Here we mo’ again: Time to ditch the razor
‘Pay to swipe’ fee has politicians ready to fight
26 October - 1 November 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 43
Forget autumn, this is the season of the witch
Denmark’s only English-language newspaper | cphpost.dk COLOURBOX
Solar panels have become incredibly popular, but many are installed incorrectly and can lead to damage
Two-speed Europe The PM looks to her Swedish counterpart to ensure that Denmark is not left in the slow lane
Crime doesn’t pay
(and not for the state either) Denmark has tried to get tougher on crime, but it has run into a funding and space issue
The new Bond film, ‘Skyfall’, is out. Does it reach for the sky or fall flat on its face?
Fued brewing Zentropa Films sues Ekko film magazine for libel; nothing but a ploy to bleed them dry, says expert
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Iraqi abuse video leads to cover-up allegations Video surfaces showing Danish military personnel looking on as Iraqi forces abuse prisoners, leading to a new investigation
HE DANISH military is reopening an investigation into whether Danish soldiers failed to intervene when Iraqi security forces abused prisoners. The announcement arrived one day after a former intelligence officer, Anders Kærgaard, released a video that proved Danish forces did witness abuse. The military has previously denied that the soldiers had any cameras, and even last week on Thursday, the day Kærgaard’s video was made public, the Defence Command stated that it
did not know that Danish soldiers had witnessed abuse. “It is with great regret that I can reveal that the military has passed on information that turns out not to be comprehensive,” the Chief of Defence, General Peter Bertram, stated in a press release. “It is not good enough, so now I want a thorough investigation of the actual events.” The prisoner abuse case is based on claims made after a September 2004 large-scale joint mission called Green Desert, in which the Danes worked alongside American, British and Iraqi forces. Following the mission, an Iraqi newspaper published a story claiming that Danish soldiers stood by while 36 prisoners were abused by Iraqi security forces. The military has repeatedly denied
knowing anything about the abuse, and in February 2011, the Military Prosecution Service decided not to pursue a criminal case due to a lack of evidence. After the revelations, however, the Military Prosecution Service said it would reconsider the case and would meet with Kærgaard next week, though no details about the meeting were revealed. Following the decision not to pursue a criminal case, eleven Iraqis launched a civil case against the Ministry of Defence and are each seeking 50,000 kroner in damages. Kærgaard’s video will be entered as evidence into a case that the Iraqis’ lawyer, Christian Harlang, fears is being deliberately slowed down by the state. Two weeks ago, several politicians demanded the state drop its procedural questions
about whether the case had passed its statute of limitations. Harlang also accused the Defence Command of lying after it declared in a written statement in December 2011 that “the Defence did not make video recordings during Operation Green Desert in Al-Zubair in Iraq on 25 November 2011”. “What has happened is fraudulent towards the criminal process, and that is a punishable offence,” Harlang told Politiken. The revelations of the video are particularly embarrassing for the Danish officer responsible during Green Desert, Lt-Col John Dalby, who had previously denied his soldiers had cameras. The video clearly shows soldiers
Military continues on page 7
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Week in review
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
CPH Post Word of the Week:
26 October - 1 November 2012 THE WEEK’S MOST READ STORIES AT CPHPOST.DK
Kriminalforsogen (noun) – The Danish prison and probation service. Where you heard it: The nation’s prisons were in focus this week in parliament, as MPs explored over-crowding and under-funding (see page 4)
‘Poverty’ media stunt backfires
Scanpix / Bax Lindhardt
Danish pension system rated the world’s best Immigrant gangs agree on peace treaty Teacher reported for racism Gay penguin pair becomes parents
FROM OUR ARCHIVES TEN YEARS AGO. The so-called ‘Chechen World Congress’ in Copenhagen creates tension between Denmark and Russia. FIVE YEARS AGO. Lowest monthly unemployment levels since 1974 threaten economy with inflation. ONE YEAR AGO. Supermarkets throughout Copenhagen are called out for raising prices on fatty-foods in excess of the requirements laid out in the new fat tax.
You’ve got until Sunday to visit Tivoli Gardens for Halloween to get your fill of spooky stuff and seasonal goodies. But fear not, even though it closes down before the actual day, there is still plenty to do for All Hallows’ Eve – see page G2 for a list of events and page 19 for a Halloween history lesson
ered but Medvedev got rid of it last year. However, Russia’s now considering to bring it back after its citizens complained of being constantly tired. So don’t forget to turn the clocks back one hour on Sunday. But more importantly, think of the poor Russians who yearn for that extra hour of sleep you’re going to get.
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Now that the party has new leadership, Özlem Cekic is out of the Socialistisk Folkeparti (SF) doghouse. Cekic was stripped of her spokesperson roles in August after she was vocal about her refusal to support the tax reform deal that was cut between the governing coalition parties and the opposition. But
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
now that Annette Vilhelmsen has taken the SF helm, Cekic is on her way back into the party’s good graces. On Tuesday, she was granted the spokesperson role in the areas of health and psychiatry as part of an overhaul of the party’s spokespeople. The news was greeted warmly by many in the SF rank and file.
Editorial offices: Slagtehusgade 4 – 6 DK 1715 Copenhagen V Telephone: 3336 3300 Fax: 3393 1313 www.cphpost.dk News Desk firstname.lastname@example.org 3336 4243 The CPH Post welcomes outside articles and letters to the editor. Letters and comments can be left on our website or at: email@example.com
It was invented by Benjamin Franklin, but scientists still can’t agree on whether it’s good for the economy or bad for the body. Regardless, that time of year is back. At 3:00am on October 28th daylight savings time is officially over in Europe… other from Iceland and Russia. Iceland may never have both-
Scanpix / Keld Navntoft
CORRECTION We inadvertently gave Anders Breivik the middle initial ‘H’. His middle name is Behring. Also, the correct spelling of Morten Storm’s hometown is Korsør.
Back from extinction
Danish artist Kristian Von Hornsleth’s ‘Deep Storage Project’ is a DNA-infused, star-shaped structure that looks like the tool a Bond villain might use. Should the skyfall, this sea-raking installation – which will be filled with plant, animal and human DNA, including blood and hair from donors who just can’t live and let die – could be-
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come a post-apocalyptic subscription to lonely live twice. “Maybe the genes of art lovers wouldn’t be the worst building material for a new human race,” Hornsleth says. The star will be submerged in the Mariana Trench – the deepest section of the pacific ocean – in 2013 and hopes to prove that not only diamonds are forever.
