The caped crusader is coming to the city
Wall Street protests make their way to DK
Fix on wheels
Denmark’s only English-language newspaper | cphpost.dk
14 - 20 October 2011 | Vol 14 Issue 41
Police under fire for snooping into private lives of COP15 arrestees
3 Dual nationality proposal greeted warmly by many
Watch out, Europe! Danes qualify for Euro 2012 after beating Portugal
Danes living abroad and longtime foreign residents of Denmark would benefit from change
NEWS | 5
The Danish film ‘Drive’ has been a hit, but one movie-goer disagrees and is taking her complaint to court
18 Dirty war The redcoats’ firebombing of Copenhagen 204 years ago left 2,000 citizens dead and destroyed nearly a third of its buildings
HISTORY | 19
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EU minister buries controversial border control JENNIFER BULEY New government knocks down ’permanent border control’ and begins work to repair damaged EU trust
ENMARK’S new minister for European affairs, the Social Democrats’ Nicolai Wammen, took the occasion of his first EU ministerial meeting in Luxembourg on Monday to underscore that Denmark’s new government fully supports the Schengen Agreement and wants to repair relationships damaged by the previous government’s ‘permanent border control’ agreement. “We were certainly against the agree-
ment that the last government made with the Danish People’s Party (DF). We think it’s the wrong way to use our money,” Wammen told Politiken newspaper. “At the same time, the border control agreement between the last government and the DF also hurt Denmark’s reputation in the EU.” In May, Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s centre-right government enacted the permanent border control agreement at the demand of the DF and in exchange for the DF’s support of early retirement reforms. The agreement set off an international firestorm, with Germany leading the fight. Critics, including top German politicians and members of the Europe-
an Commission, claimed that Denmark was violating the Schengen Agreement and other EU treaties guaranteeing the free movement of people and goods. The Danish Confederation of Businesses (DI) complained that the government and the DF were damaging Denmark’s reputation internationally, making it difficult to do business. Meanwhile, Denmark earned the dubious honour of inspiring France’s right-wing nationalist party, Front National, to call for controls like Denmark’s. However, the whole border control debate took a sharp U-turn when the Social Democrat-Social Liberal-Socialist People’s Party (S-R-SF) coalition government took office this month.
Macaroons and French pastry, in a modern enviroment
Free access to 65 museums and attractions in the entire metropolitan area
Brasserie Degas re-open its doors in a new location, proposing again to all its customers, the famous club sandwich and Foie Gras salat. Brasserie Degas / Le macaron by Degas - Trommesalen 5, 1614 Copenhagen V - www.brasseriedegas.dk - Tlf.: +45 33 22 28 26
A paragraph of the S-R-SF government’s common policy, released earlier this month, emphasises Denmark’s commitment to the Schengen Agreement and to co-operating with other EU countries on border controls according to common EU treaties and rules. The paragraph ends by stating that “the plans from May 2011 to erect new control systems at the Danish borders will not be implemented.” “I am very happy that we have made the decision to reverse the old government’s decision. It means we can use Danish taxes more sensibly,” Wammen said. “At the same time, it’s clearly an advantage in terms of having a good cooperation with the other EU countries, including Germany.”
See more at copenhagencard.com
Week in revieW
The COpenhagen pOsT CphpOsT.dk
14 - 20 October 2011 Scanpix
A run in the woods
The Week’s MOsT Read sTORIes aT CphpOsT.dk Massive fine in denmark’s first ever ‘sampling’ copyright case “new era” for nation’s immigration debate expect big changes at nørreport station Who are you calling ‘ghetto’? denmark on tax haven blacklist
FROM OUR aRChIVes Ten YeaRs agO. To decrease tax and bureaucracy problems between denmark and sweden, Øresund’s social democratic association recommends the appointment of an independent Øresund minister. FIVe YeaRs agO. The Royal Court practises its business networking skills at a glamorous dinner banquet at Fredensborg palace.
Around 19,000 runners on Sunday participated in the 43rd annual eremitageløbet through Dyrehaven, which bills itself as the world’s oldest fun run
tution (Grundloven). According to stampe, the Constitution’s language should give the Royal Family a less prominent position, thus reflecting current democracy. The government would also like to see european human rights written into the constitution. The constitution was last updated in 1953.
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.
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PRime minister helle Thorning-schmidt took on her first big international assignment this week, when she welcomed un secretary general Ban Ki-moon and 200 global leaders for the first 3GF conference. At the twoday conference the leaders put their heads together on how to spur global economic growth and
President and Publisher ejvind sandal Chief executive Jesper nymark editor-in-Chief Kevin mcGwin Managing editor Ben hamilton news editor Justin Cremer Journalists Jennifer Buley & Peter stanners
profits by transitioning to clean energy and green economies. Ban Ki-moon commended Denmark for its ambitious investment in green growth and pledge to reduce carbon emissions. Thorning-schmidt underscored a commitment to supporting green energy businesses and the un’s global energy initiative.
editorial offices: slagtehusgade 4 – 6 DK 1715 Copenhagen V Telephone: 3336 3300 Fax: 3393 1313 www.cphpost.dk news Desk firstname.lastname@example.org 3336 4243 The CPh Post welcomes outside articles and letters to the editor. Letters and comments can be left on our website or at: email@example.com
The ConsTiTuTion should emphasise human rights and minimise the Royal Family, the social Liberals’ constitutional spokesperson Zenia stampe told Berlingske. According to Berlingske, the three government coalition parties will establish a commission tasked with modernising the Danish Consti-
Write ‘em out
One YeaR agO. Jesper Langballe of the danish people`s party (dF) is charged under a law that bans racially-charged public comments. dF wants the law abolished.
onLine music service spotify was launched in Denmark on Wednesday after finalising an agreement with Danish music royalty organisation Koda. spotify has transformed the music industry in neighbouring sweden, with 41 percent of the country’s music revenue now coming from music streaming. over 15 mil-
Sales and Marketing Director hans hermansen Sales, Advertising and Marketing firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions email@example.com Annual home delivery rates: 1 year: 1,200kr 6 months: 750kr 1 year (online): 365kr Discounted bulk rates available. Distribution firstname.lastname@example.org
lion songs are available for free through the service, though subscribers can pay a 49 kroner monthly fee to remove adverts that are broadcast between every third or fourth song. spotify currently has 10 million global subscribers. Controversially, however, new subscribers have to have Facebook accounts to sign up.
Layout and design Justin Cremer Aviaja Bebe nielsen Logo by Rasmus Koch The Copenhagen Post accepts no responsibility for the content of material submitted by advertisers. The Copenhagen Post is published weekly by CPhPosT.DK Aps Printed by Dagbladet, Ringsted. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited by law.
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
14 - 20 October 2011
Police seek to discredit climate protesters
PETER STANNERS Lawyers for demonstrators question police efforts to undermine credibility
helped,” Gabrielsen said. The new government announced in its governmental common policy (Regeringensgrundlag) that it is going to do something about the country’s ‘vulnerable areas’ – starting with the goal of reducing by one quarter the number of areas that meet the definition above by 2014. They intend to do it primarily through social outreach, and education and employment programmes. But the first step, apparently, is to stop saying ‘ghetto’.
OLICE in Copenhagen have conducted a widespread investigation into the backgrounds of demonstrators arrested during the 2009 UN Climate Conference. The incriminating information they obtained was submitted on the opening day of the police’s appeal against the verdict of a civil case brought by 178 people pre-emptively arrested during a march on 12 December 2009. While the City Court ruled last year that the mass arrest of almost 1,000 people was illegal, the police hope to justify the action by undermining the credibility of the protesters. Lawyers representing almost half of the claimants have criticised the police’s intelligence gathering as being wasteful, irrelevant and undemocratic. “The [investigations] have gone completely crazy and it looks like it may become the scandal of the century,” lawyer Christian Dahlager told Information newspaper. He estimated that the intelligence gathering effort cost several million kroner. In all, 634 pieces of information about the arrestees have been registered by the police. Among the information dug up was that an arrestee drew a speech bubble on an election poster for right-wing leader Pia Kjærsgaard, that another had been expelled from Copenhagen’s Royal Gardens, while a third had been charged with being involved in a fight. Politiken newspaper also revealed that the police examined the Facebook friends of 28-year-old Liv Brøndum and wrote: “Her acquaintances include people who are registered by police as being ‘professional demonstrators’.” The lawyers for the protesters question the legality of the po-
School ranking row
Farmers to lose billions
THE OPPOSITION Liberal party has posted a controversial ranking on its website comparing the average academic scores of 14 to 15-year-olds from public and private schools. Before last month’s election, that list stood on the Education Ministry’s website. But when the Social Democrats took over power last week, it was taken off. It has now popped up again on the new opposition leaders’ website. The titfor-tat points to an ongoing controversy regarding how much to pressure school children. While many private schools give academic grades from the age of seven, public school students are still not graded until they reach the age of 14.
DENMARK’S 50,000 farmers are set to lose billions of kroner in subsidies when the EU announces the future of its agricultural policy. According to Politiken newspaper, Denmark’s agricultural subsidy between 2014 and 2020 will initially be cut by 200 million kroner and over the final three years be cut by 400 million kroner a year. Denmark will be one of four EU countries facing deep subsidy cuts as the EU lends more support towards its southern and eastern member states. The European Commission’s proposal will have to be agreed by the EU member states in 2012 while Denmark holds the EU presidency.
Mjølnerparken - some call it Nørrebronx, but the government says it should no longer be called a ‘ghetto’
Who are you calling ‘ghetto’? JENNIFER BULEY New government says first step to solving problems in poor areas is to stop calling them ’ghettos’
HE NEW government wants to strike a word from the dictionary – or at least from the map. From now on, the government says, Denmark does not have ‘ghettos’, it has ‘vulnerable areas’. In January, the previous government published a list of Denmark’s ‘Ghetto Areas’. On the internet for all to see, stood the old government’s official ‘Ghetto List’ of 26 residential areas and 80 specific residential buildings. The list was accompanied by a map showing their locations. But if the government itself calls certain areas “ghettos”, it’s only natural that others will too, and that’s problematic, says the new government. “Who the hell wants to live in a ghetto? To me ‘ghetto’ sounds like Harlem, or something similar, and we don’t have anything like that in Denmark,” Carsten Hansen, the newlyappointed minister for cities, housing and rural districts, told Urban newspaper. Poor districts with big social problems will now be called “vulnerable areas”. “We have to talk up to peo-
ple, not down. It doesn’t take any extra effort to speak politely to one another,” Hansen added. One person who is glad that the new government understands the power of labels is Muhammed Aslam, chairman of the board for Mjølnerparken, one of the areas on the former ‘Ghetto List’. “We’re really happy about this. The negative word ‘ghetto’ puts you in a box. ‘Vulnerable’ is a much better way of putting it,” Aslam said. John Andersen, a professor of sociology at Roskilde University, said that ‘ghetto’ is a controversial word, and one that the government itself should not use to describe specific neighbourhoods and buildings. “The term ‘ghetto’ brands the people who live there. If you call an area a ‘ghetto’, you’re saying everything is wrong there, and there is crime and unemployment,” Andersen said. Although some areas do have relatively high crime, unemployment and social problems, the term ‘ghetto’ provokes a different reaction than ‘vulnerable area’, said Roskilde University rhetoric professor Jonas Gabrielsen. “A ghetto is a ‘last station’ and in that way you’re also saying indirectly that you can’t do anything about the problems – that there aren’t any options. But if you’re ‘vulnerable’, you can be
What’s a ‘ghetto’? WHETHER you call it a ‘ghetto’ or a ‘vulnerable area’, the criteria is the same. It’s an area with at least 1,000 residents who fulfil at least two of the following criteria: • More than half of all the residents come from nonWestern cultures. • More than 40 percent of the residents between the ages of 18-64 have been out of school or without work for a period of time in the past four years. • More than 270 per 10,000 residents over the age of 18 have been convicted of a serious drugs or weapons crime in the past four years.
