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Top politician pays off son’s cocaine debt

The New Nordic Diet: eat well and lose weight



Xmas Crazy Cabaret’s high jinks in the jungle


11 - 17 November 2011 | Vol 14 Issue 45

Denmark’s only English-language newspaper |



Greenland gets its investigation into CIA flights after all, and becomes a popular spot for foreign investors

3, 6

Jens Bond, 007 Need a job? The foreign intelligence service is looking for a few good spies

NEWS | 3


The grey time is upon us

How the ‘happiest people on Earth’ survive the dark, depressing winter

Meet the founder of a children’s art workshop where creativity is encouraged, nurtured and championed



No more taxpayer bailouts for banks JENNIFER BULEY

Beyonce’s calling 18-year-old Aarhus musician works with one of the music world’s biggest names to remix ‘Love on Top’


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New finance minister says nation’s banks are better off than most and need to take care of themselves


FTER a series of financial support packages introduced by the last government to prop up the banking industry, the new Socialdemokraterne-Radikale-Socialistisk Folkeparti (SRSF) government is signalling that it’s time for the banking industry to pull itself up by the bootstraps. “Danish banks are in better shape than their colleagues in other countries,” the new finance minister Bjarne Corydon (S) told Bloomberg news last week on Saturday. “We have had four bank packages and now the sector is consolidating”.

Between October 2008 and August taxpayers will not be made to pay for 2011, the former Venstre-Konservative more bank bailouts. Last month Sohn (VK) government introduced Bank- said he was working on a bill that would pakke 1-4, a series of state-supported introduce penalties for banks that sys‘welfare’ deals for the banking industry. tematically underestimate the riskiness The final package, Bankpakke 4, was a of their loans. In July, Standard & Poors warned ‘consolidation bill’ that allowed solvent banks to buy up the healthy assets of that as many as 15 Danish banks could failed banks, while letting the govern- fail before the economic crisis ends – an end that increasingly appears to be rement absorb the bad debts. Bankpakke 4 was passed just two ceding into the distance. Analysts from the European Cenweeks before the September election. One month later, the regional Max tral Bank (ECB) announced last week Bank nearly went bankrupt. Bankpakke that the likelihood of another Europe4 enabled a consolidation deal at an es- an recession had risen from under ten timated cost to taxpayers of four billion percent a few months ago to over 50 kroner; Sparekassen Sjælland, another percent today in light of the Eurozone regional bank, got Max Bank’s good crisis and lacklustre business returns. The Financial Stability Company’s assets, while the state-owned Financial Stability Company ate up the bad ones. own chief executive indicated that Denhad as many as 75 too many reThe business and development min- amark Organise personal meeting ister Ole Sohn (SF) has promised that gional banks, many with risky farm and

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real estate portfolios. To make matters worse, last month Fitch threatened to lower its AAA credit rating on Danske Bank, the nation’s largest, citing, among other things, that household debt had risen, while real estate prices had continued to fall. Despite the grim economic indicators, the new government is not indicating the same eagerness as its predecessors to prop up the banking sector. Instead, it has emphasised increased spending on social welfare, education and public works in its budget for 2012-2013. The budget proposal, which was released last week, sets aside over 18 billion kroner over two years for infrastructure improvements as part of a plan to create jobs and stimulate growth. Corydon told Bloomberg the public works investments were “absolutely necessary” to get the economy moving again.

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The CopeNhageN posT

11 - 17 November 2011 Scanpix

Charge of the redcoats

The Week’s MosT Read sToRIes aT pernickety dicky | a little more english please Reunification rejection highlights cohabitation Catch-22 easyJet ponders base in Copenhagen Living in an expat world | dining with the danes 2012-2013 budget unveiled

FRoM oUR aRChIVes TeN YeaRs ago. a centre-right coalition led by anders Fogh Rasmussen wins the general election. FIVe YeaRs ago. Two Berlingske journalists appear in court for publishing threat assessments made prior to the War in Iraq. oNe YeaR ago. only a week after peT denied any knowledge, authorities admit that they were aware of american spying activities.

Some 160 riders took part in the annual Hubertusjagt in Dyrehaven on Sunday, and more than a few of them ended up in the drink

TWO TOUGH winters in a row have taught DSB a few lessons in preparedness. The national train operator announced this week that it won’t leave commuters stranded this winter, even if Denmark has another round of heavy snowfall and icy temps. Melting ice played havoc with electrical signals on the Strains in previous years, but the flaw


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has been fixed. DSB will also assign more workers to the lines to keep tracks free of snow and ice, especially at important switching points. Fewer trains will run in bad weather, but those that do will be longer. A spare set of train cars will be kept at the central station, in case coastal commuters are delayed on the wrong side of the Øresund Sound.

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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MOre AnD MOre gang members are turning to their municipal council for help to leave the gang lifestyle. A national initiative instituted by the Justice Ministry earlier this year established programmes throughout the country to help gang members find a new life. Participating councils are now reporting an

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

increase in the number of cases and some are struggling to catch up. Copenhagen, Gladsaxe and Ishøj Councils have all employed a dedicated exit co-ordinator to help gang members through the process. In Copenhagen alone, there are 20 cases underway. There are an estimated 1,800 gang members throughout Denmark.

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

NoTe To ReadeRs: In last week’s front page story on the budget, we wrote that the state’s børnecheck had been limited to 35,000 kroner per month. That was the annual limit.


ACCOrDInG to the 2011 Legatum Prosperity Index, which assesses 110 countries accounting for over 90 percent of the world’s population, Denmark has once again landed near the top of the charts – ranking number two overall, behind neighbouring norway. The index defines ‘prosperity’ as both the

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overall wealth of a country and citizens who are “happy, healthy, and free”. Within the ranking’s eight sub-indexes, Denmark notched first place in ‘entrepreneurship and opportunity’, but only 16th place in health, due to factors like low life expectancy (72 years) and a dissatisfaction with the health system.

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The CopeNhageN posT

11 - 17 November 2011


greenland granted investigation into CIa flights søvndal backs down to greenland’s demands but does not promise access to classified information


n InquIry into CIA flights in Danish airspace over Greenland is to go ahead, but it will be far from the formal inquiry that Greenland had hoped for. Instead, the independent organisation Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) will produce an independent report on the use of Danish airspace by the CIA. unlike a formal inquiry, DIIS will not be able to call witnesses, lay any responsibility for the flights, or have full access to classified information. “We haven’t been able to get exactly what we wanted, so we have to appreciate what we have got,” the Greenlandic premier, Kuupik Kleist, told JyllandsPosten newspaper. The alleged use of Danish airspace by the CIA to transport suspected terrorists to secret jails has been criticised by human rights groups who suspect that


peter stanners

It seems like a strange thing to do if you want to keep a good relationship with the americans the suspects were subjected to inhumane treatment such as torture. “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,” Tue Magnussen of the united nations Association told The Copenhagen Post. Evidence that the flights took place was put forth in a 2008 documentary aired on public broadcaster Dr. According to the broadcast, the CIA used an airport in narsarsuaq, Greenland, when transporting prisoners. American diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks the same year indicated that the Danish government had turned a blind eye to the flights. The current foreign minis-

Foreign minister Villy søvndal (right) and Greenlandic premier Kuupik Kleist at a press conference last week

ter, Villy Søvndal, had initially stated that he wanted a formal inquiry into the allegations, but at a press conference outside the Foreign Ministry last week on Wednesday he said there was not enough political support for such a move. “We won’t be having a formal inquiry because that isn’t what we promised in the common government policy,” Søvn-

dal said, adding that it was important to open the case to the public and that Denmark had nothing to hide. DIIS will investigate the flights on behalf of the Danish and Greenlandic authorities, though its access to classified information will be at the discretion of the government authorities. Søvndal could not give any guarantees that the in-

vestigation would have full access to all the papers. “We are making available relevant information. but the limits on access have not yet been set.” The agreement with DIIS about the procedure of the investigation states that it should make sure that the “publication of information would not harm relationships with other countries, state security or third parties”.

Experts have warned, however, that the report could damage Denmark’s relationship with the united States. “I have a difficult time understanding how it is in Denmark’s best interests,” Mads Fuglede, an expert on the uS at the university of Copenhagen, told Politiken newspaper. “It seems like a strange thing to do if you want to keep a good relationship with the Americans, who are notorious for hating these sorts of things.” but ole Wæver, a professor of international politics at the university of Copenhagen, argued that the enquiry held enormous symbolic importance for Greenlanders. “In that respect it’s a smart move by the government to make the Greenlandic authorities look like they have taken the initiative,” Wæver told Politiken. “It also contributes to keeping a good relationship between Denmark and Greenland.” Denmark and Greenland will split the cost of the inquiry. greenland open to China co-operation premier Kuupik Kleist see potential in chinese investments

page 6

jennifer buley

If residents obtain ‘blue card’ insurance, government estimates it could save over 70 million kroner a year

Wanted: denmark’s foreign intelligence service is looking for some new Jens Bonds


amy clotworthy



hE nEW government’s 2012 budget proposal recommends eliminating state-funded public health insurance while travelling throughout the European union, the Faroe Islands, or Greenland, national broadcaster Dr reports. by making the national yellow CPr cards invalid for health coverage outside of Denmark, the government estimates it would save an extra 70 million kroner a year. under the proposal, residents could use ‘the blue card’ – the European health Insurance Card (EhIC) – to receive medical and health treatment outside Denmark. Coverage with the EhIC means that, for example, if a Danish citizen is in France and is in need of medical care, the treatment, medication and all other health expenses are covered under the same terms as France’s own public health insurance. Currently, the blue EhIC card can only be used if the length of stay in another Eu country is longer than one month. on shorter stays, the yel-

The yellow Danish CPR card now provides health insurance for short-term travel in the eU, and the government wants the blue card to replace it

low CPr card “covers expenses for acute medical treatment under the Danish health Act during periods of vacation”. but the government’s new budget proposal suggests that Danes should be covered by the blue card while travelling within the Eu, regardless of the length of stay. Although the EhIC is offered to residents throughout the Eu with the same overall coverage regulations, the Danish contention is that, under the current rules, it ends up costing more to use the yellow health card when it is needed during short-term travels. The EhIC card can be obtained free of charge from all of the nation’s councils. not everyone in Denmark, however, has

the right to receive an EhIC. If the proposed legislative change is approved, it will not benefit the 3.8 percent of Danish residents who are not Eu citizens. The citizenship requirements are not readily apparent when attempting to obtain a ‘blue card’ online. only after providing a valid Danish address, a local doctor’s name, CPr number and nemID number, is it mentioned that a person can obtain an EhIC if the following terms are met: the applicant has a Danish CPr number, lives in Denmark permanently, and is a citizen of an Eu country, norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland. For those who meet these conditions, the blue card is normally valid for five years.

Job announcement posted by Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste (FE) last week advertised several openings for “interesting and non-traditional work” collecting information about people and things in other countries of interest to the Danish military and government. FE, the country’s foreign intelligence service, calls the position a “collector”, but the job description sounds a bit more like a “spy”. “you will be engaged in the physical collection of not freely accessible data about situations in other countries that are meaningful to Danish security and interests. The work will take place with the help of people who either possess or have access to information that is otherwise hidden from the outside world, and which FE needs for its intelligence work,” the job announcement read. An ideal candidate will, among other characteristics, have “well-developed social skills, be very outgoing, and have an easy time talking to anybody, regardless of their background”. The job starts on 1 october 2012 – presumably allowing for proper training in ‘Spycraft 101’. It is not the first time that

Intelligence agency Fe is looking for a few good Danes to serve in one of the country’s “most interesting and non-traditional” jobs

Maybe a porsche and a licence to kill come with the package FE has publicly advertised for collectors. Similar ads ran in 2005 and 2008. If FE is experiencing high turnover in spies, it could have something to do with the salary. When the ad ran in 2005, commentators noted that the pay scale was a tad stingy as compared to the responsibilities. For just 280,000 kroner a year, or roughly 23,000 kroner a month, FE in 2005 was seeking information collectors who could take responsibility for another person’s life, spend long periods away from friends and

family, and speak Arabic, Farsi, Dari or Pashto. They also had to be extremely outgoing and capable of making scintillating conversation with anybody. bjørn Møller, a senior researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies, noted that 23,000 kroner a month was “not very much if you’re supposed to be responsible for other people’s lives, have other extraordinary qualities, and speak a special language”. “Those qualifications should add up to a completely different salary bracket,” he told Information newspaper. “but then, maybe a Porsche and a licence to kill come with the package”. Farsi and Pashto are not a job requirement for this year’s recruits; nor is taking responsibility for other people’s lives. being “rational” and “analytical” – and speaking fluent Danish and English – are, however.


government proposal could Live and let die: become a spy make CpR card invalid abroad




11 - 17 November 2011

JENNIFER BULEY Liberal Alliance’s Anders Samuelsen cleared his payment to gang member with justice minister