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26 October - 1 November 2012
Ray Weaver Former agent says security cops offered him more than a million kroner to not tell his story
he Domestic intelligence agency PET two months ago offered to pay its former agent Morten Storm 25,000 tax-free kroner a month for the next five years if he promised to keep quiet about his role as a double agent in the hunt for al-Qaeda’s Anwar alAwlaki. Al-Awlaki was killed in a US drone attack in September of last year. PET’s offer to Storm is documented in a telephone conversation between Storm and his contact at PET, ‘Olde’, which was obtained by Jyllands-Posten newspaper. Storm said that he had previously discussed with PET a way out of his double life as a seemingly committed Muslim who was actually an agent working for PET and the CIA tracking down terrorists. Storm said that as recently as July of this year, PET offered him only a year’s salary as severance pay when he said he was ready to quit. It wasn’t until the end of August, after Storm had promised to tell his tale to the press in an upcoming book, that PET offered to buy his silence. Storm said he refused the offer. “I no longer trust PET,” he told Jyllands-Posten. “They have already made promises they didn’t keep.” Storm said that PET reneged on promises to obtain permanent residency in Denmark for his foreign-born wife and to send him to bodyguard courses and training with the Danish military. The former operations chief of PET, Hans Jørgen Bonnichsen, expressed shock at Storm’s claim that PET offered him so much cash for his silence. “I have never in my life heard anything like it! Never! I cannot say it more strongly: I’ve never
PET tried to quell Storm with cash
Storm says he turned down the offer because he no longer trusts PET
heard anything like it,” he said. According to Bonnichsen, PET’s alleged offer could be interpreted in two different ways. The first possibility is that the agency simply never wants an agent to discuss their work out of fear that it would reveal PET’s methods and procedures. The second, and more sinister, option is that the service is trying to cover up illegal actions by the agent. “The exorbitant sum undeniably leaves PET in a position where both interpretations seem possible – including the negative one,” said Bonnichsen. “It could appear they are trying to shut him up.” Storm has been accused in several circles of committing actions that fell outside of the law, including violence and drug dealing. PET’s current head, Jakob Scharf, has yet to comment on Storm’s claims. Enhedslisten (EL) has called the justice minister, Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne), to what they are calling an “open meeting” on November 22 to explain PET’s alleged offer to Storm. “This case is so complex that anyone can see that we need some answers,” EL spokesperson Pernille Skipper told Politiken newspaper. Skipper said that the signs indicate that PET has broken the
law and that there is a need for an independent investigation of the case. Skipper is not alone in calling for a review of the case. The Danish human rights organisation, Institut for Menneskerettigheder, and Amnesty International are both calling for an investigation into PET’s role in the tracking and killing of al-Awlaki. The calls came after Storm’s claim that he worked with PET to track al-Awlaki for the Americans with the clear intention of killing him. “If it is true that PET used a civil agent – and it undeniably looks that way – to intensively track a terrorist far beyond our borders, then there are almost no limits to what PET can do,” Jonas Chistoffersen, the head of Institut for Menneskerettigheder, told Jyllands-Posten. Claus Juul, a lawyer with Amnesty International Denmark, echoed Christoffersen’s call for an investigation. “This case clearly illustrates that we in Denmark are lacking an independent and unbiased control mechanism against PET that can investigate cases like these,” Juul said. “But when it comes to this concrete case, there is a need for an independent investigation, preferably with the authority to force witnesses to testify.”
PETER STANNERS The daughter of the imprisoned Danish-Bahraini human rights activist will accept the award on his behalf next week
he Danish-Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja will be awarded this year’s Politikens Frihedspris (Freedom Prize). Al-Khawaja is currently serving a lifetime sentence in Bahrain after being arrested in April 2011 for his activism to promote greater political and individual freedoms in his native country. Despite international pressure to have al-Khawaja released into Danish custody, he remains imprisoned. His 110-day hunger strike, which he called off
Scanpix / Hamad I mohammed
Al-Khawaja to receive freedom prize
Al-Khawaja has been in prison since April 2011
in May, gained widespread attention and led to international calls for his release. Al-Khawaja was granted political asylum in Denmark in 1991 following a crackdown on political opponents of the ruling Al Khalifa family. Before returning in 1999, he adopted Danish citizenship and established the Bahrain Human
Rights Organisation, which is credited with helping facilitate political reform in Bahrain. In 2002, he established the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), and until February 2011, he was also the Middle East and northern Africa protection co-ordinator for the pro-democracy organisation Front Line Defenders. His daughter Maryam alKhawaja, the acting president of the BCHR, will accept the prize on his behalf on October 29. The prize comes with a 100,000 kroner award and according to Politiken honours “exceptional individuals or organisations struggling to defend or win freedom under hazardous conditions”. Previous winners include Cuban author Ricardo Gonzales and Egyptian human rights activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim.
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THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
26 October - 1 November 2012
The growing cost of crime and punishment RAY WEAVER Prison sentences are tougher than they have ever been, but as space and money run out, some question if staying tough on crime is the right path
EGOTIATIONS surrounding funding for Kriminalforsorgen, the nation’s prison and probation system, got underway this week. Opinions on the direction of the troubled system swung from continuing the current policy of ever-tougher sanctions to allowing certain minor offenders to avoid time behind bars by having a chat with their victims. The justice minister, Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne), is in the first camp and wants to continue the current policy of tougher and longer sentences for serious lawbreakers. A new memo from the Justice Ministry’s research office shows that violent criminals spend significantly more time behind bars than they did just ten years ago. In 2001, the average sentence for simple assault was 69 days. That increased to an average of 90 days in 2011. Sentences for most violent infractions have increased across the board. “We cannot live in violence,” Bødskov said in a statement. “Violence creates insecurity in society, so the punishments must be tough.” Bødskov stressed that prevention must work hand in hand with punishment in order to reduce crime. “Violent crime is falling and the number of domestic violence cases being reported is now lower than in 2003,” he said. Karina Lorentzen, the legal spokesperson for coalition partner the Socialistisk Folkeparti (SF), said the main challenge was to find a way to combat overcrowding in the country’s prisons. Lorentzen said that stiffer penalties should not be imposed unless a clear plan for how to fund them was included. “The government must tackle the problem of overcrowded prisons,” Lorentzen told Berlingske newspaper. “We will, of course, discuss longer sentences, but we must also demand accountability.” By next year, there will be 320 more prisoners than available spaces in the
Prison costs Cost per day to keep one prisoner behind bars: • Closed prisons: 1,975 kroner • Open prisons: 1,160 kroner • Local prisons: 1,015 kroner It costs three billion kroner annually to operate the nation’s prisons. Seventy percent of the money spent goes on personnel costs.
An already overcrowded prison system is only going to get worse in the future, the Justice Ministry warned
nation’s jails. That number will rise to 460 in 2016 according to the Justice Ministry. In many prisons, two inmates are already crammed into cells meant to house only one. “The pressure is intense,” Peter North, the warden of Copenhagen’s Vestre Fængsel prison, told Berlingske. “We are not prepared for it, and it stresses the entire organisation.” While all of the parties involved in the negotiations agree that prisons are busting at the seams, there is little agreement on how to solve the problem. Far-left party Enhedslisten (EL) proposed easing the pressure by allowing some criminals to avoid jail time by participating in a mediation in which they sit down and meet their victim. “People convicted of simple assault are being put in jail,” EL spokesperson Pernille Skipper told Politiken newspaper. “We propose that if they meet their victim, they be given a suspended sentence or probation.” Skipper said that the proposal would help victims get on with their lives and reduce overcrowding. Mediation is currently available, but it does not replace prison time. Skipper stressed that the process must be agreed to by both sides of the crime. “The perpetrator must be motivated, and no victims should be forced to engage in mediation,” she said. “It is
the voluntary nature of the process that makes it effective.” Representatives from Venstre (V) and Danske Folkeparti (DF) said that efforts and money would be better spent cracking down on lawlessness inside the prisons and sending foreign criminals back to their home countries. Too many prisoners, too few staff SEVEN out of ten prison guards say that they are ill-equipped to handle the current flood of inmates. Many guards refuse to confront prisoners on the inside out of fear that gang members will take revenge on their family members on the outside. William Rentzmann, the director general of Kriminalforsorgen, admitted that there is a problem. “We have too few employees,” he told DR News. Drugs and mobile phones are smuggled to inmates in socks, shampoo bottles and body cavities or tossed over prison walls so inmates can collect the contraband the next time they are out for a bit of exercise. In 2011, officials at state and local prisons found nearly 3,000 illegal mobile phones and confiscated marijuana from the same number of inmates. Nearly ten percent of the nearly 37,000 drug tests on prisoners last year were positive. Prison officials said that inmates use mobile phones to continue their crimi-
nal activities and threaten people on the outside. Some of the representatives involved in the budget talks are calling for greater control over both inmates and their visitors. Currently, it is against the rules for guards at open prisons to frisk visitors and inmates. Those regulations earned a reprimand for a guard at one prison who found a 100 gram lump of hashish stashed in a visitor’s pocket. The guard had violated the rules by patting the pocket. Tom Behnke, a Konservative (K) spokesperson, said the rules must be changed. “When we go to the football game, our pockets are checked, when we get on a plane, our pockets are checked, but if you visit a criminal, you can just walk right in,” Behnke told Politiken. Peter Skaarup from DF called the rules “totally stupid”. But Skipper laid the blame for the current prison problems partially at DF’s feet. “Venstre and DF increased penalties aimlessly,” Skipper told Politiken. “That put more people in prison and created unacceptable conditions for both inmates and staff.” Skipper said the SF call to tie punishment to funding was “sensible and logical”. The funding suggestion also received high praise from prison staff.
