City scuppers bike share programme
New shopping hours come into effect
5 - 11 October 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 40
Music Around across the sound
Denmark’s only English-language newspaper | cphpost.dk PETER STANNERS
Danes need to be “less pretentious” in attitudes towards foreigners, economy minister says
Police pepperspray toddler After 15-month-old’s father is stopped for a routine traffic infraction, cop lets loose with spray
Setting the agenda In an exclusive interview, Mayor Frank Jensen says that Copenhagen often paves the way for the rest of the nation
Turkish PM accuses Scandinavia of harbouring terrorists, and Roj TV receives two month ban
Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s opening speech focused on education, helping the young, creating more jobs and pushing Denmark out of the crisis
Streaming music is increasingly popular in Denmark, but are musicians being left out to dry?
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Parliament once again open for business CHRISTIAN WENANDE
Music biz back to life
RADITIONS were out in force on Tuesday as Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne) ushered in the new parliamentary season by pledging to focus on securing Denmark a brighter future by improving education, helping those in need, creating jobs and meeting the challenge of integration. The first Tuesday of October has traditionally signalled the beginning of the political year in Denmark, and the red carpet was unfurled for the occasion.
The Royal Family arrived in separate cars in order of rank, with Queen Margrethe arriving last with Prince Henrik in their 1958 Rolls Royce. Wearing a long, white dress, Thorning-Schmidt’s speech focused primarily on guiding Denmark out of the crisis it has been mired in since 2008. “We must bring Denmark safely out of the crisis. That has been the government’s most important duty since our tenure began a year ago, and it continues to be,” Thorning-Schmidt opened. Thorning-Schmidt said that the insecure future currently faced by many families will be met with an urgent package that will help those on unemployment benefits, but she was adamant that the best course of action lay within creating jobs through the construction and renovation of buildings and play-
grounds, and also within an energy plan designed to replace coal-burning energy with greener alternatives. “It pays to act. I am convinced that the societies that best weather the crisis are the ones that act. The societies that manage to make the right and timely decisions, but not necessarily the popular decisions,” Thorning-Schmidt said. She then shifted her focus to education and the nation’s youth, conveying the importance of students to get through their studies as quickly as possible in order to accommodate the more than 60,000 students who began their education this autumn. Thorning-Schmidt pledged that all allegations of child abuse must be evaluated within 24 hours. There will also be tougher requirements for institutions and foster families.
“We will assemble our expertise and provide a better focus and a stronger professional competency,” ThorningSchmidt contended. The PM promised better healthcare with the implementation of a new guarantee that she said would result in maximum waiting times of two months for treatment and a diagnosis within 30 days. Thorning-Schmidt’s opening speech also touched on a stronger police presence, the challenge of parallel societies, clean water, tax reductions for businesses, the climate, EU relations, aid in Afghanistan and the need for teachers to spend more time with their students. Unions look to steal PM’s thunder Joint campaign ahead of opening speech calls dagpenge cuts a “disaster” page 7
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Week in review
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
CPH Post Word of the Week:
5 - 11 October 2012 THE WEEK’S MOST READ STORIES AT CPHPOST.DK
Bycykler (plural noun) – Copenhagen’s city bikes, used by tourists, commuters and late-night drunks. Where you heard it: The city didn’t include money for the bikes in next year’s budgets – a heavily criticised move
Kate’s boobs coming to Denmark
Scanpix / Torkil Adsersen/
Get your fix
Mixed responses to new shopping hours Danish cliques a tough nut to crack Copenhagen doesn’t have the best reputation Danish teachers scoff at new British education approach
CORRECTIONS Last week’s ‘Who is’ column reported how the Danish Committees on Scientific Honesty (DCSD) charged Bjørn Lomborg’s book ‘The Sceptical Environmentalist’ with six different counts of scientific dishonesty, but failed to include how this decision was overturned and voided on appeal – a governmental report found that the DCSD decision was “completely void of argumentation”. We apologise for the inaccuracies in the story.
Parliament wasn’t the only thing to open this week. On Monday, Denmark’s first legal injection room was opened in Vesterbro. The health minister, Astrid Krag (SF), was at hand to give a speech and meet clients. The injection room will move to its permanent location next year
Two decades later, the opt-outs still stand, though the government has promised a referendum on two of them. Scepticism towards the euro remains however, and it is unlikely that Denmark will vote to join the common currency given the EU’s debt crisis, even though the krone is pegged to the euro.
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Per Ørum Jørgensen, the former chairman of Kristendemokraterne, declared just a month ago that he was out of politics. He didn’t stay away long. Jørgensen announced this week that he has founded a new party, Det Demokratiske Parti. By creating the new party, Jørgensen has cleared the way to
President and Publisher Ejvind Sandal Chief Executive Jesper Nymark Editor-in-Chief Kevin McGwin Managing Editor Ben Hamilton News Editor Justin Cremer Journalists Peter Stanners, Ray Weaver & Christian Wenande
become a candidate for City Council, despite being primarily known as an advocate for the rural communities collectively known as Udkantsdanmark. One of the new party’s key platforms will be to get Denmark completely out of the EU. Jørgensen said his goal is to get back into parliament.
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Forty years ago last Monday, 63 percent of Danes voted in favour of joining the EU. But despite the initial optimism toward the European project, Denmark has since battled with EU scepticism. In 1993, Denmark signed the Maastricht Treaty, but only after it was granted ‘opt-outs’ on four areas of EU co-operation.
Scanpix / Camilla Rønde
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In last week’s ‘Business News and Briefs’, we erroneously reported that Frank Kristensen was fired from Vestjysk Bank. He resigned.
The animal rights organisation Anima and activist Thorbjørn Schiønning have been ordered to pay 850,000 kroner in damages to the Danish Fur Breeders Association for activities the activists engaged in at 41 mink farms in 2009. The breeders said that the activists, who snuck into farms with hidden
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cameras to document the animals’ poor living conditions for the TV2 programme ‘Operation X’, were responsible for spreading the disease plasmacytose from infected farms to healthy ones. Along with the damages, the activists were required to pay over 142,000 kroner in court costs to the breeders.
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5 - 11 October 2012
Elise Beacom Economy minister says Danes need to be “less pretentious” when engaging with foreigners
argrethe Vestager saw her first “coloured person” in western Jutland, where she grew up, at the age of 14, she said at a diversity conference in Copenhagen last week. Vestager (Radikale), the minister for economic affairs and the interior, pointed to the relatively new phenomenon of immigration in Denmark when answering questions put forward by a group of about 100 people at the Dimensions of Diversity event held at Danske Bank last week on Wednesday. For 40 minutes, Vestager fielded questions on topics surrounding Danes’ interaction with people from diverse backgrounds, explaining why she thought it was taking so long for society to open up. “The reason it is so slow is probably because we are a nation of peasants. There’s still an old mindset that if someone comes in, you have to feed them too,” she said. “But it should change to say that if more people come, we can feed more.” She said that idea was all the more pertinent during a time of economic crisis, and she encouraged business leaders, many of whom were seated in the audience, to persist with hiring talented foreigners. “Crisis time is not the time to sit in a cave with a hot chocolate and hope it will pass,” she said. “If we want a growth economy, we need the talent to do so.” One source of skilled workers she identified was the international students who study in Denmark. Vestager said the government aimed to better in-
Danish cliques a tough nut to crack
Economy Minister Margrethe Vestager urged attendees at a diversity conference to employ more talented foreigners
tegrate these students so they felt more inclined to stay in the country beyond the completion of their studies. Currently only half remain in Denmark a year after the conclusion of their education, and one of the reasons cited for returning to their home countries was the difficulty of making Danish friends. “We need to be less pretentious [when interacting with foreigners],” Vestager said. Earlier in the day, Susanne Justesen from Innoversity Copenhagen highlighted the importance of diversity as a driver for innovation and productivity, outlining the cultural barriers that many foreigners face in Denmark. She thinks that when her fellow Danes interact with foreigners, they tend to look for similarities within their international counterparts, rather than focus on potentially positive differences. “We are traditionally very homogenous. We are a small country and we tend to think we are the world champions at everything,” Justesen said. “And if you combine these things, we aren’t
used to people being different, so we have the attitude that we think they need to learn from us.” Among the conference’s participants was Tine Gregory, who is Danish by birth but left the country at the age of 13 before returning to Denmark two years ago as a spouse. “I’m not finding it easy to fit in because even though I’m Danish, I’m not like the Danes. I’ve lived here two years and I haven’t been invited into a Danish home for a cup of coffee,” said Gregory. Though she is well educated and speaks fluent Danish, Gregory said she found it difficult to find a job without having a solid network or professional contacts here. While job seeking, she submitted about 18 applications without receiving a single response. She said that although the conference would not put diversity on top of Danish companies’ agendas immediately, Gregory was at least encouraged by the effort. “Will it change Denmark overnight? No. But we need to at least move in the right direction,” she said.
Councils predict more layoffs in 2013 Christian Wenande Recent trends indicate that it will be the frontline workers who will bear the brunt, and not the council bureaucrats
ccording to a new survey by the trade union confederation FTF, seven out of every ten councils will be laying off employees during 2013. As the majority of councils complete their 2013 budgets, many are finding that there will be less funds in their coffers. Nearly 70 percent of the mayors surveyed predicted that their shrinking budgets will translate directly into fewer workers. Arne Boelt (Socialdemokraterne), the mayor of Hjørring Council in northern Jutland, predicted that 2013 will be a tough year for council workers and inhabitants alike. “We are in the process of down-prioritising within the children, education and elderly
arenas, and in the administrative areas will expect a personnel reduction of 10-11 percent,” Boelt told FTF. “It is so harsh that it should be illegal. We’re going to offer our employees working conditions and a psychological milieu that is unacceptable.” One of the stated goals for Socialistisk Folkerparti before the elections was to cut 4,000 administrative jobs while creating 7,000 jobs for social workers, teachers and other frontline workers. But despite pledges to concentrate layoffs within the administrative and financial sectors, figures from the council statistic gatherer, Det Fælleskommunale Løndatakontor (DFL), clearly indicate that it will probably be teachers, social workers and nurses who will bear the brunt of the council cuts. Between 2007 and 2012, the administrative personnel in councils increased from 50,047 to 56,679, while the number of social workers decreased from 196,203 to 182,292.
Roger Buch, a council researcher from Danmarks Journalisthøjskole, suggested that it was a form of cronyism. “It’s not surprising that bosses from the councils are less inclined to lay off administrative employees who they know and work with on a daily basis,” Buch told Berlingske newspaper. “It becomes easier to merge two schools or libraries together. It’s definitely an issue in which councils say one thing and then do another.” But Michael Ziegler (Konservative), the mayor of Høje Taastrup Council, contended that the layoff figures reflect demographic changes and the migration of more jobs from the institutions to the council headquarters. “There is less need for teachers with fewer children about, while there is a greater need for case workers with the rise in unemployment,” Ziegler told Berlingske. “Basically it’s about administrative jobs being shifted from the institutions to the council offices.”
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The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
5 - 11 October 2012
Scanpix / Søren Bidstrup
Copenhagen is Scandinavia’s big easy, business survey finds held a number of initiatives for making it easier to do business in Copenhagen. PwC identifies Copenhagen as First was the elimination the easiest Nordic capital for of 15 million kroner in fees on doing business, but there are everything from running a mostill areas where it can improve bile business to shooting a film in the city’s streets or serving new front was food outdoors. The city also hopes to opened last week in the long-standing rivalry be- become more attractive to tween Copenhagen and Stock- highly-skilled foreign workholm over which city reigns ers by ensuring more international school places such as at a supreme in Scandinavia. While Stockholm has long planned European school. Some 12 million kroner considered itself Scandinavia’s most influential city, even has also been set aside to open branding itself as ‘The Capital an ‘international house’ where of Scandinavia’, a new report foreign workers can get all the from consultancy firm Price- practical information they need waterhouseCoopers (PwC) to sign up for language lessons, identified Copenhagen as the register their address, network easiest Nordic capital in which and find jobs. But the city still has some to do business. In the PwC report, ‘North- way to go according to the PwC ern Lights: The Nordic Cities of report. Copenhagen was marOpportunity’, Stockholm lived ginally worse than the rest of up to its billing by ranking first the field when it came to health, safety and security, overall, ahead of and second to last Copenhagen, Helon transport and sinki, Oslo and infrastructure. And Reykjavik. Copenwhile the city was hagen, however, ranked highest in The report shows ranked as having the best entreprethree areas: cost, neurial environtransport and ac- we are on the ment, the relatively c o m m o d a t i o n s , right course low number of resiand, most impordents with higher tantly, ease of doeducation was reing business. According to Copenhagen’s garded as a problem. Copenhagen also ranked mayor, Frank Jensen (Socialdemokraterne), much of the second worst in the ‘recycled credit for Copenhagen’s stand- waste, air pollution and public ing as a business-friendly city is park space’ category. The greatest challenge for due to the steps it took last year after the Copenhagen Business the city, however, is increasing Task Force issued a number of its rate of economic growth. In recommendations for improv- this category, Stockholm was first while Copenhagen was ing the city’s business climate. “We funded many of the ranked last. Much of Stockholm’s Task Force’s recommendations in the 2012 budget and, as a growth, according to Jensen, is result, we have jumped nine due to the strong links between places on the Confederation of universities and businesses. “The best explanation is Danish Industry’s list of business-friendly councils,” Jensen that we are not as good at taktold The Copenhagen Post in ing advantage of our potential an exclusive interview (see left). as the Swedes,” he said. “CoCopenhagen still ranks only penhagen has several universi70th of the 96 councils in the ties and thousands of students, study (two councils chose not but we haven’t connected them to participate), but Jensen add- closely enough to business. ed that he believed the meas- Sweden has been better at conures would pay dividends and necting state-funded research help the city meet its economic and exploiting this research for growth target of five percent a innovation, growth and jobs.” Jensen hopes to tackle this year and annual four percent efby investing 18.4 million kroficiency gains until 2020. “These are ambitious goals, ner in the creative sectors and but the report shows we are on investing in collaborative efforts the right course,” he said, add- between the city, the University ing that the city’s 2013 budget of Copenhagen and businesses.
Jensen pointed to gay marriage and a legal injection room as examples of how Copenhagen has changed the tone of the national debate
Frank Jensen on accommodating foreigners, legalising dope and setting the national agenda Peter Stanners Copenhagen mayor says that the capital city often clears the way for national developments
openhagen is admired globally for its high standard of living. But it’s not perfect. While a recent report by the consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers rated Copenhagen the best Nordic capital for doing business in (see opposite story), the city still faces sluggish growth. And while the city managed to convince the government to let them open a legal injection room to improve the living conditions of drug addicts, they have had less luck tackling the organised crime associated with the cannabis trade – the mayor wants to legalise cannabis, but the government has said ‘no’. So how does the city’s mayor, Frank Jensen (Socialdemokraterne), hope to tackle these issues? The Copenhagen Post interviewed him to find out. If Copenhagen is the best place to do business in Scandinavia according to PwC’s report, why is Stockholm experiencing so much more growth? The best explanation is that we are not as good at taking advantage of our potential as the Swedes. Copenhagen has several universities and thousands of students, but we haven’t connected them closely enough to business.