Party leader paid off son’s cocaine debt



FTER the headlines of the past couple of weeks, many are left wondering if there are any Danish politicians who don’t have a personal connection to a drug-dealing biker gang. Last weekend, stories broke about two politicians who settled drug debts with gang members on behalf of loved ones. Their stories followed in the wake of a scandal involving an MP who failed a domestic security check in September because of his acquaintance with the leader of a biker gang. In the latest revelations, Berlingske newspaper reported on Sunday that Anders Samuelsen, the leader of the Liberal Alliance party, in 2010 paid off a cocaine debt of between 10,000 and 20,000 kroner to a drug dealer with connections to the Hells Angels. Samuelsen paid the debt in two separate payments. The first time he put an envelope with money in it in a mailbox. The second time he hand-delivered the money to a person whose identity he does not know. Samuelsen told Berlingske that he paid the money to help a very close friend out of a dangerous situation. Later, however, he admitted that he had helped his oldest son. “Intense inquiries have been launched from several sides to ‘expose’ who I helped. It was my oldest son. My concern for him outweighed everything else,” Samuelsen wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday afternoon, following the publication of Berlingske’s story. “It was my hope that my son’s legitimate desire for anonymity would be respected. Unfortunately, I have had to give that up. I am extremely proud of him – not least because of the great progress he has made coming out of this,” Samuelsen added. Samuelsen said he took the precaution of informing the then justice minister, Lars Barfoed of the Konservative party, before he handed the money over to the drug dealer. “To ensure full transparency in relation to my work as a politician I personally called Lars Barfoed, who was justice minister at the time, and told him about the situation before I did anything to

Unemployment numbers higher than suggested

A defence lawyer said that Samuelsen did not do anything illegal by paying his son’s debt

settle the debt,” Samuelsen wrote in an email to Berlingske. “I also asked Barfoed to tell PET [the domestic security agency]. The police were also notified.” Samuelsen is not the only politician who has had dealings with gang members. In its reporting, Berlingske also insinuated that there was a politician from Jutland who had paid off a drug debt. That politician – Horsens City Council member Susan Gyldenkilde, of the Socialdemokraterne (S) – came forward on Sunday to prevent rumours from spreading about other people. She told Politiken that two or three years ago she paid off an 8,000 kroner drug debt for a close friend, who came to her saying he had been threatened by some bikers to whom he owed money. Gyldenkilde and the friend went to the police, but he was too scared to inform on the bikers. In the end, she decided to pay off the debt. She put the money in an envelope and gave it to someone she trusted, who promised to deliver it to the bikers. After the debt was paid, neither she nor her friend ever heard from the bikers again, she said. According to defence lawyer

Under Danish law you can’t be convicted for assisting in a crime, if you only become involved after it is over Thorkild Høyer, Samuelsen – and by extension Gyldenkilde – did not break the law. “He didn’t do the buying,” Høyer said of Samuelsen, “The deal was already finished when he, at a later point, stepped forward with the money. Under Danish law you can’t be convicted for assisting in a crime, if you only become involved after it is over.” “You could say that it was a case of extortion. In that regard, you could say that [Samuelsen] was helping a victim,” the lawyer added. Whether Samuelsen or Gyldenkilde will suffer political consequences

for their actions remains to be seen, but another prominent politician is already paying for his acquaintance with an alleged drug dealer and leader of a biker gang. In September, MP Henrik Sass Larsen (S) was forced to resign as his party’s political spokesperson, and withdraw his name from the short-list of ministerial candidates for the new government, when he failed the domestic security agency PET’s standard security check. PET determined that Larsen could be indebted to Torben Ohlsen-Nielsen, a member of the Bandidos biker gang, and thus vulnerable to extortion, based on the context of a single meeting and two text messages between Larsen and Ohlsen-Nielsen. The text messages, which Larsen released last month, suggest that Ohlsen-Nielsen may have been protecting Larsen from some people who told police they furnished Larsen and his friend, Køge politician Tommy Kamp, with drugs. Larsen denied the claim, but Ohlsen-Nielsen said he was indeed protecting Larsen and his friend at their request.

UESTIONS are being raised over the government’s unemployment statistics after a study released by the Economic Council of the Labour Movement (AE) found many more Danes were on cash welfare than the numbers suggest. According to an AE press release, 124,000 Danes are receiving cash welfare benefits, though only 33,000 of them count as being unemployed by the Employment Ministry. The remaining 90,000 are not counted in unemployment statistics as they are considered unemployable. “Unemployment is actually a far greater problem than it appears in the statistics,” AE chief executive, Lars Andersen, told Politiken newspaper. “We have to take it seriously.” Cash welfare recipients are divided into three groups by job centres, with individuals in Group 1 considered ready to work. Those in Groups 2 and 3 are not considered ready to enter the workforce and are not entered into official unemployment statistics. What the official unemployment statistics hide, according to Andersen, is that these last two groups are growing. And while these groups are typically comprised of individuals suffering from alcoholism and/or drug addiction, more and more young people are falling into these categories. “Now it’s more likely that people who have dropped out of their education or young people who never got into the workforce are being considered unprepared for the workplace,” Andersen said. “It’s not that likely that we’ve gained that many more addicts.” Some 90,000 individuals received cash welfare benefits in September 2011, up 22,000 from 2008. In the same period, the proportion of recipients under the age of 30 rose from seven to 36 percent. According to the AE, the new numbers show that gains made in reducing the number of cash welfare recipients outside the workforce by 30,000 between 2004 and 2008 have been wiped out. “We are close to losing all the progress we made in the good years getting cash welfare recipients into work,” Andersen wrote. “The hidden unemployment numbers show that something needs to be done about creating growth and work places so we don’t lose an entire generation.” (PS)

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The CopeNhageN posT

11 - 17 November 2011


Teachers, students and experts to work with government to improve educational standard of children with immigrant backgrounds


peter stanners


ChOOls with high proportions of bilingual and non-ethnic Danish children will receive extra funding to help raise students’ language skills. The initiative, outlined in the government’s new budget, will deliver one million kroner per year over three years to each of the 14 schools in Denmark where the student make-up is at least 40 percent non-ethnic Danish. “it’s incredibly important to strengthen our integration efforts,” Christine antorini, the children and teaching minister, told Politiken newspaper. “schools with high proportions of children from non-Danish ethnic backgrounds need extra economic help.” Decisions about what projects the money will be spent on will be made after discussions between ministry officials, students, teachers and educational experts. One of the schools due to receive extra funding is Tingbjerg school in the Copenhagen suburb of Brønshøj, which is almost entirely attended by non-ethnic Danes. “What we need most is continued education for our teachers so they are better able to teach Danish as a second language,” Joy Frimann hansen, the head of Tingbjerg school, told Politiken. hansen also argued that there needed to be better co-operation with kindergartens in order to prepare students better for school. Bilingual children start school on average with a vocabu-

pamela juhl

schools with high immigration enrolment to receive funding boost Lawyers argue that the police investigations into protesters’ backgrounds is illegal

Legality of police’s activist investigations questioned Lawyers question relevance and legality of gathered information Fourteen schools will receive one million kroner annually over three years to raise the educational standards of non-ethnic Danish children

lary of 700 words, roughly half that of ethnic Danish children. But according to lise Egholm, the head of Rådmans school, one of the major problems is that students from non-Danish backgrounds are too densely clustered in particular regions. “There still needs to be a better distribution of bilingual children across Danish schools,” Egholm told Politiken. “i have been campaigning for this for years. integration will suffer until we solve this issue.” The previous government introduced similar initiatives to lift the educational standards of non-ethnic Danes. But according to antorini, the new initiative is more focused on getting schools to co-operate and finding productive solutions, rather than withdrawing funding and punishing schools with poor results. The poor reading standards of nonethnic Danish children was revealed

this summer after the publication of the 2010 Pisa report on the reading standards of 15-year-olds. it showed that 46 percent of Copenhagen children born to immigrants do not have functional reading capabilities, far higher than the city’s average of 24 percent. The poor results have been in part blamed on the removal of mothertongue Danish lessons, where children born to immigrants are taught Danish in their native language. The decision to remove mothertongue teaching was made by the government in 2001 and is widely considered to have harmed integration efforts. The government justified the decision at the time by saying that there were other aspects of education – such as improving the standard of primary school education – that were a higher priority than teaching the children of immigrants in their native languages.


anish police have collected background information about a further 1,300 individuals linked to those pre-emptively arrested during the COP15 climate conference, information newspaper reports. The police are currently appealing against last year’s verdict at Copenhagen City Court – brought by 178 of the 944 pre-emptively arrested individuals – that found the police action to be illegal and granted compensation to the protesters. To support their case, the police compiled a 1,000-page document comprised of incriminating information about the pre-emptively arrested protesters, including details of their contact with police and their acquaintances on social networking sites. This document was revealed at the start of the case, but when the case resumed on Monday after a four-week break, information revealed that the personal details of a further 1,300 individuals were also submitted as evidence.

Details included the personal registration numbers, birthdays and nationalities of individuals who were not part of the pre-emptive arrest and have not participated in the original compensation case levelled against the police. By gathering the information, the police had been hoping to show that many of the arrested individuals were connected to militant political groups who have been known to participate in violent protest action. Of the 178 individuals who sued for illegal arrest, the police say 37 have “been charged and/or in contact with police” in connection with arson, violence, illegally wearing a mask and disturbing the peace. But lawyers for many of those who brought the initial case against the police believe that the backgrounds of those arrested do not provide sufficient justification for their arrest. The lawyers, Knud Foldshack and Christian Dahlager, argue that the police can only justify a mass arrest based on a concrete fear of disruption of the public peace, and that the police’s subsequent investigations may be a breach of data protection laws. (Ps)

Minister axes expensive export ambassadors jennifer buley says she’ll do their jobs and save the state 18 million kroner


hE nEW export and trade minister, Pia Olsen Dyhr, has dismissed the five elder statesmen appointed by the previous government to be Denmark’s export ambassadors to emerging markets. “We don’t have limitless means,” Dyhr told the media earlier this week. “You have to realise that the export ambassador project is really expensive – they are being paid nearly the same salaries as cabinet members. We would rather use that money for some real, concrete initiatives.” Dyhr remarked that eliminating the five highly-paid export ambassador posts would save 18 million kroner – money that could be put to better uses. “What we really need, if you talk to businesses, are efforts out in those countries. They say they need people on the ground who actually know the conditions – that means people from those countries who can link Danish businesses to the countries,” Dyhr added.

The export ambassador project is really expensive – they are being paid nearly the same salaries as cabinet members The five export ambassadors – Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, Ritt Bjerregaard, Mariann Fischer Boel, anne Birgitte lundholt, and henning Dyremose – are all retired ministers and members of parliament. They all have long CVs and years of political experience – but mostly in domestic politics. The chairman of the Danish Export association, Ulrich Ritsing, said it was a shame that Dyhr dropped the programme and fired the ambassadors before seeing what they could do – as the programme was only set to begin in the spring. “We wish that they would have waited to see the results of the work. That would have been only fair to these people who agreed to do a whole lot of work,” Ritsing told Politiken newspaper.

But while Ritsing was critical, an international economics professor from aarhus University, Philipp schröder, commended Dyhr’s decision to cut the ambassadors loose and use the money for something better. “We have not seen that initiatives like export ambassadors create any export growth whatsoever. The same amount of kroner would be much better used sending Danish businesses to trade shows in China, for example, or giving them legal advice to help them set themselves up in a new market,” schröder said. he added that if the goal was to build the Danish brand in other markets, there were better ways to go about it than sending five retired politicians on tour. “if we want to raise awareness of Danish businesses, we should send the crown prince or host the Olympics,” schröder suggested. “But we’re nowhere close to that category with these export ambassadors. Ritt Bjerregaard and Uffe Ellemann are known in Denmark, but they aren’t in China.” however, Ritsing disagreed, suggesting that the elder statesmen’s advanced years and long CVs bristling with important-sounding former titles,

The five export ambassadors with former foreign minister Lene espersen. From left to right: Uffe ellemann-Jensen (India), Ritt Bjerregaard (China), Henning Dyremose (Brazil), Anne Birgitte Lundholt (other emerging markets), espersen, and Mariann Fischer Boel (Russia).

like ‘mayor’ and ‘minister’, would open doors in cultures, like China, where age and wisdom are valued more than youth. But the 39-year-old Dyhr countered that as the current trade and export minister, she herself would have more ability to open doors and build effective trade relationships than the retired politicians would. as former long-term members of

parliament, all five of the export ambassadors already receive significant pensions – estimated at more than 28,000 kroner per month, according to Penge & Privatøkonomi financial magazine. Dyhr proposed that if the five would like to continue as export ambassadors “con amore” – as a gift to the state – they were more than welcome to do so, and their efforts would be appreciated.



The CopeNhageN posT

11 - 17 November 2011

Jyllands-posten offers support for greenland warming to China’s arctic involvement targeted french magazine french newspaper targeted over plans to publish special edition with prophet Mohammed as guest editor


Peter stanners

premier kuupik kleist sees potential in improved co-operation with China on a number of fronts, as well as membership of the arctic Council



eWsPaPer Jyllands-Posten has offered its support to the French magazine Charlie hebdo after its Paris offices were gutted by a firebomb last week on Monday night. Charlie hebdo was planning to release a special arab spring edition of the magazine on Wednesday titled Charia hebdo and featured a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed – the issue’s ‘guest editor’ – on the front cover saying “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter”. The magazine’s editor, known as Charb, told France inter radio that they had received threats on Facebook and twitter in the run-up to the planned publication, but added they had not intended to provoke and that it was simply “business as usual”. “i sent a note of sympathy to the publisher and chief editor of Charlie hebdo today,” Jyllands-Posten managing director Lars Munch wrote on the newspaper’s website. “i clearly remember the threats we received in the Mohammed case. it means a lot that you don’t feel alone in this sort of situation.” The incident is reminiscent of the repeated threats received by Jyllands-Posten after it published 12 cartoons of Mohammed in 2005, one of which depicted him wearing a bomb in his turban.