In 2011, nearly 14,000 people were incarcerated nationwide. Nearly 13,000 of those were men. “We think it’s a great idea,” John Hatting, the head of Kriminalforsorgsforeningen, the national prison association, told Berlingske. “A reasonable politician follows up on their proposals with the money to make them work.” Hatting said that until now the prison system has been used as a “political playing field where politicians propose anything and everything” without the money to back it up. The union representing uniformed prison staff, Dansk Fængselsforbund, also at least partially welcomed the proposal. Kim Østerbye of Dansk Fængselsforbund said that although he felt the funding proposal was a “really, really good idea”, he also felt SF was just playing politics. “I do not think SF is in favour of raising penalties, so I do not think we will see any more money,” Østerbye told Politiken. Karsten Lauritzen, a V spokesperson, told Politiken that he disagreed with the concept of tying punishment to funding. “You risk putting lawmakers in a situation where they, for example, want to impose tougher punishments on paedophiles, but can not find the money,” he said. “I would not want to be the one to explain something that distasteful to the parents of a child who is the victim of an assault.”
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The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
26 October - 1 November 2012
The ‘solar party’ has led to a tenfold increase in panel purchases in 2012, though damaged homes and a huge government bill may lead to a ‘solar hangover’
olar panels have taken Denmark by storm over the past year after the government introduced incentives to stimulate the market. Over 32,000 homes now have solar panels, compared to about 3,600 at the turn of the year, though it is feared that as many as ten percent may be installed incorrectly and result in damaged roofs. “Sometimes the roofs are not strong enough to carry the weight of the solar panels, and other times water seeps in,” Torben Kaas, the chairman of VEByg, a subsidiary of lobby group Dansk Byggeri (DB), told Politiken newspaper. Kaas added that consumers need to be wary of who they hire to instal the solar panels. “Someone can simply buy a container full of solar panels from China and instal them on other people’s homes without knowing anything about houses or solar panels,” Kaas said. “All they need to do is then close the business and they’re free of any risk.” According to Signe Antvorskov Krag, who works for the solar panel firm Gaia Solar and is also chairman of the solar power association Dansk Solcelleforening, over ten percent of the country’s solar panels could be incorrectly installed. “The market has been focus-
Scanpix / Henning Bagger
Popular solar panels damaging homes
Danes cross over to Sweden for late-term abortions
Danish ‘abortion tourists’ flocking to Sweden Early gender scans lead to many Danish women heading next door
Almost 10 percent of solar panels could be incorrectly installed and damage roofs according to one estimate
ing on the technology and not on how they ought to be fixed onto Danish roofs,” Krag said A report from Politiken over the weekend confirmed fears expressed earlier this year by VEByg that the boom in solar panels could result in poor installation. “The situation is like the Wild West,” Niels Heidtmann from VE-Byg told Ingeniøren in May. “There are no educational demands on the people installing solar panels that could, in the worst case scenario, break rafters or roofs.” Solar panels remain popular, however, and there is currently a three-month wait on applications for net-electricity readers – electricity readers that can run backwards when more energy is being fed back into the grid than is being taken out. The key incentive of the solar panels is that the energy produced
by the solar panels is not subject to the 1.35 kroner per kilowatt hour electricity tax. As a result, a typical home can save about 7,425 kroner in taxes every year. The government ends up paying the savings, however. According to Energibolig.dk, 25,000 solar panels installed in Denmark by the end of 2012 will lose the government 3.7 billion kroner. With over 32,000 solar panels likely to be installed, the loss is expected to be higher. The ‘solar party’ may not last much longer, however. The climate and energy minister, Martin Lidegaard (Radikale), has stated that the state support for solar power will be re-examined. In a letter to Jyllands-Posten newspaper, Lidegaard wrote that while he was pleased with the growth of solar power in Denmark, the current support it receives is unrealistic in the
long-term. “I am preparing a smarter plan for the future development of solar power,” Lidegaard wrote. “And I will make sure to consult all the key players before the government presents its plan.” Amid fears the incentives may be withdrawn within the next few months, consumers have been encouraged to act quickly. “With the explosion in the number of solar panels in 2012, we think it is likely that the rules for solar panels will be tightened, probably from as early as new year,” Claus Nord from the bank Spar Nord told EPN.dk, adding that the 2020 target for solar capacity will soon be reached. “When the 2020 target is reached, we expect the solar incentives to be reduced. That is why we are urging home owners who are considering solar polar to make a decision soon.”
omen who are dissatisfied with the sex of their unborn child are opting for late abortions across the border in Sweden, public broadcaster DR reports. It is generally possible to determine a baby’s gender as early as 14 weeks, which allows parents who were hoping for a specific gender to consider heading next door to Sweden, where one can abort as late as the 18th week – six weeks later than in Denmark. “It’s unacceptable that Danish women are involved in abortion tourism,” Jonas Dahl, a spokesperson for Socialistisk Folkeparti, told Ritzau. “I’m shocked that some parents will actually go as far as getting rid of an unborn baby based on its gender.” Dahl has called on the government to strongly consider changing the laws so that women are prohibited from finding out the sex of their unborn baby until after the 18th week in Denmark. “We now need to find out
how widespread the problem is and to see if there’s anything we can do about it now,” Dahl said. Robert Kinnerfelt, the owner of a private baby clinic in Copenhagen that also performs ultrasounds, has cancelled 14-week gender scans due to stories of parents heading to Sweden for an abortion. “We found that some people we treated ended up being disappointed with their unborn baby’s gender and then decided to get an abortion in Sweden,” he told DR. According to Brigit Petersson, a medical specialist and a member of the national abortion council Abortrådet, this type of tourism is by no means a new phenomenon and will only continue to grow. “The well-educated part of society find it’s very easy to get these types of procedures done,” she told DR. “Nothing stops you from seeking medical assistance in Sweden, and I don’t think this type of tourism can be stopped.” In Denmark, under normal conditions, women can only seek an abortion if they’re no further than 12 weeks into their pregnancy. (BSM)
Online this week Taxi driver gets 14 years for mosque shooting Janaid Iqbal, 28, was sentenced to 14 years in prison last week on Thursday for his role in the murder of 24-year-old Tamur Asghar outside a mosque in Vesterbro last year. Iqbal was also shot twice, in the stomach and buttocks, during the incident, before jumping into a car that drove him to a hospital in
Malmö, Sweden. Iqbal claimed in court that he had been shot first and was acting in self defence and in a state of shock when he killed Asghar. But the jury believed the prosecution’s argument that it was a planned execution and that Iqbal had shot first. Iqbal immediately appealed against the court’s decision.