As many as 1,000 people were detained during the December 2009 demonstration in a move the courts later ruled was illegal
It looks like it may become the scandal of the century lice’s background investigations. And the information itself, they say, is irrelevant to the case. “With the appeal, the police are trying to criminalise the complainants and in that way convince the court it was okay to arrest them during the Climate Conference,” Knud Foldshack, another lawyer representing the protesters, told Politiken. “But you cannot use incriminating information they did not possess at the time of detention as an argument to justify their arrest.” Dahlager argued a similar point to Information. “What relevance does it have to the mass arrests during a climate protest in 2009 that an individual was arrested for public urination years before?” Almost 1,000 individuals were pre-emptively arrested on 12 December 2009 during a large organised demonstration. Police said they were targeting a radical group known as the ‘Black Bloc’ – which earlier in the march had thrown stones and fireworks
ONLINE THIS WEEK Prison guards cleared in leg-lock death THE PRISON guards who placed an inmate in an illegal restraint – a leg lock called TARP – did not do anything illegal, the police’s chief prosecutor announced last week. “I have decided that charges will not be pressed against the officers. Our renewed investigation has not uncovered signs of any criminal activity,” the police’s chief prosecutor, Claus Henrik Larsen, told JyllandsPosten newspaper. The case centres around 23-year-old Ekrem Sahin, who died three days after a fight with prison guards. A new autopsy report stated that “there is no evidence to believe that the restraint had a
role in the death.” Doctors instead believe that the death was caused by a rare stress reaction in which extreme rage can have a deadly effect on the heart’s rhythm. But at least one doctor has questioned the verdict. “It’s extremely unlikely that a healthy 23-year-old man who is unaffected by drugs would die of hyperexcitation [acute stress response],” Hanns Reich from Hvidovre Hospital told metroXpress newspaper. The case has caused the prison service to investigate whether leg-lock restraints should be banned in the prison system.
at the Foreign Ministry building. Even though the police estimated that the group consisted of no more than 300 individuals, some 944 people were detained and made to sit for several hours in the cold with their arms tied behind their backs. A civil case was lodged against the police last year by 178 of the arrestees – 95 of whom are foreign citizens – seeking damages for unlawful detainment. In defence, the police argued that their action was justified under the increased powers granted to them by parliament in the weeks before the conference – and that the mass arrest was necessary in order to avert “significant danger to public order”. But last December the court ruled that the arrests were not legal and awarded damages of between 5,000 and 9,000 kroner to each of the claimants. The police now hope to have the ruling overturned by the Eastern High Court. But Foldshack, speaking to Information, said he was concerned that the police’s intelligence gathering effort would set a dangerous precedent. “Now if you complain about being detained and having your arms tied behind your back and made to sit on the ground for hours, you will get your whole background looked into.”
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The COpenhagen pOsT CphpOsT.dk
14 - 20 October 2011
on wheels 49-year-old Kristoffer was trying the mobile injection room for the first time on the evening The Copenhagen Post rode along
emily mclean Mobile injection room aims to keep addicts safe – and off the streets
ilence pierces the air as the needle pierces his skin. A concoction of heroin and cocaine is injected slowly but purposefully into the left arm and then the right one. A small amount of blood is sucked back up into the syringe, tainting the colour of the off-white liquid. This isn’t the first time Kristoffer has shot up, but in his 29 years as a drug addict, it is the first time he’s done so in a mobile injection room. Sitting on the corner of little istedgade in the heart of Vesterbro, copenhagen’s capital of vice, sits the mobile injection room. The former ambulance, once used for administering life saving drugs, is now being used to allow people to administer class-A drugs to themselves. Tonight is only the 12th time the mobile injection room has opened its doors to the public. its primary purpose is to give addicts a private, hygienic and safe place to shoot up, with medical professionals on hand in case they overdose. The room is kitted out with everything an addict needs: needles, sanitary wipes, small cups for mixing and cotton wool. The only thing the room doesn’t provide is the drugs. Before the van rolled out in September, copenhagen had no facility where drug addicts could shoot up under the supervision of health professionals. Over the past six years attempts have been made to establish an injection room
but have been met with opposition. in 2005 the Social Democrats made the first push, but the Health Ministry concluded injection rooms were illegal. A year later another attempt was blocked by the liberal-conservative government. This March a private injection room in the basement of an apartment building near central Station was prevented from opening after a judge ruled it was illegal to offer public health services from a private residence. A mobile injection room was then seen as the best legal option. Michael lodberg Olsen, the man responsible for setting up both the permanent injection room in March and the mobile injection room, still sees a permanent room as the best option. He expects that with the recent change of government it will be possible to establish a room with funding from the local council. Kristoffer talks non-stop, but the volunteer nurse manages to stop him long enough to ask him the routine questions: his name, the drug he’s injecting and how long he’s been an addict. He quickly blurts out that in 29 years he’s never overdosed. But he’s one of the lucky ones – 300 people die from drug overdoses every year in Denmark, giving the country one of the highest mortality rates in europe. That’s the primary motivation for having the room, according to Olsen. “There are over 90 injection rooms around the world, and they have shown that it reduces the number of deaths by between 35 and 70 percent. The rooms create better conditions for the drug addicts and better conditions for the local community.” And with 500-600 addicts shooting
up in the Vesterbro district each day, he said the chance of serious complications is high. This isn’t the first time Olsen, who describes himself as a social entrepreneur, has pushed for better conditions for drug addicts. in 1989 he began assisting street children in Romania before returning to Denmark to work with addicts in Herlev. The last two years have seen Olsen working for DUGnAD Vesterbro – a grassroots organisation working for better conditions for the district’s drug addicts.
I know it’s a problem to have my trousers down [to inject heroin] when there’s a family coming lit by only three fluorescent torch lights, the injection room feels like something out of a Hollywood movie. As Kristoffer moves the needle around in his arm, another addict quickly steps into the room. looking no more than 25 and speaking Danish with a heavy east european accent, the Ukrainian is impatient to get his fix. He breathes a sigh of relief as the heroin reaches his veins. A small drop of blood falls to the ground from where the needle has punctured his arm. The spot is surrounded by a dark blue bruise – a sign he’s shot up many times before. But unlike many addicts, this young man didn’t take long to find a vein and
shoot. Volunteer nurse Maria Bonde explained that many addicts “find it extremely difficult to find a vein to inject in as they disappear after they have been used a few times”. She added that one of the benefits of the injection room is that “addicts don’t feel rushed and can therefore take their time to find a vein to inject in, instead of rushing and injecting into an artery.” The injection room boasts a team of 70 volunteers, 18 of whom are doctors and nurses. Much of their motivation stems from the fact they live in the area and are fed up seeing addicts shooting up in inappropriate places and under unsanitary conditions. “The room offers a little dignity for them while the local community can walk the streets without bumping into used needles,” Bonde says. But sitting inside the little room, watching the young Ukrainian man with his whole life ahead of him, it’s hard not to question whether the room encourages his habit. But according to Olsen this isn’t the case. Olsen pointed out that most addicts have been users for over 20 years, and added that the open dialogue that goes on inside the room can actually lead to someone seeking treatment. “When you treat people with respect you get a very good dialogue. When you say to people: ‘Okay you take drugs, it’s okay, but instead of sitting outside, why don’t you come inside,’ that’s recognition, and it’s been documented that this helps people get off the drugs.” For another addict, Katrina, one of the biggest motivating factors for seeking out the mobile injection room is the respect the volunteers show her. A pros-
titute who’s been addicted to heroin for over 30 years, she confided: “it’s hard to gain respect from anyone, but the people in the room respect me – they’re lovely people.” The injection room also offers her that slice of dignity she desperately longs for. “You can imagine how we feel. We sit outside and throw the needles around and it’s not good when you see the kids. i like the privacy. i know it’s a problem to have my trousers down [to inject heroin] when there’s a family coming.” That didn’t stop her from pulling her trousers down right there beside the van, revealing a 10cm blackberry-coloured bruise at the top of her thigh. Olsen claimed the addicts aren’t used to seeing people trying to create welfare services that suits their needs. They therefore have a lot of gratitude for what the injection room team are doing. With winter now on its way, the room is becoming much more sought after. “The room is great because we don’t have to sit in the cold on the stairs and shoot up,” enthused Kristoffer. cocaine addict Michael was also keen to make the most of the room over the winter. After just shooting up he came across the van for the first time on his way home. “if i knew this was here i wouldn’t have shot up out on the street.” That’s exactly the response the injection room is hoping to achieve. The injection room saves lives One of the organisers of the mobile injection room writes about its necessity
5 dual nationality proposal seen as a godsend by many news
The COpenhagen pOsT CphpOsT.dk
new proposal will give expats added security, the right to vote and more civil rights
14 - 20 October 2011
aNiSh citizens will soon be able to hold dual nationality if new policies presented by the coalition government become
a reality. it is currently not possible for Danes to obtain a second nationality without first relinquishing their Danish passports. and foreigners wanting a Danish passport have to give up their original citizenship in order to obtain it. “Denmark is a modern society in an international world. it should therefore be possible to have dual citizenship,” stated the common governmental policy released last week. Despite dual nationality holding wide political support, efforts to introduce it during the last government’s term were scuppered due to opposition from the Danish people’s party (DF), according to information newspaper. one of its politicians, the recently-retired Søren Krarup, called it “bigamy”. “You can only have one nationality just as you can only have one identity,” he said after a proposal from the Liberal alliance was shot down by parliament in 2009. The current government believes otherwise, however, and looks set to open up the possibility of dual nationality – something expat organisation Danes Worldwide has long campaigned for. according to its general secretary, anne Marie Dalgaard, overseas-based Danes face many obstacles due to not being able to take on the citizenship of the countries in which they have settled in. “They are not able to obtain the same job or credit opportunities, become board members, be active in political spheres, and may be worse-placed in cases of inheritance because they cannot take dual citizenship,” Dalgaard
Two sides of the same coin: the proposed change would benefit Danes living abroad, like Tina Thuesen (far left) who lives in switzerland, as well as long time foreign residents of Denmark, like American Larry Feinberg
Of course you can have loyalty to two countries, just like you can have loyalty to two children told The Copenhagen post. “These are daily problems and are about wanting to be fully involved in the society in which you are living.” tina Thuesen and her family are familiar with these obstacles. originally from Denmark, she and her husband moved to Switzerland 20 years ago to find work. together they have three children, two of whom were born in Switzerland and one in Denmark. “i almost started crying when i
found out [about the proposal] because i know i’ll be much more secure,” Thuesen told The Copenhagen post. “if i get a Swiss passport they can’t throw me out of Switzerland. and for most people living abroad, this is very important because it means you are now a part of society under law. That’s the most emotional part of it - i can be a legal member of society and they can’t kick me out!” The security is particularly important for Thuesen’s children who will be able to build lives in both Denmark and Switzerland. Swiss citizenship will also enable Thuesen to become politically involved in the country in which she’s lived for the past 20 years. Thuesen has been campaigning for dual citizenship through the website statsborger.dk. She believes it is possible to call two places home. “of course you can have loyalty to two countries, just like you can have loyalty to two children. i’m a big
enough person to be able to have positive feelings towards more than one place or person,” she argued. Dalgaard used a similar metaphor, saying that having dual citizenship is like loving your mum and dad – it is not mutually exclusive. and according to Dalgaard, the former government’s opposition to Danes taking dual citizenship and integrating while abroad was hypocritical. “We expect foreigners coming here to integrate, but we prevent our citizens from doing it when they live abroad – it’s a double standard,” she said. The rule change would also be welcomed by foreigners who now call Denmark home - one of whom is Larry Feinberg, who moved to Denmark from the United States 25 years ago. a member of Democrats abroad, a US-based organisation for american Democrats living overseas, Feinberg has fulfilled all the requirements to become a Danish citizen – having passed the citizenship
Three years of renovation work to start this coming week
ørreport Station, the busiest transport hub in the country, is about to get a whole lot more chaotic. Beginning on Monday, the station will undergo a major renovation that will dramatically change the above-ground look of the station, renovate the platforms, and improve the underground air quality. But until commuters see the finished project in 2014, the intervening time promises to be a bit of a mess. The first major impact will be felt from November 20, when the S-train platforms will be closed five nights a week to allow for the renovation and resealing of the underground concrete structures. This is expected to last for close to a year. “The moisture sealant over the tunnels is 100 years old, and to keep the concrete from collapsing we have to take care of it now,” Niels tørsløv, of the City
Council’s transport authority, told Urban newspaper. “Because we have to break down the sealant from the top down, we will have to block off the area in stages.” The next significant disruption will begin on December 12 when Nørre Voldgade street, which runs on both sides of Nørreport Station, is shut down to traffic. The streets will be closed until the project is finished in 2014, forcing all road traffic to be routed around the busy downtown area. When the project is finished, all vehicular traffic on Nørre Voldgade will be moved to the northwest side of the station, allowing for easier pedestrian access to the central Copenhagen area and the popular shopping street Strøget. The renovated street plan is aimed at providing better bicycle access and parking to cut down on the chaos created by throngs of people crossing a busy street, and making it easier for commuters to switch between trains, buses and the Metro. tørsløv acknowledged that the project will put the area “between a
test and the language requirement – but refuses to give up his american passport to do so. “Dual citizenship is important for people who have been living here a long time without the right to vote, despite paying taxes. i believe the right to vote is important,” he told The Copenhagen post, adding that only citizenship in Denmark will give him true security. “i might have permanent residency, but it’s only as permanent as the rules are - if they change we could be deported.” Dual citizenship might be some time coming, however. a majority of Mps voted against the proposal in 2009 despite the signatures of 10,000 Danes living abroad who demanded it. even if it were to pass, an immigration lawyer contacted by The post, estimated it may take up to five years to be fully approved. Should it pass, 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. if Denmark does follow suit, those longing for dual nationality feel the country will have accepted that the reality of identity and citizenship are subtler than the current rules acknowledge and that in a globalised world people are increasingly straddling more than one country or culture. and perhaps Denmark would get more out of its citizens if it promoted involvement and inclusion in society – wherever one might be – instead of forcing them to choose sides, a decision many find heart-breakingly difficult to do. CoBe and PuBliC arkitekter
expect big changes at nørreport station
I might have permanent residency, but it’s only as permanent as the rules are
An artist’s conception of the new nørreport station
rock and a hard place” because of its disruption to traffic, commuters and local businesses. But, he contended, the renovations will be worth it. “i dare to say that there will be smiles on their faces when the station is finished,” tørsløv said. “This is a big investment in urban space. By shutting down vehicular traffic, we shorten the overall process and that can benefit business in the long run.” indeed, the idea of getting the work completed as quickly as possible features heavily in the project’s official plans.