French cartoonist luz holds the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo renamed ‘Charia Hebdo’ as he stands in front of the magazine’s offices in Paris

i clearly remember the threats we received in the Mohammed case. it means a lot that you don’t feel alone in this sort of situation The cartoonist who drew that picture, kurt Westergaard, was attacked in his home in January 2010 by an axewielding man shouting: “We will get our revenge!” Westergaard survived the

attack unharmed after locking himself in a panic room. The intruder was subsequently arrested and convicted of attempted murder and terrorism. “it’s awful and completely unacceptable that the media’s freedom of speech is threatened with violence,” Munch wrote. Charlie hebdo has received broad support following the attack. in addition to Paris authorities pledging to provide new offices for the magazine, French newspaper Libération published Charlie hebdo as a supplement in yesterday’s edition. Charlie hebdo is known for its irreverence to all religions, and in 2007 it reprinted the Jyllands-Posten cartoons. it was later sued by two islamic groups for inciting racism, but was acquitted.

50 wounded libyans to receive treatment in denmark


enMark will treat 50 Libyans injured during the country’s conflict, the Foreign Ministry said last week on Friday. Libya’s national transitional Council requested the Danish government to provide the specialised treatment required by the individuals, the ministry said in a statement. The 50 patients will be flown to Denmark in an air Force hercules cargo aircraft that is specially outfitted to transport the sick and wounded. They will then be taken for treatment at the university hospitals in the cities of Copenhagen, aarhus and Odense, the statement added. “i am glad we have the opportunity to help at least some of the many people wounded in Libya. it is indeed tragic

that so many have been hurt,” said the foreign minister, Villy søvndal, in the statement. The ministry said Libya particularly needs to treat any citizens afflicted by war trauma, and confirmed that Libya would pay for the costs in treating and of transporting the wounded. Libya libya will cover all the costs of transporting the wounded has also made similar requests to other countries, it added. nato mission, Danish aircraft and perDenmark supported the un-man- sonnel participating in the intervention dated, nato-led intervention in Libya have returned home. that enforced a no-fly zone over the a spokesperson for the military said country and helped topple the former none of the individuals being sent to regime led by Muammar Gaddafi. Denmark for treatment had been inFollowing the conclusion of the jured by Danish weapons. (Xinhua) scanpix

foreign Ministry accepts libyan request to provide specialised treatment

rOFOunD environmental changes in the arctic are creating new possibilities for economic activity in the area. This is most strongly felt in Greenland, which with its vast potential reserves of oil, gas, industrial minerals, and unique tourist attractions, is fast becoming a hot spot for foreign investors. kuupik kleist, Greenland’s political leader, said he expects foreign investors, including those from China, to play an important role in the future development of Greenland. “i think that China together with other nations is taking a huge interest in the arctic area in general and specifically in Greenland, and we have seen quite a number of visitors from China over the last couple of years,” kleist told Xinhua in an exclusive interview last week. “We don’t really have that much cooperation for the time being, but i know that Chinese companies are showing an interest in Greenland,” he added. While Chinese tourists are already braving the arctic’s icebergs and freezing temperatures to experience its harsh beauty, deeper financial co-operation is also underway. “Greenland is also showing an interest in China: my minister for minerals (and industry) and labour is going to China today on an official visit. i would see a future co-operation as a very positive one and we welcome the Chinese interest,” he observed. Lying high in the arctic Circle, Greenland is the world’s biggest island and an autonomously governed territory of Denmark. since gaining selfgovernment in 2009, Greenland and its parliament can independently invite foreign investors to participate in its future development, where the prospects are hugely tempting. The arctic is thought to contain roughly 30 percent of the world’s unproven gas reserves and 10 percent of its unproven oil reserves. an estimated 97 percent of these resources fall within the exclusive economic zones of the five arctic states that have a coastline on the arctic Ocean – namely russia, Canada, the us, norway and Denmark. already, foreign oil and gas companies are prospecting in the deep ocean waters off Greenland’s west coast, while mining companies are hunting for rare earth minerals in its vast hinterland. This activity raises hopes for Greenland experiencing high economic growth rates over the coming years, as well as economic, and possibly political, independence.

our place on the global stage is changing fast “We are a society in transition in many ways, and at a high speed,” kleist told Xinhua. “Our place on the global stage is changing fast, partly due to climate change and partly owing to the international companies interested in Greenland’s minerals.” But co-operation in other areas, such as communications technology and green growth, is also expected. “so far, foreign investments have been in the business of minerals and oil and gas,” kleist explained. “But we would like to see economic co-operation in other areas. Green growth, for instance, is a very actual and timely issue, and Greenland of course wants to participate in the development of green technology, and we want to see green growth in Greenland itself,” kleist said. While the accelerated warming of the polar ice caps is making it easier to access minerals deep under Greenland’s permafrost, it is also making it experience a milder climate. With its highquality and largely unspoiled soils, this could help make Greenland an agricultural bread basket. “a quite new area for development in Greenland, due to climate change, is that agricultural development is now becoming an area of business,” kleist said. For a start, this would mean Greenland could grow its own food, meaning its roughly 59,000 residents do not have to rely almost exclusively on imported non-fish food items, as they tend to do now. it would also make the economy far less dependent on fishing, currently the main industry. in the future, agricultural produce could even become an export commodity. While the focus is mostly on commercial activity, other areas of co-operation are also expected to mature in the future. China, for instance, has expressed interest in being granted observer status at the arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum for the region’s governments and indigenous peoples. China says it wants to further its scientific and research interests in the area, not least to study climate change, echoing requests by others like Japan, south korea and the eu. kleist said he would support China in becoming a member of the council, which counts Canada, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe islands), Finland, iceland, norway, russia, sweden and the us as full members. (Xinhau news)

oNliNe This Week somalian pirates demand 50m kroner in ransom

Christiania goes Wall street

tWO WOrkers from the Danish Demining Group taken hostage in somalia last week will only be released for a 50 million kroner ransom, ekstra Bladet newspaper reports. The two workers, a 60-year-old Dane, Poul hagen, and a 32-year-old american, Jessica Buchanan, were abducted a week last tuesday in the somalian town of Galkayo and have since been

Christiania’s shares made their debut on Wall street last week. sort of. Three representatives from Christiania were in new York City to support the ongoing Occupy Wall street protests. While they were there, they attempted to convince investors that they’d be better off putting their money into ‘social’ shares, similar to the Christiania shares that were introduced in

moved to the region of Galmudug. The region’s deputy police chief, abdi hasan Gorey, visited the pirates to begin negotiations on sunday. “They are demanding between $9 million and $12 million,” Gorey told ekstra Bladet. Gorey added that the hostages were being treated well and were being fed camel meat and milk, the same food as the pirates were eating.

Upset asylum seeker threatens to set himself on fire september. “You could say that we have experience with occupying a piece of public ground for more than 40 years,” risenga Manghezi, one of the three Christiania residents in new York, told Politiken newspaper. “We would like to share our experience with the movement.” sales of the Christiania shares (folkeaktie), have brought in well over four million kroner so far.

a DistrauGht man threatened to set himself on fire at Flygtningenævnet, the refugee appeals board offices in Copenhagen, last week on Friday. according to police, the man entered the lobby complaining that his application had been rejected before dousing himself in petrol and drawing a lighter.

staff were quickly evacuated and the fire department, ambulance service and police were called. a group of negotiators was called in to talk the man down. The man was not harmed in the incident and was taken to hospital where a Farsi interpreter was able to discern that he was from iran.

Read The fUll sToRies aT

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Beyond the hype of the ‘New’ Nordic cuisine lies a healthy idea

11- 17 November 2011

Why do we need companies that don’t pay tax?


ESPITE all the praise being heaped on it, there’s nothing ‘new’ about New Nordic cuisine. For most of human existence, eating what you could pick, kill or forage was a simple fact of survival. Today, eating local, in-season foods is a conscious choice we have the luxury of making, but before the technology existed to process, refrigerate and transport food, the menu was limited to what was nearby. In that respect, it’s easy to ridicule New Nordic cuisine as just another food fad that’s hookwinked people into paying thousands of kroner for a plate of foamed oatmeal garnished with locally picked weeds. Throw in the fact that the movement’s ‘founder’, Claus Meyer, calls the New Nordic Kitchen a “movement”, and that he’s created a list of 10 principles (read: commandments) for that movement, and the whole thing starts to feel like a granola version of South Beach, Atkins, or any other diet fad from the past. But dig a little beneath the surface, and there are plenty of reasons to wish the movement success. True, we’re not doing anything new, but that’s just the point. At a time when people are increasingly developing illnesses because of what they are eating, there’s nothing wrong with taking a closer look at what we’re putting in our mouths. And with its local focus, New Nordic cuisine would seem to contain at least part of the solution to global problems ranging from food scarcity to greenhouse gas emissions. For all its potential though, New Nordic cuisine does have its drawbacks. For example, it’s hard not to point out that the conventional food industry, with its focus on efficiency and standardisation, has made it possible for more people around the world to get enough to eat. What’s more, that same food industry – be it agriculture, dairy farming, meat packing or food processing – has been a major source of jobs and exports for the country since the 19th century. But times change, even in the food industry, and whether it be modern production methods in the 1940s, organic foods in the ’80s, or New Nordic today, Denmark seems to have a knack for being able to turn food into money. While we could write Meyer off as a huckster, if we cut through the hype, we might just wind up a healthier and wealthier nation.

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RECENTLY found myself talking to a young man who was upset that a lot of companies don’t pay tax. “I pay tax every single year,” he said. “So I honestly can’t understand why big companies don’t have to pay anything.” I explained to him that while individuals pay tax on their income, companies pay taxes on their profits. When a company doesn’t earn any profits, it doesn’t need to pay any taxes – just like a person doesn’t pay income tax if they don’t have any income. The young man argued that instead of paying taxes on their profits, companies could be required to pay taxes on their turnover. “You and I need to pay taxes, regardless of whether we have money in our bank account or if it is overdrawn,” he said. I replied that, in the first place, some companies have a high volume of turnover, but a very small profit margin. One such example would be a whole-

saler. Let’s assume that a wholesale company has sales amounting to 10 million kroner annually, but a pre-tax profit of 400,000 kroner. If the company’s tax rate is 5 percent of its turnover, the company would have to pay 100,000 kroner more in taxes than it earned. That doesn’t fly. We could always lower the tax rate to 1 percent of turnover, but that would mean that companies with a very low turnover wouldn’t have to pay a lot in tax, even though their profits were the same as the wholesaler’s. It makes most sense to tax a company according to its profits. The young man didn’t accept any of this. He felt that it simply couldn’t be right that half of the country’s companies are unprofitable. “Isn’t the whole point of running a company to earn money? And why do we make such a big effort to attract multinational companies if they don’t pay any taxes?” he wanted to know. I asked him to imagine a self-employed carpenter. Some of the money he earns is used to pay for things like the rent on his workshop, utilities, lumber, etc. “And please note that the company pays a number of surcharges in addition to these expenses,” I said. “And on top of that, the carpenter needs to pay himself, so that gets deducted from the earnings. That income is taxed. If there’s still any money left at the end of the year, he has several op-

tions. He can pay the money to himself. If he does that, the company hasn’t earned any profits, but that doesn’t mean the taxman has been cheated. In fact, the carpenter has to pay tax on the extra money he’s now earned. “He could also decide to invest the money in new tools, computer equipment or the like. If he does that the company again ends the year profitless. But, the investment will pay returns in the form of higher turnover in the years to come. And that turnover will also be taxed – either in the form of income tax or as company profits. “I hope you can see,” I said. “That there can be perfectly legitimate reasons why a company doesn’t have any profits, and that a company’s most important function is that it creates jobs so people can earn money. That’s the main way that companies contribute to the tax base – not corporate taxes. In fact, income taxes make up about half of the taxes collected by the state. Corporate taxes, by comparison, only make up six percent.” Our conversation ended here, but I could have added that our tax minister, Thor Möger Pedersen, is acting unwisely by making life unpleasant for companies by accusing them of cheating on their taxes and by threatening them with more control or public humiliation. Skat’s own set of guidelines for taxing multina-

A company’s function is to create jobs so that people can earn money tionals state that “corporate taxes are at a level commensurate with the level the domestic capital stock indicates they should”. The tax minister’s own officials apparently don’t feel that they are being cheated out of corporate taxes. The real mystery in all of this is why the focus has primarily been on multinationals. The number of multinational corporations that don’t pay tax is less than the number of Danish companies that don’t pay tax. It’s a myth that multinationals are able to export their profits as they see fit. Their tax payments are regulated by EU directives, double taxation agreements and international guidelines. What these companies can move to other countries as they see fit are jobs and investments. So we’d be wise to treat them nicely. The author is the managing director of the Center for Political Studies (CEPOS), an independent think tank promoting a society based on freedom, responsibility, private initiative and limited government.

READER COMMENTS New budget to kickstart economy Not a bad finanslov, all things considered. The extra 250 kr a month ‘raise’ is appreciated. The familieydelse/børnepenge was not only capped at 35,000kr per year, but the quarterly payment amounts were scaled back too by about 10%. I wonder if they are going to just remove the cap or also increase the payments back to the previous levels? I guess we’ll see tomorrow. I also find it interesting (in jest, of course) that the Danish government loves to use taxation and other policy to influence our behavior (eg the fat tax), so now it will pay us to have more kids and at the same time pay us to get sterilised! What to choose??? JFD By website Wahuu wah, starting to see that welfare I have been waiting for!!! Yes!!! Thanks to all the fools who keep working! I am now on the public dole and enjoying it!! Thanks to all you who pay the fat tax, car registration, etc. etc. Oh, what should I do tomorrow? I guess I’ll just sleep late and watch the telly (don’t worry, I’m not paying the DR licence) polluting existing models? Thorvaldsen By website The first question is how to keep young highly educated Danes in Denmark with the dark long winters, no mountain and the world tax record. magic1964 By website I think I’m most tickled about the

Copenhagen Consensus Center losing its funding! Removing that media tax is very good common sense. Glad someone finally realised the idiocy of that tax. Heidi aka MissFuzzy By website A little more English, please A monolingual person in a bilingual environment is not an asset, especially in a place where social cohesion in the workplace is valued. Also, most Europeans learn English for their own purposes, which decidedly do not include making it easier for anglophones to live long term among them without integrating linguistically. If you can’t deal with local bureaucracy on your own without an interpreter, read a local newspaper or international bestseller with ease and understand the evening news then you’re not fluent enough. Mafketis By website I think you’ve missed the point. I could understand your stance if the work involved and the company’s outlook was internal to Denmark. But the position was to work on “a new English-speaking international website...” so strong English skills should be far more important than Danish skills here. True, a monolingual person in a bilingual environment is not an asset, but where the focus is on the secondary language I would suggest that in this case it may be the other way around and I would be worried for the quality of the website in question.