Sweden has been better at connecting state-funded research and exploiting this research for innovation, growth and jobs. We hope that our plan to make Copenhagen the world’s first CO2-neutral capital city will help stimulate growth by making it a global hub for innovation in green technology. The city’s climate plan identified nine areas that can contribute to lowering carbon emissions, and based on these areas, such as energy efficiency, we invited researchers to help us understand what the next revolutionary types of technology might be. Business and industry can then use this information to help them develop products and technology that are in demand. Copenhagen will become a laboratory for testing these technologies, and businesses will have a site to invite city officials from around the world to visit and see what does and doesn’t work. While the city wants to make changes, doesn’t it rely on the policies implemented by the national government? Copenhagen is a part of Denmark and we are dependent on what happens on the national level. But as vice-chairman of the Socialdemokraterne in Denmark, I can take the lessons we learn in the city and share them with the country. For example, CEOs of big businesses in Copenhagen tell me they need several things, one of which is
the opportunity to recruit experts from outside the country. We are not good enough at that right now and that’s because the capacity at international schools is too low. We also need to make Danes better at mingling and socialising with workers that come from abroad. Foreign workers also need networks and access to services in English once they arrive. Our 2013 budget addresses these problems. We set aside 150 million kroner for a European school. We will also build an ‘international house’ close to the City Hall with a service centre for foreign professionals where all their practical needs can be addressed in English. Together with the University of Copenhagen, the house will also work as a hub for creating networks to make foreigners feel welcome in Copenhagen. The City Council has lobbied the government to legalise the sale of cannabis on a test basis, but this was rejected. How can it be that a Socialdemokraterneled government does not agree with a Socialdemokraterne-led City Council on this issue? Copenhagen often sets the agenda with issues that the national political system has not yet understood or considered. For example, the debate about allowing civil unions between gay couples started at the City Hall in 1987, even though national politicians were opposed to it. But we kept up our pressure and in 1989 it
was allowed. Another example is drug addicts who were forced to take their drugs out on the streets or in stairwells. We also pushed to allow councils to establish safe injection rooms, and this year Copenhagen opened the first council-run legal injection room. Now the time has come for us to address the problem with cannabis. Copenhagen is the focus of crime between rival gangs caused by a cannabis trade that is worth almost two billion kroner a year. But the way we have tried to limit cannabis over the years has not worked. For the past 20 years, we have made it the job of the police to stop the cannabis trade, but cannabis has never been bigger than it is now. That is why we now want to take the trade away from the gangs and create a controlled market where people can buy cannabis and know its strength. The uncontrolled cannabis market results in products being sold on the street that are so strong it can make people psychotic on their first try. By regulating it we can also bring healthcare professionals closer to people that abuse cannabis. In parliament, the issue of legalising cannabis is a values issue, just like injection rooms and gay marriage used to be. But for us it’s simply a reaction to our reality. We experience the conflict and insecurity created by the gang-controlled cannabis trade in Nørrebro and Christiania. What we now need is a paradigm shift in our perception of cannabis.
Online this week SAS lifting ban on mobile phones One of the last bastions of quietness will be ended when SAS introduces technology into some of its aircraft that will allow passengers to speak on their mobile phones during flights. The airline has already provided wireless internet on some of their Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which will be upgrad-
ed to also allow mobile phone use. During a trial programme, SAS offered free internet access for customers on some of its aircraft. Last week, however, the airline ended the free trial. Now, economy passengers on aircraft equipped with wireless will have to pay 89 kroner to connect to the internet.
Search for missing Danish sailors called off French authorities have called off the search for three Danish yachtsmen believed to have been on board a trimaran – a tri-hulled sailboat – that was found drifting without its crew in the Bay of Biscay 70 miles west of the French port city of Brest on Saturday. French authorities cancelled the air and sea
search and requested that vessels in the area keep an eye out for the missing sailors. French authorities searched the drifting vessel and found papers belonging to two Danes, aged 55 and 34, who live on the island. A third man, 33, was reported missing by his family, who said he had been sailing in France.
Father in Rebild case has sentence changed to 12 years The 56-year-old father in the so-called Rebild case (Rebildsagen), one of the most extreme cases of child sexual abuse in Denmark’s history, had his sentence changed by the Western High Court from indefinite detention to 12 years in prison, the
longest possible fixed sentence possible, and the stiffest punishment of its kind when it comes to sexual abuses cases in Denmark. The man was found guilty by an Aalborg court in March of the long-term sexual abuse of nine children – seven of his own
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THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
5 - 11 October 2012
PETER STANNERS No money was set aside in next year’s budget for a modernised bicycle sharing scheme to replace the almost two decade-old “supermarket trolley” bikes
OPENHAGEN’S heavy and outdated city bicycles are not going to be replaced as expected, after the city failed to find the necessary funding in its 2013 budget. It was widely anticipated that Copenhagen would follow cities such as London and Paris and introduce a modern bicycle sharing scheme. Rental stands would be placed at stations so commuters could continue their journeys on a bicycle once they made their way into the city by train. But the scheme failed to find a place in the city’s budget for next year despite the fact that the current contract for the city’s rental bikes, which were introduced in 1995, runs out this month. “It’s a tragi-comedy,” Frits Bredal, the spokesperson for the Danish cyclist’s union, Cyklistforbundet, told DR. “The plans for new city bicycles have been on the drawing board for many years and were supposed to be extended across the country, but now it’s been sent to the grave. It’s deeply frustrating.” Bredal added that Copenhagen’s system was old-fashioned and was in dire need of an overhaul. “They’re pieces of junk and borrowing them is like picking up a supermarket trolley. Other European cities use modern bicycles that are at centrally-located docking stations that you can pay for using your credit card, making you feel more responsible.” According to urban mobility expert Mikael Colville-Andersen from Copenhagenize Consulting, the decision not to fund the bicycle sharing scheme is disappointing after all the work that went into it. “The competition developing the new scheme was really
OPEN COPENHAGEN / PALLE DEMANT
City delays new bicycle sharing scheme
Copenhagen doesn’t have the best reputation Copenhagen ranks fourth in annual ‘Best Reputation’ study
OPENHAGEN has a bit of a reputation for making the top of ‘Best of ’ and ‘Greatest Cities’ list, but when it comes to cities with the best reputation – based on the degree to which people trust, admire, respect, and have an affinity for the city – our fair city has nothing on Vancouver. An annual study produced by the Reputation Institute has ranked Copenhagen fourth, while the Canadian city took the top spot. Copenhagen has the best reputation of all the Scandinavian cities, with Oslo ranking fifth and Stockholm ninth. Canada was also found to be the country with the best Although the city bikes have been used to brand Copenhagen, they’ve now been put on the back burner
popular and so much money was wasted hyping it up,” Colville-Andersen told The Copenhagen Post. He added that a sharing scheme would not need to be as comprehensive as those found in Paris or Barcelona but was still necessary if Copenhagen was to live up to its reputation as a leading bicycle-friendly city. “It’s a symbol of being a carbon-neutral capital. There’s loads of money out there, but its not being put into cycling and developing Copenhagen as a liveable city.” But Ayfer Baykal (Socialistisk Folkeparti), Copenhagen’s deputy mayor for technical and environmental affairs, defended the city’s decision not to invest in the bicycle sharing scheme this year. “They’re junk, I agree with Cykelistforbundet on that issue,” Baykal told DR news. “The city bike scheme, as it exists today, needs to be updated. It is old and outdated. But right now we need to prioritise.” Around 150 million kroner has been set aside for new bicycle projects in the city’s budget,
The plans for new city bicycles have been on the drawing board for many years and were supposed to be extended across the country, but now it’s been sent to the grave though the money will be spent on improving cycling conditions in the city instead of on a sharing scheme that will mostly be used by tourists and commuters. “The city bike scheme is primarily for people coming from outside the city because Copenhageners have their own bicycles. I have chosen to prioritise better cycling conditions in Copenhagen through improved bicycle lanes and bicycle parking instead of the bicycle sharing system.” The new bicycle sharing scheme is expected to cost about
Women of the future
114 million kroner. Baykal added that there was no guarantee the bicycle system would be included in the 2014 budget, and that the national government ought to consider part-funding the project, as the new bicycles will not solely be used by residents of Copenhagen. The current city bikes are sponsored by advertising firm AFA JCDecaux, whose contract expires at the end of October. The deputy mayor of Frederiksberg council, Katrine Lester (Socialdemokraterne), expressed her disappointment on Twitter that the City Council had not found the funding this year for the scheme. “Copenhagen pulls the plug on city bikes. Shame! Frederiksberg had already found the money for our share,” she wrote. Jan E Jørgensen (Venstre), the chairman of Frederiksberg’s city and environment committee, told Berlingske that developing the new scheme had cost the city a lot of money. “We can live with a delay. But it would be incredibly disappointing if it never materialises.”
Best reputation top five 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Vancouver Vienna Sydney Copenhagen Oslo
As determined by the Reputation Institute reputation in the world. Denmark came in at eighth, trailing both Sweden and Norway, which came in at third and fifth respectively. The data was compiled by polling more than 18,000 people from the G8 countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US, as well as other countries within the EU. (HB)
Cops blasted over stolen bikes Cycle union lambasts police and justice minister after more stolen bicycles end up on the net
THRIVING bicycle theft trade, which turns over 250 million kroner worth of bicycles every year, has spurred uproar in a country that prides itself on being the icon of a bicycle-friendly nation. Police not reacting to bicycle thefts despite citizens offering thieves up on a silver platter, people inadvertently contributing to the flourishing bicycle crime and a mute justice minister have led to the cyclists’ union, Cyklistforbundet, calling for immediate action. Several stories have circulated lately of unfortunate souls who have had their bikes stolen only to find them listed on online market places like Den Blå Avis (DBA) or Craigslist. Appeals to the police have been met with indifference and a ‘we don’t have the resources’ explanation. With the national police now saying that they won’t have a national register for stolen bikes ready until next summer, Cyklistforbundet’s spokesperson Frits Bredal has had enough.
“It would be brilliant if someone could sensibly move this in the right direction. It’s depressing that the police don’t see that they have an important function in this,” Bredal told Politiken newspaper. Bredal questioned why the justice minister, Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne), has been so inactive while almost 100,000 bikes are stolen every year. “The new government will soon celebrate their one-year anniversary, and one of their election points were that they would promote cycling. This is an element of it, and so far we’ve had a completely silent justice minister,” Bredal told Poitiken. Although police recently succeeded in busting international bicycle gangs from eastern Europe, there is a lot of room for improvement, according to Bredal. “The police can’t investigate every bike theft, but they must make a plan for how they will take on the problem. Apparently they haven’t done this, so a signal from their employer is necessary,” Bredal said. “The foot-dragging with the bicycle registry is a sign of passivity and deafening silence.” (CW)
Date: Monday, October 22, 2012 Place: Center for Employment, Language & Integration Hejrevej 10, 2400 NV or Language Center North Zealand Milnersvej 41 C, 4300 Hillerød
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6 News Police officer peppersprays 15-month-old child The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
cried when I saw my son. I couldn’t believe my own eyes.” That was the reaction of 39-year-old Abdulmohsen Homoud, a Belgian resident visiting family in Copenhagen, after a police officer peppersprayed his 15-month-old son following a routine traffic stop. According to eyewitness accounts, a police officer, described by Ekstra Bladet tabloid as “bald and heavily tattooed”, sprayed Homoud, his son and several other people after Homoud attempted to enter the youth sports club he was visiting in order to drop off his son. According to Ekstra Bladet, Homoud was a passenger in his own vehicle when the driver –
Homoud’s brother – went the wrong way on a one-way street. Police followed the car to a scout and karate club in the Nørrebro district. The driver of the car admitted he was at fault and said he would pay the fine. Homoud then attempted to enter the club to drop off his son, who was cold, to another brother so that he could produce his papers for the police officers. Homoud, who does not speak Danish, attempted to explain the situation to the officer, but the officer refused to let him enter the club. The officer grabbed Homoud’s shirt and Homoud then raised his voice, but according to witnesses did not make any threatening gesture. After a short argument, the officer took out his pepperspray and sprayed Homoud in the face, as well as the surrounding area. The spray got in the face of
the 15-month-old boy, who had since been handed to his uncle, as well as the uncle and two affiliates of the club. During the incident there were a handful of other children in the club, which was honoured by Crown Princess Mary in 2009 for its integration work. According to Marianne Nielsen, a volunteer, the children were so scared of the police that they hid in a back room. “The officers probably felt under pressure because they were faced with three large, grown men,” Nielsen told Ekstra Bladet. “But [Homoud and his brothers] didn’t do anything. It’s like Chicago here in Nørrebro, where the police are just scared. In some ways I can understand it.” Two additional police vehicles and an ambulance then arrived, helping Homoud and his
Boy’s father and uncle had been stopped for a routine traffic accident
5 - 11 October 2012
A screen shot from an eyewitness video recorded after Abdulmohsen Homoud and his 15-month-old son were peppersprayed by a police officer (not pictured) – see the video with the above code
son to rinse their eyes. According to Nielsen, the newly-arrived police officers were helpful and apologised for their colleague’s behaviour. In a video shot by one of Homoud’s brothers (viewable on Eksta Bladet’s website), the officer who peppersprayed the young
child appeared to be outside the club smiling over the incident, which incensed the amateur cameraman. Homoud said that all of his son’s clothing had to be changed because of the pepperspray’s lingering effects. While his son slept on a nearby couch,
he told Ekstra Bladet that four hours after being sprayed in the face, he still had a headache and irritated eyes. Homoud was not charged with any infraction, and the club was forced to cancel a dinner for 50 children, resulting in a 5,000 kroner loss.
Annual anti-drinking campaign underway Nine out of ten smokers help little girls light up
he first of October marks the beginning of the annual temperance campaign conducted by the national health board Sundhedsstyrelsen. The media blitz featuring print, broadcast and billboard ads focuses each year on the societal and individual health risks associated with drinking too much alcohol. This year, one of Sundhedsstyrelsen’s focal points is the increased risk of contracting cancer associated with alcohol use. The campaign is especially direct in warning women that even one to two glasses of booze a day – regardless of whether it is beer, wine or hard liquor increases the risk of developing breast cancer. Sundhedsstyrelsen’s website points out that although having a drink is “part of our social culture and we enjoy alcohol in many different contexts”, even a few drinks increases a drinker’s cancer risk. The warnings also take aim at the risks of combining boozing and smoking, saying that alcohol increases the carcinogenic effect of tobacco by between 10 and 100 times. The campaign also takes a hard look at the lives of children with alcoholic parents. Children of parents with alcohol problems are more prone to suicidal thoughts and abuse and have a higher risk of developing psychological problems than other children, according to the study, ‘Families with Alcohol Problems’, published on the board’s website. “It’s not fun to have a mem-
The message is out there, but is anybody listening?
