penniless beggar who (spoiler alert) dies in the snow on New Year’s Eve. Why Hans Christian Andersen wrote this sadistic story is a mystery. You can only presume that he didn’t really like children. What’s her deal? She doesn’t really have one. But for some reason this chick is carrying a bunch of matches with her while taking a seasonal barefoot walk in the snow. She’s clearly on drugs, but what kind is up for debate.

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anes should not be allowed to write the Eurovision Song Contest songs of other countries, says populist political party Dansk Folkeparti after three Danish songwriters had a song accepted into Latvia’s domestic qualifying competition for the pan-European song contest. The song was turned down twice by public service broadcaster DR for Denmark’s domestic competition, but Morten Marinus, a DF spokesperson, said the song should never have been submitted to Latvia. “I think sending contributions to other countries is treasonous,” Marinus told JyllandsPosten newspaper. “Okay, treason is a tough word. We’re not on the warpath. But I think Danish musicians have a moral duty to offer songs to Denmark first.” Marinus also criticised Danish rock legend Sanne Salomonsen who helped Swedish group

BJARKE SMITH-MEYER

Now that’s what the DF is talking about: there’s no mistaking that this lot grew up in the Soviet Union. They’re 40 but look 80 and they’re all dressed the same

We’re not on the warpath. But I think Danish musicians have a moral duty to offer songs to Denmark first

Higher Ground through to the finals of Sweden’s national qualifier for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005. “She should have of course represented Denmark. She may have had a career in Sweden, so she has an attachment, but there are lots of other places she could perform in Sweden other than the song contest [qualifier].” Marinus argued that songwriters should have a strong

connection to the countries that they are submitting songs for. “You shouldn’t necessarily have to be a citizen, but you have to understand the country’s musical culture. When everyone is writing for everyone, it stops being a competition between countries. It just becomes a competition between pop songs that all sound the same and could have come from anywhere.”

Barefoot?? Well, she’s not completely insane. She did first steal her mother’s slippers before venturing out into the cold. But she manages to lose one in the snow, and have the other stolen by a street urchin. Life’s tough on the street, especially if you’re wearing slippers. And the matches? Eventually she gives up on her long walk to nowhere and decides to huddle up against a brick wall, striking matches against it to warm herself up. Every time she lights one up, she starts hallucinating.

VILHELM PEDERSEN

Allowing songwriters to compose for countries other than their own is spoiling the continental song contest, argues the populist political party

THOMAS HANSES

“Treasonous” musicians will be Eurovision’s Waterloo, warns DF

Hallucinating? It must be LSD. Well seeing as the first hallucination is her eating a roast goose dinner (the munchies anyone?), I’m not too sure. When that match goes out, she strikes another, revealing a green tree that goes up in a blaze. Her final match takes the form of her dead grandmother, whom she begs to take with her to heaven. That’s when you know that she’s on a bad trip. Her Grandmother?! Yep. Spending an afternoon in a retirement home is scary enough. But sharing an eternity with your grandparents in the afterlife is downright terrifying. So ... what happens next? Nothing. She’s found dead in the snow the next day. Merry Christmas.

21 December 2012 - 4 January 2013

Denmark through the looking glass The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk

Andy Rugg The Christmas tree originates from long before the birth of Christ, and we have the Germans to thank for ensuring every celebration in the West isn’t complete without one

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or many, the Christmas tree is the quintessential Christmas symbol. Children around the world wait eagerly until the day it’s erected − its position in the house signalling that Christmas has finally arrived. Whether tall or short, real or fake, the Christmas tree has become synonymous with Christmas. But considering that the nativity story took place in the desert towns of the Middle East, it’s hard to find a more incongruous symbol. Just where does this connection stem from? And why has it endured? Using evergreen trees in the home actually pre-dates Christianity. Fearing that the onset of winter meant that the sun was abandoning them, ancient Europeans would adorn their homes with evergreen boughs, pines and spruce trees as a way of encouraging it to return. With the winter solstice occurring around 20 or 21 of December, pagan homes would be decorated in anticipation of this event. They also believed that certain trees warded off spirits and ill-health, so it was not uncommon for trees and branches to be tied to windows and placed close to doors. Early Romans marked the solstice with a feast