By website

I have been facing same kind of a problems in DK. Coming from Helsinki, Finland, it has been hard to realise how regional and small Copenhagen and Aarhus are (both claiming to be international cities). I’m not saying that Helsinki is bigger, more international or better in the worldwide scale – but I think the difference is that the Finns realised they are small and tiny nation and to be able to survive the global market the language needs to be English (at least as important as Finnish). Maybe the Danish nation as a former colonial power has not come there yet. They have been huge it takes time to come down. MassiH By website I’d love to know how companies manage when they need to call in a foreigner to take over a project for just a few months. Do they insist that they learn Danish too? There’s little need in day-to-day life to speak Danish here and I see it as nothing more than racism in that “if you don’t speak the language, go back to your own country” way. There are hundreds of jobs out there that you could easily do without Danish but they force it upon you. This is essentially a dual language country. The majority of citizens can get by in both languages, yet they insist on using theirs or nothing. If that’s not enforced racism I don’t know what is. shufflemoomin By website I’ve lived in Denmark for over five

years – work in a Danish company with English as its official language. It may be the exception but I have no need for Danish at all ... haven’t learnt it yet and get on just fine. And it’s also fine with my boss. Tot By website Native English speakers moving to any other country in Europe WILL learn the native language in the first year they are there. They won’t survive in Spain, France, Portugal, etc if they don’t learn it. In Denmark the anti-Danish attitude only persists because it is so easy to get by speaking English. So since Danes speak English all of the sudden foreigners do not need to learn Danish? I garantee this article would not exist if the author would have moved to Spain for example. He would learn the language prior to trying to get a job. Even if the job was based around the English language. PC By website World’s thickest book Think of the manhours and costs that it took to produce a useless piece of crap like that. If they can’t write the rules on two pages, they’re not useable. Your welfare state at work!! Thorvaldsen By website My son’s teacher was telling the children in the class about the “book” but did not say what it was about. I later told my son - he was not impressed. Rugratzz By website



11 - 17 November 2011


Still Adjusting BY JUSTIN CREMER 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, struggling with the Danish language and keeping up with the everchanging immigration rules. Follow him at

You can go home again, but it won’t be the same


REETINGS from America! By the time you read this, I will be back in my homeland for the first time in nearly a year. Well, that is, assuming I survived three flights with a nine-week-old and a nearly-fouryear-old. I’m back in Iowa to spend Thanksgiving with family and attend my cousin’s wedding. It will also be the first time my parents meet their new granddaughter. But beyond the family reunion, I’m also back for my own mental health. While at this stage in life eleven months isn’t what it used to be, it’s still an awfully long time to be away from the bulk of the people I know on this earth. I desperately need a heaping helping of home. Having worked at The Copenhagen Post for over a year now, I know enough about our readership to know that my situation is far from unique. The city – and to a lesser degree the rest of Denmark – is filled with thousands of people who have left their homelands to settle down in this little northern nation. But still, seen as a whole, choosing to abandon everything one knows to begin anew in a foreign country isn’t exactly a widely popular life choice. The vast majority of the people I know from back home have never so much as left the country, let alone settled down outside of it. And that’s not unique to my circle of family and friends, the numbers play out across the United States. Only 37 percent of Americans even have a passport, according to numbers from the US Department of State, and that number is a big increase on just a few years ago thanks to a 2007 initiative that required US citizens to use a passport when travelling

Once you’ve been living somewhere else for an extended period, returning home can stir up a variety of emotions

Des Moines, Iowa: it may not look like much, but to our columnist it will always be home

to neighbouring Mexico and Canada. When it comes to permanently relocating, the Pew Research Center found that 57 percent of Americans never move out of their home state and 37 percent never leave their hometowns. That last number increases to nearly 50 percent when you look only in the Midwest, the region of the country I’m from. Many of those who do move away end up returning, as roughly half of all Americans currently live within a 80-kilometre radius of where they were born. This isn’t meant to pick on my fellow Americans. I think Americans are unjustly seen – particularly by many Europeans who appreciate any opportunity to snootily look down their noses

at us – as oblivious and uninterested in anything that happens outside the country’s borders. While that stereotype may be grounded in some truth, Americans do get around. Over 30 million Americans travelled overseas in 2009. What’s more, an estimated 6.2 million Americans currently live outside the US. A sizeable number to be sure, but one that only corresponds to two percent of the current US population. In a quick and very unscientific poll of my co-workers, who represent nine different nationalities, about half – those from the US, Denmark, Ukraine, and South Korea – said that the vast majority of people they know from ‘home’ never left, while the Brits, Irish, South Africans, and Kiwis appear

to have a stronger wanderlust. Danes certainly enjoy a reputation as globetrotters, but they’re not all that likely to settle down and live abroad. Statistics Denmark shows that in 2008 Danes took 16.6 million vacations that required travel – that’s nearly three per person. But those of us who have settled down in a foreign country know that there is a big difference between visiting and living. Although no official numbers are kept on how many Danes live abroad, stats compiled by – a group campaign for dual citizenship rights for Danes – put the total at 167, 950. That figure corresponds to only three percent of Denmark’s population – just slightly higher than the proportion of Americans.

It’s no surprise that so few people live outside their homelands. Being separated by great distances from family, friends, and one’s culture and traditions is a mentally difficult undertaking. For me it always strikes hardest when I am back in Iowa. It brings to mind the popular saying: “You can’t go home again.” That’s wrong. You can go home again, you just can’t expect it to be the same. Once you’ve been living somewhere else for an extended period – picking up new experiences, new thoughts, new perspectives, and new friends – returning home can stir up a variety of emotions as you realise that everything you knew, while still very much a part of you, is now firmly in the past. So while I know I will greatly enjoy my time back home seeing friends, visiting old haunts and, most importantly, watching my parents spoil my children, by the end of the trip I’ll once again be ready to trade Des Moines for Copenhagen. I’ll be longing for my own house, my everyday family routines, and the charms of the city itself. In short, after spending two and a half weeks ‘back home’, I’ll be ready to come back home.






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?

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.”

10 cover story staying ‘happy’ during the dark, depressing winter The CopeNhageN posT

11 - 17 November 2011

peter stanners

justin cremer The much-touted happiness of danes gets put to the test during the autumn and winter


anes have been called some variation of the moniker ‘the happiest people in the world’ so many times that it has become cliche, a bit of a long running joke. Just last month, in an OeCD publication entitled ‘How’s Life?’, Denmark finished top out of 40 countries in terms of life satisfaction. But while a visit to Kongens Have on a warm and sunny July day might make it is easy to understand how Danes can be such a happy lot, outsiders may be hard-pressed to explain this distinction during the dark, cold days of winter. How can people be so happy and satisfied when they go months barely seeing the sun? The answer, of course, is murkier than all of those ‘happiest people on earth’ studies suggest. according to the Danish Mental Health Fund (PsykiatriFonden), 200,000 Danes currently suffer from depression and roughly 15 percent of the population – one in every seven – will suffer from a form of depression at some point in their lives. For many people, the dark and dreary conditions of this time of year can lead to winter depression, or seasonal affective disorder (saD). In a widely cited 1998 study, it was found that over 12 percent of Danes indicated a presence of saD. according to the Us national Library of Medicine, saD is defined as ‘episodes of depression that occur at a certain time of the year, usually during winter’. The risk of saD is greater in locations like Denmark that have long winter nights. Its symptoms include social withdrawal, a lack of energy, increased sleepiness, and feelings of un-

Foggy and rainy conditions are more likely to adversely affect the mental state than extreme cold and snow

happiness or hopelessness. Martin Morsing, a Vesterbro-based psychologist, said that he sees seasonal affective disorder in five to ten percent of his clients, mostly women. “In Danish, we call it vinterdepression [winter depression], but actually I prefer the english term ‘winter blues’, because the word ‘depression’ carries with it a number of associations which, from a psychological viewpoint, could be misleading,” Morsing said. “It is important to distinguish between a clinical depression and the winter blues. although the symptoms are similar, they are two very distinct states of mind. To complicate things, the winter blues can easily become a depression if it is not treated.” The condition can particularly affect the elderly. “They’re less likely to

studies have pointed towards changes in the day’s length as the most significant explanation for seasonal variations in suicidal behaviour leave their homes due to their increased immobility,” said sarika staflund, a swedish occupational health therapist based in Copenhagen. “They’re frightened they’ll slip in the wintry conditions, so they don’t go out and spend all their time inside, getting even more

depressed as a result.” at its most extreme, depression can lead to suicide. statistics from the Odense-based Centre for suicide Research (CsR) show that suicides and suicide attempts peak at two points during the year: October/november, when the days begin to shorten, and april/May, when the days get longer again. “studies have pointed towards daylight hours or changes in the day’s length as the most significant explanation for seasonal variations in suicidal behaviour,” wrote Børge Jensen, CsR’s statistician, in a 2003 report. “as the changes in the daylight hours and temperature are the highest in the autumn and spring, the number of suicides and suicide attempts peaks [during these times].” according to Jensen, it is a common

myth that most suicides occur during December. But although the most suicides actually occur in the spring, the long, dark days of winter may be the culprit for that as well. “People with a severe winter depression, or seasonal affective disorder, lack the initiative to act while they are suffering from the depression, and first get it when they are on their way out of the depressive period in spring,” Jensen told The Copenhagen Post. Beyond the time of year, the particular weather conditions are also a factor in suicides. “During autumn and winter, there are more suicides when it is foggy, humid, and rainy, but fewer when there is true winter weather (cold, clear weather with snowfall)”, Jensen wrote. With the past few weeks providing dark and foggy conditions, what can be done to stave off the winter blues? ask a Dane how to make it through the winter, and the odds are the answer will include two words: ‘hygge’ and ‘candles’. The theory seems to be that if one lights enough candles, has enough low-hanging lamps and regularly meets with friends over coffee or drinks, seasonal affective disorder can be avoided. Danes, after all, consume more candles per capita than any other people in the world. But does that work? The professionals think so. “Definitely that’s a way to survive the hard winter,” Morsing said. “Cuddle up together and have some candlelight to make it more hyggeligt.” For those suffering from saD, Morsing recommends they practice light therapy, where special lamps with bright fluorescent lights are used to simulate the light from the sun. spending 20-30 minutes a day under the lamp can improve the depressive symptoms. although, Morsing said, nothing replaces the real thing. “Be active, do sports, and get out in direct sunlight,” Morsing advised. “That is, during those few hours when the sun is out.”

jennifer Buley scientists are busy testing the health effects of Noma’s acclaimed cuisine; the early results are head-turning


F YOU find it hard to believe that Denmark, the home of hotdog wagons, rémoulade, and Danish pastries could have a slimming national cuisine, then it’s worth remembering that it’s also the home of whole-grain rye bread, root vegetables, fresh fish and seaweed. While the former foods still make up a large part of the average Dane’s diet, a new way of eating focuses on the latter, plus ingredients like game meat, cabbage, wild berries, and the occasional dandelion or two. What has been dubbed ‘new nordic cuisine’ has taken hold in Denmark and beyond, in a large part due to the influence of the renowned chef Claus Meyer. Besides co-founding the awardwinning Copenhagen restaurant noma (its name is a contraction of the Danish words for ‘nordic food’), Meyer has spent the last decade encouraging peo-

ple to eat seasonal, local foods, and even to forage for their salads. Meyer recently paired up with researchers from the University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Life sciences (LIFe) to develop menus for a series of scientific studies on the health effects of new nordic-style eating. Preliminary results from one of those studies are certain to grab the attention of nutrition experts and dieters around the world. as part of a 26-week study, LIFe researchers fed 181 overweight adults one of two different diets: an ‘average Danish diet’, comprised of the dishes currently most eaten in Denmark, including many imported foods, or the new nordic Diet, with Meyer-designed meals that were made from local and seasonal whole foods. all of the participants were encouraged to eat until they were fully satisfied, paying some attention to portion size, but never counting calories. Halfway into the study, the 113 participants on the new nordic Diet had lost an average of 3.1 kgs each, whilst the 68 participants eating the

average Danish diet had lost just 1.6 kgs. LIFe associate professor Thomas Meinert Larsen, who leads the study, presented the preliminary results at the european nutrition Conference in Madrid last month. The study’s final results are expected in spring 2012. Letting participants eat until they were satisfied allowed researchers to compare the “satiating effects” of the two diets, Larsen said. and while noma – with its months’ long waiting list and 2,500 kroner prix fixe – may represent the paragon of new nordic cuisine, Larsen emphasised that making your own food at home is an essential aspect of the new nordic Diet. “When you cook the foods yourself, you know exactly what the ingredients are, you know where they come from, if they are healthy, and also if they were prepared in a healthy way”. Likewise, learning to cook new nordic-style meals is part of another large, ongoing LIFe study involving schoolchildren. as part of its new nordic school food study, third and fourth graders from nine primary schools are learning to prepare their own exotic-


eat yourself thin the New Nordic way

By eating New Nordic cuisine, it may be possible to lose weight over the holidays

sounding new nordic meals – like wild boar patties with mashed peas and root vegetables, or Jerusalem artichoke soup with hazelnuts and chervil. Whilst the children eat, cook and learn about new nordic foods over the course of the 2011-2012 school year, researchers are busy measuring changes to everything from their fat-to-muscle ratios and blood pressure, to sleeping patterns, concentration levels, and learning abilities. Professor Kim Fleischer Michaelsen,

who is in charge of LIFe’s new nordic school food study, reiterated that even though new nordic cuisine may include unusual ingredients like wild garlic and dandelions, it’s neither exclusive nor elite. “It’s very important to us to point out that the new nordic Diet is different from noma. Of course, the principle of using natural, local foods is the same. But the new nordic Diet isn’t about being ‘sophisticated’,” Michaelsen said. “It’s everyday food”.