Working under the collective name ‘Ny Nørreport’ (New Nørreport), rail infrastructure agency Banedanmark, rail operator DSB, and the City Council stress that by co-ordinating efforts and working on projects simultaneously, they will “reduce the inconvenience to the users of Nørreport Station to a minimum”. While the inconvenience may be minimised, it will still certainly be felt. in addition to the closing of the S-train platforms and Nørre Voldgade, the regional train platform will be completely shut down for eight months from au-
gust 2013. Still, the Ny Nørreport collective stressed that doing the work in one fell swoop is the best approach. “Using the station will be a different experience for a time, and it will be noisy and dusty at times but we will do our best and complete all three projects by 2014 rather than disturbing the same place three times,” the project’s official website reads. a short video showing an overview of the project can be viewed at nynoerreport.dk/visualisering. (JC)
The COpenhagen pOsT CphpOsT.dk
14 - 20 October 2011
Justin Cremer danish spin-off group plans to take part in global demo on saturday
#Occupywallstreet comes to denmark
n septeMBer 17, a group of activists descended on new York City’s Zuccotti park, just around the corner from Wall street, to protest against the growing economic inequality in the United states, what they view as America’s broken political system, and the institutions responsible for the global economic crisis. The protesters, inspired by the Arab spring and populist movements in spain and greece, set up camp in the park, and word of the movement quickly began to spread via social media sites twitter and facebook. Known as occupy Wall street – or #occupyWallstreet in twitter lingo – the movement was largely ignored by the media despite the large numbers of people taking to the streets and the incredible amount of online activity. it wasn’t until the occupation entered its second week when it began to garner mainstream attention. on september 24, thousands of protesters marched to Union square. over 80 were arrested by the new York police Department (nYpD), and online videos surfaced of police using excessive force against the protesters, including a particularly troubling incident in which an nYpD deputy inspector was caught on camera pepper-spraying a group of young women who were standing defencelessly behind police netting. Video of the arrests and police behaviour spread like wildfire online and brought significantly more attention to the movement, swelling the ranks in new York and leading to the creation of similar protest groups across the United states. in a later incident, nearly 700 marchers were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge and mass arrests have also been reported in Us cities ranging from Boston, Massachusetts to Des Moines, iowa. now in its fourth week, the original new York protests have been buoyed by the support of several organised labour unions, and occupy groups are active in well over 60 Us cities. The movement has also crossed the Atlantic into Denmark. Here, the group occupy Denmark began as a show of sympathy to the American protesters. But, like in the Us, it quickly spiralled into something more. “This started for most of us as a way to express our solidarity with what is going on in the United states,” tomas Vogter, one of the individuals behind occupy Denmark, told The Copenhagen post. “We then had a meeting to determine if we would just be a solidarity group or if we would address some
Max Bank goes bust, but deal breaks fall
The New York protesters - and their many Us and international offshoots - claim to represent “the 99%” who suffer from an economic and political system that favours the wealthiest one percent
of the issues that we have in Denmark. After a seven-hour meeting on sunday, we determined that we would address domestic issues as well.” it didn’t take long for the local group to pick up steam. When The Copenhagen post first contacted occupy Denmark for this story, it had roughly 200 ‘likes’ on facebook and hadn’t made a blip in the media. since then it has been the subject of features by Dr, tV2, information newspaper, and others, and as of tuesday had over 1,500 facebook followers. “our movement is growing and now it’s too big to ignore,” Vogter said. “The press has finally realised this isn’t just a group of unwashed hippies.” still, questions remain about the parallels one can draw between the situation in Denmark and the United states. Can a populist movement find success in a country like Denmark, where the gap between the rich and poor doesn’t match that of the Us, where some of the American protesters’ recurrent complaints – the prohibitive, and sometimes crippling, costs of healthcare and higher education – are negated by a welfare state, and where a progressive tax rate ensures that the wealthiest members of society contribute significantly to the country’s coffers? “When you look at salaries, we don’t have the kind of gap you see in the Us, but it is starting. And the gap between rich and poor is growing exponentially,” Vogter said. “over the last ten years, the
when you look at salaries, we don’t have the kind of gap you see in the Us, but it is starting government, for ideological reasons, created poverty. They determined that the unemployed should have an ‘incentive’ to go to work and so they instituted a ceiling on social welfare. A lot of people got into a situation where they had to choose between buying food or paying their rent. You also now see a tendency where the poor here are getting stigmatised.” in many ways, the occupy Denmark group can be seen as a microcosm of the movement as a whole. There are divergent views and a lack of one coherent message. The four primary organisers behind occupy Denmark, Vogter said, represent different political and social backgrounds, making it a challenge to set concrete objectives. That was clear to see when the group posted its proposed manifesto on facebook, setting off an intense debate among supporters. “put very simply, we are demanding decency in the Danish democratic system,” Vogter said. “Denmark has often looked at itself as a forerunner in
equality, a forerunner for a better world. We’ve always looked at ourselves as a small country who did things the right way, but for the past ten years, we’ve lost this position. so we feel we have good ground to change the system and change Denmark.” The occupy Denmark group is now actively planning its part in a “global day of action” on saturday that will see demonstrations in over 1,000 cities worldwide, from the Us to Australia, and from south Africa to south Korea. in Denmark, there will be demonstrations in Copenhagen, Aarhus, and odense. The local demo will take place in the town hall square, rådhuspladsen, at 3pm. following in the footsteps of their American counterparts, who have had a live video feed online since the first day of their Wall street occupation, the Danish organisers plan to livestream the event to the world at livestream.com/occupydenmark. According to a website dedicated to co-ordinating the various october 15 events, it is designed as a day for global citizens to speak as one. “United in one voice, we will let politicians, and the financial elites they serve, know it is up to us, the people, to decide our future,” the site, 15october.net, reads. “on october 15, we will meet on the streets to initiate the global change we want. We will peacefully demonstrate, talk and organise until we make it happen. it’s time for us to unite. it’s time for them to listen.”
n sAtUrDAY evening it looked like Max Bank, based in næstved, was about to become the tenth Danish bank to go bankrupt since the financial crisis began in the autumn of 2007. That outcome was avoided at the eleventh hour by a buyout deal sweetened by state support. The financial supervisory Authority (fsA) announced on saturday that Max Bank would be pronounced bankrupt on Monday morning unless an acquisition deal was in place within 24 hours. By sunday evening, a deal had been brokered, and bankruptcy – at least in name – was averted. The more financially-sound institution sparekassen sjælland, based in Holbæk, was allowed to buy up the healthy parts of Max Bank’s portfolio, leaving the insolvent parts to the state-owned financial stability Company to deal with. Those insolvent accounts will be absorbed by the financial stability Company, which was created at the beginning of the financial crisis, to ensure the stability of the financial sector. Deposit guarantees to cover potential financial losses were financed by the banking industry itself. The Max Bank buyout deal means that none of Max Bank’s 35,000 private customers will lose their money. The bank’s nine branch offices will now become sparekassen sjælland branch offices, and 125 out of roughly 200 Max Bank employees will keep their jobs. But Max Bank’s 23,000 shareholders can consider their investments lost – their shares no longer have any value, reports Berlingske Business. As the state was Max Bank’s largest shareholder, with a 19.39 percent stake, the state’s losses could approach four billion kroner. The fsA-authorised acquisition deal was made possible by the government’s newest bank guarantee programme, Bankpakke 4, which passed before the general election last month. With Bankpakke 4, the state aimed to avoid the kind of total meltdown that occurred last year when Amagerbanken went under and the financial stability Company acquired all its debts. private Amagerbanken customers with deposits of more than 750,000 kroner – the maximum amount guaranteed by state-backed depositor’s insurance – lost some of their money. Henning Kruse-petersen, financial stability Company chairman, hoped the outcome of the Max Bank deal would restore foreign confidence in Danish banks, or at least keep it from eroding further. “it would be hard to disregard the consequences if foreign creditors saw another Danish bank go under,” he told Berlingske newspaper. (JB)
Online This week psychologist held in contempt for refusing to speak A retireD military psychologist has been charged with contempt of court for refusing to break a client confidentiality agreement in a case that involves the alleged torture of Afghan war prisoners. following an appearance in Copenhagen’s eastern High Court last week on Wednesday, Merthe Lindholm
described the pledge of confidentiality as “inviolable” for her profession. she rejected the notion that her testimony could shed light on the allegations of torture. “i would break my pledge of confidentiality if i could prevent future crimes. But this is history, and it’s up to others to unravel what happened,” she said.
Cops net nearly a tonne of hash in bust CopenHAgen police confiscated nearly one tonne of pure hash last week in a bust that resulted from a five-month investigation. The street value of the drug is estimated at between 40 and 45 million kroner. nine individuals were arrested. in all, 14 people were arrested, and 907 kilograms of hash and 2.3 mil-
lion kroner in cash was confiscated. The charges range from drug smuggling to possession of illegal weapons. “it was a really great catch here,” steffen Hansen of the Copenhagen police said. “it’s one of the largest we have ever seen.” Hansen added, however, that the arrests would have little impact on the overall drug trade.
study: Children can be identified as future alcoholics A first grade teacher can predict which students in their class will become alcoholics, according to new research, which Dagens Medicin calls “rock solid, proven and tangible”. The study offers four clear indicators that can reveal whether the child of an
alcoholic will inherit the illness. if a child had a low birth weight, stopped breastfeeding prematurely, and suffered a shortage of vitamin K during labour, and has ADHD or behavioral problems, he or she stands a high chance of becoming an alcoholic.
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Injection rooms save lives
F THE ORGANISERS of Occupy Denmark, a local offshot of the Occupy Wall Street movement, ever needed a rallying cry, it should be this: “Denmark is a place where few have too much and fewer have too little.” Far from being a newly-coined election slogan, the phrase was written in 1820 as part of a hymn by religious figure NFS Grundtvig. But even though it predates the welfare state, it serves as one of the tenets of the nation’s social security system. And while even the organisers of Occupy Denmark recognise that there is still far less economic and social inequality here than in other countries, the observation had come to ring a little hollow over the past ten years. Were Grundtvig to return today, he would encounter a country that until this month had been governed by the principle that greater inequality is acceptable. That philosophy was laid down in 2005 by the then social minister, Eva Kjer Hansen, who caused something of a national identity crisis when she said in an interview: “It’s a fact that inequality is on the rise in Denmark. That’s okay, since it creates a more dynamic society.” Hansen, under pressure from the prime minister, later withdrew the statement, but the government’s actions spoke louder than her retraction – during its ten years in power, it cut welfare benefit eligibility periods, implemented more control over benefit recipients, and cut taxes for the richest. It is this kind of attitude that Occupy Denmark is protesting against, and it is this type of attitude that got the Liberal-Conservative government kicked out of office in last month’s election. The new Social Democrat-led government has pledged to reinvigorate the social welfare system. Whether they can or will remains to be seen, but what is certain is that neither politicians nor protesters can succeed on their own. Demonstrators can put a human face on the impact of political decisions, but real reform requires political action. With the country facing issues ranging from unemployment to teetering banks, there’s every reason to believe Occupy Denmark’s protest can bring together the variety of faces needed to ensure they aren’t written off as disorganised hippies. The last time we saw mass demonstrations was in 2009, when thousands of people – from senior citizens to experienced activists – took to the streets to show that they wanted something to be done to prevent climate change. This time around, they are taking to the streets to fight something every bit as global, but its premise is quintessentially Danish.
