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Flat fee a new flop for battered Danske Bank 3 15 Iceland travel supplement inside travel ICELAN supple D ment 20 13 colour box Cameron’s way splits nation’s Euro MPs Fly Icelan dair to Icelan d & North 25 - 31 January 2013 | Vol 16 Issue 4 Reykjavík I Denver I New York Minneapolis I Orland / St. Paul Halifax I Anchor I Washington o I Seattle I Boston D.C. I Toronto age America + Book your flight at www.i Denmark’s only English-language newspaper | THOMAS NYGAARD NEWS Economists expecting the worst as many homeowners prepare to start repaying mortgage principal 4 NEWS All play but no work Immigration rule changes leave theatre school’s foreign students in a tight spot Manslaughter trial 6 Trial reopens old scars for students as court tries to place blame for 2010 boating accident 7 FOCUS Happiness is ... a shack where you can on a cold day drink beer together with your friends 10 SPORT Greatness beckons Big week for sport as handball teams and football manager Laudrup gear up for key matches 14 9 771398 100009 Price: 25 DKK Disagreement over how to tackle unemployment PETER STANNERS Maersk cheif says cutting salaries will bring back industrial jobs, but union argues a better solution is to create jobs by investing in public infrastructure B EFORE THE daffodils arrive this spring, the government hopes to introduce reforms to kick-start Denmark’s ailing economy and get people back into work. But business and union leaders have already voiced their proposals, and they vary vastly. Like the rest of Europe, Denmark is struggling to shrug off the effects of 2008’s financial crisis before which only around 67,500 people were unemployed. Unemployment rapidly rose following the crisis and levelled off at around 163,000 in early 2010 where it remains today. Industrial jobs have been particularly slow to return to Denmark, which Nils Smedegaard Andersen, the managing director of shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk, stated is because Danish salaries are uncompetitive. “In order to make it possible for more people to enter the job market, we need to lower salaries. This will enable industry to remain in Denmark and provide work,” Andersen told Berlingske newspaper. “Not everyone is highly educated or qualified enough for more advanced jobs, and Danish salaries are not competitive with those in India, Germany or Sweden. That’s why jobs are leaving the country.” His view is supported by Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the leader of the centreright party Venstre, Denmark’s largest political party. “We need to first and foremost ensure that people increase their education and qualifications in order to be able to compete for knowledge work, but we also need to ensure that our salaries do not rise faster than abroad, which would reduce our competitive ability.” Venstre and other right-wing parties have also argued that there are plenty of low income jobs available, but that there is little incentive to take a job because unemployment benefits are too generous. One Venstre MP, Hans Andersen, even argued that the unemployed should be forced to move to parts of the country where work is available. Libertarian party Liberal Alliance (LA) argued that simply cutting unemployment benefits was sufficient, however. “Our benefits are too generous,” LA MP Joachim B Olsen told tabloid Ekstra Bladet. “It would make more sense to cut it to a reasonable level rather than make them move. If there is the correct incentive, people will move on their own.” But not everyone agrees that the un- employed are to blame for the struggling economy. The confederation of trade unions, LO, argue that over 21,000 jobs could be created over the next two years if the government and pension funds invested in Danish infrastructure. “The lack of growth can be blamed first and foremost on the fact that we are not spending enough money,” LO’s chairman, Harald Børsting, stated in a press release. “We need to increase domestic demand in order to create more workplaces.” LO’s proposals include building new public housing, investing in railways and improving energy efficiency, as well as halting proposed cuts to the tax authority Skat. It argues that employing 500 more full-time staff members will result in a 300 million kroner annual surplus after their salaries are paid. Unemployment continues on page 4 Reykjavík I Denver I New York I Orlando I Seattle I Boston Minneapolis / St. Paul I Washington D.C. I Toronto Halifax I Anchorage Fly Icelandair to Iceland & North America + Book your flight at

The Copenhagen Post | Jan 15-31

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