The CopeNhageN posT

11 - 17 November 2011


danes and expats bonding at the library over integrated cheese PHOTOS: CRAIG TILL & WORDS: BEN HAMILTON

Once again, the latest edition of Expat Dinners in late October proved to be a popular occasion, with Danes and expats flocking in More than 600 people took part at 16 participating libraries throughout the country, the organisers Expat in Denmark confirmed heavy numbers to libraries all over the country to share dishes from their home countries, have a bite to eat and a ching-wag, and following the event. drink a few glasses of wine in good company.

New this time around, was a partnership with KODA, the Danish musicians union, who provided all the dinners with a Danish musician And as in previous editions, there was plenty of time to work the room before the dining. Here, German scientist Leon Mishnaevsky or band. Performing here are Katrine and Martin. has cornered Denmark’s Mette Johnsen, or is it the other way round?

Pictured here is one of the candidates for the most international couples of the evening, combining no less than three different nationalities. Jawon Yun And here’s our choice for the most relaxed guest. With Rikke and Katrine looking on, proving it wasn’t all about Werner (second right) is originally from South Korea, while her husband Derak Werner (far right) is Polish-American. the grown-ups is our little man in Lapland.

Also in attendance were Kirsten and Louise from Denmark …

Vadim Fedulov from Ukraine with Denmark’s Louise Andersen … Expat in Denmark’s Steffen Pedersen and Vivian (far left) …

and finally, Germany’s Martin Fussel, who didn’t have to share his wine with anyone.




11- 17 November 2011


The Argentine Embassy held a seminar entitled ‘Investment and Business Opportunities in Argentina’ at the Confederation of Danish Industry last Friday. Representatives of a number of leading Danish companies attended. Pictured in the photo on the right are the main speakers at the seminar: (from left-right) Argentine ambassador Raúl Ricardes, Augusto Costa, a representative of the Argentine Undersecretariat for Investment Development, and Ole Chrintz, the SVP at Lundbeck. Photos: Loupe Pargallm

The Thai Embassy held a charity bazaar in its garden on Sunday to raise money for the recent flooding catastrophe in the country. Pictured in the centre is Thai ambassador Piyawat Niyomrerks holding a portrait of the Thai king, one of the many ítems that was auctioned on a day that included a great spread of food (right) and lots of colourful national costumes (left).

Home sweet home in Hellerup Our community editor, Victoria Steffensen, lives in Hellerup, the home of so many international schools, families, companies and embassies, and undoubted heartland of the expat scene. And although her kids don’t go to an international school and she couldn’t tell you where her closest embassy is, Victoria proves your home is where your heart is – in her case, in Hellerup.

Israeli artist Meir Tati was in town to attend the opening of his exhibition ‘Action Number 7’ at Rohde Contemporary. The The new Georgian ambassador is Nikoloz artist’s inspiration comes from Soviet era educational propaganda. Rtveliashvili. Gamarjoba!

Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and Elizabeth Samnøy, the co-authors of ‘Meet your Guardian Angel’, were among the guests at the Mystikkens Univers event at Bella Center over the weekend. Märtha Louise is the only daughter of the current king, Harald V, and fourth in line to the throne after her younger brother Haakon Magnus and his two children.

What is it with Danes and names? SOMETHING that has long interested me (well, since I’ve been living in Denmark) is the relationship between Danes and their names. It first took my notice when someone told me that the queen’s husband was French. A Frenchman called Henrik – that didn’t seem likely, I thought. I then found out that this was not the name the dashing young French aristocrat was born with (and if you don’t believe me about the dashing bit, just google some old black and white photos of him – he was quite hot). On marrying Margrethe, Henri was politely encouraged to change his name to a Danish one. Poor man. And as for the ‘dashing’, it seems that his looks have grown into his adopted name. Times have changed, in that respect. When Prince Frederik married his young Australian bride, Mary, there was no question of her changing her name to the Danish equivalent ‘Maria’, which in retrospect was rather lucky, because Frederik’s younger brother was also to marry a Marie (Henrik’s second name, by the way) a few years later!

On the subject of the Danes’ apparent inability to understand names that are not wholly Danish, cartoon characters haven’t escaped. Donald Duck, the iconic Disney character, is called Anders And in Denmark. Even the two European stars of voice dubbing, namely France and Germany, have chosen to keep the duck’s original name. However, there are some other countries that have chosen to name him something else. We should be glad that he is not known as Aku Ankka, like in Finland, or Sergio Belasconi, as he is known in Italy. Or is that the name they’ve given to Mickey Mouse? On that note, even the Disney god Mickey Mouse spent the first years of his life in Denmark called Mikkel Mus. This was changed in 1949, when the Danes found out that they could actually pronounce the word ‘Mickey’, and that many children could indeed guess that ‘mouse’ actually meant ‘mus’ and were not irrecoverably damaged by the potential language confusion. And what is it about Danes and long names? I come from the UK, and

over there double-barrelled names were the preserve of the mega-posh, such as Tara Palmer Tomkinson and the like. Here, they just love long names – the more the better. Look at the last three Danish prime ministers: Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Lars Løkke Rasmussen and Anders Fogh Rasmussen. To further complicate the issue, many people also have two first names. Each to their own, I hear you say … except that this creates an unforeseen problem when the person travels by air. The airlines’ international booking system only has room for 32 characters including spaces, and there have, indeed, been cases of people encountering problems at customs, because the name on your ticket should be precisely the same as that in your passport. Perhaps Danish parents should take note of a warning once given by national broadcaster DR. The rules are fine if you’re called Mads Jensen, but not if you’re called Mads Emil Tristan Toftegaard-Jensen! So long, this has been Victoria Steffensen, or rather: Victoria Louise Steffensen-Jones!



11 - 17 November 2011


The woman from Buenos Aires has created a belo horizonte DAVE SMITH

Fact file | Eden Art workshop

Providing English-language tuition in creative art to children, Argentine teacher has always been inspired by the naturalistic and the beautiful


HE COLOURFULLY painted windows invite you to enter. The entire place radiates happiness, and the walls are covered with beautiful paintings and drawings made by children. No, this isn’t Michael Jackson’s living room, this is the Eden Art workshop on Vesterbrogade, a special place hidden in a small shopping arcade where Danish and Englishspeaking kids can come and learn about painting, drawing, and a variety of crafts. On the tables there are all kinds of wonderful papiermâché creations – our eyes are particularly drawn to some strange-looking stones painted like small fishes. Creativity is in the air, and most of it stems from the workshop’s founder and co-ordinator, Ines Honfi, who also teaches a course at Østerbro International School. Originally from Buenos Aires in Argentina, she moved to Denmark five years ago, eleven years after graduating as an art teacher and painter at the Art Academy in Buenos Aires. Last week, The Copenhagen Post caught up with her to find out more about her venture.

At Eden Art workshop in Vesterbro, Argentine art teacher Ines Honfi helps her students to “express themselves spontaneously” through visual arts, such as mosaics and painting

Where did you get the inspiration to make an art workshop for children?

gary, and then destiny took me to Denmark, where I continue to teach art.

Since I was little, I’ve been painting and drawing in my free time. Nature is my inspiration – the abundance of colours, shapes and textures has always fascinated me. This is what I convey to my little students – my love of nature and colours, and the transmission of positive and beautiful things through art. So when I graduated from the Art Academy in Buenos Aires almost 16 years ago, I decided to work with children and to create my own workshop for kids. After that I moved to Budapest, Hun-

What is the concept behind Eden Art?


Copenhagen Post Children’s Christmas Party

Marriott Hotel, Kalvebod Brygge 5, 1560 Cph V, Sunday 11 Dec, 14:00-17:00; free adm

Following on from the success of its Children’s Festival, The Copenhagen Post is teaming up with Expat in Denmark and Spousecare to organise a children’s Christmas party at the Marriott Hotel for our readers, our fellow internationals and all their families. While the adults will be served Christmas treats that will remind them of home, the children can get their faces painted like a reindeer, make decorations at the Eden Art workshop table (see above for details), watch a performance by a finalist in last year’s ‘Denmark’s Got Talent’, visit Father Christmas in his grotto, sing along to festive songs, and generally run riot. Danish-French network launch

Dansk Erhverv, Børsen, Slotsholmsgade, Cph K; Thu 17 Nov, 17:30-20:30

Dansk Erhverv and the DanishFrench Chamber of Commerce are launching their new Danish-French network ‘Le Cercle d’Entreprise’ in order to create stronger ties between French and Danish organisations. Join them as they host an evening to kick off the new network with the theme ‘French Opportunities’. There will be an introduction by the French ambassador and chairman of the Danish Cham-

Courses are held in both Danish and English from September until June on Mondays and Wednesdays from 15:0017:00, and on Saturdays from 12:00-14:00. Students can sign up at any time over the year. In June, Eden Art puts on an exhibition of the students’ work created over the year. The courses cost 400kr per month, which includes all of the materials, and there are normally five-ten students per class. For more information visit or contact Ines directly on 4222 9074 or via

ber of Commerce, followed by a debate on the theme. Additionally, participants will have a chance to get better acquainted with each other and meet representatives of French and Danish companies.

Women in business

The Frida Hallqvist Studio of Pilates, Hostrups Have 50, 5th floor, Frederiksberg; Tue 15 Nov, 18:30-21:30; members free, non members150kr

Join the women of EPWNCopenhagen and hear an inspiring story of one woman who created a successful business. Frida Hallqvist will offer her insights on how she made a brand for herself, her studio and her ideas through her own business model and the use of social media to drive communication forwards. Play reading at The Bishop’s Arms: ‘Noises Off’

The Bishop’s Arms, Ny Østergade 14, Cph K; Thu 17 Nov, starts 19:00; free adm

Copenhagen Theatre Circle’s monthly playreading event is back at the Bishop’s Arms, an Anglo pub that provides a cosy and relaxing atmosphere. A guide will lead participants through the reading of ‘Noises Off’ by Michael Frayn. A play within a play, the delightfully colourful script will

The concept is to offer a friendly atmosphere where kids can develop their creativity. I think it is important that they are allowed the freedom to express themselves spontaneously. There is a lot of emphasis on using their imagination. We decide the projects together, and I help and guide them to make their ideas come true. We have a lot of material at the workshop, so each class we do a different technique.

take you on a journey full of laughs.

Which kind of techniques? We do a lot of paintings using acrylics so kids can learn how to mix and combine colours. The older kids are more focused on drawing in a proportional way. They learn shadowing and other graphic techniques. We work a lot with papier-mâché. We also do wire sculptures, mosaics, etc. Are you telling them what to draw or paint? Each class, I suggest themes that we can fit around the technique. For example, if the technique of the day was wire sculpture, I would draw some examples to

start their creative process. But if they come here with their own ideas, that’s very nice as well. Which ages do you teach? Normally, the students are between five and 16 years old, and the classes are open to all ages. The interaction between the ages is nice. While the older kids tend to do the harder techniques, there are times when one of the younger ones does something that makes everyone stand back in amazement. What’s the admission criteria? The workshop is open to all kids

who love to paint and draw. Eden Art is for all kids who want to express themselves though the visual arts. The important thing is their happiness doing something creative. We know you participated in the Children’s Festival in June organised by The Copenhagen Post. How was that? It was a great day – a real celebration. Ever since I moved to Denmark, I’ve been waiting for such an event. It was nice to meet with new people, new clubs and workshops. I myself signed up my own kids for lots of different activities.





Knitting Club

Bibliothekshuset, Rodosvej 4, Cph S; Tue 25 Oct, 15:30-17:00; free adm;

At the knitting club you can swap gimmicks and experiences with like-minded people who share your passion for wool and yarn. When your work is all tangled up, there is always a helping hand to sort out the knots. If you are more into crotchet, you are welcome as well. The next dates for the knitting club are 15 and 29 Nov. Startup Weekend

Howitzvej 60, Frederiksberg; 18-20 Nov; 450kr per ticket (includes food, beer & DJ); register at

The Startup Weekend is a chance for entrepreneurs, developers, designers, marketers and others to come together to turn their ideas into realities. Participants will be put into teams to compete for a 10,000 kr cash prize. Additional prizes include three months of office space at 5te (ITU). Readers of The Copenhagen Post can use the code “cphpost” to get a 100kr discount off the ticket price.



S WE enter the second week of Movember the Copenhagen Post staff are experiencing varied results with the moustache growing efforts. Kevin seems to have the densest growth though he has been given a warning for

not keeping the rest of his face shaven. Ben, Peter and Dima are all struggling to produce Tom Selleckesque results. Despite this, the fundraising is going well, with Ben in the lead on 915 kroner, and Peter not far behind

on 600 kroner. To help us on our way and sponsor us, please head to and search for Ben Hamilton (see G2 in InOut), Kevin McGwin, Peter Stanners or Dima Paranytsia.