MICHAEL LODBERG OLSEN
N MONDAY September 12 Denmark’s first mobile injection room made its maiden voyage, driving from Victoriagade to Reventlowsgade behind Central Station. The room is actually an outdated German ambulance that has room for three intravenous drug addicts, and a doctor and a nurse who can give first aid or other medical assistance. The introduction of the mobile injection rooms draws to a close 35 years of pointless drugs policies in Vesterbro. On the first evening alone seven addicts took advantage of the ambulance’s offer of shelter from the elements and a place where they could avoid the glances of passers-by. Syringes and other tools of the trade are discarded in medical waste containers, and the volunteer healthcare personnel are standing by to help. Since its first night, the mobile injection room has driven the streets of Vesterbro three
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called harm reduction initiatives are permitted under domestic and international laws. But, we do not receive financial support to operate the vans from either the national or the city government. For the time being, we rely on donations to make sure we have enough money to keep two ambulances and 50 volunteers on the street. Why do we need an injection room? Injection rooms give addicts a clean, supervised place where they can shoot up, which is decisive for reducing the spread of infectious diseases and deadly overdoses. About 300 people die of an overdose in Denmark each year – more deaths per capita than in most other European countries. Other cities have already set up injection rooms, and the results of the 92 existing facilities clearly show that not only are there fewer deaths, there is also a decrease in the amount of fewer needles littering streets and lower crime rates. The most recent studies document that injection rooms are better at helping people drop their addiction. It all boils down to a question of human dignity. Are we, as a society, willing to let young people die right in front of our eyes, under the degrading conditions that substance abuse brings with it, or will we use our common sense and take responsibility? Will we continue to drive some of the most marginalised members of our society into the courtyards and stairwells of
Are we, as a society, willing to let young people die right in front of our eyes, under the degrading conditions that substance abuse brings with it? Vesterbro, or will we find the resources to create a place where someone can keep an eye on them. The Injection Room Association was established as a desperate reaction to a political machine that puts the system before the people, but the new government will support an injection room. The overwhelming support in favour of injection rooms spans from the far left to the ultra-liberal. But until they get a chance to vote, we’ll still be out on the streets of Vesterbro. With the help of socially conscious volunteers and with financial support from businesses, we can help bring life, dignity and cleaner streets to Vesterbro. The author is the president of Forening Fixerum (the Injection Room Association) and the organiser of the Mobile Injection Room
READER COMMENTS Here is Denmark’s new cabinet
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nights a week. Most addicts in the area are aware of the ambulance and have expressed their enthusiasm and gratitude for the initiative. They feel respected. The facility gives a sense of dignity to a group of people who would otherwise be forced to feed their addiction in public. It also creates a sense of trust between a marginalised group and us – a society and a welfare state that can help if the confidence and trust is there. Years of working to establish an injection room in Vesterbro have finally paid off. That payoff includes over 100 addicts shooting up in a clean environment, no overdose deaths, and 65 litres of used needles. Since that first night, a second ambulance has been donated by Falck, and the Injection Room Association now has everything it needs to offer drug addicts a safe place to shoot up: a calm, hygienic environment, clean needles, light, heat and staff that want to help. We’re even certain of the initiative’s legal footing. A number of leading law experts, including Vagn Greve and the organisation Street Lawyers, say unequivocally that injection rooms and soKEVIN WELK
Give us back the land of Grundtvig
14 - 20 October 2011
Denmark has a whopping 22 ministries (which is a whole other topic in itself) and only five of the new ministers have either an educational or professional background in the ministry they will be leading, and no-one seems to care. I suppose Danes are content to let politicians give away cabinet posts as political favours and rewards for faithful party service, regardless of whether or not these influential people are the least bit competent. Here’s a quick selection of the strange decisions: foreign affairs minister Villy Søvndal, he can barely speak English; finance minister Bjarne Corydon, career politician, no finance experience whatsoever, got the job as a favour for working for Gucci; justice minister Morten Bødskov, justice minister without even a law degree, yeah, that makes sense; business and growth minister Ole Sohn, former communist, need we say more; tax minister Thor Möger Pedersen, 26 years old, are you frikkin’ kidding me; defence minister Nick Hækkerup, impressive background, but no military exposure - would have been better as justice minister; health minister Astrid Krag, 29 years old and no healthcare experience; European affairs minister Nicolai Wammen, rising star and a sharp guy, but has never lived in any other EU country; employment minister Mette
Frederiksen, yet another career politician with no professional experience, but a degree in African studies, yeah, that’ll help solve DK’s growing unemployment. JFD By website Massive fine in sampling case Sorry guys but you stole someone else’s music, you got caught and now you have to suffer the consequences. Just because others do it does not make it right. With a fine like that they are not going to forget it and maybe it will stop others. Plagiarism is rife and it has to be stopped. I am surprised that some of the Euro-vision song contest bands were not in court as well, some definitely sounded like other bands music. Rugratzz By website I think this case is a farce and that the amount awarded is ridiculous and should be relative to the success of the actual peice of work Djuma made. Also, the court’s ruling that 84 percent of the work was from Atilla Engin’s track is preposterous. Dsyben By website Sampling is an artistic expression. When the snippet of another tune is used in an adventurous and treated way, it becomes a fresh musical composition. I have no problems with this. Some great electronic tunes have been born
this way. I find this judgment over the top. All songs are now copies anyway, as there no longer exists any new form or genre in pop and rock. So it’s all plagiarism in one form or another. If they don’t have the money (especially in a matter of days), what gives? Everything is retro now. Jeg er By website All eyes on fat tax Why not just tax fat people and have done with it? Thin people can carry on eating what they like, until they fall into the fat band and get punished with all the other sinners. Likewise fat people can starve themselves to redemption. There could be an annual assessment of the population, possibly in connection with filling out the ‘Selvangivlse’ or whatever it’s called. Tot By website Denmark’s rubbish at athletics – is it because it’s not a team sport? The answer is probably “no”. Denmark is also rubbish at most team sports. In fact, Danes are probably better at solo-sports than team sports. They are okay at badminton and cycling. They have a good tennis player and reasonably good boxer. The only team sport they seem to do well in is handball (certainly not football), and that’s probably because
most other countries don’t take handball seriously, and Danes do. Nebs By website No, it’s because top athletes need sponsorship and DK doesn’t attract it. Npandjmclay By website Yes, it´s a jante law issue. Just stay mediocre and vote socialist! Magic1964 By website 114-old-year old tree is history At least this lovely old tree has been able to give us an extra 5 months of oxygen to breathe once the May 2011 chopping date was postponed. It is a shame the new incoming government did not see any good reasons to save this tree. Logging is big business here in Denmark, cutting down a tree of that size would incur a fee of at least 50,000kr from the tree surgeon who would also keep the timber to resell. Compared to the UK or Sweden there are very few big trees of anything like this size left in Copenhagen. When I first came here in the early 1990s Enghave Plads and Sonder Boulevard were lined with big lovely old trees, as was Fredriksberg park; sadly now all big straight trunked trees have been logged for timber under various policies like ´in the wrong place´ or ´sick´ or ´obstructing light´. Mick By website
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
14 - 20 October 2011
To Be Perfectly Frank BY FRANK THEAKSTON Born in 1942 on the Isle of Wight, Englishman Frank Theakston has been in Copenhagen 32 years and is on his second marriage to a Dane. Frank comes from a different time and a different culture – which values are the right ones today?
Get your priorities right! COLOURBOX
HE FIRST TIME it happened to me was in 1975. For some reason it sticks out clearly in my memory. It was on a fairly major road in Geneva, where I had recently arrived with my family to take up a job, and I was on my way home by car after work. Suddenly a moped appeared in front of the car. Fortunately neither of us was travelling at any great speed, and we both stopped. When I wound down the window the moped driver, a middle-aged genevois, politely but firmly informed me that it was “ma priorité, monsieur!” He had driven out from a tiny lane on my right and was exercising his priorité à droite. Since all British schoolchildren in my day were more or less force-fed the French language (well, grammar anyway) and often gleefully informed of all the peculiarities that the French indulged in (including, of course, eating frogs’ legs and snails), we had all heard of that completely laughable driving rule. And we laughed! I mean, how could anyone be so stupid as to live with a rule that allowed cars priority on entering roundabouts. This of course led to another urban myth that all French cars had permanent dents in their right front wings from trying to negotiate themselves out of roundabouts while others exercised their priorité to enter. Ha ha! Anyway, on arriving in Geneva (now of course in Switzerland but with a significant history of French influence) we were assured that “almost all” of the road junctions were now clearly marked with stop or give-way signs. Maybe, but the three percent or so remaining lurked mischievously, waiting for some innocent foreigner (some 60 percent of the population of Geneva, incidentally) to inadvertently stumble across one. And
Roundabouts may look pretty, but they can be a pain in the bumper
did they warn you that you were approaching one? Of course not. I mean, everyone knew there was one there, didn’t they? It took me, I guess, ten years or so of driving in Denmark to discover that the same phenomenon exists here, especially in Greater Copenhagen. Højre vigepligt it’s called in the vernacular and it can be found in the back streets throughout the great metropolis – even in Gentofte I discovered. But the giveaway is the fact that it took me so long to realise it was there. The reason? Nobody takes the slightest notice of it,
Cyclists are clearly the main culprits: going through red lights, cycling the wrong way on oneway streets, no lights at night, talking on mobiles, the litany goes on and on
at least once they’ve passed their driving test. And of course cyclists don’t have to pass a test anyway. Nobody of sound mind would dream of pulling out from a side street at an unmarked T-junction, for example, without giving way to the traffic from the left! Nobody does that! This must have been one of the first exceptions to the færdselslov to become accepted practice, though it is certainly not the only one today. And cyclists are clearly the main culprits: going through red lights, cycling on pavements or pedestrian streets or the wrong way on
one-way streets, no lights at night, talking on mobiles, the litany goes on and on. And there’s very little reaction from the public or action from the police, despite the fact that all of these practices are potentially extremely dangerous. What’s more, if you pull out in your car and hit a cyclist going the wrong way on a cycle path, it’s more likely that you will be charged with reckless driving rather than the cyclist! Remember, you are a ‘hard road user’ whereas a cyclist is a ‘soft road user’ and can behave more or less with impunity it seems. But I digress a little. In the case of højre vigepligt, surely the easiest way of removing this threat to life and limb is simply to paint ‘stop’ or ‘give-way’ markings at every road junction or crossing (and erect signs as well, because you can’t see the markings when it snows or is wet at night). Isn’t that common sense? Would it be prohibitively costly? Depends on your priorities of course. And while we’re at it, why hasn’t the EU in all its guises since the establishment of the Common Market in the early 1960s really addressed the question of standardising driving customs throughout Europe? Oh yes, road signs are more-or-less standardised, but with national exceptions. And it’s precisely the odd exception to a rule that’s so dangerous. So come on Brussels, get your finger out and establish a real European standard that does away with priority from the right and other dangerous ‘traditions’. And if there need to be exceptions to the standard, then make sure everyone knows what they are before they venture across a national boundary. It should be easy. I could probably draft such a standard myself. It might take me a day or two but hey, let’s get our priorities right!
CPH POST VOICES
‘SO SAYS CELIA’
Clare MacCarthy is Nordic correspondent for The Economist and a frequent contributor to The Financial Times and The Irish Times. She’ll go anywhere from the Gobi Desert to the Arctic in search of a story. The most fascinating thing about Denmark, she says, is its contradictions.
Celia Thaysen is a British love refugee who landed on these shores six years ago. With below-par Danish, a tendency to tardiness, and a fondness for Marmite, she spends her time fumbling her way through unfamiliar territory as a working mother-of-two with a house in the ‘burbs.
English by nature – Danish at heart. Freelance journalist Richard Steed has lived in Copenhagen for nearly five years now. “I love this city and want Copenhagen to be a shining example to the rest of the world.”
A proud native of the American state of Iowa, Justin Cremer has been living in Copenhagen since June 2010. In addition to working at the CPH Post, he balances fatherhood, the Danish language and the ever-changing immigration rules. Follow him at twitter.com/justincph
The COpenhagen pOsT CphpOsT.dk
14 - 20 October 2011
government backtracks on CIa new mother gets temporary flight investigation deportation reprieve When in opposition, the three government parties had called for a full investigation into alleged rendition flights
ince the revelation leaked in January 2011 that Danish officials engaged in double-dealing over ciA rendition flights through Danish airspace, lawmakers in Denmark and Greenland have been demanding answers. Leading the charge for a full investigation into the flights were the then-opposition parties Social Democrats, Socialist People’s Party and Social Liberals. now that those parties have assumed power, they have determined that an investigation into the flights is no longer necessary. “To avoid a backwardslooking and costly investigation, the government has decided that it would be sufficient to reinstate the offer to Greenland that they can have free and complete access to all relevant information if Greenland determines it to be necessary,” new foreign minister Villy Søvndal told Jyllands-Posten. in March, all the Greenlandic political parties issued a joint
call for the Danish government to fully investigate the alleged ciA flights. “Given our current data, i suspect the Danish authorities have given the ciA permission to use Danish airspace,” Justus Hansen, the head of the Greenlandic parliament’s foreign policy and security committee, said at the time. The Greenlandic politicians were reacting to the WikiLeaks release of diplomatic cables from the US embassy indicating that former foreign minister Per Stig Møller had asked Washington to avoid answering questions about the alleged transfer of prisoners while at the same time promising parliament that he would demand answers from the US as part of a comprehensive investigation. The then-opposition parties joined the call for an investigation. “We have summoned the prime minister and the foreign minister because we want to shed every light on this embarrassing scandal,” niels Helveg Petersen, a spokesman for the Social Liberals, told news agency AFP in January. The three government parties were calling for an investigation as late as last month.
Tue Magnussen of the United nations Association of Denmark criticised Søvndal for now dropping the call for an investigation. “Villy Søvndal says that all they will do is offer Greenland access to the information,” Magnussen told The copenhagen Post. “On the one hand that is a good offer, but Greenland was only part of the problem. As a country that has been a forerunner in the fight against torture, Denmark has a special obligation to thoroughly investigate the way it may have been involved in the transport of detainees.” Magnussen added that in 2008, Møller called the answers he received from Washington “unsatisfactory” and since there is a new administration in the United States, they should be asked once again about the alleged ciA flights. “We are owed an explanation. Did the renditions also mean torture? The only way to stop such things is to do a thorough investigation and draw conclusions,” he said. Former immigration and development minister Søren Pind of the Liberals, however, praised Søvndal’s decision. “i take my hat off to Villy Søvndal,” Pind said. “it was a patriotic act.”