Hidden camera follows two young girls, aged nine and ten, asking for a light in Aarhus
The campaign encourages a national day of abstention on October 11
It’s not fun to have a member of the family who drinks; it destroys everything ber of the family who drinks; it destroys everything,” said one of the children who contributed to the study. “You lose hope.” The study shows that their parents’ alcohol problems impact on children far more than previously thought. “Children in families where the father or mother drink have a life dominated by stress factors like neglect, conflict and, in the most extreme cases, violence,” said Kit Broholm, who helped prepare the report. “Irresponsible adults result in children with sleep disorders, nightmares, anxiety, eating disorders and suicidal thoughts.” Many believe that despite Sundhedsstyrelsen’s best efforts, there remains a growing national addiction to booze. A Megafon/ Politiken/TV 2 poll revealed that 40 percent of those asked believe that Danes drink excessively.
Last year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) published figures showing that Denmark’s alcohol consumption has been among the highest in Europe for the past 30 years. Those numbers include nearly 600,000 Danes who may not be alcoholics, but are still “problem drinkers” according to Sundhedsstyrelsen. Broholm believes that people too often feel pressured to drink even when they do not want to. “Alcohol is expected to be part of every social occasion, and people are made to feel like they are killing the party if they say no,” she told Politiken newspaper. Anette Søgaard Nielsen, the head of Alkoholbehandlingen, an alcohol abuse research centre in Odense, told Politiken that too many people are reluctant to admit the prevalence of alcohol in the country’s culture. “We all believe our own drinking habits are under control and it’s only other people that have a problem,” said Nielsen. Along with the typical advice about drinking less and choosing beverages with a lower alcohol content, Sundhedsstyrelsen is recommending that everyone takes a ‘Stick a Cork in it’ day and completely abstains from drinking on Thursday October 11.
thought-provoking new hidden camera video (see it below) shows two girls, one nine and the other ten years old, approaching random smokers on the square outside of the main train station in Aarhus and asking for either a light or a cigarette. In the video, which was produced by the grassroots organisation You Me Family, nine out of ten of the people approached either gave the child a light or gave them a smoke. Jonathan Løw, the spokesman for You Me Family, said he was surprised by the results. “I had not imagined that we would get those numbers,” he said. “I would have predicted 30-40 percent.” Løw said that the girls approached 92 people who were standing with either a lighter or a cigarette and asked if they could have a light or a cigarette. Every response was recorded using a hidden camera. Løw warned against viewing the video as any type of accurate poll. “It is not statistically accu-
Screenshot from the video – see it by scanning the QR code below
rate,” he said. “We asked only one person at a time, and we contacted only smokers. The idea of the video was to start the debate.” Løw said he would have released the video even if no-one had offered the girls a light. In 2010, nearly 11 percent of 15-year-olds said they smoked daily. The government expressed concern that the habit is growing among the very young. And young people with socially inferior conditions start smoking earlier and smoke more than their peers, according to a study by the National Institute
of Public Health. The health minister, Astrid Krag (Socialistisk Folkeparti), has urged schools and councils to seek some of the 16 million kroner in funds available until 2015 for projects aimed at curbing smoking among children. (RW)
Wrong way! Man breaks into police station Intruder may have had a sawn-off shotgun
26-year-old man has been arrested for breaking into police headquarters in the eastern Jutland city of Aarhus on Tuesday. Police said the man forced open a back door, rummaged through a police vehicle, found and put on a bullet-proof vest and ransacked an office. Reports said the man was brandishing
either a sawn-off shotgun or a dummy rifle. He used the gun to threaten officers before he was subdued in the station kitchen by a combination of pepper spray and what police called “manual persuasion”. “We arrested a 26-yearold man from Viby at 8pm this evening for entering police headquarters, vandalism and threatening police officers,” said East Jutland Police spokesperson Mogens Brøndum.
Brøndum would not comment on the weapon, saying only that the man had been taken into custody. Witnesses told Ekstra Bladet tabloid that the man seemed to be mentally disturbed and said that he wanted to die. All available personnel were summoned to police headquarters following the incident, and police used dogs to search the station for explosives. Police would not speculate on a possible motive. (RW)
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
5 - 11 October 2012
Unions in united front against government Peter Stanners
Ray Weaver As parliament opens, employees’ unions mount a campaign to protest against proposed unemployment benefits cuts
en unions representing more than half a million public workers – including teachers, nurses, sanitation workers and other civil servants – have united to send a clear message to the government: proposed cuts to public unemployment benefits (dagpenge) will result in a “social disaster” in Denmark. The unions have drafted an open letter to the government, placed ads in daily newspapers and held public protests in conjunction with Tuesday’s opening day ceremonies at parliament. “It’s about waking this government up and making it clear that it needs to choose a different path,” Bodil Otto, head of the municipal’s employees union HK, told Politiken newspaper. Although unions and a red government are usually seen as comrades-inarms, representatives of the ten unions have signed off on an open letter saying that the government’s current path will destroy the nation’s social system and result in economic disaster for thousands of workers. The ads, which appeared in daily newspapers around the country on Tuesday, read Godt Nytar (Happy New Year) at the top and showed a photo of a can of cod or a box of champagne, implying that Danes will not be able to afford fresh fish and good bubbly for the traditional New Year’s Eve dinner. Some have sug-
In a co-ordinated campaign, the unions took out full-page ads, including this one in 24timer, to coincide with the opening of parliament on Tuesday
gested that there is also a not so hidden message to the government implied in the ad. Calling someone a torsk, or cod, in Danish is the same as calling them a ‘fool’. The ad’s copy warns that over 20,000 welfare recipients could lose their benefits at the beginning of next year and as many as 2,400 welfare recipients each month could lose their benefits in 2013. The unions said that this is the beginning of the dismantling of a social system that has always provided public employees economic safety and security in the form of unemployment benefits if they lose their jobs. Dennis Kristensen, the president of FOA, a union whose members include many social and healthcare workers, de-
nied that the campaign is designed to make things tough for the government. “We want to make life easier for the unemployed,” Kristensen told Politiken. Kristensen said that while it may be unrealistic to believe that the campaign will be effective at preventing unemployment benefits being reduced to two years, he hoped that the effort would result in additional benefits and make it easier for workers to reapply. “The vast majority could be saved with our proposal,” said Kristensen. In the open letter, the unions stated that it is the flexibility of the labour market that has allowed Denmark to weather the economic crisis better than some other countries.
“In Denmark, we have a flexible labour market,” the letter reads. “On the one hand, it is easy for Danish employers to hire and lay off employees, allowing them to quickly adapt to current developments. On the other hand, the employees have a sense of security and safety in the form of unemployment benefits should they lose their jobs.” The unions said that in other European countries, getting rid of a public employee is an expensive and time-consuming process, and that by removing the security of unemployment benefits for its workers, the government is “cutting a leg off” Denmark’s system. The letter warned against trying to balance the national budget on the backs of civil servants. “The public sector plays a key role – not in opposition to the private sector, but rather as a prerequisite for growth and job creation in the private sector.” In their proposal, the unions lay out a seven-part plan calling on the government to reduce waiting times for benefits and provide money for training, job rotations with full benefits, paid internships and initiatives that will create jobs immediately. “A new study showed that Danes fear unemployment more than anything else,” wrote the union leaders. “Having a job is the most important resource in our society.” Following PM Helle ThorningSchmidt’s (Socialdemokraterne) speech to officially open parliament on Tuesday, union members invited MPs to sit down and break bread with some of those welfare recipients scheduled to lose their benefits at the end of the year.
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Headteacher charged in boating deaths
undby School headteacher Truels Achton Truelsen was charged on Monday with involuntary manslaughter in relation to a February 2011 boating accident involving 13 students and two teachers who had taken a dragon boat out to sea in Præstø Fjord in southeastern Zealand. The boat capsized in rough weather, leaving one teacher dead and seven students in artificial comas – six of whom suffered serious brain damage. Some of the students continue to suffer from the effects of the accident. If found guilty, Truelsen could face up to four years in prison, while the school itself would be fined, according to public prosecutor Michael Boolsen. Bjarne Rasmussen, the chairman of Lundby School’s board, said he was perplexed over the charges. “According to our investigations, the school followed all the rules that were present at the time of the accident,” Rasmussen told Jyllands-Posten, adding that the school was grateful for the support it has received from parents. It has not been decided when a court hearing will take place, although it seems likely that it will occur at the beginning of next year, roughly two years after the date of the accident. A female teacher was questioned after the accident, but while Boolsen said that she was never charged, he refused to say that other individuals wouldn’t be charged. (CW)
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
An October revolution
5 - 11 October 2012
A tax everyone wants to see cut
OU MAY not have noticed it, but October 1 will go down in history as the day it got easier to be a Dane. The date passed without much fanfare, but before long the effects of the liberalisation of retail hours will have a profound impact on the way people here live their lives. That change will be for the better. It is with a bit of remorse that we bid a final farewell to the days of quiet Sundays without any retail activity, but the reality is that Sunday shopping has long been an accepted part of the lives of most consumers. Amended numerous times in its 200-year history, the lukkelov had become so watered down that stores were eventually permitted to remain open more Sundays than they were forced to close. Criticism of the change is not unfounded, however. Doomsayers who fear that major retailers will muscle smaller stores out of business need only look towards neighbouring Sweden to find proof of their claims. Experts there blame that country’s liberalisation of retail hours for a lack of local retail activity. Applied on a Danish scale, it is estimated that the same process will leave Denmark with only 25 centres of retail commerce. Preventing this process is entirely possible. Zoning laws already seek to prevent concentrations of retail activity by limiting how large retail facilities may be and where they are placed. These same laws could be used to ensure that retailers are spread evenly across the country.. Another concern is that employees could find themselves required to work Sunday shifts. Denmark’s strong unions, however, have a good track record of ensuring employee rights, and there is little to suggest that they would not be able to do so here. Incentives like higher wages for Sunday shifts are already in place, and protections against being fired for being unable to work at certain times could prevent employers from gaining an upper hand. Moreover, with a lack of jobs at the moment, it’s more likely that many will snap up the opportunity to work extra hours. Should the economy heat up again and job seekers become scarce, managers will need to start asking mothers and fathers to take Sunday and evening shifts. We’re hoping, though, that this will lead to the next necessary revolution: the break-up of the childcare mafia and the introduction of a more parent-orientated, job-friendly mindset among daycare providers. (KM)
LANDBRUG & FØDEVARER
Liberalising retail opening hours has its problems, but none of them are inevitable
NE YEAR ago this week, the ‘fat tax’ came into effect. The tax – technically a surcharge – enjoys little popularity, and the anniversary of its inception was celebrated by few. Since 1 October 2011, Danes have paid more for butter, cheese, cold cuts and hundreds of other types of food. A poll of 1,042 randomly selected consumers showed that 70 percent felt the fat tax was either ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’. The poll also gives an indication of why the tax has been so difficult to swallow: 80 percent of respondents said it had not caused them to change their shopping habits. Some 70 percent questioned whether it had made them healthier. We at Dansk Erhverv (the Danish Chamber of Commerce) and Landbrug & Fødevarer (the Agricultural & Food Council) also have significant doubts about the health benefits of the fat tax. The concept is logical enough: by making it more expensive to
buy foods containing unhealthy saturated fats, we can get people to eat less of them and in turn improve their health. The problem is that the tax is applied to nearly all types of food, from lean chicken to jalapeños. By setting it up that way, you wind up applying a minimal surcharge to an enormous number of products, and the primary effect has been to add an administrative burden to the food industry. The way the fat tax is applied doesn’t actually encourage people to make healthier choices. What it has done, on the other hand, is encourage more Danes to shop in Germany. Our poll showed that, while in February 2011 one in three Danes shopped in Germany, the figure is now one out of every two. When asked about why they shop outside Denmark, one in three named the fat tax as the primary reason. Long known as the place where Danes shop for booze, cigarettes and sweets, Germany, thanks to the fat tax,
large discounts and professional marketing, has now become a place where Danes also shop for food. German stores now send their brochures, proudly proclaiming “No fat tax here!”, to homes in the vast majority of Denmark. The savings come on top of what Danish consumers could already save in Germany due to a lower VAT and the generally lower price level there. Denmark ought to be worried about the rapid rise in the number of Danes shopping in Germany. When Danes buy abroad, they take profits away from Danish stores and jobs away from fellow Danes – hardly something we need in an economic downturn. In addition to benefiting Denmark’s competitors, and thanks to a complicated web of regulations that even legal experts have trouble unravelling, the fat tax directly harms the nation’s companies. Prior to the legislation coming into effect, we used time and effort to help companies – especially small companies – prepare. Those companies are still spending hours upon hours figuring out just how much they need to pay the state. This time could be better used working their way out of the economic slowdown. The anniversary of the fat tax comes just two weeks after the Business and Growth Ministry released its report on the nation’s competitiveness, and it wasn’t good. Denmark has become less competitive since 1995 in a num-
ber of key areas, including productivity, relative wages and the country’s ability to attract foreign investment. When it comes to wages alone, Danes received an average wage of 291 kroner per hour, while German employees received 200 kroner per hour. When it comes to consumer taxes Danes pay 3 kroner in VAT and other surcharges for every 2 kroner Germans pay. According to our calculations, the fat tax alone has cost 1,300 jobs – and this is in addition to the impact of other taxes companies are levied for things like emitting nitrous oxides, the environmental impact of their packaging, sewage treatment, power consumption … the list goes on, and it is getting longer; soon companies will be paying a sugar tax, an advertisement tax and a transport tax. If the fat tax has benefitted neither people’s health nor the nation’s economy, has it helped anybody? As far as we can tell, no, it hasn’t. Parliament, too, seems to be coming around to this fact. Over the past month, MPs from both sides of the aisle have expressed their support for abandoning the fat tax, meaning this could be one regulation that doesn’t live to see a second anniversary. Jens Klarskov is the managing director of Dansk Erhverv. Søren Gade is the chief executive of Landbrug & Fødevarer and a former defence minister.