The CopeNhageN posT

11- 17 November 2011

hoop dreams do come true – all it takes is one superstar denmark could potentially become world beaters in basketball … providing the next Michael Jordan is born in Jutland


both are currently playing professionally in Denmark and were selected to participate in FIBA’s U-18 All-Star game this summer. For a tiny nation of less than six million people, Denmark has all the natural tools to succeed in this sport. Danes are typically tall and nimble, giving them the size to post up under the basket and the agility to face up and shoot jump shots. Many European players, including Nowitzki, have had success with this build. At this point, who’s to say that the next Nowitzki won’t hail from Denmark? If he does, the outlook for Danish basketball would change dramatically. Curious Danes would flock to the Danish Ligaen, where imported Americans are already beginning to introduce the country to a flashy, highflying style of basketball. Kids would start trading their football boots for basketball shoes and put their height to good use. As we saw in Germany, the sport could move from hobby to religion almost overnight. Maybe that next great player is 6,000 kilometres across the Atlantic at Old Dominion University. Maybe he’s buried somewhere in the national team’s developmental system or a small club in northern Jutland. Maybe he hasn’t even been born yet. But if or when he comes along, Danish basketball will never be the same. PHOTO: THIRDAGE.COM

Basketball stars like France’s Tony Parker (far left) and Germany’s Dirk Nowtizki (above) have popularised the sport in their home countries PHOTO: HBBK.DK

T’S NEARLy impossible to call basketball a ‘team sport’ these days. Sure, there are five guys on a team and they occasionally pass the ball to each other, but it’s all meant to distract you from the fact that basketball is built on individual skill. And to be perfectly fair, it has to be. With only five players on the court at one time, basketball is one of the few team sports in which a single superstar can carry his/her team to success. Having a dangerous striker on the pitch or a great defender on the ice will simply never have the same effect. Whether people like it or not, basketball is driven by stars. Take Germany’s national team, for example. Prior to 1999, the Germans had been to the FIBA World Championships twice over a span of 40 years and only finished as high as 12th. Then a German youth called Dirk Nowtizki joined the team, and the Germans went on to qualify for each of the next three tournaments and even win bronze in 2002. As Nowitzki continued to develop into the world-class player that he is today, waves of popularity in his homeland followed. Thousands of Germans stayed up until 6am to watch their hero lead his team to an NBA Championship last summer; Germans in 1999 would’ve laughed at such an event. Nowitzki has singlehandedly put German basketball on the map, and he is not the only one. France was going nowhere before the emergence of fellow NBA superstar Tony Parker, and where was Chinese basketball before yao Ming? All it takes is one great player to give a country hope. For Denmark, maybe that player is about to arrive. His name is Anton Larsen and at 23 he’s one of the country’s brightest ever talents in the sport. Lanky and an even seven-feet-tall (213.5cm), he left Copenhagen for the United States two years ago to enroll at Old Dominion University. He is one of only a handful of Danes whose skills on the court have brought them to the US, the mecca of basketball. “Basketball is small in Denmark. It’s been my dream for a long time to play in the States,” Larsen told The Virginian-Pilot. Despite entering his third year with the team, Larsen is raw by American standards. He played in just 12 games last season, totalling 15 points and nine rebounds in 36 minutes of action. Unimpressive statistics to be sure, but the fact that Larsen was recruited to play in the United States (at defend-

ing conference champion Old Dominion, no less) shows potential. Larsen is an anomaly, however, as basketball has always struggled to compete with sports like football, badminton and cycling. These sports are deeply rooted in a tradition that basketball has never had; after joining the European Championships in 1951, Denmark lost 23 of its first 27 games in EuroBasket competition and has not improved much since. “Basketball in Denmark is basically a hobby,” Danish coach Geoff Kotila told an blogger. “It’s so hard to get a practice together.” It would only take one great player to change all that, and maybe he’s already out there. According to, there are at least seven Danish players at American universities and high schools with many others certain to join them in the coming years. Others have opted for a different path, staying in Europe to play professionally in leagues throughout Spain, Switzerland and Italy. The Danish youth national teams are also teeming with talent. The U-20 team finished seventh in Division B of the European Championships last year while the U-18s finished second and are now considered one of the best young squads in Europe. Teen phenomenons Rasmus Glarbjerg and Esben Reinholt will be particularly interesting to watch;


Tom Schad

Fact file | National Team Timeline • • • • •

Copenhagen’s very own Anton Larsen (above) is currently attending college and playing hoops for Old Dominion University in the US. He and other young Danish players are making the sport successful in Denmark. But will it capture Danes’ attention like perennial favourites football and handball?

• •

1951: EuroBasket debut, finishes 14th of 18 teams with 3-7 record 1955: Finishes last of 18 teams with 0-8 record; last EuroBasket appearance for 41 years 1996: Returns to EuroBasket 2005: Qualifies for EuroBasket Division A with 86-70 win over Ireland 2007: Defeats Estonia 69-68, its first and only win in Division A competition before being relegated back to Division B 2009: Senior team is relegated once again, this time to Division C 2013: Will return to Division B after finishing undefeated in Division C of 2011 European Championships

sporT News aNd brIefs danish duo face euro ko FC COPENHAGEN’S chances of qualifying for the knockout stage of the Europa League are hanging by a thread following a disastrous 2-1 defeat to German outfit Hannover 96 at Parken last week on Thursday. Three second half minutes proved to be their undoing, as the Bundesliga visitors came

poulsen’s one of the meanest from behind to take all three points. The Lions will need to beat Ukranian outfit Vorskla Poltava on November 30, hope Standard Liege fail to beat Hannover at home on the same night, and then beat the Belgians in the final game at home on December 15.

Likewise, OB, which last week lost 3-2 to FC Twente, face an uphill struggle to qualify. With just three points from four games, OB will need to beat Wisla Krakow on December 1, hope Fulham fail to beat Twente, and then beat the English side in London on December 14 to progress.

DANISH football player Christian Poulsen is one of the meanest people involved in nonAmerican sport according to US website The Bleacher Report. An article entitled the ‘50 Meanest People in Sport’ only listed two European footballers: AC Milan’s Gennaro Gattuso (#18), and Poulsen (#35, a place above bas-

deposed champ ketball’s Kobe Bryant). Poulsen, who currently plays for French Ligue 1 club Evian, “isn’t just a baller, he’s also a brawler whose brawls incite other brawls”, contended the site, citing the incident in 2007 when a Danish fan struck the referee after Poulsen was dismissed for punching a Swedish player in the stomach.

DENMARK’S badminton junior world champion Viktor Axelsen failed to defend his title in Chinese Taipei over the weekend, losing to Malaysia’s Zulfadli Zulkifli in a match that went the distance. While Axelsen won more games – 58 to 51 – Zulkifli won more sets, prevailing 21-18, 9-21, 2119 in 51 minutes.



11 - 17 November 2011



easyJet eyes city airport as base COLOURBOX

Government keen to attract airline’s investment but easyJet says there is no guarantee of starting Copenhagen base


National accounting organisation says the new rules mean companies will do Skat’s job for them

Accountants unwilling auditors in corporate tax proposal CARSTEN VITOFT, ØKONOMISK UGEBREV Audit would catch companies trying to ship profits abroad to avoid paying taxes


HE NEW government’s plan to force multinational corporations with operations in Denmark to come clean about their taxes is meeting resistance from accountants. They say tax regulations for multinationals are sufficient and warn against unnecessarily casting suspicion on companies. “We recommend caution when it comes to transfer pricing regulations,” said John Byholm, the chairman of the tax committee for national accountant organisation FSR. “Danish rules are tough enough as it is. Stricter laws aren’t necessary.” The reaction comes after a proposal last week to give tax authorities more power to prevent multinational companies from avoiding the payment of taxes by shipping profits abroad. The plan would give tax authority Skat the power to call for an audit if it suspects parent companies are charging their subsidiaries in Denmark artificially high internal prices, also known as transfer prices. Bygholm said such audits

could be a “significant” extra cost for companies. “There’s nothing wrong with increasing fines,” Bygholm said. “But companies’ accountancy costs are also going to increase. And this means that companies are going to have to pay a lot to make sure their books are balanced. Denmark is on its own in this area.” As it is right now, the regulation would require companies to pay for the audit, regardless of what it turned up. But Bygholm called it “only fair” that tax authorities reimburse companies if an audit turned up nothing suspicious. He also criticised the proposal for essentially requiring companies to carry out Skat’s work for them. According to government statistics, as many as half of all companies in Denmark do not pay taxes each year. Proposing the new taxation regulations, the Tax Ministry expressed concern that this figure remained constant even during the economic expansion that ended in 2008. “It should be a sign that something needs to be done, when so many companies aren’t paying taxes, and when corporate losses can rise so rapidly during a period when the economy is doing so well,” the ministry wrote in its proposal. Another of the concerns accountants have, according to

Companies are going to have to pay a lot to make sure their books are balanced. Denmark is on its own in this area Bygholm, is the proposal’s “imprecise” wording. “We think it needs to specify the criteria that need to be met in order for Skat to demand an auditor’s certificate. There could be some judicial problems involved with the two criteria set out in the proposal.” Ahead of its general election defeat, the previous government was also working on a similar proposal. Those plans called for Skat to require an audit if a company had an average net loss over a four-year period, based on its earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT). Bygholm, however, suggested that the period should be extended to between eight and ten years. Both proposals also mention “transactions in tax haven countries” as grounds for requiring an audit. But Bygholm said Skat should not be able to demand a review based on a suspicion of such transactions.

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UDGET airline easyJet is considering establishing a base in Copenhagen from which to expand its operations, Politiken newspaper reports. The news comes less than a week after the airline added three weekly flights to Lisbon, easyJet’s ninth destination from Copenhagen Airport’s low cost terminal, CPH GO. The trade and investment minister, Pia Olsen Dyhr, announced that the airline was interested in Copenhagen after meeting with easyJet representatives last week in London. “EasyJet is seriously considering Denmark as a site for establishing a larger base for their planes and creating jobs,” Dyhr said. The message was echoed by easyJet’s regional general manager of northern Europe, Thomas Haagensen. “Copenhagen is clearly in a group of airports that we are focusing on because of the potential for growth and expansion,” Haagensen told Politiken. “When you look at demand, Copenhagen fits well within our strategy.” Copenhagen is one of easyJet’s more successful destinations, achieving an annual

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growth in passenger numbers of almost 20 percent, as opposed to an average of 12 percent. But while Lisbon was announced this Saturday as the airline’s 23rd European base, there is no guarantee that Copenhagen will be the next. “There are some provisions that need to be met and there are other airports that are being considered. But Copenhagen is definitely on easyJet’s radar,” Haagensen told Politiken. One of the conditions would be allowing easyJet to

park some of its airplanes at Copenhagen Airport overnight, which Politiken estimated would create about 100 jobs. According to Dyhr, the government is keen to accommodate easyJet’s demands in order to secure the investment. “I have always said that the government is always willing to negotiate and get things to happen,” Dyhr said. EasyJet has been flying from Copenhagen since 1998 and flies one million passengers in and out of the city annually. (PS)

Thai Airways to open first direct route to Phuket BEGINNING this month until the end of March next year, Thai Airways will offer three weekly direct flights from Copenhagen to Phuket. This will be the airlines first direct route between Europe and Phuket. “We expect that the new route will attract passengers from the whole of northern Europe

wishing to travel to Phuket with fewer stopovers,” said Flemming Sonne, the sales director for Thai Airlines in Denmark. The airline’s current Boeing 747 plane has 389 seats. With the three weekly flights to Phuket, it will be able to offer an additional 4,600 seats per month. (EM)


Anti-bribery – are you compliant? Eversheds Advokataktieselskab, the British Chamber of Commerce in Denmark and Dansk Fashion and Textile invite you to a seminar, focusing on the UK Bribery Act 2010 and the practical steps you can take to mitigate the risk of unintentional, but costly, violations. With the UK Bribery Act 2010 having entered into force on 1 July 2011, Danish companies carrying on business in the UK are at risk of falling prey to one of the strictest anti-bribery laws in the world. Jail sentences of up to 10 years and unlimited criminal fines can be the uncomfortable possibility, not to mention loss of profits, business opportunities, reputation, management time and public trust. The only defence to the UK Bribery Act 2010’s “failure to prevent” offence is, where the company can show it had “adequate procedures” in place to minimise the risk of bribery. The seminar will present the audience with the possibility of discussing compliance issues in a professional forum, as well as providing knowledge and tools to deal with compliance issues not only in relation to the UK Bribery Act 2010, but also in – other areglobal you compliant? connection to the American FCPA and regulations.

Anti-bribery Anti-bribery

Eversheds Advokataktieselskab, the British Chamber of Commerce in Denmark and Dansk Fashion and Textile invite you to a seminar, focusing on the UK Bribery Act 2010 and the practical steps you can

to mitigateyou the risk of unintentional, but costly, violations. The seminar will be held on three dates: –takeare compliant?