Mother threatened with deportation despite 7-week-old child needing urgent medical care
MeDiA outcry may have helped a Danish man keep his Vietnamese wife in the country while their seven-weekold girl, Sofia, receives vital medical treatment. The initial decision to deport 27-year-old Kim Loan Dinh – and either separate Dinh from Sofia while the child continued treatment, or send Sofia back to Vietnam with Dinh, where the family fears she will receive inadequate medical treatment – was criticised by one of Sofia’s nurses. “i find the possible separation of mother and child at this very early point in Sofia’s life very worrying,” read a written statement from the unnamed nurse that was obtained by metroXpress. “There is a strong risk [Sofia] may develop attachment issues which could seriously affect her emotional and social development.” Further complicating the decision, the hip abduction brace used by Sofia cannot be taken out of the country, and removing it too early could cause massive complications according to the chief children’s physician at Hvidore Hospital. Kim Loan Dinh married her Danish husband, 21-yearold casper Præst, in Vietnam last year after they met while he was a student in the country. But because of the ‘24-year
Daily newspaper metroXpress brought attention to the story on Tuesday
rule’, Dinh was unable to move to Denmark and Præst returned home without her. Dinh became pregnant during their time together in Vietnam and this spring came to visit Præst and his family for three months before she was due to give birth. But during a check-up, she was told she was further into her pregnancy than previously thought, meaning she would have to fly home while heavily pregnant. She then applied for, and was granted, an extension to her tourist visa. On August 19, Dinh gave birth to Sofia, who was born with hip dysplasia. She was placed in a hip brace and had check-up scans planned for late September and December to monitor her progress. Dinh – wanting to stay with Sofia while she completed her treatment – applied for another extension to her visa. it was denied on the grounds that visas can only be
extended once. The denial meant Dinh was told to leave the country on Sunday, with or without Sofia. But Tuesday, after appealing to the Justice Ministry, she was granted a temporary extension until november 1 so her case can be examined. Speaking to The copenhagen Post, Præst said he was “absolutely happy” about the extension, but added they had a long way to go. “it’s hard, and my wife feels the same, but at least she’s together with our daughter for now,” Præst said. “i hope they will look into it and see that this is not an ordinary case and extend her visa until our daughter’s treatment is finished.” But even if Dinh is allowed to stay while Sofia is treated, the current immigration rules mean it is unlikely she can live in the country permanently until Præst turns 24.
Fireworks warehouse explosion kills two
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police discover over a tonne of fireworks in the home of one of the deceased
WO PeOPLe were killed Saturday morning after a cache of illegal fireworks exploded in a warehouse in the Jutland town of Store Andst. Residents of the town told the media that the series of explosions shook their belongings from table-tops, caused insulation to fall out of the ceilings, and that fireworks could be seen going off in the sky. Debris was also found scattered in fields several hundred meters from the explosion, which could be heard up to seven kilometres away. Firefighters from three surrounding towns were called in to control the ensuing fire that broke out in several nearby homes. All the residents within 400 meters of the warehouse were evacuated, and while some were allowed to return the following day, many had to spend a second night away from home. A 42-year-old man and 45-year-old woman, both from the nearby town of Brørup, died in the explosion, though their
The explosion could reportedly be heard from seven kilometres away
identities have not yet been released by the police after a request from family members. Over 1,200 kilograms of fireworks were found at the dead man’s apartment and residents in five nearby homes had to be evacuated while the bomb disposal unit was called in. Two men – a 32-year-old and 41-year-old – were arrested following a police investigation into the incident . The 41-year-old was arrested on Monday, when police discovered 500 highly powerful and illegal chrysanthemum bombs in his home in the nearby village of Sommersted. The 32-year-old man from Vamdrup was arrested on Tuesday. The two men are being
charged with endangering the lives of others and storing illegal fireworks. They face up to eight years in prison. Saturday’s explosions brought back memories of a 2004 explosion at a fireworks factory in the village of Seest, only ten kilometres from Store Andst. That explosion killed one person, damaged 350 homes and caused 750 million kroner worth of damage. That accident was caused when an employee dropped a box of rockets which then exploded and set fire to the factory. Police had evacuated the town by the time the factory exploded. The blast was so violent it measured 2.2 on the Richter scale. (PS)
11 Your gander will confirm you missed a hell of a party community
The COpenhagen pOsT CphpOsT.dk
14 - 20 October 2011
Photos: hasse ferrold & Words: Ben hamilton
Uganda celebrated the 49th anniversary of its independence day with a celebration at Copenhagen International School in Hellerup on Saturday that proved to be a fun family day out for all those who attended. A wide range of representatives of the Ugandan and African communities were there to enjoy dancing (see photo), delicacies, and lots of fun activities for the kids.
It was a feast fit for a king, or in this case Ghana’s ambassador Hajia Fati Habib-Jawnlaa (left), who was among the dignitaries attending.
The kids had a fantastic time. Pictured here are (left-right) Carla, little Joseph, Claudia, Jennifer and Jamima. The proceedings wouldn’t have been complete without an address from Ugandan ambassador Joseph Tomusange. He will have to do something pretty special to top this celebration for his country’s 50th anniversary next year.
Watch out ladies, here’s Bernard, Byamungo, Jyckey, Musah and Shelby, who were all keen to draw our attention to a forthcoming performance by Swedish/Congolese singer Mohombi, a pop star who has been pioneering a sound he calls Afro-Viking.
The day included a lot of impromptu performances …
Pictured here enjoying the proceedings are (left-right) Vagn Frikke-Schmidt, the chairman of Børn i Africa, a Danish association that in collaboration with DanChurchAid assists disadvantaged children in Africa, Ugandan ambassador Joseph Tomusange, and South African ambassador Samkelisiwe Mhlanga.
despite some fierce competition for the main rolls …
Among those in attendance were (left-right) Margaret Otteskov, the embassy’s trade, investment and tourism desk officer, Babra and Pitience.
that the audience enjoyed immensely.
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
14 - 20 October 2011
ABOUT TOWN PHOTOS BY HASSE FERROLD UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED
A short season of Polish films began recently at Cinemateket. Pictured here (left-right) are two of the country’s film directors Krzysztof Krauze and Joanna Kos-Krauze, and the country’s ambassador Rafal Wisniewski.
Sticks’N’Sushi has launched a new restaurant called STICKS’N’STICKS (at Nansensgade 47) that takes its inspiration from the laidback Japanese street kitchen and tends to focus more on side-dishes like yakitori, skewers of meat to be enjoyed with a glass of beer or sake, seen here being consumed in the correct way, from a wooden vessel some might mistake for an ashtray.
They were packing them in for the Celebrate Africa awards on Saturday at the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, an annual show that recognises the achievements of people in the African domain in a wide range of mediums. Pictured here are (left-right) award winners Dodo Yagne (sport), Lotte Bach Hansen (writing), Enan Galay (honorary), Thereze Toxværd (best hairstyle) and Carolina Vallejo (music).
The South African Embassy was the place to be for the launch of a new book about the country’s people by writer Line Hadsbjerg and photographer Pep Bonet entitled ‘Remarkable South Africans’. Pictured here are (left-right) Ugandan ambassador Joseph Tomusange, Moroccan ambassador Raja Ghannam, Hadsbjerg, South African ambassador Samkelisiwe Mhlanga, the Ivory Coast’s ambassador designate Mina Marie Laurent Bald (who is due to visit the queen on Friday), Algerian ambassador Abdelhamid Boubazine, and Burkina Faso’s ambassador Monique Ilboudo.
INSPIRATION FROM THE SPIRE
Jonathan LLoyd is the Anglican/Episcopal priest in Denmark. You can find him on your way to the Little Mermaid at St Alban’s Church, Churchillparken. This may seem like a little piece of England complete with its distinctive spire and statue of Sir Winston, but it gathers people from across the globe plus hundreds of tourists each week. Jonathan has lived in Copenhagen for the last two years and loves the place.
There was a strong turnout for a concert organised by the Serbian Embassy at the Serbia Culture Center in Hellerup on Monday. Pictured here are (left-right) soprano Marija Mitic, mezzo-soprano Iva Profaca, Serbian ambassador Vida Ognjenovic, Christian Dons Christensen from the Foreign Ministry, Iraqi ambassador Albert Issa Nothor and his wife, pianist Vladimir Gligoric (behind them), and Nenad Maricic, the head of the consular section at the Serbian Embassy.
AST WEEK I had a very different kind of day. I was invited on board HMS Albion, the flagship of the Royal Navy visiting Copenhagen. Drinks on the bridge with the captain were accompanied by wonderful British sausages on sticks. It was difficult to concentrate on the briefing when faced with such a delicious distraction. At first I thought it was a mirage, but I can tell you that it was certainly the real thing. As I was shown round the nine pristine decks by the warmhearted padre the crew call ‘Bish’, I carefully avoided cracking my head as we sped up and down almost vertical stairwells. We came to the ship’s kitchen. Here the shelves were glowing yellow with that glorious stuff: Marmite. I never imagined that a modern warship could feel like heaven. And it was all a bit surreal in a way. I could not forget that back in 1801, just a few hundred yards further out, the Royal Navy led by Vice-Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson were here in force for the Battle of Copenhagen. In 1807 the
Brits returned to fire cannonballs into the centre of Copenhagen, destroying the old cathedral and half the city. One cannonball still remains embedded in the front porch of the Bishop of Copenhagen’s house, opposite the new cathedral. I once showed it to the archbishop of Canterbury. “Don’t blame me, I’m Welsh,” he replied, shrugging his shoulders. Thinking more about Anglo-Danish history, last month saw an anniversary which went almost unnoticed here in Denmark, involving a previous archbishop of Canterbury. A thousand years ago, in September 1011, the Danes invaded Canterbury and imprisoned Archbishop Alphege. I have an interest as this is the city in Kent that I grew up in. As a child I remember cycling along streets with Danish names and wondering why. The Danes expected Alphege to raise a ransom for his release, as was the custom, but his flock were already in poverty as a result of the Danegeld they’d had to raise to deter previous raids. The sum
Don’t blame me, I’m Welsh
Taiwan celebrated the 100th anniversary of its national day at Hotel Scandinavia on Monday. Pictured here (left-right) are Clark KH Chen, the head of representation at the Taipei Representative Office, Michael Danielsen, the chairman of Taiwan Corner, Professor Heurlin Dep from the University of Copenhagen, and MP Holger K Nielsen.
demanded for Alphege (£3,000) was an enormous amount. Alphege steadfastly refused to let his people raise a ransom and he remained in prison. On 19 April 1012 the Danes were feasting in their camp at Greenwich by the Thames. In their drunken fury they remembered Alphege languishing in prison close by and decided to take out their frustration on him at his resistance. They started by pelting him with ox bones and stones. Then, as he was dying from his injuries, a soldier killed him with an axe blow to the head – some say it was intended to be an act of mercy. Archbishop Alphege became the first Christian martyr of Canterbury, followed on 29 December 1170 by Thomas Becket. Next April there will be major commemorations of St Alphege’s death taking place in both Greenwich and Canterbury. I am not sure how we will mark the millennium here in Copenhagen. Perhaps raise a glass of chilled lager to the happy fact that we are now the best of friends and celebrate the fact that our Anglo-Danish battles are today restricted to the football field.