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I’m surprised that Henrik Gade Jensen, a senior fellow at CEPOS, found the results of the poll surprising. CEPOS’s reason for life is to promote economic liberalism and minimalist government. The cynic in me would suggest that the results of the CEPOS poll were precisely what the group expected (wanted). Nebsy by website I think that the deepest of the problems in the Danish mentality indeed lies between the lines here. That a smoking ban in city workplaces is described as “unprecendented” and raises hell from employees is the most insane thing in this article for me and indicative of the twisted Danish sense of entitlement. Not only is it not unprecendented, but it is actually EU law and the norm in almost every Western country. That workers actually demand to be asked before a smoking ban is enforced is ridiculous and shows how spoiled they are. It is perfectly normal that your employer asks you not to pollute the air in the workplace and not to take smoking breaks every half hour. And that’s what this really boils down to: the Danish ‘right’ to countless coffee and cigarette breaks. DanDansen by website
This article confuses legitimate public policy to eliminate a health hazard that thousands of people are exposed to every day with the hazards of an overbearing state that interferes with people’s personal decisions and life choices. Smoking is a choice for smokers, not for the people exposed to their second-hand smoke. Ensuring that residents are not exposed to health risks and other danger is a fundamental responsibility of the state. am2go by website Fur flying over new Tivoli deal Wow, REALLY disappointed in Tivoli! It’s a very strange product for Tivoli to affiliate themselves with, the products are polar opposites: family fun, games, and celebration juxtaposed with animal cruelty, murder and vile furwearing people. I hope Tivoli reconsiders this horrible affiliation! Felicity Anne Oliver-Simper by Facebook Well, it’s Tivoli’s downfall, as tourists don’t like fur or wear it and hate people who wear it. So it’s back to the ’80s and red paint, I guess. Kerry Bulmer by Facebook I love mink coats … on minks. Djeep by website
It could be worse – they might have entered into a partnership with a rugbrød manufacturer. George_Moon by website Police accused of harassing foreign homeless people I heard that the police have done things like take away their shoes and sleeping bags, which is a totally braindead thing to do. If the police want to do something, they can legally deport them, even if they are EU citizens, because the rule is that an EU foreigner can legally live in Denmark if they can support themselves. But to do things like take their shoes, which will make life terrible for them, is purely stupid and should not happen. If they do not deport them and they don’t commit any crimes, then let them be; there’s no reason to kick a person when they’re down! Larry Jf by website Our building has had the police here twice in two months for break-ins. I had a break-in and blood was spread on the wall. The police didn’t care, didn’t take statements or even speak to neighbours, and I’ve heard nothing since. I’m a foreigner. I wonder if they would have acted differently if I wasn’t? They did respond within 20 minutes to our
call, but I wonder if that’s because my Danish girlfriend made the call, but it was me they dealt with when they arrived. I’m not saying they didn’t care because they were dealing with foreigners, but I’m suggesting it’s possible. shufflemoomin by website Oliver’s father found guilty in Austria Unfortunately, yes, this looks like a win for the father. He got to come back to Denmark and do his probation here. The jail time is not to be served unless he leaves the country with Oliver. socraticDK by website What could a child do to make his father hate him in such a way? Noone has the right to take a child away from their mother. People say that the Scandinavian countries are so liberal. But Denmark is just criminal. The father doesn’t love his child, he just wants to own him. And no-one is asking Oliver what he wants. But when you see the pictures and footage, it’s obvious the boy isn’t happy like his father claims. A blind person could see it, but not the father, not the Danish justice system and not the Danish government. The father destroyed the life and the future of the boy. Poor, sad Oliver! Waltraud Riegler by website
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
5 - 11 October 2012
Refugees deserve more than childlike notions of fairness
You’re Still Here? BY KELLY DRAPER Kelly Draper is a British teacher who came to Denmark four years ago for work. She has been acting informally as a critical friend to Denmark. This has not gone down particularly well with Danes, who often tell her she should like it or leave it. Her blog is at adventuresandjapes. wordpress.com.
HY DON’T you just go home?” It’s every immigrant’s ‘favourite’ question. This has been put to me in a myriad of ways. Sometimes as fake concern for my welfare. Sometimes aggressively. Often with genuine confusion. You can measure my Danish integration by how I’ve responded. At first, I responded with shock. Surely, you are not saying that if I say people could be nicer in shops, I am no longer welcome? Then, as I settled down, I explained that I had just bought a dining table and needed to justify the expense. There was a stage when I replied that I was indeed planning my exit. Then I got a Danish boyfriend, so now I direct them to him. If they want me to leave, they need to persuade him first. As irritating as this conversation is, I can see a logic. I have a job I can do anywhere and I am good at it. It does not make much sense that I would stay in Denmark. What shocks me is when refugees are asked the same question. As if refugees can comparison shop for sympathetic regimes. As if refugees must act grateful for whatever crumbs are thrown
Earlier this year, one terminally-ill Syrian man asked to be sent back even though it would mean he would die sooner their way. As if refugees are not allowed to say shit even if they have a mouthful. Refugees are sometimes mistreated by ordinary Danes. In 2010, a Føtex in Nykøbing refused admission to three busloads of refugees. That same year, three refugee boys were violently attacked without provocation in the north Zealand town of Jægerspris. Of course, there are ordinary Danes who try to make a difference and volunteer their time and money to helping refugees, but they are working in an impossible climate of violence and hatred. The Danish state’s treatment of refugees is dire. Bad enough that many asylum seekers have felt the need to
hunger strike. Bad enough that earlier this year, one terminally-ill Syrian man asked to be sent back even though it would mean he would die sooner. The main problem seems not to be wilful cruelty but rather casual unkindness. Talal Nasredinne was ignored when he explained he had aggressive leukaemia until someone could come and speak on his behalf. He was placed in unsuitable accommodation in the refugee centre, which led to unnecessary suffering. He was given the bare minimum in terms of care and support, and in the end, he asked to be sent back to Syria to die. That is the consequence of asking vulnerable people “why don’t you just leave?” He had weeks to live and yet he was given the bare minimum because the understanding of fairness was childlike: ‘everyone gets the same’ as opposed to ‘people get what they need’. In the refugee centre, a woman suffering from extreme nausea and vomiting during pregnancy was told that since pregnancy was not an illness, she had to stay in the canteen at mealtimes and her husband was not allowed to bring bland food to her in her room. Anything else
would not be “fair”. Another woman was housed with men because she was not able to continue the use of hormone therapy due to her refugee status. If she had been able to take her hormones, the Danish Red Cross would have considered her a “real” woman and housed her safely. This lack of understanding of her needs led to her rape. She is now living in a crisis centre that had no problem placing her with other women. Childlike ideas of fairness led to a violent attack on a vulnerable person. Meanwhile, the Danish state keeps refugees in legal limbo. It provides interpreters whose lack of linguistic skill means they can put their clients’ lives in danger. The state sometimes lets them stay for a decade, put down roots, settle and start new lives, and then deports them. Suicide attempts are common under these conditions. This is no way to treat human beings. If Denmark values its international reputation, then things need to drastically change. There are people in Denmark who work hard to make a difference; their efforts must not be destroyed by casual indifference or the actions of a hateful minority.
Times they are a-changin’
To Be Perfectly Frank BY FRANK THEAKSTON Born in 1942 on the Isle of Wight, Englishman Frank Theakston has been in Copenhagen 32 years and is on his second marriage, this time to a Dane. Frank comes from a different time and a different culture – which values are the right ones today?
atre families) and therefore have been thoroughly indoctrinated into the ways of the Danish theatre scene. But then theatre in any other language other than Danish does not fit very comfortably into such a cosy setup. And in any case, the concept of the nature of amateur theatre varies enormously among different cultures. In the UK, for example, one finds a whole range of levels: from what one could truly call amateurish (even embarrassing) to some of the best theatre to be found anywhere. Being an amateur actor (or director, or stage manager) in the UK does not immediately label one as less than competent in the field, as it seems to do in Denmark. This concept of amateur theatre has been exported to the four corners of the earth. There are English-language groups, for example, in pretty much all of the countries of western Europe. And once a year, a selection of these groups comes together at the Festival of European Anglophone Theatrical Societies (FEATS), where I can assure you the standard is usually sky-high and the performances are judged by a professional adjudicator. The CTC has won
S MOST of the regular readers of these hallowed pages will know, I am what is called in this country a teatermand. This covers a multitude of sins but basically means somebody who is heavily involved in the theatre world in some way or another. However, I am perhaps rather different from my peers in that all my energy goes into amateur theatre. And not just any old amateur theatre, but the English-speaking variety in the shape of Copenhagen Theatre Circle (CTC). Now, amateur theatre in Denmark has traditionally been patronisingly referred to as dilettantteater, in other words not just amateur but amateurish. Good citizens wishing to tread the boards − but without the time, inclination or perhaps talent to become professional actors − have often been given ‘suitable’ (i.e modest) premises by their local kommune and left to get on with it, in the certain knowledge that their activities will not tarnish the reputation of the professional theatre. For, as everyone knows, only the professionals have the skills and talent to perform theatre ‘properly’. They are the products of the theatre schools (and/or well-known the-
Being an amateur actor in the UK does not immediately label one as less than competent in the field, as it seems to do in Denmark this festival twice and received various other awards, including best actor and best actress. FEATS takes place in a different city each year. It has been staged as close to home as Hamburg (2005) and Stockholm (2008). But whereas the groups there were able to hire the large professional theatre necessary to stage the festival, at present it would be nigh on impossible to do that here in Copenhagen. Amateurs in a professional theatre? The very idea … So is all lost? Not on your proverbial
Nelly! Things are beginning to change, slowly but surely, and not least as a result of initiatives by certain Danish amateur groups. One such, Mastodonterne, aimed from the outset to present largescale musicals of a high standard and has certainly lived up to its promises. It caused consternation among the Copenhagen theatre establishment a few years ago by collaborating with a professional composer to produce his musicals. Now it performs at Tivoli’s Concert Hall each year. And even though we, as an English-speaking group, have had to battle the worst manifestations of the integration mentality to show that we’re worthwhile, here too, there are silver linings. Now we can even look forward to the possibility of our hosting FEATS in a few years. But of course, as you may have suspected, all this is just a lead-in to a plug for the CTC’s latest block-busting production, Tim Firth’s ‘Calendar Girls’! You’ll have seen the film some time ago, so why not now spend a paltry 140 kroner to see it live on stage at Krudttønden in Østerbro. It opened on October 3 and runs until October 13. Book your tickets at www.ctcircle.dk.
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The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
5 - 11 October 2012
File photo: Scanpix
As Roj TV is suspended, Turkey accuses Scandinavia of harbouring terrorists Justin Cremer Station’s failure to turn in materials leads to two-month ban; Turkish PM points to possible “diplomatic” solution to long-standing conflict
Abdulhadi al-Khawaja (left) and Thami Najim (right) are both Danish citizens imprisoned abroad who allege they have been subjected to torture
A tale of two prisoners Justin Cremer Abdulhadi al-Khawaja continues to fight his sentence in Bahrain with Danish support, while Thami Najim argues that he is being tortured in Morocco with no help from the Danes
bdulhadi alKhawaja, the DanishBahraini human rights activist who has been imprisoned in Bahrain since June 2011, is continuing his legal fight. His daughter, Maryam alKhawaja, told Berlingske Nyhedsbureau that her father will appeal against his life sentence, which was upheld by a Bahraini court last month. “I’ve spoken with his lawyer, who told me that my father and 12 others have decided to appeal,” Maryam al-Khawaja said. Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and the 12 others are known as the ‘Bahrain 13’, a group of opposition leaders and activists who were arrested in the spring of 2011 for their role in the uprising that swept through Bahrain as part of the Arab Spring. Al-Khawaja’s high-profile hunger strike, which lasted 110 days, led to widespread international attention, culminating in the Danish Foreign Ministry engaging in what Villy Søvndal (Socialistisk Folkeparti), the foreign minister, characterised as “the largest Danish consular effort ever” to have him released. Denmark’s efforts – supported
by the UN, the EU and the US – have been rebuffed by the Bahraini government. While he’s been imprisoned in Bahrain, al-Khawaja has been subjected to torture, violence and sexual abuse. While Denmark pulled out all the stops to try to get alKhawaja, who holds Danish and Bahraini citizenship, delivered to Denmark, allegations have surfaced that another Danish citizen imprisoned, and allegedly tortured, abroad is not receiving the same attention. Thami Najim, a dual Danish and Moroccan citizen who was arrested in February on terrorism charges in Morocco and sentenced last month to ten months in prison, told Politiken newspaper that he is being tortured. “The Moroccan intelligence service and police are notorious for their heavy-handed treatment,” Najim told the newspaper. “Our interrogations have been no exception. We’ve been punched, kicked and tortured psychologically.” Najim, who is an active member of the Islamic organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir, reportedly shares a ten-square-metre room with four other men. Najim, 37, was arrested in February along with two others for having planned terror attacks against the Moroccan state. Morocco’s Interior Ministry said at that time that Najim supervised a plan to “undermine the county’s security and stability”. According to Politiken, the
usual sentence for trying to undermine the Moroccan regime is up to five years in prison, but a source told the newspaper that Najim received a lighter sentence because the state “had a weak case”. Najim, who was born and raised in Denmark and moved to Morrocco in 2007, also faced charges of receiving illegal foreign financing for his terror operations. Those charges were not pursued. If they had been, Najim could have faced life imprisonment or the death penalty. Najim said that he receives only one visit a month from a representative of the Danish Embassy in Morocco and that Denmark overall is not providing him with much assistance. “The Danish authorities’ involvement in the case can hardly be called help,” he said. “They have done nothing for my case. Seen in the light of the human rights projects that Denmark has in Morocco, financed by Danish citizens to the annual tune of hundreds of millions of kroner, the Danish authorities should be demanding adherence to international conventions.” Claus Juul, a lawyer with Amnesty International Denmark, questioned why Denmark isn’t doing more for Najim. “In Moroccan prisons, there are violations of some of the most basic human rights, which is clearly problematic,” Juul told Politiken. “In such a case, I think you can discuss whether one visit a month is enough.”
oj TV, the Copenhagenbased Kurdish station that was fined earlier this year for violating Denmark’s antiterror laws, has been stripped of its broadcast licence for two months. The national TV and radio board, Radio- og tv-nævnet, has been investigating the channel since January in response to allegations that the channel serves as a mouthpiece for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist organisation by the US, Canada and the EU. Although the channel was found guilty of violating anti-terror laws in January, it held on to its broadcast licence. Shortly thereafter, however, the TV and radio board reopened its investigation. The board demanded that Roj TV turn over documents and video tapes of its broadcasted programmes. The station only turned over about half of the requested files and documents, leading to the two-month ban on its broadcast licence. The TV and radio board said, however, that the programming that was
turned over for inspection “did not incite hate” and therefore the station could not lose its licence on that ground. Roj TV has been given two months to hand over the remainder of the requested material, but according to board chairman Christian Scherfig, even if the station does not comply it will be still be able to send its signal again. Scherfig warned however, that the board would continue to pursue Roj TV. “Roj TV should expect that we will institute stricter supervision and perhaps reassess our verdict,” Scherfig told the Ritzau news bureau. The investigations into Roj TV are what led to the September 18 arrest of eight individuals on charges of financing terror. The arrestees, seven of whom are being held on remand, are suspected of collecting and arranging money both for the PKK and Roj TV. Roj TV has long been a sore spot in the relationship between Turkey and Denmark. The Turkish government has long viewed Roj TV as the mouthpiece for the PKK, and Turkey has repeatedly made formal complaints about the station. Denmark’s decision to prosecute Roj TV on terror charges was revealed by WikiLeaks as being a reward for Turkey’s support of the appointment of former Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen as NATO
secretary general in 2009. The PKK was founded by Kurdish separatists in 1978 as a movement to establish an autonomous Kurdistan. Kurdish militants have often clashed with Turkish security forces. In 1984, the PKK called for an all-out Kurdish uprising and stepped up its attacks on government targets. The ongoing conflicts are estimated to have claimed more than 40,000 lives. The past few months have seen some of the most intense violence in the long struggle, and just last week, Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan responded to pressure to end the bloodshed by opening the door to renewed talks with the PKK. “There is a military dimension to this, a security dimension which is separate and will continue,” Erdogan said, according to The News International. “But beside this there is a diplomatic, socio-economic and psychological dimension.” Speaking to Reuters, Erdogan said that Scandinavian countries share in the blame for the increased violence. “Terrorist leaders walk free in these countries, and they allow them to collect financial aid in the streets, creating a resource worth millions of euros,” Erdogan said. “Scandinavian countries literally act as accessories to the terrorist organisation.”