Rapist scared off by herpes
Immigrant gangs agree on peace treaty A peace treaty was struck between rival gangs in Nørrebro on Tuesday during a ceremony facilitated by the Islamic association Viomis, Radio24Syv reported. Viomis’s spokesperson Alexander Chebil said that the deal between the Nørrebro gangs from Blågårds Plads and Mjølnerparken was a significant step to end-
ing the violence that has plagued the district. “The deal has been underway for over a year,” Chebil told Radio24Syv. “It means that people from Blågårds Plads can go to Mjølnerparken and viceversa without having to fear anything. It’s a very important deal that is supported by more than the two gangs.”
Copenhagen Police have arrested a 30-year-old man who is suspected of breaking into a 20-year-old woman’s apartment early on Sunday morning, pointing a gun at her and threatening to rape her. The woman told police that she awoke to find the
man in her bedroom. The gunman undressed and got into bed with the woman and began to molest her. However when the victim pretended to have herpes, the would-be rapist had second thoughts, jumped out of bed, dressed and fled.
Read the full stories at cphpost.dk
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The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
26 October - 1 November 2012
Taxgate takes another turn after revelation that Skat changed rules Tax authority dropped a key requirement while auditing the PM and her husband – a decision that spared him from having to pay Danish taxes
he strange, twisted tale of Taxgate took more turns this past week with the testimony of the former tax minister, Troels Lund Poulsen (see inset), and the revelation made by Berlingske newspaper that tax authority Skat made a change to its practices while it was investigating PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt and her husband Stephen Kinnock’s personal tax information. Without telling anyone, Skat decided to drop a long-existing rule on tax obligations that required people in situations similar to that of Kinnock, a British national who worked in Switzerland at the time of Skat’s audit, to have resided outside of Denmark on a temporary basis for a maximum of two to three years in order to avoid paying Danish taxes. If the change had not been made, Berlingske reported, Kinnock would have been found to owe Danish taxes. Instead, the PM’s husband was ultimately cleared of any Danish tax obligations in the audit. Representatives from Skat told Berlingske that the change was made not to benefit Kinnock, who had been outside of Denmark for at least six years while his wife continued to reside in Copenhagen, but because the interpretation of the law was incorrect. According to notes connected to the audit obtained by Berlingske, a meeting was held on 30 August 2010, right in the middle of the investigation into Kinnock’s tax obligations. At the meeting, representatives from Skat’s Co-
Skat denied that the change was meant to benefit the PM’s husband, Stephen Kinnock, but admitted that time may seem odd
penhagen office and the Tax Ministry agreed to drop the requirement based on what the notes referred to as “a misunderstanding”. The notes offered no further reasoning for the change. And that, according to several tax experts who spoke with Berlingske, seems a bit suspicious. “Skat removes a key point on how long one can reside out of the country – not just a modification, but a clear change of practice – without telling taxpayers about the change,” Thomas Rønfeldt, a tax law professor at Aalborg University, said. “This does not seem like the right way to go about it.”
The former president of Skatterådet, the national tax board, Lida Hulgaard, also questioned Skat’s actions, saying that it was undeniable that Kinnock would have had to have paid Danish taxes if not for the change. She said that at the very least, Skat should have written the change into the audit, which it did not. But top Skat official Carsten Vesterø wrote off the notion that Skat attempted to help Kinnock’s cause as a “conspiracy theory”. He did, however, admit that it seemed odd that this change was made while the PM’s husband’s audit was occurring.
Former tax minister: ‘I didn’t leak’ Former tax minister Troels Lund Poulsen (Venstre) on Tuesday denied that he contributed to a memo that was allegedly used to influence the outcome of an audit of the nowPM Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne) and her husband Neil Kinnock. “I didn’t read the whole thing, I just skimmed it,” he told the commission investigating the scandal that has become known as Taxgate. “I did not make any changes at all.” Poulsen was testifying at the Taxgate Commission, which was established last year to determine who leaked the audit to tabloid BT – that found Kinnock was not liable for tax in Denmark – and whether anyone tried to influence the audit’s outcome. A central question in the scandal is a memo that was obtained by BT – before the tax authority concluded in favour of Kinnock – suggesting that Kinnock did owe tax in Denmark. The memo was sent to Poulsen’s The PM refused to comment on the new information, but opposition party Dansk Folkeparti released a statement calling Berlingske’s revelations “very strange”. The party has called on the newly-appointed tax minister, Holger K Nielsen (Socialistisk Folkeparti), to look back into the entire circumstances surrounding the audit. The leak of the confidential audit into Thorning-Schmidt and Kinnock’s finances shortly before last year’s election set off a widespread political scandal. A commission is currently investigating the leak, which was allegedly carried out by Peter Arnfeldt, the former spin
Scanpix / Camilla Rønde
Scanpix / Henning Bagger
spindoctor, Peter Arnfeldt, who gave it to Poulsen, who in turn handed it to a top official at the Tax Ministry, Peter Loft. Loft then passed the memo to the Copenhagen branch of the tax authority Skat, telling officials there to take the memo into consideration. What is mysterious about the memo is that it inexplicably grew by five pages between Arnfeldt receiving it from BT, and Loft giving it to Skat Copenhagen. Poulsen stated that the memo he received was nine pages long, not the five that Arnfeldt claimed, and that he never added to it. (PS) doctor of Poulsen. Arnfeldt has formally been charged by police for making the leak, and Poulsen was forced to take a leave of absence from parliament. The scandal also cost former top Tax Ministry official Peter Loft his job, and even led to the PM making the rather unorthodox decision to go public about rumours that her husband is gay. The Taxgate commission will continue calling witnesses until March 2013. Various journalists, Skat employees and high-ranking government officials, including former PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen (Venstre), are scheduled to appear.