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
14 - 20 October 2011
Invincible and irresistible Celtics seal title with two games to spare RODDY WALKER International club Copenhagen Celtic have put last season’s disappointment of losing in the playoffs behind them with an amazing 18 wins in 20 games
N A SUN-KISSED afternoon in Valby, the undefeated Copenhagen Celtic first eleven went into their tussle with rivals ABC knowing that a draw would be enough to seal the championship and a welcome return to the first division. Coach Pat Kelly had clearly sent the team out with victory in mind, and the urgency of Celtic’s football in the opening period of the game suggested they were eager to settle the tie as quickly as possible, enabling the celebrations to begin in earnest. The high tempo and incisive passing displayed by Celtic seemed to catch ABC on the wrong foot, and a delicious cross from right back Robert Stronach was headed home by the flying Dutchman, Ton Baks, to put Celtic ahead after eight minutes. Celtic were relentless in attack in the early phase of the match, driven on by the Danish central midfield engine room of Søren Moesgaard and Tobias Bræmer. Bræmer’s surging 30yard run at the heart of the opposition teed up Baks, who once again dispatched a clinical finish from just inside the box. At this stage ABC had no response to the Celtic onslaught, with the direct dribbling and movement of Mikkel Røddik on the left flank proving a constant thorn in their side. The expansive football on display at this point was illustrated by a delightful pass from Canada’s Flemming Krogh on the right, sweeping the ball along the edge of the area, leading
to a desperate clearance by the ABC defence. Shortly after this Celtic were almost caught napping at the back, when a hoofed clearance bounced through the rearguard resulting in a one-onone situation with goalkeeper Morten Mittag. Mittag was alert to the danger and marshalled the attacker into a wide position, with the eventual shot trickling harmlessly wide. This was a clear warning that Celtic were not going to have it all their own way. In the middle of the first half another zealous challenge by mercurial Dutch forward Tim Blank was met with a yellow card by the unforgiving referee, with Celtic reduced to ten men for the following ten minutes. This signalled a dramatic change in the course of the game. ABC seemed encouraged by their numerical advantage and began to press forward with real purpose for the first time in the match, and were soon on the score sheet through a rasping long range shot that flew into the top corner. Suddenly Celtic looked uncertain and within two minutes the game was tied at 2-2, with some loose play resulting in a quick break away on the left wing and a first time shot into the bottom right corner. Celtic appeared shellshocked, but Irish centre back Damian Macnamara rallied the troops with some direct instructions that left little to the imagination. The renewed focus brought instant results: once again Røddik tormented the ABC right back and his persistence was rewarded when his cross from the left was finished with aplomb by Morten Rude. Celtic took this narrow 3-2 lead into half time, incredulous as to how they could have been pegged back to such a slender advantage. The second half started and ended as a battle, with ABC
Coach Pat Kelly (top left) unleaches the cava on his triumphant team
testing the mettle of the Celtic defence. Goal keeper Mittag fearlessly won an aerial challenge with two opponents, with English left back Freddy Pettit on hand to clear the subsequent loose ball. The introduction of substitutes Joe Walker and Sune Røper added much needed zest and swagger to the Celtic midfield, which led to some good transitions in the final third of the pitch. A probing through ball from Moesgaard in central midfield was achingly close to being converted by Walker, but proved to be just beyond his reach. The fourth and killer goal however was elusive and the remainder of the game was a scrappy affair, peppered with niggly fouls and the referee’s enthusiastic whistling. In the final moments of the game ABC had a huge opportunity to draw level when
Fact file | Copenhagen Celtic Copenhagen Celtic offers the chance for newcomers to the city to become a part of an extensive social network based on a common love of football. The club has teams that cater for all ages and abilities, competing at different levels in the local DAI leagues. The philosophy of the club is inclusive, with people of any ability and nationality welcome to join – even the Danes!
Because of the international nature of the club membership, English is the common language. Ensuring that everyone can join in the postmatch analysis, usually accompanied by one or two beers. The club holds open training sessions for anyone interested - the details can be found on the ‘Copenhagen Celtic Training’ page on Facebook.
they carved out some space in the Celtic box, but a perfectly timed last ditch tackle by centre back Nicolas Fernstrom kept the score at 3-2. The referee’s final whistle was quickly followed by the sound of corks popping as the supporters spilled onto the pitch. The players got stuck into the champagne - in reality, cut-price cava - with
to gain entry to the festivities are exaggerated, the pulling power of the players was demonstrated, to varying degrees of success, throughout the evening. The league title crowns a successful season for the Copenhagen Celtic A team and new coach Kelly, who has undoubtedly already begun planning their assault on the top flight next year.
COMING UP SOON EPWN Copenhagen Celebratory Networking Dinner
Damco International A/S Dampfærgevej 21, Cph Ø; Wed 19 Oct, 18:3021:30; members are free, non members 150kr
Nicholas Kyrzakos, CFO of Damco, joins the ladies of EPWN Copenhagen for a thought-provoking and informative presentation. He will share his insights on the status of the current economy and what to expect for the remainder of 2011. Moreover, he will talk about the growing importance of women in business and why he believes there will soon be more women board members than ever before. Kyrzakos, a Canada native, has experience working all over the globe and a heavy background in the transportation industry Pre Expressivity and Scenic Presence Workshop for dancers and actors Københavns Musikteater, Kronprinsensgade 7, Cph K; 12-16 Oct, 09:0018:00; contact workshops@goossun. com to enquire about places
The flying Dutchman, Ton Baks, put Celtics in the lead with a commanding header
gusto and prepared for the long evening that lay ahead. The official party took place in the exclusive VIP function room of the club’s main sponsor, the Globe Irish Pub on Nørregade in the city centre. The presence of the team roused interest in the surrounding Copenhagen nightlife, and while rumours of droves of adoring female fans attempting
This advanced training course for performers will push participants to work hard and improve their skills. With an introduction to Goossun Artillery’s unique training technique – which is a result of the artistic director’s study on the work of the 20th century thea-
tre reformers – the workshop will go back to basics. Attendees will learn vocal and physical exercises, create sequences of action, make a montage and work on improvisation. The Iranian artistic director, Vahid, comes from a background of directing theatre, filmmaking and performer training. Friends Café Night: International Potluck
Café Kant, 15 Drejervej, Cph NV; Thu Oct 20, 19:00-22:00; www. meetup.com/copenhagen
Tired of your same old routine? If so, then join the meetup group, The Friends Project: Copenhagen and enjoy a night of food, new people and great conversations. Make sure you bring a dish and an open attitude. Participants will also play a game of answering quiz questions from different countries to learn more about the homelands of participants. Malaysia Independence Day & Malaysian Danish Association’s 10th year anniversary celebration Restaurant Halvleg/Frihedens Idrætscenter, Hvidovrevej 446, Hvidovre; Sat 15 Oct, 18:00-24:00; over-12s 190kr, members 100kr, under-12s 90kr, members 50kr, under-3s free adm, fee includes buffet, coffee and desserts
Celebrate Malaysia’s union with Copenhagen along with their
independence day with a buffet, drinks and – of course – birthday cake and birthday songs. Events of the evening include introduction speeches by VIPs and a live cooking demonstration using Malaysian products. In addition, entertainment will be provided in the form of a line dance performance, waist drum dance and a tai chi performance. Finally, there will be fabulous prizes worth over 10,000kr and a night full of surprises. Expat in Denmark October Social The Avenue Hotel, Åboulevard 29, Frederiksberg 35, Frederiksberg; Wed Oct 19, 18:00-23:00
With the winter season lurking just around the corner, fight off the shortening days with Expat in Denmark’s October social. The night boasts special offers on cocktails, popular DJs Katrine Ring and Stephan Bomberg, and high spirits. Expats offer include two cocktails for 100kr, two draught beers for 80kr and hot dishes for 125kr. Socialise with expats as well as the odd sporadic Dane for a ‘hyggelig’ evening. Bring friends, family and colleagues – the more the merrier!
The COpenhagen pOsT CphpOsT.dk
14 - 20 October 2011
Ben Hamilton The Iberians had no answers to denmark’s free-flowing football in a game in which its stars, nani and Ronaldo, were mostly anonymous
eNMARK on Tuesday sensationally upset the odds to qualify for the 2012 european Championships, clinically beating Portugal 2-1 in front of a joyous home crowd at Parken stadium. The scoreline did not do justice to the performance of a confident Danish side who looked the most likely winner from the opening minutes. It is quite an achievement given that ahead of the qualifying draw, Denmark was the lowest ranked of all the teams that have so far booked their places at euro 2012. Ranked 16th in europe, they were one of the second seeds, and only Greece and Sweden from that pot have also qualified. Furthermore, Denmark is the only country with a population of less than nine million to qualify - once again an indication of their ability to punch above their weight at football. The Danes started extremely brightly and were extremely unlucky, some would say cheated, not to take the lead after four minutes when Michael Silberbauer was adjudged to have fouled the keeper when bundling
home Christian eriksen’s dangerous freekick from close range. It was a poor decision. Still, Denmark were rampant, and it was no surprise when they went ahead in the 13th minute when winger Michael Krohn-Dehli’s shot was deflected home by a Portuguese defender. Had the player stood firm and true, he would have probably blocked what was a pretty innocuous shot, but he flinched like a big girl’s blouse, letting the ball flick off him into the far right corner. In previous games against the Portuguese – there have been many as the sides also met in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup – the Danes have clammed up after going ahead and invited Portugal back into the game. But there were to be no repeats of that last night, with Ajax’s eriksen once again showing why he is one of european football’s hottest properties right now. He was at the heart of Denmark’s free-flowing football, leaving Manchester united’s Nani, who was unrecognisable from the player that torments full backs in the english Premier League, and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who was anonymous up until his injury time freekick, completely in the shade. And Dennis Rommedahl, now with Brøndby, showed there’s still plenty of pace left in his veteran legs, and that with experience has come added
guile. His chipped pull-back for Nicklas Bendtner to convert in the 63rd minute was an absolute delight, and he created several other opportunities. While the ‘Dad’s army’ squad that coach Morten olsen took to the 2010 World Cup was far too heavy with players past their best, this new-look Danish outfit would appear to have the right balance of youth and experience, and the recent success of the Danish under-21 and under-17 sides suggests the future of Danish football is a bright one. Heading into the game there had been talk that a draw might be enough. While it would have resulted in Portugal winning the group, Denmark could have also qualified as the second-placed team with the best record. However, it transpired over the course of the evening that a point would not be enough. Sweden needed to win at home against the Netherlands - who had won their last 17 qualifiers and last failed to win one in November 2007 – and at 2-1 down in the second half, their prospects looked bleak against a team that had only conceded five in their last nine. But two more Swedish goals saw off the Dutch, ensuring there will be two Scandinavian sides at euro 2012. Norway won’t be there. They already knew that they could not finish above a defeated Denmark side due to their head-to-head record, and
Cream of British snooker gathering for Open Ben Hamilton Legendary six-time world champion steve davis among the field
ouR oF Britain’s best known snooker players will be among the field for the two-day Nordic Invitational that cues off on Monday 17 october at Cirkusbygningen near Axeltorv in central Copenhagen. Veteran Steve Davis, a six-time winner of the World Championship in the 1980s, will be joined by the world
numbers one and two Mark Selby and Mark Williams, himself a double world champion in 1999 and 2002, and Shaun Murphy, the 2005 world champion. The pros will each be pitted against a Nordic amateur opponent. Denmark will be represented by its top two players - Rune Kampe and Allan Norvark – with Finland and Sweden’s top players, Robin Hull and Bairaq Alurfy, completing the draw. The tournament will be played over four sessions. The best-of-seven quarterfinals will be contested in sessions one
and two on the afternoon and evening of october 17, the semis (again best of seven) in session three on the following afternoon, and the best-of-nine final that evening. The field has doubled for this year’s tournament following encouraging ticket sales for last year’s one-day event, which suggests interest in the sport in Denmark is increasing. Money has been pouring out of the global game for almost a decade now (following the uK’s ban on tobacco sponsorship in 2003), meaning the sport’s administrative bod-
were resting their hopes on their fellow Scandinavians winning, while they needed to thrash Cyprus – a side that Denmark had clinically dispatched 4-1 last week on Friday with four goals (Rommedahl twice, Lars Jacobsen and Krohn-Dehli) in the first 22 minutes. In the end, Norway could only muster three in a 3-1 win, seven goals short of overhauling the Portuguese (level on head-to-head record) on goal difference. Denmark’s victory is also good news for the economy. Countries tend to benefit from qualification for major football tournaments as consumer spending soars due to the feel-good factor and retailers spend more money on marketing. ies are constantly looking for new frontiers to take the game to. Nevertheless, to really bolster interest, Denmark will need to produce some good players, or at least somebody capable of turning pro and then breaking into the top 100, and so far this has eluded them. All of their players are amateurs. Denmark is not the only european country to fail in this respect. A glance at the top 100 reveals only four players from continental europe: Belgium’s Bjorn Haneveer and Luca Brecel (75 and 91), Poland’s Kacper Filipiak (95) and curiously Norway’s Kurt Maflin (78), an absentee from this year’s Nordic Invitational due to his professional status.
men’s doubles, and Thomas Laybourn and Kamila Rytter Juhl the mixed doubles. The event is one of the five most prestigious events on the calendar, but with a much smaller purse ($400,000) than some of the others, including the Victor Korea open, which has a $1.2 million total prize fund. The event concludes on october 23.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
euro 1984: SF 1986 World Cup: R2 euro 1988: DNQ 1990 World Cup: DNQ euro 1992: W 1994 World Cup: DNQ euro 1996: R1 1998 World Cup: QF euro 2000: R1 2002 World Cup: R2 euro 2004: QF 2006 World Cup: DNQ euro 2008: DNQ 2010 World Cup: R1 euro 2012: Qualified
Perhaps significantly Belgium last year hosted a minor ranking tournament, the 2010 Brugge open, which Kampe actually competed in – losing 4-0 in his first and only match. The event was part of the biannual Players Tour Championship, which also included events in Germany and the Czech Republic (Kamp played in three of them, losing in the first round each time) – proof that snooker is spreading a little in europe. Ticket prices for the various sessions range from 145-1,560 kroner and are available at billetnet.dk.
Mark ‘The Welsh Potting Machine’Williams: The flamboyant showman is currently disputing a result against selby after an inconclusive photo replay.