With the UK Bribery Act 2010 having entered into force on 1 July 2011, Danish companies carrying on business in the UK are at risk of falling prey to one of the strictest anti-bribery laws in the world. Jail Eversheds Advokataktieselskab, the unlimited British Chamber Commerce Denmark and Dansk Fashion not and to sentences of up to 10 years and criminaloffines can beinthe uncomfortable possibility,

invite you to a 40 seminar, focusing on the UK Bribery management Act 2010 andtime the practical steps you can loss of profits, business opportunities, reputation, and public trust. Tuesday 15 November 2011, 12.00Textile –mention 17.00 (max participants) take to mitigate the risk of unintentional, but costly, violations. The only defence to the UK Bribery Act 2010’s “failure to prevent” offence is, where the company can at Dansk Fashion and Textile Birk Centerpark 38,Act7400 Herning With theitUK Bribery 2010 having entered force on 1the July 2011, Danish The companies carrying on show had “adequate procedures” in placeinto to minimise risk of bribery. seminar will present

business in the UK risk of falling prey to one of the strictest laws inforum, the world. Jailas the audience withare theatpossibility of discussing compliance issuesanti-bribery in a professional as well sentences up to 10 years and to unlimited finesissues can benot the uncomfortable not toAct providingofknowledge and tools deal withcriminal compliance only in relation topossibility, the UK Bribery mention lossalso of profits, businesstoopportunities, management time and public trust. 2010, but in connection the American reputation, FCPA and other global regulations.

Wednesday 16 November 2011, 8.00 – 13.00 35Bribery participants) The only defence (max to the UK Act 2010’s “failure to prevent” offence is, where the company can show had “adequate in place to minimise the risk of bribery. The seminar will present Theitseminar will beprocedures” held on three dates: audience with the possibility of compliance issues in a professional forum, as well as at Eversheds Advokataktieselskabthe Frederiksborggade 15, 11.discussing sal, 1360 Copenhagen providing knowledge and tools to deal with compliance issues not only in relation to the UK Bribery Act Tuesday 15 November 2011, 12.00 – 17.00 (max 40 participants) 2010, but also in connection to the American FCPA and other global regulations. at Dansk Fashion and Textile Birk Centerpark 38, 7400 Herning

Thursday 17 November 2011, 8.00The–Wednesday 13.00 (max 35 participants) seminar willNovember be held on three dates: 16 2011, 8.00 – 13.00 (max 35 participants) at Eversheds Advokataktieselskab 2011, – 17.00 40 participants) 15 November15, at Eversheds AdvokataktieselskabatTuesday Frederiksborggade 15,1360 11. sal,(max 1360 Copenhagen Frederiksborggade 11. 12.00 sal, Copenhagen Dansk Fashion and Textile Speakers: • • • •

Birk Centerpark 38, 7400 Herning Thursday 17 November 2011, 8.00 – 13.00 (max 35 participants) at Eversheds Advokataktieselskab Wednesday 16 November 2011, 13.00 (max 35 participants) Frederiksborggade 15, 11. sal,8.00 1360–Copenhagen at Eversheds Advokataktieselskab Frederiksborggade 15, 11. SIGN UP and Programmesal, 1360 Copenhagen Thursday November 8.00 section, – 13.00 which (max 35 participants) (Please 17 specify in the 2011, comments date you would like to attend)

at Eversheds Advokataktieselskab Mark Surguy, Eversheds LLP Frederiksborggade 15, 11. sal, 1360 Copenhagen Speakers: SIGN UP andAdvokataktieselskab Programme Anders Lykke Pedersen, Eversheds  Mark Surguy, Eversheds LLP (Please specify in the comments section, which date you would like to attend)  Anders Lykke Pedersen, Eversheds Advokataktieselskab TBA, The Danish Public Prosecutor’s office  TBA, The Danish Public Prosecutor’s office  and Pia Odgaard, Pia Odgaard, Dansk FashionSpeakers: TextileDansk Fashion and Textile    

Australian Dollars AUD

Overnight parking is one of the conditions required by easyJet

Mark Surguy, Eversheds LLP Anders Lykke Pedersen, Eversheds Advokataktieselskab TBA, The Danish Public Prosecutor’s office Pia Odgaard, Dansk Fashion and Textile

The event is free of charge for all attendees. Programme details available at Please specify your preferred date when you sign up. You can sign up via, send an email to or phone 31 18 75 58

Price in kroner for one unit of foreign currency

Date: 9 November 2011

• official media partner Denmark’s only English-language newspaper

Learn Danish Learn Danish fast anD efficientLy

focus on pronunciation anD oraL communication

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Københavns Sprogcenter • Valdermarsgade 16, 1665 V • Tel: 33 21 31 31• Email: • • Enroll today: 33 21 31 31



11 - 17 November 2011


invites applications for tHe folloWing positions sen teacHer for tHe primary scHool resource team Hellerup campus

receptionist/administrative officer, part-time city campus

Applications are invited for a fixed-term part-time (80%) position of one term as SEN (special educational needs) teacher for the Primary School Resource Team at Copenhagen International School. The position will start in January and run until the end of June 2012. The successful applicant should be a qualified teacher with a further specialisation in the field of special needs.

This position involves working on Reception, with the Counseling Department and IB Coordinators. Working hrs between 8:00- 13:30, Mon - Fri.

We are seeking a candidate with the following qualities: • A strong commitment to the education of students with learning differences • Strong interpersonal and communication skills • Good organisational skills • Excellent pedagogical skills • A strong work ethic • Strong collegial relationships • A willingness and commitment to contribute to the greater school community The successful candidate will be an individual who can demonstrate professionalism in its broadest sense. Interested candidates should email a letter of application, CV and contact details of three current referees to: Mette Trock-Jansen at

applicants should have: • Excellent organization and time management skills • Fluency in English and Danish • Excellent IT skills • Enthusiasm, energy and a sense of humour • Great interpersonal and communication skills Experience working in a teaching and learning environment would be an advantage. Candidates should email the information requested below to Dr. Caroline Brokvam, Senior School Principal, attention Lesley McDonald application should include: • Letter of Interest • Current CV (not to exceed two pages) and photo • References (total of 3, one being immediate supervisor)

maternity cover - early years assistant for kindergarten Hellerup campus This is a temporary full-time position to cover a maternity leave and will be starting in January 2012. Copenhagen International School is looking for a compassionate, committed and creative early-years-educator to join the highly professional Kindergarten team in the Primary School at the Hellerup Campus. The successful candidate should be qualified to work with children between the ages of 5 and 7 with a strong background and experience in early years’ education and with a minimum of two years of experience working in an early years programme. We are looking for an early years’ educator who • has a caring and nurturing approach with children • is organized and demonstrates effective classroom practice • has a strong work ethic can demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively • preferably has knowledge and experience of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme Interested candidates should email a letter of application, CV and contact details of three current referees to: Mette Trock-Jansen at

Help desk tecHnician, part-time city campus The Help Desk provides ICT support to faculty, staff, and students of the school, on both Mac and Windows platforms. Working hrs between 8:30-13:30, Mon-Fri. For a detailed job description please see the school website The successful applicant will be solutions focused and service minded, have the ability to work under pressure, prioritise requests and manage time efficiently. An excellent command of both written and spoken English is required. Great communication skills, patience, and a friendly and calm manner are vital. Experience working in a teaching and learning environment would be an advantage. Candidates should email the information requested below to Dr. Caroline Brokvam, Senior School Principal, attention Lesley McDonald application should include: • Letter of Interest • Current CV (not to exceed two pages) and photo • References (total of 3, one being immediate supervisor)

tHese positions require tHe applicants to Have a Work permit for denmark. applications for all positions must be received by november 30, 2011, HoWever We reserve tHe rigHt to fill tHe positions at an earlier date.

Denmark’s only English-language newspaper

Denmark’s only English-language newspaper

Journalist praktikant

The Copenhagen Post is looking for an energetic intern to lend a hand around the newsroom.

Læser du journalistik, kommunikation, engelsk el. lign. og ønsker du at forbedre dit engelsk? Så kan The Copenhagen Post tilbyde dig muligheden.

You will primarily assist the news team by helping to maintain our website and helping with general newsroom tasks, but you will also get the opportunity to write general news items and cover community and cultural events.

The Copenhagen Post søger en dansktalende praktikant, til primært at hjælpe med research for engelsksproget artikler til både web og print.

The CPH Post Entertainment Guide August 19 - 25

Du skal kunne researche danske - og evt. engelske kilder og kunne skrive det ned i et sikkert engelsk. Du behøver ikke være fejlfri på engelsk – det skal vi nok lære dig – men du skal være vant til at bruge det. Du behøver heller ikke vide alt om det danske samfund, men du skal vide, hvor du finder informationer.


The CPH Post Entertainment Guide August 19 - 25

Prior experience in journalism would be beneficial, is but not expected - enthusiasm and passion for reporting the news are. Don’t miss this Dolly fixture

Croatian restaurant with a wide choice of national and international dishes. “Eat as much as you like” Live music and dance Tivoli/Bernstorffsgade 3 - 1620 - Copenhagen V


Free access to 65 museums and attractions in the entire metropolitan area

See more at

Forum: Thursday 20:00 Tickets 415 - 815 kr



Hercegovina Tivoli

Du vil muligvis også få muligheder for at dække nyheds begivenheder og skrive artikler på engelsk. Don’t miss this Dolly fixture

Forum: Thursday 20:00 Tickets 415 - 815 kr


Stockholmsgade 59 2100 Copenhagen Ø T +45 3946 3309

Journalist Intern

In order to be considered, applicants must be able to use English at a professional level. Knowledge of Danish is useful, but not required.


Hellerupvej 22-26 2900 Hellerup T +45 3946 3311

Please send your application and CV, along with any writing samples, to:, noting “Journalist Intern” in the subject field. For more information, please contact ditor-in-Chief Kevin McGwin på 3336 3300.


IT kompetencer, især design og web, er en fordel, men intet krav. Restaurant

Hercegovina Tivoli Croatian restaurant with a wide choice of national and international dishes. “Eat as much as you like” Live music and dance Tivoli/Bernstorffsgade 3 - 1620 - Copenhagen V

Free access to 65 museums and attractions in the entire metropolitan area

See more at

Ansøgninger, CV samt eksempler på tidligere artikler/opgaver på engelsk sendes til: hr@cphpost dk. Skriv venligst ”Journalist praktikant” i emnefeltet. For yderligere information, kontakt venligst Editor-in-Chief Kevin McGwin på 3336 3300.



The CopeNhageN posT

11- 17 November 2011

all the single ladies … take a look at Carl Tio


victoria steffensen He is a Danish film, TV and theatre actor. How did he start out? He was educated at the Odense Theatre School, graduating in 1998. His professional debut was in the beautifully named ‘Shopping and F**king’ at the Caféteatret.

pHOTO cREDiT singlE laDiEs

OUNg Carl emil Johansen was recently offered a golden ticket to the big-time after being contacted by Beyonce Knowles’s management team to remix the pop star’s latest hit. Columbia Records came a-knockin’ after Johansen’s dad Jacob went a-callin’, sending a copy of Carl’s remix of ‘Countdown’ to a contact of his in Brooklyn, New York. “They really liked ‘Countdown’ so they asked me to do another remix of ‘Love on Top’, which I just finished last week ... I actually think it’s better than the original,” said the teenager, who goes by the name Carl Tio. It then came as no surprise to Johansen that the record company also fell crazy in love with ‘Love on Top’. “I think my remix stood out because it’s more melodic, I don’t just sit at a computer and bang out something … learning piano for ten years has given me a the ear for creating great tunes,” he said. And if Columbia Records keep that lovin’ feelin’, Johansen’s remix will be featured on an eP due to be released next month.


While Beyonce is singing ‘Love on Top’, an 18-year-old arhus is getting on top … of the music industry, that is

So the chase to nab a piece of the up-and-comer has begun … and it’s not just the girls making the moves. “Lenny Kravitz, Chris Willis and Peaches’ management team have contacted me after hearing the Beyonce remix … they want me to do something with their material too,” said Johansen, who seems unphased by the offers. While he’s becoming known abroad for his remixes, locally he’s known as a member of the seven-piece group ‘Point Blank’. Describing their sounds as old jazz records meet soul meets ‘90s hip-hop, their tunes seem to have stood him in good stead. And we all know that when fame is on your back doorstep, it’s important to keep your head screwed on and stick with your education. But Johansen has dropped the books in favour of something a little more to his liking. “I dropped out of gymnasium three weeks ago, but I’ve started at frontloberne – a cultural institution where I can focus on music.” So does he see a future rubbing shoulders with P Diddy and binging with Britney? Perhaps, but “if I don’t end up as a musician I want to be a booker for bands.” Who runs the (music) world? Carl Tio soon might. But hey, if he doesn’t make it, he can always look back and say that was the best thing I never had.


eMiLY McLean

What’s he been in? In Denmark, he is perhaps best known for his starring role in the 2008 Danish film ‘Flammen og Citronen’. Has he been in any englishlanguage films? Yes, he had a cringeworthy cameo in the Hollywood film ‘Into the Wild’ and acted alongside Tom Hanks in ‘Angels and Demons’. tio is grabbing the attention of international music acts like Beyoncé with his talent for remixes

Late blossomer arrives in style scanpix

text 35 The Copenhagen Post Quick Crossword No 371 No 372

slowly but surely, agnes obel is taking over danish music


gNeS Obel’s musical career so far has been defined by the slow ascent. On 5 November, the fruits of the 31-year-old singer-songwriter’s labour were on full display at the 22nd annual Danish Music Awards. Obel took home prizes for this year’s Danish Album, Danish Female Artist, New Danish Name, Danish Songwriter and Danish Pop Release

The Berlin-based songstress’s success at the Danish Music Awards was done almost entirely on the back of her 2010 debut album ‘Philharmonics’. Keeping with the theme of a career that has blossomed slowly but steadily, the critically acclaimed album only climbed to the number-one slot on the Danish charts in its 13th week after debuting at number four. The success of ‘Philharmonics’ isn’t restricted to Denmark, however. The album also hit number one on the Belgian Album Chart in April, and it made the top 10 in France and

the Netherlands as well. The sales reflect this; ‘Philharmonics’ has been certified gold in Belgium, platinum in France, and triple platinum in Denmark. And judging by the viewership numbers for the Danish Music Awards, plenty of people witnessed Obel’s ‘coming out party’. With assistance from the fact that these were the first awards broadcast on national TV since 2008, the Danish Music Awards drew 958,000 viewers, crushing the previous record of 854,000 viewers who watched the awards in 2001.