called the Saturnalia in honour of Saturn, the god of agriculture (among other things). In recognition that winter would soon be ending, Romans would decorate houses and temples with evergreen boughs: a symbol for what the new planting season would bring. Ancient Egyptians also celebrated the end of winter, decorating their homes with green palm rushes in anticipation of the return of Ra. And it’s worth noting that the Viking ‘Yule Log’ has survived the test of time, but instead of runes being carved into pieces of wood, most Danes recognise it now as a rolled cake or cheese log rolled in nuts. It’s widely believed that the Christmas tree tradition as we know it, however, originated in Germany in the 16th century. Originally used by devout Christians as a

representation of the holy trinity, triangular-shaped trees first began appearing in German houses in as early as 1520. When trees were unavailable, other triangular shapes were used, and it was not uncommon for pyramids of wood to be decorated with evergreen and pine boughs, which were favoured for their aromatic smell. Some believe that it was Martin Luther himself who first decided to put lighted candles on a tree. Legend has it that after walking home one night and noticing the stars above him, he decided to recreate the splendour on a tree at home, putting lit candles on it as a representation of heaven and earth. Although many have dismissed this idea as little more than Protestant propaganda, the Christmas tree is certainly a Protestant invention, spreading from Germany to other parts of the world.

Photos: colourbox

Pioneered by the pagans, patronised by the Protestants, promoted by the profiteers

19

The Danes prefer a star at the top, for others it’s an angel, while in some, albeit in the 16th century, it was a combustible heretic

Although the tradition spread from Germany, it was by no means an overnight sensation. Many actively resisted the notion of representing Jesus’s birth, and Puritans in England railed at what they saw as a blasphemous extravagance. The famous English Puritan, Oliver Cromwell, was said to be so outraged at the idea of the ‘heathen tradition’, that he banned Christmas trees, along with Christmas carols, in 1647. Not wanting their Protestant competitors to have all the fun, the Catholic Church recognised the Christmas tree as an authentic Christmas representation in the early 1800s. Introduced into Vienna towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the Christmas tree spread through central Europe and eventually to France where it was embraced by the influential Duchesse d’Orleans. In 1846, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were sketched sitting around a Christmas tree decorated with candles and ribbons. This immediately set a trend in England that grew considerably throughout the 19th century, eventually arousing the curiosity of the fashionable elite on America’s East Coast. Although Christmas trees had arrived in America with German settlers some years before, they were seen as little more than an oddity, only gaining in general popularity by the beginning of the 1890s. By the turn of the 20th century, the Christmas tree had well and truly arrived. The advent of electricity enabled the production of Christmas tree lights that saw an explosion in

the trees’ popularity. Doing what America does best, the Christmas tree became an industry, eventually growing into the essential Christmas item that it is today. The Danish tradition of dancing around the tree is one that has to be experienced. With each person holding hands and singing carols, this tradition is uniquely Scandinavian, although variants have been carried to other parts of the world. A remnant of pagan beliefs, ancient Danes would dance around their chosen tree as a sign of respect for the natural world. Following Christianisation, this tradition was upheld − one of many examples of Christianity blending with existing beliefs. Curiously, the time that people choose to erect their trees differs. While many in the English-speaking world decorate their tree in early December, others wait until a week before. Danes generally decorate their tree only days before Christmas, which of course is celebrated here on Christmas Eve. Regardless of the timing, it’s safe to say that the Christmas tree is now so ingrained into the Christmas tradition that it’s here to stay. With its pride of place in the centre of a room, adorned with decorations and surrounded by presents, it’s easy to see why.

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The Copenhagen Post | Dec 21-Jan 4