Badminton’s big boys
Fact file | denmark’s major tournament record 1984-2012
shaun ‘The Magician’ Murphy : A great long potter, the media never stop reminding us he’s a christian.
spORTs neWs and BReIFs THe yoNex Denmark open, the country’s foremost badminton tournament, starts in odense on Tuesday with all five world champions and defending champions expected to compete. Last year, Denmark won three titles. Home favourite Jan o Jorgensen won the men’s singles, Matthias Boe and Carsten Mogensen the
The Danish squad is a happy place right – looking good for the euros
steve ‘Golden Nugget’ Davis : More at home in the tv studio these days, he’s never in a hurry.
dominant danish display leaves portuguese left on their knees
Mark ‘The Jester From Leicester’selby: His slowness can often unsettle opponents. expect some extra needle if he meets Williams in the final.
Wheely good news
alex eyes ajax starlet
Woz mixing it up
oDeNSe has been selected as the host city of the 12-team 2014 Wheelchair Rugby World Championships by the sport’s international body, the IWRF, which described a bid submitted by the Danish Sports organisation for the Disabled as “excellent”. Denmark hosted the IWRF european Championships in 2005 and 2009.
A youNG Danish defender, Nicolai Boilesen, who this season broke into the Ajax first team, has attracted the attention of Alex Ferguson, according to the FansFC.com website. The Manchester united manager sees the 19-yearold former Brøndby player as a long-term replacement for his 30-year-old left back Patrice evra.
WozNIACKI will represent Denmark in the Hopman Cup, an Australian mixed doubles tournament in January. Partnering Denmark’s world number 198, Frederik Nielsen, it will serve as a warm-up for the first grand slam of the year, and good practice for the 2012 olympics. Last week on Friday, Wozniacki
was knocked out of the China open by Italy’s Flavia Pennetta in three sets in the quarter-finals. The tournament marked Wozniacki’s first full year as number one (although she briefly lost the top spot for one week to Kim Clijsters in mid-February) – an achievement that only a select few have achieved in recent years.
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
14 - 20 October 2011
Big tech blog calls Denmark “hot” stuff Denmark on tax haven blacklist
JENNIFER BULEY TNW places its bets on Copenhagen to becoming the Silicon Valley of Europe
HAT began as a small experiment in equality and integration eight years ago in Copenhagen has turned into a model for volunteer mentorship programmes around the world. Copenhagen has been ranked alongside London and Berlin as one of Europe’s ‘startup hotbeds’ by the influential technology blog The Next Web (TNW). “Up in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, a scene is emerging that’s well worth paying attention to,” TNW wrote. “A rich vein of technical and design talent is building a new generation of companies with an ambitious international outlook.” TNW is consistently rated as one of the 15 most influential blogs on the internet and one of the world’s leading technology blogs, according to Wikipedia. Breakaway tech startups like Podio, Zendesk and Rails originated in Copenhagen. And a little tech company called Skype was also co-founded by a Dane. TNW is now betting that some of the hottest tech companies of the future are finding their way
It would appear that tax havens are no longer the preserve of exotic holiday destinations
The Danish capital has become a mecca for startups
in the roughly five square miles that make up the city of Copenhagen right now. TNW cited the Danish Innovation Center, Startup Bootcamp, and SCALEit as driving forces behind the bubbling IT startup scene here. Founders House, an invitation-only workspace for IT entrepreneurs, is another incubator that is attracting new IT companies and talented programmers. File sharing firm Ge.tt, travel networking site Planely, publishing platform Issuu, and invoicing company Tradeshift are just a few of the young Copenhagen-based tech startups that are poised to break out, according to TNW. Many of the Danish startups have Copenhagen headquarters and a satellite office in San Francisco – the best means
to break into the US market and stay close to Silicon Valley, which is still the heart of the global tech industry. One reason Copenhagen has emerged as a top European city for tech startups (besides the beautiful women), Podio cofounder John Frodo told TNW, is because Danes learn English from a very young age and most are so comfortable speaking it. That makes it easier for Copenhagen startups to attract top global talent, Frodo said. Podio’s staff members come from eleven different countries, while Tradeshift’s come from 18. On the other hand, high business taxes, the high cost of living, and a dearth of venture capital have slowed Denmark’s development into the Silicon Valley of Europe a little, said the entrepreneurs.
BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN DENMARK
Film Premiére, 26 October 2011
For the first ever time, Denmark has appeared on a list of global tax havens
ENMARK has for the first time in its history been included. On a list of the world’s tax havens, and now appears side by side with the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and the Dutch Antilles, according to DR. A total of 73 countries, states and island nations have been identified as tax havens, and Denmark occupies 49th place on the list, one place above sits the Caribbean island of Aruba. Responsible for the rankings is the grassroots movement TJN, which fights tax loopholes, tax havens and other kinds of tax evasion. The world’s TJN estimates that governments each year miss out on tax revenues in the neighborhood of $250 billion because large values are hidden in tax havens. When TJN compiled its Financial Secrecy Index two years ago, Denmark wasn’t included. But this year 13 new countries have been added to the original list of 60 nations, including Denmark, Germany and Japan among the newcomers. Denmark is the only Scandinavian country on the list. What makes Denmark a tax haven, according to TJN, is its accommodative taxation of holding companies. Dividend taxes are not required to be paid if an individual owns more than 10 percent of the shares in a company, and the dividends are paid out in a country with which Denmark has a double taxation agreement. That rule was implemented in 2004 and further solidified with the latest tax reform in 2009.
Tax expert Christen Amby said it was justified that Denmark is on the tax haven list. But he added that the list doesn’t give a true picture. “We need to be on the list because people can exploit Danish rules, but TJN sees only the negative,” Amby told DR. “Much of this is a picture of how things were between 1998 and 2002. Things have improved a lot since 2004.” He pointed out that it is no longer tax-free to transfer money to or from companies in countries with which Denmark doesn’t have a tax agreement. According to Amby, only companies in a very few countries – mostly Latin American countries – actually take advantage of the Danish rules, so the tax authorities probably aren’t missing out on that much money. Nevertheless, this doesn’t look good on paper, he said. “This seems negative, especially since Denmark wants to give the impression that we are helping to combat tax dodging.” He recommended that Denmark stop providing a full tax exemption, because the country is actually entitled to tax benefits beyond double taxation avoidance agreements. Peter Rose Bjare, a partner at KPMG’s tax department, challenged the description of
Denmark as a tax haven. He pointed out that the tax officials’ new approach – to more aggressively ensure that dividends aren’t just sent on to tax havens – brings Denmark into line with other European Union countries. “I have trouble seeing Denmark as a popular tax haven,” Bjare said. “That’s not how foreign investors see us. We do have some rules today, but they are often changed, so it’s difficult for foreigners to trust those rules.” TJN 2011 list places much greater emphasis on secrecy than it does on tax havens when it comes to global financial transactions. The availability of corporate information and ownership status of companies here isn’t up to TJN standards, which also pushes Denmark up the list. But Amby called this an unfair evaluation, because the decision has already been made to establish an owner registry under the Commerce and Companies Agency – as soon as the agency has a new IT system. “Denmark performs poorly on the list because TJN requires a public registry, but the information is already accessible today in the companies’ annual reports, which are publicly available,” Amby said. WWW.FINANCIALSECRECYINDEX.COM
Come and join other members and guests of BCCD-BIU for a glass of wine and some networking, before settling down to enjoy the premiére of Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Jane Eyre’, starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell and Judi Dench.
Wednesday 26 October, 18:30 at the Grand, Mikkel Bryggers Gade 8, 1460 København K
Jane Eyre - A mousy governess who softens the heart of her employer soon discovers that he’s hiding a terrible secret. Tickets cost DKK 125 (inc MOMS and a glass of wine), or DKK 150 for non-members and will be invoiced before the event. The film will start at 19:00. If you would like to attend please sign up online, or email event”@”bccd.dk. The film is 120 minutes long.
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THE COPENHAGEN POST SPOUSE EMPLOYMENT PAGE SPOUSE: Megan Rothrock FROM: California-USA,Via SEEKING WORK IN: Toy Design, Games Design, or Photography (Syd Denmark Jutland). QUALIFICATION: Associate Arts Degree: Corporate Communication, Design, and Commercial Illustration, with a background in animation. EXPERIENCE: Former LEGO Product Designer, LEGO Universe: Level Designer, European Bureau Editor Brick Journal Magazine. I have a strong knowledge of Toy and Gaming Markets. I am driven, enjoy solving daily challenges and I’m a strong communicator wanting to join a creative team of colleagues. LOOKING FOR: Part/Full time work in an innovative and creative . LANGUAGE SKILLS: English: native- Dutch: Excellent- Danish (currently in): Danskuddannelse 3, modul 3. IT EXPERIENCE: PC and Mac - Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, Dream Weaver, Director, Maya, 3D Studio Max, ML Cad, LD. CONTACT: email@example.com +4535140779 SPOUSE: Hugo Ludbrook FROM: New Zealand SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen. QUALIFICATION: BA (1st Class Honours) in International Relations + BA in History and Religious Studies. EXPERIENCE: Have worked in a wide variety of organisations with focus ranging from the organics sector, to international development, to company directors, to work with the United Nations. LOOKING FOR: Research, writing, editing and/or communication work. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English (Fluent), French (Good), Danish (Basic). IT EXPERIENCE: Strong MS Office, Outlook and Excel Skills. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org SPOUSE: Barbara Liengaard FROM: Germany SEEKING WORK IN: (Greater) Copenhagen and surroundings. QUALIFICATION: Bachelor degree in Business Administration (Germany/France). EXPERIENCE: Profound 10-years’ working experience in strategic and operational marketing, product/brand and project management from different big globally acting companies (automotive supplier, white goods and medical industry), working/cultural experience from different countries (Germany, France, Spain, U.S.A., U.K., China, Denmark), first working experience in Denmark. LOOKING FOR: A challenging job opportunity in e.g. marketing, product/brand and/ or project management, import/export; preferably in an international-minded working environment or with particular need for German. LANGUAGE SKILLS: German (mother tongue), English (fluent), French (fluent), Danish (PD3 Prøvebevis), Spanish (good). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office (Outlook, Power Point, Excel, Word), SAP (CMD-AP). CONTACT: email@example.com SPOUSE: Chao Wen FROM: China SEEKING WORK IN: Great Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Language teacher (German, Chinese. EXPERIENCE: Teaching Chinese as a foreign language by offering company-course for 2 years, in Germany; teaching Chinese to native speaker in private school for 4 years, in Germany; teaching German as a foreign language by offering private course; exhibition interpreter; translator. LOOKING FOR: Part time or full time in Aarhus, Language teacher, translator or interpreter. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Chinese, English, German, Danish. IT EXPERIENCE: Windows, Open office, Powerpoint. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel.: 48417526
SPOUSE: Cindy Chu FROM: Hong Kong SEEKING WORK IN: Anywhere in Denmark. QUALIFICATION: MSc in Marketing from Brunel University (West London), B.A. in English for Professional Communication from City University of Hong Kong. EXPERIENCE: 4 years experience on strategy planning in marketing, project management and consumer research. I have 3 years experience working in global research agency as a project manager and a research executive for multinational marketing projects. I worked closely with marketing team for data analysis and delivering actionable insights. I am familiar with working with staffs and clients form different countries. I have also as a PR officer in a NGO for 1 year. LOOKING FOR: Jobs in project management, marketing and PR field. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Cantonese (Mother tongue), Mandarin (Native speaker), English (Professional), Danish (Beginner). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office, SPSS, Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator. CONTACT: email@example.com, +45 22 89 34 07 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: firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile +45 60 16 80 40. SPOUSE: Magda Bińczycka FROM: Poland SEEKING WORK IN: Sjælland QUALIFICATION: M.A. in philosophy, pedagogy ( postgraduated diploma) ,5th year of history of art ( Master Program). EXPERIENCE: Independent curator 2009 - present, art catalogues editor (English&Polish versions) 2009-present, art critic 2005-2010, art and English teacher for children 2005-2010, English tourist guide 2010, gallery assistant 2004/5 and 2009. LOOKING FOR: Job as a curator, coordinator, gallery assistant, event organizer, English tourist guide, art history teacher. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English (proficiency), Danish (intermediate), Polish (mother tongue), German(basic), French (basic), Latin (basic). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office (Word advanced user). CONTACT: Tel: +45 41 44 94 52, email@example.com
SPOUSE: Pooja Nirwal FROM: New Delhi, India SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen and Capital region. QUALIFICATION: Masters (M. Sc) in Environmental Science, +2 yrs of Exp. as Env. Consultant in the field of Environmental Impact Assessment. LOOKING FOR: Positions in Consultancies/Organizations/NGOs working in the field of Environmental Science (Climate Change, EIA, Env. Compliance Audits, Solid Waste Management etc.). LANGUAGE SKILLS: Fluent in English, Hindi and Sanskrit, Started learning Danish. IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office (PowerPoint, Word, Excel). CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, +45 503 904 60 SPOUSE: Vidya Singh FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen, Odense, Arhus, 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: email@example.com, Mobile: +45 71443554 SPOUSE: Francis Farias FROM: Venezuela (CPR number) SEEKING WORK IN: Greater København QUALIFICATION: Master in Spanish Studies from Universidad de Cadiz, Spain, as a Spanish Teacher and BA in Teaching English as a Second Language. Diplomas in Digital Photography (from Venezuela and Spain). EXPERIENCE: 7 years experience as a teacher of English and Spanish at JMV University. Academic translator (Spanish-English/English-Spanish) and freelance photographer. LOOKING FOR: Spanish language teacher, translator, interpreter, photographer. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish (native). Basic Danish. IT EXPERIENCE: Office tools, Photoshop. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, +45 50814073
Denmark’s only English-language newspaper THE COPENHAGEN POST SPOUSE EMPLOYMENT PAGE 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 email@example.com and we will post your profile on the spouse job page when possible.