A report from a consultancy firm criticising the new electronic public transport ticketing system was buried by the government for two years
n July 1, the new electronic Rejsekort public transport ticketing system kicked off to much aplomb, touted by DSB as a replacement for the existing travel card and ticketing scheme by 2014. But first the company behind the Rejsekort was accused of misleading commuters over the price, and now reports have surfaced that the Transport Ministry deliberately tried to hide a 2010 report that was critical of the system that dealt with payment registration. Additionally, the transport minister at the time, Hans Christian Schmidt (Venstre), used the report from American IT consultancy group Gartner as grounds to keep the much-maligned and oft-delayed ticketing system, science weekly Ingeniøren reports. The ministry only publicised a summary of the report, which did not include the critical details of the financial aspects of the Rejsekort project, which Gartner identified as the main detractor of the system. “A sub-standard financial system
makes it impossible to budget and create meaningful reports, and the consultants doubt that it lives up to accounting demands. Therefore, Rejsekort A/S [the company responsible for operating the system] should immediately incorporate a new financial operating system to remedy the insufficient data,” the consultancy firm wrote, according to Ingeniøren. The criticism of the missing report has only surfaced because Ingeniøren complained to the parliamentary ombudsman after the ministry denied it access to documents. Erik Frøkjær, a computer scientist and lecturer from the University of Copenhagen, who was also denied access to the documents, pointed out that similar situations had been seen in the past at the Transport Ministry. “It’s that lack of transparency that we experienced with the IC4 trains, when they denied that there was a background report about the problem,” Frøkjær told public broadcaster DR. “We didn’t get to see that report until the politicians got involved, and I haven’t experienced such ambiguity at any of the other ministries. The Rejsekort was supposed to be a modernisation, but will end up being hundreds of millions of kroner more expensive than planned.” Professor Kim Normann Andersen
Transport Ministry hid scathing Rejsekort report Increasing numbers of young people are too fat to serve Thousands of military draftees are too overweight for service, according to figures from the Defence Ministry
A critical report shows the Rejsekort is far from being on target
of Aalborg University, who researches IT and public administration, has also read the report and agreed with Frøkjær. “It looks like a pattern that we’ve seen before in larger IT projects. They develop the projects over a considerable length of time, and then some essential information concerning the expenses is revealed over time. We’ve seen it in other regional and state projects, and it’s surprising that they don’t learn their lesson,” Andersen told DR. The Transport Ministry came under fire for its handling of the IC4 trains scandal. After being delivered years behind schedule and well over budget, the trains were found to have a number of problems that prevented them from being operational.
hen it comes to perceptions of an overweight populace, most people within Denmark immediately think of countries like the US and the UK. But Denmark isn’t immune to the global obesity epidemic, and new numbers from the military indicate that 30 percent of all potential draftees in Denmark are unfit to serve. “Thirty percent are either overweight or obese,” Peer Winberg Andersen, a military doctor, told DR News. Running is one of the key activities that the overweight military hopefuls have trouble with, often succumbing to injuries sustained to their backs, knees or feet. Those that aren’t fit enough are denied the opportunity of drawing a conscription ticket. All young men in Denmark are automatically called up to attend the conscription examination, which was traditionally known as ‘session’, but is now called Forsvarets Dag (The Defence Day), when they turn 18. Those who pass the medical examination then draw a number to see if they must serve or not. Of the 20,418 men who were called
up to Forsvarets Dag in the period from July 2008 to April The numbers 2009, over 6,000 considered suggest that were unfit for military duty and consethe trend is rejected. unfortunately quently “The numbers confirm continuing that younger people are becoming more overweight. They are less active and lead more unhealthy lives. The numbers suggest that the trend is unfortunately continuing,” Andersen told Fyens Stiftstidene newspaper. Weighing in has been a part of the Danish military conscription examination since 1947. Up until 1960, only one out of every thousand Danes was deemed very overweight. In 1970, it was one out of every hundred and today it’s one out of every ten. Overweight draftees is just one of many problems currently facing Denmark’s military. The government recently proposed scrapping military service, while new allegations have led to accusations that the military has tried to cover up prisoner abuse in Iraq (see front page). (CW)
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
26 October - 1 November 2012
Thorning-Schmidt seeks influence in EU banking union Scanpix / John Thys
Peter Stanners As the Eurozone moves towards closer financial and economic integration, countries outside the common currency fear losing influence in a ‘two-speed’ Europe
s European leaders finished a two-day summit last week on Friday, the first bricks in a new banking union were beginning to fall into place. The summit established that the European Central Bank will act as a new banking supervisor that will in turn allow failing banks to receive funding directly through the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). But for EU countries without the euro, the new banking union could be the first step to becoming increasingly sidelined in a ‘two-speed’ Europe, in which Denmark and the other nine non-euro countries will face an unfair disadvantage and lack of influence over key economic decisions. The problem is that non-euro countries are not able to exert any influence over the new banking union – an issue that was addressed by PM Helle ThorningSchmidt (Socialdemokraterne) in a joint editorial with Swedish PM Frederik Reinfeldt last week in Politiken newspaper. “There needs to be a better
Thorning-Schmidt and French president François Hollande don’t see eye-to-eye on Europe’s future
balance between the influence of euro and non-euro countries,” the PMs wrote. The joint position taken by the two PMs ahead of the summit demonstrated both a recognition that Europe had split into two groups, euro and noneuro, and that these two factions should not drift too far apart. They acknowledge the positive steps taken so far to tackle Europe’s debt crisis, such as the fiscal compact treaty and the creation of the rescue fund, the ESM. Denmark joined the fiscal compact treaty, which sets budgetary demands on members, de-
spite not being a euro member, in order to demonstrate a will for European unity in a time of crisis. While Denmark held the presidency for the first six of this year, Thorning-Schmidt repeatedly stated that maintaining solidarity was vital for the future of Europe. Thorning-Schmidt’s statement last week, speaking to her old university in Bruges, that Europe needed to face the fact that it had become a two-speed union was more pragmatic than political. “We need to come to terms with the fact that the EU is based on flexible integration,” Thorn-
ing-Schmidt said. “What is important now is that the banking union remains open to us and other non-euro countries to join if we want.” The EU would benefit from having as many countries sign up to the banking union as possible. And Denmark’s economy ministry, Margrethe Vestager (Radikale), has said Denmark is prepared to join the union if it improves the international standing of Danish banks. Finding a way to allow Denmark to join the banking union, while also allowing Denmark control within the union, will prove tricky however.
“It is complicated to include non-Eurozone states like Denmark in a full way,” an anonymous EU official told Reuters. “We have to find some kind of creative way to make sure that non-euro member states are given the right role.” One option is the creation of a new institution within the ECB where non-euro countries could exert their influence with regulators. A disadvantage of joining the banking union would be the potential that members would end up bailing out each other’s failing banks. In their joint editorial, the Danish and Swedish PMs argued that members of the banking union should’t pay the bill for recapitalising failing banks. “It is not fair that taxpayers should pay for the errors of banks, especially banks in other countries,” they wrote. “We think the banks should pay.” But while countries such as Sweden and Denmark attempt to make demands on the banking union, the French president, François Hollande, told the Guardian newspaper that it’s their own fault that they stand without influence. “Some countries did not want to join the euro. That’s their decision,” Hollande said. “But why should they then come and tell us how the eurozone should be controlled?”
NEWLY ARRIVED IN COPENHAGEN? The City of Copenhagen invites you to attend the course ‘Learn about Denmark’ – free of charge. The courses are conducted in more than 16 languages, so that you can choose the language you feel the most comfortable speaking.
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Military continued from front page
carrying large cameras, however, and last week on Friday Dalby stated that some soldiers did, actually, have cameras. “Intelligence officers had cameras that they used for recognisance, and it looks like it was those cameras that were being used during the operation,” he told Politiken. “I should have known, but there are probably lots of other things I don’t know about, but that I should.” In his defence, Lt-Col Dalby added that after the allegations of abuse were made, he had asked his soldiers to come forward with information and noone did. General Bertram also stated in the press release that no-one had yet come forward and dialled the hotline that was set up for witnesses to leave information. “The military has nothing to hide and is only interested in having all the relevant information publicised,” Betram wrote. “That’s why I am calling on anyone that is in possession of information that can shed light on the actual events to step forward and contact our hotline.” Denmark’s role in Iraq is to be uncovered by a new commission that was established this April by the government to examine whether Denmark legitimately joined the war and how prisoners held by Danish soldiers were treated.