Denmark refuses to help with Guantanamo Foreign minister backtracks and says it is “not Denmark’s job” to provide a new home for released Guantanamo detainees
he US government needs to find new homes for prisoners in its Guantanamo detention centre who cannot be returned to their home countries, such as Syria and Yemen, because of ongoing instability. Denmark was drafted as a possible country but, according to Politiken newspaper, foreign minister Villy Søvndal (Socialistiske Folkeparti) recently turned the American government down. This is despite stating, while in opposition, that Denmark should allow released prisoners to find a home here. “I don’t think it is a Danish job and this is broadly supported in parliament,” Søvndal told Politiken, despite in 2009
stating: “I think we should help Obama solve a problem that he inherited from his predecessor. Everyone should help clean up after this sad chapter in history.” According to Politiken’s sources, Danish and American diplomats met last week in New York to discuss handing over the prisoners. Denmark apparently turned down the offer due to the high casualty rate among Danish forces in Afghanistan – an argument that was apparently accepted by the American diplomats. Socialistiske Folkeparti has supported President Obama’s call for the closure of the controversial detention and interrogation centre in the American naval base of Guantanamo on Cuba. Almost four years since Obama took office, however, the centre remains open and still houses 167 prisoners. Of these, the US states that 56 are ready
I don’t think it is Denmark’s job to be released but cannot be returned to their home countries due to ongoing instability. According to Politiken, several EU countries, such as Portugal and Belgium, have accepted prisoners who are innocent but cannot return to their home country. About 40 prisoners have been released in this way. “We are deeply thankful to the countries that have accepted prisoners and we would be happy if someone offered to take the last ones,” Dan Fried, the American diplomat responsible for closing Guantanamo, told Politiken. (PS)
Online this week Rejected Syrian asylum seekers gain political support The rejected Syrian asylum seekers who protested outside the Swedish Embassy last week are receiving political backing in their campaign to grant them residency. The asylum seekers are urging the government to approve the cases of all Syrian asylum seekers in Denmark due to the ongoing
civil war in Syria. Sweden has adopted this approach and is automatically granting all asylum seekers from Syria three years residency. The Danish government continues to process Syrian asylum seekers on a case-bycase basis despite the fact that the 12 percent who lose their cases cannot be deported.
Danish teachers scoff at new British education approach Headmasters in the UK plan on adopting the English baccalaureate (EBacc) system, which includes a three-hour written exam for all pupils, a strategy scoffed at by Scandinavian counterparts. “The Danish believe that every child should pass some kind [of exam], to make sure that every child knows the basics,” teacher
Geoff Barton told the East Anglian Daily Times. That respect, however, apparently isn’t mutual. Danish teachers visiting Barton’s school in Suffolk were flabbergasted by the Brits’ approach. “They thought [the EBacc] was the surreal ramblings of an educational nutter – some strange English humour,” Barton said.
At UN, Denmark affirms responsibility to protect Syria On the final day of the United Nations General Assembly General Debate, Denmark’s permanent representative to the UN, Carsten Staur, addressed the need for change in Syria, reaffirmed Denmark’s responsibility regarding international co-operation
and highlighted its commitment to the rule of law. In one of the session’s boldest statements, Staur declared outright that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had lost all legitimacy and must step aside and that his regime should be tried in The Hague.
Read the full stories at cphpost.dk
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
5 - 11 October 2012
From Nyhavn to New York, a new year brings new horizons BY: MARIA ANTONIETTA RICCI
When William Shakespeare wrote the lines “Good company, good wine, good welcome, can make good people,” he could have been referring to the September 20 celebration to mark the beginning of the academic year for the Danish and American exchange students who are this year attending the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS). The international school’s staff and students gathered to catch up ahead of the large slog ahead. Faces old and new met or caught up to share their stories and face up to the truth together: the summer is over and the hard work must begin again
California meets Copenhagen! Golden state girl Jessica chose to study in Denmark to continue a family tradition. She is interested in Scandinavian literature and not afraid of the Danish language. Braveheart!
Eva and Americans George and Clara kept a close guard over the wine box
The lights all went out in Massachusetts when their very own Eliza Rodrigs left to study urban design in Copenhagen. Tess Skadergaard Thorsen (right), meanwhile, is reading media communication – maybe they could do something about all the unintelligible graffiti in the city
Sarah Jest and Eva Kararup were friends at high school ... in Denmark, so not an almighty coincidence. Still, they met again at DIS and are now preparing to leave Denmark for an American adventure at the Barnard College in New York where they will study European studies and literature
Thank the lord for Christian Palvad and Mette, who ensured the barbecue went smoothly
A view from the outside: the historic courtyard on Store Kannikestræde in the heart of the city. The building is one of the DIS’s most prestigious and really helps to make the students feel they are being immersed into Danish culture
Pork and pork and pork again: chops, sausages and undeniably Danish
George Chen from San Francisco studies in San Diego. He had travelled around Europe before his arrival in Denmark, with no doubt stop-offs in San Marino and San Sebastian
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
5 - 11 October 2012
ABOUT TOWN PHOTOS BY HASSE FERROLD UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED
China’s been around forever, but the People’s Republic of China is merely 63 years old, and there was a fine turnout at the ambassador’s residence in Hellerup to celebrate the occasion. Pictured here are Li Jinsheng, the cultural attaché at the Chinese Embassy, Chinese ambassador Li Ruiyu, Danish musician Lars Hannibal and Professor Verner Worm, the head of the Copenhagen Business Confucius Institute
Acclaimed Chilean-American novelist Isabel Allende is on a tour of Denmark, primarily to pick up the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award, which she was named the winner of for 2011. On Tuesday she took time to stop off at City Hall to meet the prominent members of the City Council. Pictured left-right are Ninna Thomsen, the deputy mayor for health, Anne Vang, the deputy mayor for children and youth affairs, city mayor Frank Jensen, Allende, Angela Trezza, the head of the Italian Cultural Institute, and Pia Allerslev, the deputy mayor for culture
The winners of Kvindelige Virksomhedsejere’s Female Businesswoman of the Year Inspiration Award were Anna Søndergaard (left) and Lis Beck (right), the co-owners of Becksöndergaard, a successful export company. Pictured with them is the chairman of the award panel, Claudia S Mathiasen, a lawyer with Winlaw. Kvindelige Virksomhedsejere is a businesswoman network founded in 1987
Indonesia celebrated its national day last week on Thursday at the ambassador’s residence in Charlottenlund. Guests were treated to traditional music and a fine spread, all courtesy of the Indonesian ambassador Bomer Pasaribu and his wife
The new ambassador of Canada is André Francois Girou. Hello, eh! Or should that be: Bonjour, eh!
The dignitaries were out in force for Monday’s opening of parliament. Pictured here are Marie-Louise Overvad, the new chief of protocol at the Foreign Ministry, and Mexican ambassador Martha Barcena, the dean of the Diplomatic Corps
COMING UP SOON Manhunt: Josef Mengele
Danish Institute for International Studies, Main Auditorium, Strandgade 71, Cph K; Mon Oct 8, 14:0016:00; register no later than Fri Oct 5 at 12:00 at www.diis.dk, event@diis. dk or 3269 8751
David G Marwell, who was the chief of investigative research at the US Department of Justice, Office of Special Investigations, will discuss the details of the historical research he conducted in support of prosecuting Nazi war criminals living in the United States – in particular Josef Mengele, the infamous ‘Angel of Death’, who performed human experiments in Polish concentration camps during the Second World War. Drops of Jupiter
Brorfelde Observatorium, Gyldenkernes Vej 19, Tølløse; Fri Oct 5, 19:00; www. meetup.com/photo-cph
Summer is over and winter is coming! Think positive and sail across the stars, including the Milky Way, and take pictures of them at this event at the observatory. It’s the best season of the year to enjoy views of stars and planets. Solution to the crisis
University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Humanities, Alexandersalen, Bispetorvet 1-3, Cph K; Tue Oct 9, 15:1517:00, www.hum.ku.dk
The financial crisis and possible resolutions is the most discussed topic on the planet at the moment. Take part in this seminar about economic policy as a means of analysing and solving European structural economic problems.
Nordic New School: a challenge for the future
University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Humanities, KUA, 27.0.09, Njalsgade 76, Cph S; Wed Oct 10, 09:15-19:00; www.hum.ku.dk
The education system must respond to the demands of a changing society now more than ever. This Nordic New School research workshop aims to redefine the Nordic region’s distinct values – both of its state welfare and its pedagogical traditions – in the face of the ever-growing challenge of globalisation. Migration and Development
Danish Institute for International Studies, Main Auditorium, Strandgade 71, Cph K; Thu Oct 11, 09:0012:45; register no later than Wed Oct 10 at 12:00 at www.diis.dk, event@ diis.dk or 3269 8751
Migration is a key component of every country’s development, and understanding its mechanisms is essential to improving governmental policies. This seminar wants to look concretely at this process with a fresh eye and discover new lines of actions. Religiosity, income and intelligence
University of Copenhagen, Department of Economics, 26.2.20, the CSS campus, Øster Farimagsgade 5, Cph K; Thu Oct 4 at 12:00, 13:30-14:30; www.econ.ku.dk
Is it possible to establish a relationship between religiosity, income and intelligence? This seminar seeks to answer that question using national data.
New Behavioural Models in Economics
University of Copenhagen, Department of Economics, 26.1.21B, the CSS campus, Øster Farimagsgade 5, Cph K; Mon Oct 8, 15:00-16:15; www.econ.ku.dk
This seminar aims to explain a new theory in behavioural economics: how the formulation of goals can affect the choice of mental strategies and performances and create incentives to increase success. Building peace in Burundi and Rwanda
Danish Institute for International Studies, Main Auditorium, Strandgade 71, Cph K; Wed Oct 10, 14:0016:00; register no later than Tue Oct 9 at 12:00 at www.diis.dk, event@diis. dk or 3269 8751
Two African countries with very different peace processes. This seminar faces the problems and resolutions that have to be adopted to make this process effective. Insecurity in West Africa
Danish Institute for International Studies, Main Auditorium, Strandgade 71, Cph K; Fri Oct 5, 09:0010:30; register no later than Thu Oct 4 at www.diis.dk, email@example.com or 3269 8751
Niger is playing a leading role in the diplomatic resolution of interreligious and ethnic conflicts in West Africa. Find out more about the challenges this African country faces at this seminar.
MARIA ANTONIETTA RICCI
DATING THE DANES
And then there was one ... Swapping New Zealand for Zealand for her second tour of duty, Emily McLean isn’t, as far as we know, getting hitched anytime soon. She’s out there kissing frogs to find her prince - nobody ever said Dating the Danes was going to be easy.
Boys who can shave
AST WEEKEND I attended what at first glance would be considered an adult party. But after 20 minutes of conversation with a Johnny Bravo look-a-like, I quickly realised I had overestimated the maturity of my present company. Talking to him was like talking to a 26-year-old boy who’d just learned how to shave. He was complaining that his lecturer had given him an extra class, that he was earning too much to get SU, that the apartment his parents had just bought him was rather small, and that his bolleven had called their arrangement off. And while there was only one year between us, it felt like ten. Now my days of carefree, deferring-responsibility living expired a long time ago. As a 25-year-old New Zealander, the topics weighing on my mind are work, paying taxes and how to save for a house. However, the 20-something man-boys here don’t come home at night and complain
about a hard day at the office − they come home and complain that their Friday bar was cancelled. You see, in Denmark the combination of a free education, the societal push to take one, two or even three gap years to ‘find yourself ’, and the ‘delay adulthood at all costs’ attitude has taken its toll on the male population.
Talking to him was like talking to a 26-yearold boy who’d just learned how to shave Where I’m from, you have a degree by 22, your second job at 26 and a house by 29. My rule of thumb here is if you’re dating men your own age in your home country, in Denmark you add five years and be prepared for the fact you may still have to show them how to write a CV. I remember one such date with a rather dashing Dane.
While I was aware he was 30, I was not aware of his full-time student status until the following conversation. “Where are you going for the summer?” “I was thinking of doing a month in Spain, back in time for Roskilde, then I’ll see my family in Jutland,” he replied. “That seems like an awfully long holiday.” “Well yeah, I’m studying so I have three months – how long do you get?” he enquired. “Well as I’m working, I get six weeks, and in New Zealand I would get four.” “Oh that’s not a lot,” he concluded with a rather horrified look. I tried hard not to be offended at his blatant ignorance towards the working world, but it was all too much. And half an hour later, he delivered the final nail in the coffin − he pulled out his student card and got 20 percent off the meal. Let’s be frank: when I’m dating someone in their 30s, I expect them to be on some kind of payroll that isn’t SU.
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
5 - 11 October 2012
There was friction when he arrived, and now his future is in electricity
Morgan is rather appropriately sporting a static-generated hairstyle
HENRY BUTMAN Meet the Australian expat entrepreneur who is taking advantage of a gap in the market to find success in Copenhagen
IKE MOST first-time visitors to Copenhagen, Morgan Thomas had no idea what to expect from the city. In 2008, he moved here from Australia as an exchange student to attend Copenhagen Business School (CBS), following a glowing recommendation from a few Swedish friends. It turns out his friends knew him well: Thomas felt an immediate and intimate connection with the Danish capital. “When it became time to return to Australia to complete my b a c h e l o r,” Thomas said. “I was very sad to leave, but had already decided I would return and do my master’s here.” I n 2010, after again being accepted into CBS, that’s exactly what Thomas did. Halfway through his first year, however, Thomas met Johannes Holger Grever, and the course of his life in Denmark took an unexpected turn. Grever, a Danish entrepreneur, spoke to Thomas about an idea he had: creating a web-based platform that would bring transparency to the Danish electricity market, a market that was monopolised up until 2003. Thomas, who as a business student had a keen interest in new product categories, saw great potential in the idea. “I started throwing ideas around to see how between Jo-
hannes’s concept could become a feasible business model in addressing the core need of the market: transparency,” Thomas said. “After some brainstorming, Johannes sug-
gested that, with his in-depth knowledge of the electricity market and IT skills and my business skills, we should try and make this [business] happen.” After finishing his first year at graduate school, Thomas put his education on hold to pursue
Skift El – the future name of his emerging business – full-time. Though temporarily postponing his education was a hard deci-
sion at the time, it turned out to be a necessary sacrifice, as it took Thomas and Grever a full 18 months to finally get Skift El up and running. The website, www.skiftel.dk, has been up and running for four months. According to Thomas, 9 0
percent of Danish electricity users are still eligible to switch to a cheaper electricity provider by using his website, which is a 100 percent free service. Now that Thomas has established Skift El, he plans on returning to CBS and finishing his master’s. And despite having such a limited idea of the city when he first arrived, Thomas is ready to set up camp in Copenhagen. “I plan on staying here indefinitely,” Thomas said. “I truly believe Copenhagen offers a complete lifestyle package that suits me personally.” That being said, Thomas was surprised by how easily he managed to negotiate the Copenhagen business market – and create a life in Denmark – as an expat.