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IB MYP & DP VIsual art teacher temporary position, maternity leave cover for one year, to start January 5th 2012 The successful applicant should be a qualified teacher with a strong background in Visual Arts teaching and at least two years full time teaching experience in this field. Applicants should have a desire to work collaboratively across the curriculum. Previous experience with both the MYP and DP is highly desirable. We are looking for an excellent classroom practitioner who has: • A strong work ethic; • Great collaboration skills; • A willingness and commitment to contribute to the development of the curriculum programme; • A willingness and commitment to contribute to the greater school community; • The ability to assess and meet the needs of diverse learners. To apply for the position please submit a one page letter of application outlining your strengths and what you would bring to the school, together with a CV (no more than two pages), giving the names of two current referees. Applications must be received by October 21st, 2011, to: Dr. Caroline Brokvam, Senior School Principal Addressed to the attention of: Ms. Lesley McDonald Copenhagen International School Stockholmsgade 59 2100 Copenhagen Ø Denmark firstname.lastname@example.org
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The COpenhagen pOsT CphpOsT.dk
14 - 20 October 2011
Peter stanners distribution company of danish film ‘drive’ is sued for misleading trailer, while nicole kidman’s film about danish transsexual is shelved
ANISH director Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest film ‘Drive’ may be taking the world by storm, but last week it was stopped in its tracks by the news that a dissatisfied movie-goer is suing its distributor for having a misleading trailer. The film, which won Refn the prize for best director at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and has been showered with praise by film critics, is about a stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) who works part time as a getaway driver. But after a heist goes terribly wrong a contract is put on his head and he has to use his wits to keep his life. Danish critics have been particularly positive about the film. “Nicolas Winding Refn is back with the pedal to the metal,” Kristine Krefeld wrote in her review in Danish tabloid ekstra Bladet. “It’s extremely well directed, intense and unpredictable.” But perhaps a little too unpredictable for one moviegoer. A woman from Detroit called Sarah Deming has launched a class action lawsuit against both the
victoria steffensen She is a cartoon character in The X-Men comic strips published by Marvel.
Maybe they should have just shown the promo picture: a guy, sitting in the car, for 90 minutes
film’s distributor, Film District, and the owner of the cinema she saw the film in, emagine Novi, because she believes the film violates Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act because it was not the “Blood Pumping Thrill Ride of a Movie” it claimed to be. According to the Washington Post, the woman felt the film’s trailer led her to believe that ‘Drive’ would be similar to the successful – though critically panned – car action-movie
series ‘The Fast and the Furious’. The lawsuit states that Deming was dismayed to discover that the film contained “very little driving” and was heavily anti-semitic. In short, Refn’s arthouse take on the genre did not live up to her expectations. Deming’s class action lawsuit hopes to put an end to misleading movie trailers and save moviegoers from buying tickets to films they won’t enjoy. But while misleading movie trailers do abound – ‘The American’
starring George Clooney faced similar accusations – she might just be in the minority in this case. In North America almost a million people have seen the film that has taken over $27 million at the box office – almost double what it cost to make. Meanwhile, in other Danish film news, ‘The Danish Girl’, a US pre-production movie about the world’s first ever transexual Lili elbe starring Nicole Kidman in the lead, would appear to be dead in the water follow-
ing the withdrawal of British actress Rachel Weisz from the project. Weisz was due to play the wife of elbe (born einar Wegener), a part that had previously been given to Charlize Theron and Gwyneth Paltrow. Her departure follows that of Swedish director Lasse Hallström over the summer. Wegener died in 1931 aged 49 from organ rejection soon after a series of surgeries to reassign his gender.
text 30 The Copenhagen Post Quick Crossword No 367 No 367
strong international interest in ‘The ambassador’ Film will open major documentary festival and has piqued the interest of american film producers
He documentary film ‘Ambassadøren’ (The Ambassador) by Danish filmmaker and TV host Mads Brügger has garnered significant international interest. The film, in which Brügger sets out to expose the underground world of diplomatic relations in Africa, has been selected to open the world’s largest documentary film festival and has also aroused interest among potential American buyers.
‘The Ambassador’ will open next month’s International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), which will show over 200 films over the course of eleven days. It is expected to draw well over 100,000 participants. Meanwhile, Danish tabloid B.T. reports that the film’s production company, Zentropa, has been contacted by an American film producer expressing interest in making an American version of the movie. In the documentary, Brügger poses as a diplomat and travels to the Central African Republic to become an ambassador to Liberia. Largely using a hidden camera, Brügger infil-
trates a hidden world in which white, Western diplomats use their power to gain access and influence in Africa, including its diamond trade. The film has received largely positive reviews from the Danish press and has been seen by over 4,000 moviegoers. At IFDA, it will compete in the best feature-length documentary category. The winner will be announced on November 25. Brügger first gained international attention with his 2009 film ‘The Red Chapel’, in which he posed as a communist theatre director to gain access to North Korea. That film netted him a Jury Award at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
I thought this column was reserved for Danish people? Rather interestingly, even though Petra was born in the US, her parents were Danish. According to US law, having been born on US soil, Petra could run for the post of president. Oh, except that she’s dead. Oh, and there being something in the small print excluding fictional cartoon characters. Maybe that’s why Sarah Palin’s no longer running. What’s her story then? Her family emigrated from Denmark when her mother was pregnant with Petra, and she lived a ‘typical American life’ in the suburbs of New York. Then what happened? Just after her 13th birthday her family was killed by a rockslide while on a camping trip. Petra unknowingly used her ‘mutant powers’ to escape uninjured.
So, how did she discover she was a mutant? She was sent into foster care with an uncaring mother a pervy Across: and 7 Enable; 8 Quaint; 10 Dese Throng;had 25 Scarce. father. After she’d enough Down: 1 Verdict; 2 Falsify; 3 Glory; 4 of the dad, she Petty; managed stop 20 Yearn; to 21 Exact. his unwanted advances by sinking him into the ground! Not something an every-day teenager can do. This sounds interesting. What happened next? She lived for a few years in Central Park … in a rock cave! She found out that, with enough concentration, she could turn coal into diamonds. Hmmm – this is where I begin to doubt that the character is based on someone the creator knew.
In ‘The Ambassador’ filmmaker Mads Brügger infiltrates the trade in diplomatic passports in Africa
Who is ... petra?
“drive” not fast or furious enough for one litigious viewer
Across 7. 8. 10. 11. 12. 13. 17. 18. 22. 23. 24. 25.
Empower (6) Pleasantly odd (6) Merit (7) Blemish (5) Strike with open hand (4) Abrupt in manner (5) Annul (5) Dull pain (4) Adversary (5) Blend (7) Crowd (6) Rare (6)
Down 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 9. 14. 15. 16. 19. 20. 21.
Decision (7) Forge (7) Renown (5) Vindicate (7) Very bright (5) Condition (5) Tedious (9) Cheerful (7) Get (7) Arbitrator (7) Trifling (5) Long (5) Precise (5)
Post Quick Crossword No 366 Across: 1 Short; 4 Envelop; 8 Adamant; 9 Recur; 10 Leer; 11 Manicure; 13 More; 14 Star; 16 Ultimate; 17 Chic; 20 Needs; 21 Initial; 22 Residue; 23 Deter. Down: 1 Scarlet-runner; 2 Orate; 3 Tray; 4 Entrap; 5 Verdicts; 6 Lacquer; 7 Perpendicular; 12 Promised; 13 Mutters; 15 Attire; 18 Hoist; 19 Kind.
Hey, you still haven’t told me how she became an X-man … woman … whatever. She was discovered and briefly taken into custody, only to be released into the care of Dr Moira McTaggart, who - I understand - is the person responsible for grouping all the X-people. Don’t you know who Dr Moira Mctaggart is! No, personally I couldn’t give a flying fxxk about those fictional super-powered thingies! That’s a bit rich coming from someone who likes watching ‘Merlin’. Yes, but he was a real person … wasn’t he?!
DENMARK THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
14 - 20 October 2011
The Baltic bastion boxed in by Britain’s bullying and Bonaparte’s belligerence The redcoats’ firebombing of Copenhagen 204 years ago was the climax of a dirty war – it left 2,000 citizens dead and destroyed 30 percent of the buildings
HE TERMS ‘pre-emptive attack’ and ‘state sponsored terrorism’ have become synonymous with the ongoing wars in the Middle East. America justified its invasion of Iraq in 2003 on the basis of eliminating any threats before they became active, and nations such as Iran have been consistently accused of using terror to support their political viewpoints. While debate rages over the effectiveness and involvement of nations attempting to do both, it is easy to forget that these policies have been used for centuries, with Copenhagen becoming one of the first modern European cities to suffer the consequences. The year was 1807 and the Napoleonic Wars raged on the land and seas of most of western Europe. Threatened by French land forces moving from the south and the British Navy encircling their territory, Denmark played an unsuccessful hand at remaining neutral, hedging their bets, perhaps, on what was far from a certain outcome. By refusing to adhere to either side’s demands, Denmark had effectively become untrustworthy to both, a situation compounded by Denmark’s strategic geographical location. Following Prussia’s defeat in 1806, British commanders became increasingly wary of a French attack on Denmark. By controlling the country and their navy, the French could prevent the British from vital trade in the Baltic and from assisting their allies Sweden and Russia. There was also concern that the Danish Navy could be used to assist a French attack on Norway and then Scotland and Ireland. Following rumours of an alliance between Napoleon and Alexander I of Russia, the British House of Commons debated the merits of a pre-emptive strike on Denmark. It was agreed that to allow Denmark to fall into French hands was unacceptable and preparations for an attack soon began.
It is worth noting that Britain’s decision to move was based on less than solid intelligence. New evidence has shown that Napoleon had deliberately spread false rumours, which were designed to fall into British hands, alluding to an attack on Ireland. Although Britain’s move against Denmark was as much about preventing the country’s navy from falling into French hands, there is little doubt that suggestions Denmark might assist in an invasion of Ireland played its part in Britain’s decision to act. In a matter of weeks, a sizeable British fleet and a detachment of marines were drawn up ready for the attack on Denmark. Learning of Britain’s intentions, Napoleon ordered the Danes to prepare to attack Britain, threatening an invasion of Holstein should they refuse. Caught between the rock and the anvil, Denmark attempted to negotiate, refusing the key British demand to surrender their fleet. As the British fleet approached Copenhagen, British marines engaged a poorly equipped force of Danish militia in Køge, easily overwhelming them. Completing their encirclement of the city, the marines were ordered to prevent any resupply. After it became clear the Danes were not prepared to meet British demands, the commander of the British fleet, Admiral Gambier, ordered the fleet to open fire. From 2-5 September 1807, the British Navy relentlessly bombarded the city of Copenhagen. If the leadership refused to heed their calls, then the citizenry would suffer until they changed their minds. As well as traditional naval artillery, the British guns included mortar rounds and Congreve rockets – the latter a new weapon specifically designed to start fires. More than 2,000 citizens were killed in the bombings and over 30 percent of Copenhagen was destroyed. The Church of our Lady (Vor Frue Kirke) was nearly burned to the ground and other buildings, in-
Napoleon was only ever painted on horseback to conceal how small he was – he should have used a Shetland pony. * Left are the remains of a British artillery shell used in the assault that ruined a priceless book.
cluding the University of Copenhagen, were severely damaged. The Round Tower (Rundetårn) was threatened by fire and only saved by the timely intervention of Danish soldiers housed in the nearby Holmen Naval Base. When it became clear that the entire city was under threat, the Danish leadership sued for peace, allowing the
British to capture almost the entire Danish Navy. While the British military was thrilled with the results, the political opposition within Britain was up in arms, arguing that the national character of Britain had been irrevocably stained. While the outcome of the Napoleonic Wars is well known, the actions
of the British in terrorising Copenhagen in 1807 have largely been swept under the carpet. There’s little doubt that the pre-emptive strike on Denmark’s Navy achieved its goal of preventing its use by the French; however, as with any war, the question of whether the ends justify the means remains. HTTP://NINETEENTHCENTURYSTUFF.COM
Fires raged for many days as thousands perished
The sight of the redcoats was enough to send most opponents into retreat
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Charlottenborg is the largest and most beautiful venue for contemporary art in Copenhagen, and is situated directly off Kongens Nytorv. The autumn programme has just started and includes major exhibitions by Simon Starling â€“ whose project features an amazing puppet theatre â€“ and Nina Beier.
Kunsthal Charlottenborg Nyhavn 2, 1051 Copenhagen K Tue to Sun 11am to 5pm (Wed till 8pm) www.kunsthalcharlottenborg.dk Photo: Anders Sune Berg
Published on Oct 12, 2011