Is he any good? He has received much critical acclaim.

Has he received any official recognition? I’ve tried to avoid saying it, but he won a Shooting Star award in Across:Film 1 Acknowledge; 9 Put; 10 Vi 2000 at the Berlin Festival. Tangerine; 21 Tan; 22 Traditional. I’m so sick of these bloody awards Down: 2 Cut; 3 Never; 4 Wigwam; 5 Desist;about 19 Credo;in 21 Tea. – everyone I write this column seems to have won one of those cheesily-named things … except Prince Joachim and Bamse. Has he been in anything bad? Most actors have appeared in films they’d rather forget, but Lindhardt starred in something everyone would rather forget. In 2002, he was in the Danish film ‘Slim Slam Slum’. The film is a Danish ‘hip-hop comedy’, and with that concept, you might wonder how it ever got past the drawing board. An IMDB reviewer suggests you should “… watch the TV shopping channel for 10 hours instead”!

Three of her five awards - game of skittles anyone?

Matthew Grant anson

Who is ... Thure Lindhardt?

Across 1. 9. 10. 11. 13. 14. 16. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22.

Own (11) Place (3) Watchfulness (9) Happen again (5) Attire (7) Chastise (6) Thrashed (6) Fancy (7) Military student (5) Fruit (9) Brown (3) Handed down as custom (11)

Down 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 12. 15. 17. 19. 21.

Sever (3) At no time (5) Red Indian tent (6) Outshine (7) Produced (9) Suitable (11) High boots (11) Receptacle (9) Clergyman’s salary (7) Cease (6) Creed (5) Beverage (3)

Post Quick Crossword No 371 Across: 1 Such; 3 Astonish; 9 Amateur; 10 Comic; 11 Discomposure; 13 Recess; 15 Cohere; 17 Overstrained; 20 Again; 21 Collide; 22 Skeleton; 23 News. Down: 1 Standard; 2 Crass; 4 Scrape; 5 Occasionally; 6 Immerse; 7 Hack; 8 Remonstrance; 12 Heedless; 14 Caviare; 16 Stucco; 18 Noise; 19 Pass.

looking at that picture, I’d say he’s quite hot Of course I don’t know if you are male or female. But to be quite honest, it doesn’t matter – you’d be in with a chance either way – Lindhardt is bisexual. What has he got lined up for the future? He is currently filming an American film, ‘Keep the Lights On’, which will be released in 2012. If you can speak some Danish, you can catch him starring in ‘Rød’ at the Betty Nansen Teatret this month.

11 - 17 November 2011

Denmark through the looking glass The CopeNhageN posT


gorgeous georgie, shy gI, who said “hej hej” to being a guy From the time he was small, he knew he was different from all the other boys. after years of struggle, george finally found happiness and success as a woman in denmark


N AMERICAN citizen born to Danish parents, George Jorgensen Jr would return to Denmark to transform into the woman he had always dreamed of being. The unconfident and depressed George became the beautiful and successful Christine, and an international symbol for the rights and acceptance of life as a transsexual, courageously breaking social barriers starting in 1953. On 20 May 1926, Jorgensen was born in the Bronx, a borough of New York City. He reported a fairly happy childhood, but hiding just below the surface, he always knew something was different. So did his mother, and she would later tell Jorgensen that she chose to ignore his difference because she didn’t know how to deal with it. In American Weekly magazine in 1953, Jorgensen, who had become Christine at that point, wrote that he remembered praying at night that Santa Claus would bring him a doll just like his older sister, Dorothy. Instead, he received a bright red train and had to hide his disappointment. During his teenage years, young Jorgensen’s alienation became more pronounced. A thin, pale child, he grew

into a slight, delicate young man. Jorgensen felt “lost between the sexes”, a woman trapped in a man’s body. He found some solace in attending the dances held at the Danish-American Beach Club in New York. But rather than ask the teenage girls to dance with him, like the other boys did, Jorgensen stood at the side and admired the girls’ dresses and their ability to flirt. The girls, in turn, admired his long eyelashes, giggling portentously that, “he should have been born a girl.” Jorgensen’s father was a photography buff. During his senior year of high school, Jorgensen sublimated his conflicted feelings by pouring himself into learning the craft of photography. He thought that perhaps by becoming successful professionally, he could overcome his constant feeling of being alone in the world. George’s father was thrilled and helped him build a darkroom at home. After high school, Jorgensen got a job cutting together newsreels for RKOPathe News. The job gave him the idea that he could perhaps one day use his photography skills to make motion pictures. Hollywood became a private dream for the shy, thin young man. Though he came of age during World War Two, Jorgensen’s physical stature led him to be rejected for army service twice by the United States Draft Board. But the third time he was called before the Draft Board, Jorgensen passed his physical examination and was approved for service in the armed forces. Jorgensen was intelligent and passed



Jorgensen served in the us army during World War ii before undergoing revolutionary sex-change surgery in Denmark

the qualifying exams to be given a job as a clerk, never seeing combat. Jorgensen had a relatively easy time in the army, considering his physical stature. Despite this, feelings of being trapped between the sexes remained in the back of the young serviceman’s mind. After completing his army service, George resurrected his Hollywood dream and moved to California. In his early 20s, California seemed like a land of possibility far away from his awkward youth in New York, but sadly his dreams did not come true there either. In California, Jorgensen was friends with two Danish ladies, Lone PHOTO: IMPAWARDS.COM

The true story of Jorgensen’s life was so sensational at the time that a feature film was based on her autobiographical book

and Ellen. The three went shopping together and socialised in Hollywood clubs and restaurants in the evenings. Jorgensen helped them prepare for dates with Hollywood moguls, choosing accessories and hairstyles for the women. Though he was close friends with Lone and Ellen, his alienation remained just below the surface, leading to a permanent state of depression and shame. Jorgensen felt unable to share the true cause of his anxiety, and the emotional turmoil sapped his energy and confidence in finding Hollywood success; he returned to New York. Under the ‘GI Bill’, the US government paid for servicemen like Jorgensen to attend college. At this time, his feelings and feminine tendencies became so pronounced that Jorgensen started researching possible medical causes. At libraries in New York, he researched and read that the treatmement for hormonal imbalances was at an advanced stage in Scandinavia. Jorgensen, convinced that he was actually a woman trapped in a man’s body, began taking female hormones without the supervision of a medical doctor. It was a bad idea, but he was desperate. Luckily, a medical friend convinced him to stop his adventures in self-treatment and follow up on his research. “Go to Scandinavia and see if the researchers and doctors there can help you,” his friend said. So in 1950, at the age of 24, Jorgensen set sail for Denmark, never to return to the US as a man. Jorgensen’s friend from Hollywood, Ellen, had returned to Denmark and met him at Copenhagen Harbour. She suggested that he visit a Danish doctor called Christian Hamburger. Dr Hamburger, along with others, was working on cutting-edge hormonal research. He agreed to take on Jorgensen’s case pro bono if Jorgensen would agree to be his research subject. Jorgensen happily agreed – hopefully this would finally provide relief from his crisis. The Copenhagen doctors diagnosed Jorgensen with a glandular problem. He did not have an Adam’s apple, and his sexual organs had never matured to an adult state. At that time, research into hormonal and glandular problems and transsexualism was being successfully conducted in Scandinavia and Germany. Little was being done in the field in the US. The doctors suggested he begin hormonal treatment. Over the next two and a half years, Jorgensen would undergo intensive hormonal treatment and several operations at Copenhagen’s Rigshospitalet to re-

move his male sexual organs. At the end of the treatment in 1953, George Jorgensen Jr was no more. He had transformed into a she, the beautiful, blonde Christine Jorgensen. Christine chose her new name in honour of Dr Christian Hamburger, who had believed in her case enough to help her become who she felt she was inside. Over the course of her treatment in Denmark, Jorgensen became happier and happier. She made friends, taught classes in colour photography, and began making a film about her travels. She finally felt comfortable in her skin. Jorgensen wrote in ‘American Weekly’ that, after she underwent her final operation, she went to the beauty salon with a Danish female friend. The pair got their hair and nails done and went to Tivoli amusement park to celebrate. At Tivoli, a place Jorgensen loved, she got her first catcall from a group of American soldiers on leave. Of this time, Jorgensen later said: “My years of insecurity were over, and my energy was boundless.” Jorgensen’s parents came to visit her in Copenhagen and meet their new ‘daughter’. They expressed happiness because their child was finally happy. Overall, the European attitude towards sex and sexuality was more relaxed than the American attitude that Jorgensen had fled from. Her story began to spread – first in Denmark and then around the world. She began receiving letters from hundreds of lonely and desperate people to whom she was an inspiration. For the majority of her life, Jorgensen had been a shy, insecure person, but reading the anguished letters supporting her actions, she began to feel that it was her duty to speak out in public. Jorgensen sold her exclusive story to ‘American Weekly’ and went on to live the rest of her life as a public figure. Returning to the US in 1953, clad in furs and red lipstick, she was met by a cadre of reporters and never looked back. Jorgensen supported herself with speaking engagements and her nightclub act in which she sang ‘I Enjoy Being a Girl.’ After her parents died, she moved to California again, finally feeling at home, accepted as a woman and recognised as a bona fide celebrity. Before Jorgensen died of cancer in 1989, she authored ‘The Christine Jorgensen Story: An Autobiography’, which was also made into a film. She died a celebrated woman who had advanced the public’s understanding of transsexualism and acceptance that some people do not feel comfortable living as the ‘wrong’ gender.


Congratulations to the companies and organizations that keep our graduates busy

And to all our 2011 Executive MBA graduates:

Well done – top corporate management suits you Copenhagen Business School provides business leaders and experienced experts with deep professional and personal development. Our renowned programs are triple accredited and we take you beyond the basics and ‘mini’s’ and prepare you for senior management challenges and responsibilities with immediate benefit for your company.

Executive Master in Business Administration Råvarebygningen, Porcelænshaven 22 · 2000 Frederiksberg Tel. + 45 38 15 60 02 ·

Top left: 1 Anker Overgaard, Post Danmark A/S. 2 Mika Hamalainen, Tyrolit A/S. 3 Rune Hansen Telia, Part of TeliaSonera Group. 4 Morten Stahlschmidt, Arkitema Architects. 5 Bojan Jokic, Epteca Ltd. 6 Morten Søndervang Sohrt, DMI. 7 Torben Bjerring, Simonsen & Weel A/S. 8 Jørgen Sparre, STELTON. 9 Finn Kofoed-Dam, Evenex. 10 Frank Skovsted, Vestas Nacelles Deutschland GmbH. 11 Malte Fryd Tønnesen, MT Højgaard A/S. 12 Frank Steen Pedersen, Frederiksberg Forsyning A/S. 13 Rasmus Grusgaard, Væksthus Sjælland. 14 Pablo Kroff, Simbiente-Environmental Engineering & Management. 15 Lars Thiesson, Hvidovre Forsyning. 16 Jesper Dünweber Darre, Human Capital Group. 17 Anne Marie Tommerup, Dansk Arkitektur Center. 18 Rikke Gotfred, Region Hovedstaden 3kløveren. 19 Klaus Stahl Rasmussen, Nokia Siemens Networks. 20 Joachim Gerlach, Lightship Chartering A/S. 21 Henrik Rohmann-Sønderby, Nordania Leasing. 22 Allan Bodal, Scan AB/Kreatina A/S. 23 Brian Kain, H.J. Hansen Genvindingsindustri A/S. 24 Kim Tingleff Bruun, Sophus Berendsen. 25 Kristian Andreasen, SuperGros a/s. 26 Morten Rytter, Rovsing. 27 Pernille Sten Krohn, HESN Holding. 28 Thomas Bo Christensen, Saxo Bank A/S. 29 Kenneth Traulsen, Telia, Part of TeliaSonera Group. 30 Jesper Højer Jensen, Haldor Topsøe. 31 Peter Christensen, Quintus Corporate Finance. 32 Lise Grove Linde, Transmedica A/S. 33 Yan Liu, A.P. Møller Mærsk. 34 Stefan Kousgaard, Amesto Solutions A/S. 35 Changye Song. 36 Lene Elisabeth Schmidt, KPMG. 37 Anita Osborne, Dako Denmark A/S. 38 Jesper Klingsten Nielsen, PowerSense A/S. 39 Lars Klepsch, BEC. 40 Martin Ridderstråle, Skåne University Hospital. 41. Kåre Find Nielsen, Københavns Lufthavne A/S. 42 Aske Wieth-Knudsen, DSB S-tog A/S. 43 Dorte Voravong, Birkegaarden Danmark A/S. 44 Pia Krogh Albrechtsen. 45 Sue Piper, Sony Nordic A/S. 46 Sigrid Viergutz, Nycomed. 47 Tex Tofte, FRIE Funktionærer. 48 Joshua Perry, Onsite Service ApS. 49 Priti Bajaj, Medical Affairs Consultant. 50 Mira Mi Song Nielsen, Tryg. 51 Line Køhler Ljungdahl, GasLog Ltd. 52 Annette Richter Nærum. Not present: Ben Holland, Siemens Wind Power A/S. David Mygind, International Lighting Company ApS

The Copenhagen Post: November 11 - 17  

The Copenhagen Post, Denmark's only English-language newspaper

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