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
A belief in life after prison
26 October - 1 November 2012
Copenhagen, Copenhagenize yourself
Criminals should be punished, but the correctional system should also offer hope for those willing to mend their ways
HEN KAI LUNDSTRØM Pedersen got arrested in the US earlier this year on child sex charges, he immediately asked to serve his sentence in Denmark. In addition to wanting to be on home soil and close to those who might still want to associate with him, the 61-year-old computer technician also knew that in the US he was facing a 30year sentence. In Denmark, however, the same crime would probably only earn him about six years in prison. If the difference between the two sentences sounds drastic, the best way to understand it might be to start with the principle that guides correctional facilities here: “Support and motivate convicts, through personally focused social work and educational development, to live a crime-free existence.” That often entails sentences geared at resocialising convicts and preparing them for a life after prison – or at least it did prior to 2001 and the election of a centre-left government with a get-tough-on-crime mindset. Although the justice minister, Morten Bødskov, promised this week to continue to be as tough on crime as the previous government was, the reality is that it has already begun to shift back to a philosophy that is more likely to view criminals as people who made bad choices, than simply as bad people. Already before the election, the government campaigned on a softer approach to crime, and earlier this year it returned the minimum age of criminal responsibility back to 15 after it was lowered to 14 by the previous government in 2010. More telling about this government’s approach to criminality was that in connection with the same law change, it also changed how young people could be punished. While the previous government removed the eight-year maximum sentence for young offenders, the new law makes it possible to give them ankle monitors. That, at least in theory, would make it possible for young convicts to continue to get an education and engage in other activities that could put them on the right track. No-one wants to see criminals get off too easily, and we know that even the best intentioned ideas can go wrong, such as in the case of the job training programme that included an inmate whose victim had trouble getting the rehabilitation she needed. On the other hand, keeping people behind bars unnecessarily is not only costly, it also risks turning people who could have been rehabilitated into hardened criminals.
ENMARK IS known as a leader worldwide when it comes to biking, and few places in the world have as many bikes as Copenhagen does. The capital’s success promoting biking has become a model for other countries, and Danish engineers and architects are busy helping other cities to help them ‘Copenhagenize’ their streets. One of the most recent cities to adopt the Copenhagen model is New York. Copenhagenization has become another of Denmark’s selling points when it tries to promote itself as an environmental leader. Denmark’s cycling culture, however, is not the product of a single, visionary policy. It it is the result of a long tradition of biking that traces its roots to the early 20th century, and it is a part of our national history that the emergence of the car in the 1950s was unable to knock down. Danes are still biking, but how are things here in the land of the bike?
I’m certain that anyone who by the City Council. There’s just has tried to bike in Copenhagen’s no place for all those bikes if rush hour traffic will agree with you also want to leave room for me that one thing we shouldn’t buses, lorries, cars (lots of cars) be trying to export is our behav- and pedestrians. Unless Copeniour on the bike lane. hagen does something new, it’s During a ride in the Copen- biking morale will only continue hagen bike rush you can be given to decay. the finger. You can see cyclists Our nation’s capital is already illegally turning right on red, or being overtaken by more proacriding on the pavement or pe- tive cities abroad. Amsterdam destrian crossings. You can see and other Dutch cities, for examriders not signalling when they ple, have come up with an infraare turning or stopping. And you structure that leaves Denmark’s may not see them until it’s too in the dust. late, but beware of the aggressive If we in Denmark want to types who wait until they are a keep our cycling culture vibrant, little too close before overtaking. we need to move out of the 20th No doubt about it, riding a bike century and come up with a in Copenhagen is an exercise in modern city that people actually chaos. The City Council does want to live in. what it can to profile the city as We in Aarhus are in the a green, proprocess of engressive place couraging our well on its way residents to ride to reaching its more. But, we’re ridership goal Being progressive not looking to of 50 percent. Copenhagen It doesn’t take requires leadership, and for our inspiraa traffic engi- it requires drive tion. For us, our neer (all it takes role models are is the average commuter) to tell cities in the Netherlands, Geryou that fitting more bikes in many and the US of all places. central Copenhagen requires These countries dare to make the radically rethinking the way we changes that can once and for all look at urban bike commuting. elevate biking’s status as a way of Being progressive requires getting around. leadership, and it requires drive. Aarhus has built the counCopenhagen will never emerge try’s first cycle streets – normal as the ‘environmental metropolis’ city streets that are converted to it’s aiming to become unless it bike lanes that are open to car thinks differently and challenges traffic, but where bikes have the habit. Copenhageners’ bad cy- right of way. Cycle streets are cling manners have nothing to especially effective in the convodo with moral decay. They are luted streets where building bike the product of a lack of foresight lines is impractical or even im-
possible. The cycle streets Aarhus has established have made it easier for cyclists to get around while at the same time making it more attractive to be outside. Aarhus was also the first city in the country to permit right turns on red, though still on a trial basis right now. We’ve also got the country’s first parking lot for bikes. Similar to parking lots for long distance commuters, these lots make it possible for people to park their bike safely at a facility near the motorway. People can park, hop on their bike and continue the rest of the commute into the city on two wheels, gliding by the traffic jams they would otherwise be waiting in if they had driven. Parking lots would have been useful in Copenhagen, had it been able to establish its congestion ring. Aarhus still lags well behind Copenhagen in terms of the sheer numbers of cyclists, but when it comes to coming up with new ideas, we’ve managed to find new ways of doing things that ‘the City of Cyclists’ should have come up with a long time ago. You can’t rest on our laurels, Copenhagen. Get on your horse and revamp your bike infrastructure so that you can again rightly call yourselves a world leader when it comes to urban cycling. Whatever you do though, you need to start making more room for the bikes that are already there. The author is an engineer and the project manager for Aarhus Cycle City.