“I’m very fortunate that on both a social and business level I’ve been able to efficiently operate here,” Thomas said. “I was lucky to fall into the right circle [at CBS], and I have made some great, lifelong Danish friends.” But Thomas knows success is about more than just luck, and he is optimistic about opportunities for other expats living in Copenhagen. “If you have an idea you’ve been thinking about doing something with, just do it!” says Thomas. “Go with your gut instinct. Look around at what you miss or notice missing from your home country and see if there are any gaps in the Danish market. Use the resources available to you through your kommune, university, online and/or entrepreneurial community. One of the best ways of implementing a business here is by implementing a proven business model.” Thomas currently lives in central Copenhagen and is enrolled in a Danish language course in order to communicate – and integrate – more effectively as an expat entrepreneur.
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
5 - 11 October 2012
Christian Wenande FCN had chances to surprise the Champions League holders, but ultimately suffered a merciless lesson in effective football
espite playing some inspired passing football at Parken on Tuesday night, FC Nordsjælland eventually lost 0-4 to a Chelsea team that capitalised on their chances and FCN’s mistakes. After impressing in their defeat away to Shakhtar Donetsk on their Champions League debut, it was difficult to see Kaspar Hjulmand’s lads maintaining the level of that performance against a Chelsea team who are flying high in the English Premier League. And it was Chelsea that opened strongly and created the first chance. Jores Okore just managed to get a touch to a dan-
gerous cross with Victor Moses looking certain to score. But once FCN settled, they played some neat possession football, with silky passing that made Chelsea look rather average. However in a flash, after 33 minutes, they fell behind. Enoch Adu, who otherwise had a stellar game, was robbed by Fernando Torres, and Frank Lampard promptly set up Juan Mata for the easy finish. It was a bitter pill to swallow for the reigning Danish champions. The second half started much like the first with FCN enjoying the possession and Chelsea threatening on the counter. As the game continued, the Blues came increasingly closer to extending their lead, but a magnificent performance by 20-year-old Jores Okore kept the English team at bay. The young defender won’t be in the Danish Superliga for much longer with
displays like this. FCN then had the chance they were looking for. Joshua John curled a delightful shot that Cech brilliantly tipped onto the post, and then Beckmann’s follow-up blast was blocked by a well-placed Ashley Cole. The double chance proved to be the best opportunity FCN would get, and when Chelsea introduced the speedy young Belgian Eden Hazard, the momentum immediately swung in their favour. With ten minutes left, Chelsea killed off the match as David Luiz drove a powerful free kick off the post and in behind the hapless Hansen. The brave Danes collapsed after that, conceding another goal only two minutes later through Mata again, before Oscar set up his Brazilian countryman Ramires for a simple tap-in a minute before time to seal a four-goal victory that was perhaps a bit mis-
scanpix/ DANIEL SANNUM LAUTEN
Clinical Chelsea cruise to another win in the capital
Jores Okore and Victor Moses clashed heads early on, but it didn’t put the Dane off his game − he was brilliant in defeat
urday, the club’s goalkeeping coach Claudio Filippi said the Dane “will eventually have his chance”. “Juventus have a great group of strikers this season,” he continued. “Right now, we have several forwards who give us guarantees. They are rotated according to how they perform in training.”
representative of the game. The Danes face an equally daunting test in their next fixture when they host Juventus, who only managed a 1-1 draw at home to Shakhtar Donetsk. Nicklas Bendtner, once again, did not feature. He has so far only played 12 minutes for the Serie A club. At a postmatch press conference on Sat-
Malta have too much muscle for rugby league national side Marc culot
Ruby Davy English Super League player a class above the opposition in 74-point romp
enmark’s rugby league side will need a few superstars of their own if they are going to compete on the world stage. That was the lesson handed to them last weekend by Bradford Bulls player Jarrod Sammut, whose 40-point haul inspired Malta to a 74-12 defeat of the red and whites at the Gentofte Stadium. The victory completed a double over the Danes, following an earlier 24-12 win in Valetta in June, and saw the Maltese easily clinch the 2012 Dove Men+Care International Series. Malta coach Anthony Micallef was delighted with his team’s efforts. “They were in fine form,” he said. “We had a very youthful squad out there: that’s the future of the game for us together with the experienced senior playing group.” Sammut, 25, has a host of English Super League clubs chasing his services for next season, and the talented 169cmtall general showed why, laying
The Danes succeed in stopping yet another Maltese attack, but in the end, the visitors were too strong
on four tries and missing only two goals. It was one-way traffic from the kick-off: the Maltese were 18-0 up after as many minutes. Danish hopes were then briefly raised when good work by Rune Thorbjørn Nordvang led to Cameron Woods scoring his side’s first points of the afternoon as the sun came out on an otherwise drizzly weekend in
the Danish capital. Was this a sign from the gods that Denmark could come back? No. The Maltese were well-drilled throughout and piled on the points in the second half, although the biggest cheer was reserved for Denmark’s second try, when Viiga Lima, who teaches the sport at the local Skovbro Efterskole, stepped inside his man to thrill
When rugby league was first introduced in PE lessons, only a handful of students had ever seen a rugby ball before
Great Dane in frame for NFL Hall of Fame place Nominated in his first year of eligibility, Morten Andersen will become only the fourth kicker in NFL history to enter the hall if he is voted in
To learn more about rugby league, why not attend København RLFK’s fixture in Lund this Saturday. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
here are not many National Football League careers that stand out like Morten Andersen’s, and soon his efforts may propel him into the league’s 2013 Hall of Fame class in Canton, Ohio. ‘The Great Dane’, as he is affectionately known, is the all-time top scorer in the NFL, compiling 2,544 points over a 25-year career that earned him seven pro bowl selections and a place in two alldecade teams in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Andersen, a native of Struer in northern Jutland, was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 1982 and also enjoyed stints with the New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings and the Atlanta Falcons, with whom he reached his only Superbowl in 1998 by kicking the game-winning field goal. Andersen had first visited the USA in 1977 as an exchange student in Indianapolis, Indiana and had never kicked an American football before then. But he was so impressive in his first season with his school that Michigan State University offered him a scholarship When Andersen officially retired from the NFL in 2008, he held or shared 22 NFL records as well as the team scoring records for the Saints and the Falcons. 2013 is the first year that he is eligible to be voted into the Hall of Fame.
his watching students. Before the game, children from the NGG International School had played a game of tag rugby before joining an enthusiastic home crowd in the stands. The sport was introduced to the school less than two years ago by one of its teachers, Joshua Whitehead, who is amazed by how popular it has become as an after-school activity. “When rugby league was first introduced in PE lessons, only a handful of students had ever seen a rugby ball before,” he said. “Eighteen months on and a hardcore of boys and girls from Grades 3 to 7 are hooked on ‘the greatest game’.” Whitehead is now hopeful of introducing full contact rugby league to the kids. “The Viking blood means that the players are now desperate to try it – it’s the next logical step in the school’s rugby journey,” he said. “With other schools in Zealand and in other areas of Denmark [also playing the sport], the future is exciting.”
Sports news and briefs Herning earns another coup Persson impresses The Jutland city of Herning will host the 2003 European Short Course Swimming Championships at the Jyske Bank Boxen venue from December 12-15, it has been confirmed. Denmark, which hosted the 2010 European Women’s Handball Championships at the same venue just months after it opened, saw off a rival bid from Israel.
Badminton player Joachim Persson last weekend won the singles crown at the Thwack Czech International. The current Danish number five and world number 66 was ranked sixth for the event in the Czech Republic. Nevertheless, he faced an unseeded player in the final, fellow countryman Kim Bruun, who he ruthlessly dispatched 21-11, 21-10 in just 26 minutes.
Brøndby boy Bluebirds-bound
Bjørn to spank the Yanks
Quarters again for Maze
Defensive midfielder Ibrahim Mansaray, 19, who recently turned down a new deal at Brøndby, is currently on trial at English Championship side Cardiff City. The Sierra Leone-born free agent played his first game for the Welsh club’s under-21s away at Brentford on Monday evening, but could not prevent his new side from being beaten 2-1.
With his tenth goal in the Superliga on Saturday, FC Copenhagen forward Andreas Cornelius, 19, wrote himself into the record books as the teenager who has needed the fewest days in the Danish top flight to reach ten goals. His mark of 76 bettered the 112 it took Peter Møller (now a DR journalist) in 1990. Cornelius becomes only the fifth teenager to score ten goals in the division.
Thomas Bjørn on Sunday took his Ryder Cup record to five out of five when Europe staged a miraculous comeback from 6-10 down to win 14.513.5. The non-playing vice-captain had previously won the cup as a player in 1997 and 2002, and as a VC in 2004 and 2010. In the same time period, Bjørn has missed three cups – two of which Europe lost.
Michael Maze won admiration at the recent World Cup in Liverpool, but paid the price for a schedule that required him to play three times in one day. In the group stage, the world number 21 avenged his defeat in the Olympics to beat Germany’s Dmitry Ovtcharov, and then two others, but eventually lost to China’s Ma Long, the world number two, in the quarters.
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
5 - 11 October 2012
If you stay open, they might come ... some day Ruin a bank and earn Kevin McGwin
Kevin McGwin Stores can now set their own hours, but consumers are still living by their old schedules
he time is 9:24pm. And in the Netto grocery store in the village of Brede, there isn’t a single customer. On this, the first day after the elimination of lukkeloven and the near total liberalisation of store opening hours, the customers have spoken and they have stayed at home. “It’s pretty much as we expected,” store manager Ronnie Brandt said as he stocked a refrigerator case with cold cuts. Even without any customers, with half an hour until the store closes for the evening, Brandt and the two other employees working were keeping busy. “We’d be here this late anyway cleaning up and preparing for the next morning,” he said. “We’ll actually only be getting out of here half an hour later than when we closed at 8, so for us it doesn’t make much difference.” A customer interrupted, asking whether there were more whole chickens left in stock. The man and his girlfriend were two of only a handful Brandt said he’d seen in the past hour. If the store develops a latenight clientele, Brandt expected
A slow night for cashier Casper Juul Lindinger
it would be students or parents who needed to get a few items after the kids were put to bed. Both groups, he said, had other shopping options before. “Now they have more, and they can stay closer to home.” “Here in the suburbs I don’t think people really need us to stay open so late. It’s only the first day, and it will probably take a while for customers to figure out that stores are open later.” At 9:36, there were three customers – including this reporter – standing in line waiting to make purchases. That was more people in the store at one time than cashier Casper Juul Lindinger had seen since the stream of customers dried up at
around 8pm. “We had the customers we normally had up to our old closing time, and we’ve had a few here and there after that, but mostly it’s been like this,” he said, motioning to the empty store. As a student who only normally works one evening a week, Lindinger said he had no problem staying later than normal. “But it does mean I probably won’t start studying until 11:30 or midnight, and I’m not sure how much I can concentrate at that time.” The last customer of the evening to leave the store – at 9:52 – was Stine Johansen. A mother who lives within walking distance, she was on her way home
AmCham Denmark honours McDonald’s The 2012 ‘Foreign Company of the Year’ is praised for its growth in a stagnant market and employee development
he American Chamber of Commerce in Denmark (AmCham Denmark) announced on Wednesday that McDonald had been selected as its ‘Foreign Company of the Year’. The award highlights the importance of direct foreign investments and the positive impact foreign companies have on Denmark and Danish society. Previous winners include Siemens (2011), Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers (2010) and GlaxoSmithKline Pharma (2008). McDonald’s was chosen by a three-person jury selected by AmCham Denmark: Sten Scheibye, the chairman of the Danish Trade Council; Lars Nørby-Johansen, the chairman of The National
Growth Council; and Steen Thomsen, a professor at Copenhagen Business School. According to Scheibye, McDonald’s has grown impressively despite being in a market that has been seriously hindered by the global financial crisis. Additionally, McDonald’s has increased its efforts in innovation and corporate social responsibility, and it continues to be the largest employer and trainer of Denmark’s youth. “We particularly want to emphasise the role of McDonald’s as a large employer and service provider actively investing in employee education and productivity growth,” Scheibye said. “McDonald’s excels in corporate social responsibility and has adapted constructively to an increased emphasis on health in Denmark.” AmCham executive director Stephen Brugger was pleased by the jury’s decision. “McDonald’s is often taken
for granted in Denmark, but when you look closer, you really see how they’ve taken a number of strategic decisions to position themselves better with the Danish consumers, and how this effort now is paying off – and contributing to the Danish society,” he said. Naturally, McDonald’s also relished the jury’s decision. “We are proud and delighted to be named as Foreign Company of the Year,” said Stephen Shillington, the Australian managing director of McDonald’s Denmark. “By giving this great recognition to McDonald’s, the jury and AmCham send a strong message that it is possible to be a truly American brand while creating a close bond with the Danes and contributing positively to Danish society.” McDonald’s first restaurant opened in Denmark on Vesterbrogade in 1981. It currently employs more than 4,000 people at its 84 locations nationwide.
ten million kroner Peter Stanners ‘Golden handshake’ scandals suggest that a bank CEO’s pay is unrelated to performance
anks are under fire for giving their CEOs million-kroner ‘golden handshakes’, despite poor performances. Last week it was reported that the former CEO of Vestjysk Bank, Frank Kristensen, received a 10.3 million kroner ‘golden-handshake’ for retiring after the bank’s board of directors lost faith in his leadership. The bank expects to lose about 800 million kroner this year, despite recent forecasts predicting the bank would break even. The Danish shareholders association, Dansk Aktionærforening, is now considering whether or not to sue the bank’s former leadership, with Kristensen at the helm, for providing inaccurate accounts. “We are following the case with interest to see if there is the foundation for a case,” Niels Mengel, the chairman of Dansk Aktionærforening, told Børsen. “We can’t have a bank system that works this way.”
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Date: 3 October 2012
In another recent case, Henning Barsøe, the CEO of Svendborg Sparekasse, was given a one million kroner golden handshake after choosing to leave the bank 19 days after he joined. According to Fyens Stiftidende newspaper, Barsøe was entitled to a minimum of six months pay for taking the job and was actually entitled to about 1.5 million kroner – a sum negotiated down by the bank. TV2 Finans reported that 13 CEOs of banks in crisis have been given golden handshakes as they left their posts. The severance packages are worth a total of about 90 million kroner. According to Anders Drejer, a professor in leadership at Aalborg University, the CEOs are entitled to these vast sums even though they left the banks in deep disarray. “All CEOs run the risk of being fired, which is why they write in compensation [into their contracts],” Drejer told TV2. He added, however, that it is quite difficult to understand the case when seen through the eyes of an ordinary citizen. “When you leave a bank in a crisis and leave with millions in your pocket, it can seem morally wrong.”
BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN DENMARK
UK Market Access Seminar The UK is a large and close market which is attractive to many Danish businesses. Although Denmark and the UK are close trading partners, there are still differences in the way business is being conducted in the two countries and it is important that these are understood and overcome. Would you like to hear more about some of the challenges Danish companies have faced, and overcome, when entering the UK market? Are you interested in some practical advice about how to conduct business in the UK? Two events will be held jointly with the Danish UK Chamber in Aarhus and Copenhagen. Join us, and get insight into the current British business climate and how you could succeed in this market. The major considerations regarding export and capital when setting up in the UK will be outlined and some possible solutions offered. The forum will focus on sharing the experiences and knowledge gained by people and companies who have tried it. Plus, it will also be an excellent networking opportunity! This event is free of charge for everyone. Please specify which day you would like to attend. Please note the deadline for registration is 4 November 2012.
Price in kroner for one unit of foreign currency
from the gym when she popped in for a few impulse items “as a treat for the babysitter”. “Normally I don’t have any need to shop this late,” Johansen said. “But if I really need rugbrød or milk, I can just come over here. That’s great, since before I needed to go to a petrol station or døgnNetto [an extended hours variant of Netto] – or just do without until morning.” Despite the convenience, she called it “sort of idiotic” that the store stayed open when there were no customers. “It’s not necessary. Nine o’clock would be sufficient – and maybe one evening open until 10.” About two minutes before closing, as manager Brandt wheeled in the outdoor displays, an elderly couple walking a dog peered uncertainly at the obviously open, but clearly empty, store. “Oh, that’s right, I forgot,” the woman, Hanne Jensen, said. Checking her watch, she said she found the new opening hours confusing. “When they had to close early, you knew when you had to be here by. But now? I can’t keep track,” she said. “But, we got used to Saturday shopping, then Sunday shopping. I guess that after a while this will become normal too. Ask me next year how I feel about it though.”
Venues 14 November 2012 Delacour Dania Lille Torv 6 8000 Aarhus C Denmark 15 November 2012 Delacour Dania Langebrogade 4 1411 Copenhagen K Denmark Speakers Laura Thorborg, The Royal Danish Embassy, London Hans Monberg, UKTI, Copenhagen Bent Bang Haulrik, KapitalBørsen Martin Williams, European Business Solutions Preben Paulsen, Planova
Non-members are very welcome. Please contact BCCD or go to www.bccd.dk for further information
If you would like to attend then please send us an email (email@example.com) or call +45 31 18 75 58 • official media partner Denmark’s only English-language newspaper
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
5 - 11 October 2012
Title: Sr. Health Technical Officer
Copenhagen International Schoolschool is looking foris an: looKing coPenhagen international IB Primary School Classroom Teacher for Grade 5 This isthe a temporary position (maternity leave cover) for one year to fill folloWing Positions: starting in December 2012 The applicant should be a qualified teacher with a minimum of 2 years experience working in a similar position.Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and grade 1 teachers The successful applicants should be qualified teachers with a minimum of 2 years’ experience within an early Please see the International Baccalaureate Primary School Teacherworking job description onyears the programme. CIS website http:// The positionwww.cis.dk/page.cfm?p=303 will start on August 1st 2012. for more details of the general responsibilities attached to this position. We are looking for teachers who have knowledge and experience of the international Baccalaureate Primary years We are looking for a teacher who has: programme (iB PyP), and who: • Excellent classroom practice • can design effective and developmentally appropriate learning opportunities • A strong work ethic • can demonstrate a track record of excellent classroom practice including in-depth understanding of differentiated instruction, second language • Excellent organizational skills acquisition and play based learning • Excellent communication skills • have a strong work ethic and excellent organizational skills • Ability to build strong collegial relationships • have a track record of being an effective collaborator and team player • Willingness and commitment towards ongoing collaboration with classroom and other subject • have willingness and commitment to contribute to the development of the curriculum teachers • have willingness and commitment to contribute to the greater school community • Demonstrate professionalism in its broadest sense • will demonstrate professionalism in its broadest sense
Knowledge and experience of the IB PYP would be an asset
andstatement gradeof1 educational assistants Applications including Kindergarten C.V. covering letter, a brief philosophy and the names of three current referees with contact information should be sent electronically by the 12 October 2012 to: The Kindergarten and Grade 1 teams are looking for additional Assistants to join the existing teams. The successful candidates should be qualified to work Audrey Amos-Frederiksen at firstname.lastname@example.org
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. The position will start on August 1st 2012.
Please note: Copenhagen International School reserves the right to make an appointment before the closing date mentioned above. We are looking for early years’ educators who: • have a caring and nurturing approach with children • are organized and demonstrate effective classroom practice Hellerupvej 22-26 • have a strong work ethic 2900 Hellerup T +45 3946 3311 • have a track record of being an effective collaborator and team player www.cis.dk • preferably have knowledge and experience of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. (IB PYP)
Stockholmsgade 59 2100 Copenhagen Ø T +45 3946 3309 www.cis.dk
Qualifications: University degree in health or related fields, preferably post-graduate Degree in Public Health, Health Policy, Planning, Management, Health Financing or other related Health field; 10 years of international health development experience. Primary Responsibility: The primary responsibilities will be to identify new partners and consultants and to lead and collaborate the preparation of high quality proposals for international donors and technical agencies within the PH field and undertake assignments where relevant. The Sr. Health Technical Officer will also provide technical assistance to other EHG staff on technical and overall issues related to proposal development.
Duties: Business Development, Networking and Project Acquisition (60%) Strategic business development / business acquisition Proposal writing and management In-country fact finding missions Identification of experts Building strategic alliances/partnerships (creating networks and partnership) Technical advisor within various PH and M&E areas Project Management and technical Backstopping (15%) Backstopping of projects from head office and occasionally in project countries Ensuring compliance with project/donor requirements Monitor progress of projects Consultancy assignments (25%) Public Health Advisor – with various technical skills Ad hoc Assist with developing strategic directions Development of promotional materials Location: EHG HQ Office Copenhagen (Søborg) and regular travel to developing countries anticipated at minimum of 25% of overall time. Please include a CV and cover letter highlighting your skills and expertise in the areas listed above and your international experience; e-mail to: Susanne Andersen - email@example.com
Primary & middle school danish teachers We are looking to fill one full-time and one part-time position (60%) to join our team of Danish teachers. These positions are to teach both Danish Language A and Danish as an Additional Language. The positions will start on August 1st 2012. The successful applicants should be qualified teachers with at least two years full time teaching experience. The successful applicants must be Danish native speakers.
coPenhagen international school looKing Copenhagen International School is looking to fillis two positions:
We are looking for teachers who: • can design effective and developmentally appropriate learning opportunities Pre-Kindergarten Assistant (3-5 year olds) – Permanent Position • can demonstrate a track record of excellent classroom practice including in-depth understanding of differentiated instruction, second language Theand successful should be qualified to work with children between the ages of 3 acquisition play based candidate learning Pre-Kindergarten, grade 1 teachers and 5, with a strong background andKindergarten experience in earlyand year’s education and should have a • have a strong work ethic and excellent organizational skills minimum of two years full time experience. • have a track record of being an effective collaborator and team player The successful applicants should be qualified teachers with a minimum of 2 years’ experience working within an early years programme. position willand start on August 1stto2012. • haveThe willingness commitment contribute to the development of the curriculum Kindergarten Teacher (5-6 year olds)- Maternity Cover • have willingness and commitment to contribute to the greater school community is a position cover a maternity leave from 1st of November WeThis are looking for teachersto who have knowledge and experience of thethe international Baccalaureate2012 Primaryuntil years the end of • will demonstrate professionalism in its broadest sense programme (iB PyP), and who: February 2013. • have• acan design effective and developmentally appropriate learning opportunities professional level of written and spoken English
to fill the folloWing Positions:
• can demonstrate a track record of excellent classroom practice including in-depth understanding of differentiated instruction, second language The successful candidate should be qualified to work with children between the ages of 5 acquisition and play based learning • have a strong work ethic and excellent organizational skills and 6, withshould a strong background and experience in early year’s education and should a further inquiries to interested candidates email a letter of application, cV and contact details of three current referees as wellhas as any • have a track record of being an effective collaborator and team player minimum two years full time experience. mette trock-Jansen firstname.lastname@example.org. the closing date for applications is may 31st 2012, however applications will be handled on an on-going • have willingness and commitment to contribute to the development of the curriculum basis and appointments may be made prior to this date. • have willingness and commitment to contribute to the greater school community • will demonstrate professionalism in its broadest sense Qualifications:
For both positions, we are looking for someone who is enthusiastic and have: contact details:1 assistants • Caring and nurturing approach withand children Kindergarten grade Hellerupvej 22-26, 2900 Hellerup • Organized and effective classroom practice The Kindergarten and Grade 1 teams are looking for additional Assistants to join the existing teams. The successful candidates should be qualified to work T +45 3946 3311 • childrenAbetween strong with the work ages of 5ethic and 7 with a strong background and experience in early years’ education and with a minimum of two years of experience www.cis.dk working early yearscollegial programme.relationships The position will start on August 1st 2012. • in anStrong email@example.com • Preferably knowledge of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme We are looking for early years’ educators who: • have a caring and nurturing approach with children • are organized and demonstrate effective classroom practice Applications including C.V. covering letter, a brief statement of educational philosophy and the • have a strong work ethic names of three current referees with contact information should be sent electronically by the • have a track record of being an effective collaborator and team player 12th October 2012 to: Audrey Amos-Frederiksen at firstname.lastname@example.org • preferably have knowledge and experience of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. (IB PYP)
Please note: Copenhagen International School reserves the right to make an appointment Primary & middle danish teachers before the closing date mentioned above. Aschool Danish work permit is required for Wethese are looking to fill one full-time and one part-time position (60%) to join our team of Danish teachers. These positions are to teach both Danish positions. Language A and Danish as an Additional Language. The positions will start on August 1st 2012. The successful applicants should be qualified teachers with at least two years full time teaching Stockholmsgade 59 Hellerupvej 22-26 experience. 2100 Copenhagen Ø 2900 Hellerup The successful applicants must be Danish native speakers. T +45 3946 3309 T +45 3946 3311 www.cis.dk www.cis.dk We are looking for teachers who:
IBMYP ScIence teacher gradeS 6-8is looKing coPenhagen international school Full-time, temporary position from the 1st of November 2012 to 19th June 2013 (maternity leave cover) to fill the folloWing Positions: The successful applicant should be a qualified teacher with a strong background in Science teaching and at least two years full-time teaching experience in this field. Applicants should have a desire to work collaboratively across the curriculum andKindergarten be grounded in best practices of middle level education. Pre-Kindergarten, and grade 1 teachers The successful applicants should be qualified teachers with a minimum 2 years’ experience working within an early yearscan programme. Please see the Copenhagen International SchoolofIBMYP Teacher Job Description, which be found on our The positionwebsite will start www.cis.dk, on August 1st 2012. for more details of the general responsibilities attached to this position. We are looking
for teachers who have:
We are looking for teachers who have knowledge and experience of the international Baccalaureate Primary years programme PyP), and who:for a teacher who has: We(iBare looking • can design effective and developmentally appropriate learning opportunities • Knowledge of the MYP; • can demonstrate a track record of excellent classroom practice including in-depth understanding of differentiated instruction, second language • Excellent classroom practice; acquisition and play based learning • A strong work ethic; • have a strong work ethic and excellent organizational skills • Strong collegial relationships; • have a track record of being an effective collaborator and team player • A willingness and commitment to contribute to the development of the curriculum • have willingness and commitment to contribute to the development of the curriculum • have willingness and commitment to contribute to the greater school community • A willingness and commitment to contribute to the greater school community • will demonstrate professionalism in its broadest sense • Demonstarte professionalism in its broadest sense.
Candidates interested in this position should email a letter of application, CV and contact details of three Kindergarten and grade 1 assistants current referees to Suzanne O’Reilly at email@example.com. the closing applications is Oct. 19,to2012, applications willcandidates be handled an on- to work The Kindergarten and Grade date 1 teamsfor are looking for additional Assistants join thehowever existing teams. The successful shouldon be qualified going basis appointments maybackground be made and prior to this indate. with children between theand ages of 5 and 7 with a strong experience early years’ education and with a minimum of two years of experience working in an early years programme. The position will start on August 1st 2012.
Please note a valid Danish work permit is required for this position.
We are looking for early years’ educators who: • have a caring and nurturing approach with children • are organized and demonstrate effective classroom practice Hellerupvej 22-26 • have a strong work ethic 2900 Hellerup T +45 3946 3311 • have a track record of being an effective collaborator and team player www.cis.dk • preferably have knowledge and experience of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. (IB PYP)
Stockholmsgade 59 2100 Copenhagen Ø T +45 3946 3309 www.cis.dk
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
5 - 11 October 2012
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English as an Additional Language Teacher (EAL PYP) 60% position coPenhagen international school is looKing The Student Department Copenhagen InternationalPositions: School is inviting applications for the toServices fill theatfolloWing position of EAL teacher within the Primary Years’ Programme (PYP). This position is part-time (60%) and will begin as soon as the appropriate candidate has been found.
Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and grade 1 teachers
Qualifications: The successful applicants be qualified teachersorwith a minimum 2 years’ working within an early years programme. • Ashould degree in Education related to theoffield ofexperience Education The position will start on August 1st 2012. • Further qualifications in EAL We are looking for teachers who have knowledge and experience of the international Baccalaureate Primary years Experience working with children whose primary language is not English and who require language programme (iB PyP), and who: support: • can design effective and developmentally appropriate learning opportunities • can demonstrate a track record of excellent classroom practice including in-depth understanding of differentiated instruction, second language Responsibilities may include, but are not limited to: acquisition and play based learning • Assisting in the preparation and implementation of the English as an Additional Language • have a strong work ethic and excellent organizational skills (EAL) student programming. • have a track record of being an effective collaborator and team player • Reinforcing organizational skills: providing immediate feedback, in order to promote the • have willingness and commitment to contribute to the development of the curriculum acquisition of language goals. • have willingness and commitment to contribute to the greater school community • Working collaboratively as a member of the support team in the classroom and school. • will demonstrate professionalism in its broadest sense
Please note a Danish work permit is required for this position.
Kindergarten and grade 1 assistants
Applications should be made in writing, including a curriculum vitae and a cover letter including the The Kindergarten and Grade 1 teams are looking for additional Assistants to join the existing teams. The successful candidates should be qualified to work names of three current referees (with e-mail addresses).
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. The position will start on August 1st 2012.
Please send applications addressed to the attention of Karen Watts, Director of Student Support firstname.lastname@example.org We are lookingServices for early at years’ educators who: • have a caring and nurturing approach with children The closing date for applications is October 12th, 2012. • are organized and demonstrate effective classroom practice Hellerupvej 22-26 • have a strong work ethic 2900 Hellerup T +45 3946 3311 • have a track record of being an effective collaborator and team player www.cis.dk • preferably have knowledge and experience of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. (IB PYP)
Stockholmsgade 59 2100 Copenhagen Ø T +45 3946 3309 www.cis.dk
We continue to grow. Want to join us? Being the global leader in the video surveillance industry, Milestone Systems sets the standard in video management technology and drives the video management software revolution for the future. We are an innovative, enthusiastic and open-minded team with offices across the globe. As a Marketing Creative Writer, you will be responsible for developing messaging documents for partner marketing tools and writing communication pieces including brochures, presentations, newsletters and website content. Your task will require a solid background of the English language, marketing writing, creativity, originality and comprehension of creating and using messaging documents. For more information, please contact Acting Head of Marketing Fred Wallberg at +45 88 300 300, or visit our website www.milestonesys.com to apply for the position. Interviews will be conducted on an ongoing basis, so send your application via our homepage as soon as possible. www.milestonesys.com
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
5 - 11 October 2012
Streaming music’s popular, but is it a boon or boondoggle? Who is... Execs say the music business is showing signs of life for the first time in a decade, but are the musicians being left out to dry?
linn lemhag Adam Price is a Danish screenwriter behind such hit shows as ‘Borgen’, ‘Nikolaj and Julie’ and ‘Anna Pihl’.