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MP denied entry into Bahrain over Israel passport stamp This article contains a false claim. Let me set the record straight. Israeli law allows free entry to Israel regardless of citizenship or passport stamps. In fact, even citizens of Middle Eastern countries that do not recognise Israel are allowed into the country, and many indeed do. Numerous such travellers visit Israel as tourists or for specific purposes such as to receive medical treatment in Israeli hospitals. For those travellers who might be concerned that their visit to Israel might result in negative repercussions upon entry into an Arab country, it is possible to get through Israeli airports without getting your passport stamped. In such cases the stamp can be given on a separate sheet of paper. Needless to say that Israel, like any other country, reserves for itself the right to deny entry into the country, based on internationally accepted reasons for which stamps in the passport, from anywhere, are not admissible. Any additional information is available at the consular section of our embassy. Shaul Museri, Consul, Embassy of Israel in Denmark by e-mail I can’t honestly figure out which is more picturesque or demonstrative of ignorance and prejudice: the bogus state of war between Bahrain and other Arab countries and Israel which extends to bar-
ring entry to visitors who have visited Israel, or the opinions of some people in power. I guess it’s a long way back on track and towards progress. There are some attitudes that should not be. I have in mind at least two right now. loroferoz by wesbite
ury, instead of two-job slaves to the system … Pensions for absent parents working for the government makes me want to vomit, compared to what ‘the people’ have to work through … First against the wall when the revolution comes! RexKbh2100 by website
Ministers rack up children pensions
Cheesed off: Norwegian trade war looms
Greedy noses in the trough, same story everywhere. How can working people be expected to swallow tax-hikes and benefit-cuts when government ministers claim exemption from any changes? TheAuthorities by website
It’s sad that countries have to be reduced to such childishness to prevent people in expensive countries from buying cheaper, foreign-imported products. It’s twice as bad that it’s on food, which is something less likely to be imported by citizens themselves. It’s okay, Norway – at least for everything else, there’s still the internet. shufflemoomin by website
Interesting. It is assumed that leaders lead by example. What’s the example here? Make rules that milk the taxpayer to the last and use the spoils to maximise benefits, and then draw a sacred line that cannot be crossed, because rules are rules. Is that an incentive, a reason why so many younger people are interested in politics in DK? Most of the inexperienced, still college-going ministers don’t have any job prospects once they are voted out, but their future pensions are secured. Buddha_in by website WTF! My parents were absent when I was a child and I didn’t get a special pension! If only they had been fat cat ministers, drinking the cream of the treas-
Those lucky 100,000 lucky Norwegians [who can afford a Danish summerhome] will be excited to know they can leave their mountainous, beautiful country with stunning scenery and miles upon miles of wild nature to purchase a naff wooden shack with big windows in flat, featureless, over-farmed Denmark. Nebsy by website A Danish-Norwegian trade war is akin to toddlers not sharing their toys. Tim Sullivan by Facebook
Christian Values | Relax, we’ll squeeze you for your dime Last year our company started a strict, cheapest flight (business class and no more than one stopover) policy to any destination. I haven’t seen a SAS ticket in over a year. I have, however, had some good experiences with a number of different airlines. It has also been interesting to see how poor the SAS business class experience really is in comparison – other airlines provide much better seats (flatbeds), food choices and even a kind smile from the personnel. Thorvaldsen by website I’ve gone from a gold cardholder to basic member with SAS in two years, now using Norwegian, BA and anyone else. SAS just doesn’t offer value for money and is being overtaken by the rest these days. Barney_dk by website High sugar soft drinks are bad for your health. Maybe SAS is trying to keep their passengers healthy by drinking water. Buzzy Sørensen by Facebook They wanted to be the leaders for providing an internet connection during flights and mobile texting and phone calls, so now they need to save money on their customers’ basic needs. Me-You-UCN Blog! by Facebook
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
26 October - 1 November 2012
Still Adjusting BY JUSTIN CREMER The CPH Post’s news editor, Justin Cremer, is an American who has lived full-time in Copenhagen since 2010. Asked often if he likes it here, his usual response is “It depends on the day.” Follow him at twitter.com/justincph
T TIMES I find myself alternately enthralled and appalled by the digital world in which we live. That I could recently watch a man jump out of space on my phone, or watch the full US presidential debates as I commuted to work on the other side of the world, shows the beauty of today’s hyperconnected, fast-moving new reality. But this reality has its dark sides too. Our new world of minuscule news cycles and instant analysis has fundamentally changed us, and doubtfully for the better. Everyone has an opinion and a virtual megaphone from which to shout those opinions. Real news, slanted views, psuedo-events and memes are all blended together and streamed out to the masses through tools like Facebook and Twitter. Not only does this create confusion between what is real, what is false and what is somewhere in between, it has also fuelled a faux outrage machine that moves at the speed of light. Take the recent example of the photo currently making the rounds that shows a sign in a supermarket advertising ‘Jødekager - bagt i gasovn’ (Jewish cookies baked in a gas oven). Without anyone seeming to know the story behind the photo –
was it real or Photoshopped, placed by a rogue employee just long enough to take the photo, or really set out for customers to see? – the instant outrage machine went into full gear. To be clear, the sign is offensive and not funny. If it is real, the person who put it out should be fired. Period. Even if it is a ‘joke’, there should be accountability to SuperBrugsen, where the sign was allegedly displayed, for the PR nightmare this has caused and to Karen Volf, the cookie company that fears its brand has been damaged. But as it made the rounds online, the entire thing quickly spun off the rails. One contingent argued that it was only meant as a joke and everyone should stop being so uptight, another argued that since the Jews killed Jesus then the Holocaust really wasn’t all that bad. A third group quickly emerged to use the sign as their proof that a majority of Danes are racist ignoramuses. But the cookies photo, or course, is no anomaly. The internet is full of ugly comments. The former tax minister, Thor Möger Pedersen, received more than his fair share when he took to Facebook to be the first to publicly confirm that he had been relieved of his post.
A faux outrage machine moves at the speed of light Over 1,000 comments poured in, many of them less than kind to the 27-year-old former wunderkind. And The Copenhagen Post website, as I’ve mentioned in this space before, isn’t exactly a hotbed of warm and fuzzy feelings. The constant negativity, serious privacy misgivings and a general feeling of being burnt out by always being connected led to me recently taking a three-month break from Facebook. Even after caving in to my mother’s guilt campaign and reactivating the account, I hardly post things there anymore or bother scrolling through the stream of trivialities. That’s not to say that I’ve gone offline, though. Quite the contrary. My Twitter use has become something of an obsession. While it is a very helpful professional tool, it’s also not with out its pitfalls.
After the first presidential debate and the vice-presidential debate, I made the mistake of scrolling through my timeline before seeing the debates themselves. Without seeing a single minute of either, my timeline provided me with a completely biased take on who had ‘won’, had given me all of the key lines, and even introduced me to meme-based accounts – think ‘Fired Big Bird’ and ‘Malarkey Joe’. For the second debate, I made sure to watch it myself before visiting Twitter, but I was still bombarded by the endless “binders full of women” jokes. By the third debate, I had decided to just sit it out. The new way we consume information makes incidents like the ‘Jødekager’ sign harder to judge. Is this really a big deal, or is it a big deal precisely because a cacophony of self-reinforcing views says it’s a big deal? With the changing media landscape – as I was drafting this, I read (on Twitter, of course) the news that Newsweek would cease its print version – and an increasing emphasis on being first rather than being right, things move so much quicker now. Sometimes I just want to stop the ride and get off.
Nobody plans like a Dane
W Crazier than Christmas BY VIVIENNE MCKEE Vivienne McKee, Denmark’s best-known English entertainer, is this country’s most beloved foreign import. Over the last 30 years, hundreds of thousands of Copenhageners have enjoyed her annual Crazy Christmas Cabaret show at Tivoli, marvelling at her unique, wry Anglo wit and charm.