“You try and tell the young people of today that we used to put tinny discs in slots ... they won’t believe you”
increasingly rare for Danes to buy CDs for themselves,” said Koda. “They are mostly bought for children or as a Christmas gift. Ten percent of Danes say they have not purchased a CD for themselves in the past five years, and ten percent of 18-29-year-olds say they do not own a single CD.” Koda gets about 12 percent of the revenue whenever music is streamed in Denmark. Last year, the streaming services paid 6 million kroner to Koda. The use of streamed music has jumped so much this year that Koda expects to earn more than 15 million kroner by the end of the year. Many of those supposed to benefit from the new model remain sceptical, however. The writers and musicians say that the amount they earn from streaming does not even begin to make up for lost sales. According to worldwide estimates, artists on Spotify receive roughly 0.3 of a US cent
per stream. This means that for an artist to earn one dollar, their music needs to be streamed over 330 times. That means it would take roughly 5,000 plays on Spotify for an artist to make 100 kroner. In order to generate interest in streaming, services like Spotify made huge initial payments to major labels for the rights to use their music. Musicians were not paid any royalties based on those initial transactions, which in the US alone were estimated to be worth upwards of 100 million dollars. Musicians are also uncomfortable knowing that many of the streaming services are at least partially owned by the major record labels. Sony, Warner, Universal and EMI together own approximately 1520 percent of Spotify. International artists like Adele and Coldplay will not allow their music on Spotify or other streaming services. Closer to home, Norwegian
Drama hijacks the plaudits in Toronto henry butman ‘Love Is All You Need’ left in the shade by film about modern-day piracy
everal Danish entries made their mark at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) last month, but as the dust settles, one film is clearly reaping more rewards than others. ‘A Hijacking’, which premiered in Denmark last week and is directed by Tobias Lindholm (co-writer of ‘The Hunt’ and director of ‘R’), chronicles the pirating of a cargo ship and the personal and political drama that unfolds in the wake. After its screening at TIFF, TrustNordisk, the company in charge with managing worldwide sales for ‘A Hijacking’, signed deals with companies in the UK, France and Turkey, while initiating deals with sev-
eral others. ‘A Hijacking’ was initially produced with financial backing provided in part by the Danish Film Institute and the Danish Broadcasting Co-operation. Slightly less successful, but nevertheless still attracting a lot of attention thanks to a certain Irishman, Susanne Bier’s ‘Love Is All You Need’ is a romantic comedy that deals with the tragedies of cancer and death. The film, which stars Trine Dyrholm as a cancer-stricken mother and Pierce Brosnan as a bitter widower, follows the romance that unfolds when the two meet in Italy while attending their children’s wedding. According to Bier, the film became a romcom out of necessity, not personal desire. “When [writer Anders Jensen] and I started out, we wanted to make a movie that addresses the issue of cancer,” Bier told The Hollywood Reporter. Both Bier and
Jensen’s mothers have been diagnosed with cancer. “We wanted to make a movie where it was part of the movie, but we didn’t want it to be heavy. We wanted something that was light and where audiences weren’t alienated by it. So we came to romantic comedy from a slightly unusual place,” Bier told The Reporter. The other significant Danish entry making a splash in Toronto couldn’t be more different from a romcom. The Danish Film Institutefunded ‘The Act of Killing’ is a documentary in which former members of Indonesian death squads – responsible for killing an alleged million or more communists, ethnic Chinese and other intellectuals in the 1960s – proudly recount the massacres they perpetrated, often inspired by violence depicted in Hollywood movies. Joshua Oppenheimer, an
musician Håkon Thelin wrote in an article earlier this year that he had made just 350 kroner form an entire year’s worth of streams of his album ‘Light’, although it was listened to some 15,000 times. The Danish band Big Fat Snake reported that each of the band’s five members receives the princely sum of four Danish øre whenever someone streams one of their songs. Koda’s managing director Anders Lassen said musicians are wrong to equate streaming with CD sales. “Although we have seen an increase in revenue from online music, they do not make up for the decline in CD sales,” Lassen said in his annual report to members. “Consumers are well aware that the cost of making music available digitally is lower than if an artist actually presses a CD and sells it in a shop.” Lassen said that streams should be viewed as more closely related to radio airplay than
to sales of physical CDs. Lassen pointed out that the alternative is illegal pirate music sites, where no-one − artist, label or Koda − makes any money. The Danish rapper L.O.C., meanwhile, has chosen a different approach. He offered his latest release free on the streaming service TDC Play in March. He said the promotion was successful on several levels. “Older records in my catalogue started selling again and it got people out to my concerts,” he said. L.O.C. recently split from his record company and now releases his music on his own. “I made my old label 15 million kroner over the past decade, and I have not seen anywhere near that amount,” said the rapper. L.O.C. said that the best record deal in the Danish music industry would not earn him a third of what he now makes as an independent artist.
he nation’s music industry has mirrored that of the rest of the known universe and been in a long, slow decline since the 1990s. Domestic music sales have plummeted from over one billion kroner a year in the ‘90s to just over 420 million kroner last year. However, according to the Danish performing rights organisation Koda − the agency that collects royalties for songwriters each time their music is used or played − there may be a light at the end of what has been a very long dark tunnel: streaming. Streaming is the act of listening to a song via a streaming service on a computer, cell phone or any other device connected to the internet. Most of the streaming services, like Spotify, TDC Play or WiMP, offer both free and paid – for services. Customers who pay a subscription fee get advertisement-free listening and other services, including the ability to store tunes on their various devices. The songs they collect remain ‘theirs’ so long as they continue to subscribe. Koda has calculated that the revenue from streaming will be 2.5 times greater in 2012 than it was in 2011. It is optimistic that streaming will begin to plug the huge financial hole left in musicians’ pockets due to virtually non-existent CD sales in recent years. In its 2011 annual report, Koda said that Danes had simply stopped buying CDs. “Since 2010, it has become
That’s a very long time ago … Yes, a bit of an integration failure there. His parents must be some of those pretentious Danes who Margrethe Vestager was talking about last week (see page 3). Big ‘Midsomer Murders’ fans, I bet. They even called their sons Adam and James … hardly very Danish. There’s a lot of them about, though – Danish fans of British crime series. Yes, you can picture young Adam growing up in the 1980s (he’s 44) being forced to watch ‘Lovejoy’ and ‘Juliet Bravo’. He must be especially pleased with his BAFTA then? Probably. Considering the fact that every British interviewer insists on asking him if he’s ever worked on ‘The Killing’ (he hasn’t), it must have been a satisfying triumph indeed. So what did he do before he was a DR superstar? Price studied law at Copenhagen University and started working as a food critic for Politiken in 1992. He has a strong culinary interest and starred in a cooking show, together with brother James, called ‘Spise med Price’ (eat with Price).
In this case, they needed more than love to compete with ‘A Hijacking’
American-born director, spent over a decade with death squad leaders and their victims to tell their story. And finally, an Englishlanguage remake of a Danish classic also made an impression in Toronto. ‘Pusher’ is a highly stylised version of the 1996 Danish film of the same name made by director Nicolas Winding Refn. Directed by Spaniard Luis
Adam Price doesn’t sound like a very Danish name … Price explains his very English surname is a result of his heritage – claiming his family came over to Denmark from Britain in the 1700s.
Prieto, its central character (played by Richard Coyle, the Welsh character in ‘Coupling’) is a street dealer in London. Refn served as executive producer on the film. ‘Pusher’ can be seen at select theatres from October 12, while both ‘A Hijacking’ and ‘Love is All You Need’ are already out at theatres. As yet, no theatrical release date has been confirmed for ‘The Act of Killing’.
So he’s a TV cook too? Yes. He’s also managed to cowrite a number of musicals, as well as a song for the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, both with his brother. Their parents were both actors, so it must be hereditary. So he can do no wrong?! Well, to be fair, ‘Anna Pihl’ was rubbish. And let’s not forget that the man contributed to the music mutilation that is the Eurovision Song Contest. Given his otherwise impressive track record, you know that has to haunt him.
DENMARK THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
5 - 11 October 2012
A loser at the Olympics, he struck gold in Jewish hearts forever MARK WALKER The actions of Knud and Karen Christiansens in 1943 helped hundreds of Jews evade the Nazis and find safe passage to Sweden
OT ALL heroes get the recognition they deserve during their lifetime. But the extraordinary efforts of a Danish couple, who risked their lives to save dozens of Jews during the Second World War, did not go unnoticed, thanks to one of the men they rescued. Max Rawitscher, a Holocaust survivor, came out of hiding after the war and told how he and many other Jews evaded the Nazis thanks to the efforts of Knud Marstrand
Christiansen and his wife, Karen. This is their story. Karen Christiansen, the daughter of Denmark’s chief naval physician, Dr Holger Rasmussen, went to Berlin to study at a prestigious cooking school in the 1930s. There, she lived with a Jewish family where she came face-to-face with the horrors of Nazis´ brutality. She documented the rise to power in letters to her fiancé, Knud Marstrand Christiansen, a member of the Danish rowing team at the 1936 Olympics. Due to the turmoil in the region, Karen left her studies midway through and returned home – she would go on to join the Danish resistance movement. Meanwhile Knud, then 21, travelled to Berlin for the Olympics and closely witnessed the Nazi-led horrors that Karen had
mentioned in her letters. On his return, he joined an anti-fascist group that was quickly becoming popular among his fellow Danes. And there began the heroic saga of a couple who would go on to endanger their lives to rescue Jews from certain death. Karen and Knud got married in Copenhagen in 1938, just two years before the Germans occupied Denmark, and by 1943 they had become a family of five. Their house, which would become a secret Jewish meeting place later, was on the Havnegade, overlooking the canal – an ideal spot for Knud to keep watch of the high-ranking Nazi officers. In many ways, Knud was the ideal candidate for the task of sheltering Jews from the Nazis. Knud himself was a member of the Danish Freedom Fighters
(the Danish resistance movement); through his flourishing business as a manufacturer of ski poles and leather goods (industries mostly dominated by Jews), he had made many Jewish friends; his widowed mother’s chocolate shop at Bredgade 13 was a resistance safehouse, where members left messages and delivered weapons; and Karen, his wife, for five years published an underground newsletter, ‘Die Warheit’ (The Truth), translated BBC newscasts from Dutch into German to update Wehrmacht soldiers of the atrocities being committed by the Third Reich and provided updates of the Allied advance. It was no surprise, therefore, that Knud and Karen were being closely monitored by the Nazis – which makes their activities in 1943 all the more profound and WWW.JFR.ORG
The Christiansens took care to always dress in black – perfect for blending into any Copenhagen crowd
heroic. Thanks to his situation, Knud was the man in the right place at the right time, and was able to join the dots and work out what the Nazis had planned for 1 October 1943: the mass arrest and relocation of Denmark’s Jews, to either the Eastern Front or the death camps. Through his contacts, Knud heard about a list of Jewish names and addresses that was the only item stolen during a burglary at a synagogue, and then, a few days later, spotted the arrival of two German freighters from his apartment window. “I called my colleagues in the resistance and told them that I feared the Jews were going to be picked up,” he later recalled in an interview with the New York-based newspaper, The Jewish Post. More digging revealed the details of the mass arrest, which Karen quickly printed on hundreds of leaflets that were distributed across the country, instructing Jews to seek refuge away from their homes. In September of the same year, Knud went to a weekly bridge game with his Jewish friends, the Philipson brothers, and advised them to go into hiding. But the brothers ignored his warning and went home regardless. At home, they were met by a group of Nazis who took them immediately to the Horserød internment camp. As soon as Knud learnt about their arrest, he went to the camp to explain that the Philipsons were only partly Jewish, hoping it would convince the guard to release the brothers. But the Nazis sent him away, threatening him with dire consequences should he return. Changing tack, Knud went to Dr Werner Best, the German Reich’s plenipotentiary in Denmark. Knud promised Best he would produce a propaganda film in which the Germans would be portrayed as the friends of Denmark. Best, notoriously nicknamed ‘the Bloodhound of Paris’ for mercilessly deporting thousands of French Jews to the death camps, was impressed by Knud’s Aryan appearance and connections to the Danish royal family (Karen’s father was the personal physician of King Christian X). The Philipsons were released a few days later, but the film was never made. After securing the safety of the Philipson brothers, Knud became extremely proactive. With the help of Karen, his younger brother and Dr Rasmussen, he escorted Jews to farmhouses, churches and city apartments, using everything in his power to protect them from immediate arrest. More than 40 ended up at his own Havnegade apartment. They filled the living room, dining room and spare rooms at the back. One of them was the presi-
dent of the Central Bank. Meanwhile, more than 1,800 new Gestapo agents arrived in the city to implement anti-Jewish measures. The Nazi raid was planned for Rosh Hashanah, a holiday which marks the beginning of the Jewish calendar, when Denmark’s 7,000 Jews were expected to be at home. As Rosh Hashanah neared, the universities closed to help students take part in the numerous rescue operations. Ministers asked congregants to help their Jewish neighbours in every possible way, and Danish diplomats negotiated with their Swedish counterparts for a secure passage for the refugees. Sweden, which remained neutral during the war, agreed to provide asylum to all of the Danish Jews on 2 October 1943. Dr Rasmussen’s villa in Espergaerde, a coastal village north of Copenhagen, was used as a drop-off point for Jews escaping from Copenhagen. A bit like Moses, who parted the Red Sea to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Knud too guided the Jews to safety, escorting them one at a time, using his Olympic racing boat. Knud made 17 more trips on his rowing boat before the rescuers began to use larger fishing boats that could carry more people. In total some 7,200 Jews and about 700 of their non-Jewish relatives were ferried to Sweden over a period of three weeks. Even though Knud and others were successful in smuggling Jews out of Denmark, two of the boats were not so lucky, and were sunk by Nazi patrols. Never the less, official records show that only 102 Danish Jews had lost their lives by the end of the war. Knud and Karen continued to battle Nazi tyranny until the end of the war, after which several Danish Jews who had survived the Holocaust returned home. They, and many others, paid regular visits to Knud’s mother’s shop, not to buy chocolate, but to leave flowers as a token of appreciation for Knud and his family. The Christiansens migrated to New York in 1970, where they led a life of anonymity. Knud worked in a store and repaired clocks and barometers. Karen devoted her life to her family until her death in 1992. In 2003, Knud and Karen Christiansen’s names were enshrined, alongside 20 other Danes and the likes of Raoul Wallenberg and Oskar Schindler, on the ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ list at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem. This remains the highest honour that the State of Israel can bestow on non-Jews. Knud maintained close ties with Jewish communities until his death last February.
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