HEN DID you say? In four weeks’ time?” I asked my husband incredulously when he called me to say that our friends, Eric and Birgitte, would like to invite us to a cosy dinner at their place. “But in four weeks’ time I’ll be performing my Crazy Christmas show every evening at Tivoli. And even if I wasn’t, I might have the flu, or be out of the country. Who knows? Why on earth can’t we come tomorrow?” “Tomorrow?!” I could hear the shocked intake of breath down the phone. Danes are not spontaneously sociable. Dropping in on your friends on the off-chance they are at home is unheard of, even amongst young people. Danes like to plan well in advance. Calendars are double-checked. A dinner is arranged at least four weeks in advance, a wedding at least six months and a theatre production at least a year. Funerals are not just a cause of stress because of the loss of a loved one, but because there is not enough party preparation time. The organisation is
meticulous, down to the last candle and flower arrangement. Oddly enough, after all this attention to detail, the dress code is often very casual. I have attended weddings where men turn up wearing nicely ironed tshirts! And I have gone to award ceremonies where I was the only woman wearing a floor-length gala dress. The reception party ritual is always the same. Your host never introduces anyone, so on arrival, you introduce yourself to everyone and shake hands. Having done this duty, you return to the friends you know and stay with them for the rest of the evening. On your departure you repeat the process to the same people whose names you have now forgotten, adding “Farvel. Tak for i aften”. Unless you’re an extrovert, by the end of the evening, you have met nobody new at all. But those kinds of evenings are ‘Party Light’. The real thing, especially a wedding, involves a table plan. The party planner happily spends hours working out who will sit next to whom. You may find yourself seated next to an estate agent from Nykøbing Falster on
Old people were being carried out on stretchers, children were comatose under tables and grown men were weeping one side and an accountant from Greve Strand on the other − for five hours! You long desperately for the speeches, which are many and interminable. And just when you think it’s safe to move to the table where you can see your partner, the dreaded rolled-up pieces of paper arrive! These contain made-up lyrics to songs like ‘When I’m 64’ and consist of 25 verses and a toast after every third verse. Then come the HURRAHs. First the three short ones and then the long one: HuuuuuuuuRRRRAAAAH! (This scared the life out of me the first time I heard it ...) Now, totally drunk and disorderly, you stagger to your feet and move to the
dancefloor to encircle the happy couple, clapping, with the menacing intention to either suffocate them while they dance a waltz, or grab the bridegroom and cut off his tie and the toes of his socks. And still the night is young! While the drunks throw themselves around on the dancefloor, cases of beer appear to replace the wine, and the guests who can still speak congregate in the kitchen to chat and eat natmad. I went to a wedding recently where we sat down to eat at 6.30pm and speeches were still being made at midnight. Old people were being carried out on stretchers, children were comatose under tables and grown men were weeping, as the bridal couple began the carefully planned process of opening their presents. Eric and Birgitte made an exception and invited us to a spontaneous dinner with them at the end of that week. Delicious food, excellent wine and good conversation had not needed four weeks to arrange. I wore a long dress, my husband wore a nicely-ironed t-shirt and we were home before midnight. Whew!
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The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
26 October - 1 November 2012
Duelling campaigns in hairy competition for cancer research funding
Four Copenhagen Post employees three weeks through last year’s Movember efforts. Clockwise from top left: editor-in-chief Kevin McGwin, journalist Peter Stanners, distribution co-ordinator Dima Paranytsia, and managing editor Ben Hamilton
Kurt Vom Scheidt was the man to beat in last year’s Movember
Peter stanners This November, both Movember and the Danish Cancer Society are encouraging men to grow facial hair for charity. But who will prove more successful?
immicks are often used as a fun way to raise money and awareness for a chosen cause. But few campaigns have experienced as much success as Movember, an Australian charity that aims to raise money for research into prostate cancer, and awareness more generally about men’s health, by encouraging men to grow a moustache during November. There are rules. On November 1, participating men must shave themselves clean and then tend to their moustache for the following 30 days. The moustache may neither meet the sideburns (that’s a beard) nor join hair on the chin (that’s a goatee). Other than that, it’s up to the man to decide whether to fashion it into a slender pencil or go for the full-on handlebars. Movember enjoyed its first official year in Denmark 2011 after originating in Australia in 2003. In the intervening years, the campaign has spread to 22 countries and raised just over one billion kroner for research into men’s health issues, primarily prostate and testicular cancer. With 7,500 participants raising 1.1 million kroner, Denmark in
its first year managed to draw in Danish prostate cancer grant the most number of participants round in 2013, through an open, per capita of any of the partici- peer-reviewed process.” pating countries. The money is needed. There “We had a brilliant first year are currently over 20,000 men in Denmark in 2011,” Movem- living with prostate cancer in ber spokesperson Dan Cooper Denmark where 1,120 men die told The Copenhagen Post. “We every year from the disease. It had great support and activation is the most common cancer for from our partners such as Björn men and causes the second most Borg, who had a moustache number of cancer deaths every themed advertising campaign year, after lung cancer. across Copenhagen, and Arriva, This fact is not lost on the who placed mousDanish cancer taches on many society, Kræftens of the buses across Bekæmpelse. In Denmark.” 2010, the year beThe money fore Movember raised in Denmark This will be a officially arrived is being donated multi-institutional in Denmark, it to a fund manlaunched its own aged by the newly grant award campaign ‘Vi gør established Danish involving a number det ik kun for skæg’ Prostate Cancer (‘We are doing it National Advisory of hospitals and not just for the fun Committee. Ac- universities across of it’. It’s a pun: cording to Cooper, ‘skæg’ means both the committee is Denmark fun and beard) meeting for the in which Danish first time this Nomen were asked to vember to advise Movember on grow a beard for six weeks startwhich areas of research should be ing from November 1 to raise prioritised before Movember dis- money and awareness for men’s tributes its first prostate cancer health issues. research grant for Denmark. Neither Movember nor the “This will be a multi-insti- Kræftens Bekæmpelse would tutional grant award involving a comment on the clear similarnumber of hospitals and univer- ity between the rival campaigns, sities across Denmark,” Cooper though Movember can be credsaid. “Following the completion ited with having first developed of the Movember campaign in the ‘grow facial hair to support 2012, based on the advice of the men’s health’ concept. Cooper Danish National Research Advi- from Movember simply stated sory Committee, Movember will that “Movember exists in Denimmediately launch a national mark because of the great sup-
port we have had from Mo Bros and Mo Sistas wanting us to launch the campaign there.” In an interview with Politiken newspaper last year, Poul Møller from Kræftens Bekæmpelse argued that increasing the visibility of men’s health issues by having men grow beards was what was important – two campaigns simply meant more visibility. “I think there is space for both campaigns,” Møller said, adding that the money raised by Kræftens Bekæmpelse would go to more than simply prostate cancer research. “What’s important is that people start to talk about prostate cancer or cancer generally. It can only be a winwin situation.” Both campaigns report using only eight percent of the money raised on administration and op-
erational costs, meaning that the decision on which campaign to choose rests on several other factors. First are the types of facial hair that are permitted. ‘Vi gør det ik kun for skæg’ allows all forms of beards as opposed to Movember’s moustache-only campaign. If appearances are important, then men with poor upper lip growth might be better off promoting Kræftens Bekæmpelse’s campaign. The second factor is the length of the campaign. Movember runs only during November while ‘Vi gør det ik kun for skæg’ runs for six weeks. If your significant other has trouble with the caterpillar growing above your lip, Movember might be the right choice, lest you put your relationship at stake.
The last factor is how the money is spent. Both campaigns will invest the money in Denmark, though there are subtle differences in how it will be spent. Movember has promised to give the money, through a grant, to support prostate cancer research, while Kræftens Bekæmpelse said the money raised through ‘Vi gør det ik kun for skæg’ will go towards research, prevention and to support those with male cancers. Even though November is a week away, the money is starting to trickle into both campaigns. At the time of going to print, Movember had raised 8,529 kroner in Denmark while ‘Vi gør det ik kun for skæg’ had raised 2,500 kroner. Last year’s top Movember fundraiser in Denmark was Kurt Vom Scheidt (left), an American employee of Saxo Bank, who raised over 35,000 kroner. Saxo Bank was also the most succesful team last year, pulling in over 145,000 kroner – almost 20 percent of the total raised. But Saxo Bank will have to redouble its efforts if it hopes to keep the top spot. Mærsk has already raised 7,535 kroner against Saxo Bank’s one krone. Read more about Movember and ‘Vi gør det ik kun for skæg’ at dk.movember.com and maendmodkraeft.dk. To support the Copenhagen Post’s Movember team, visit: bit.ly/CPHPost-mobros
Gay penguin pair become proud parents Two male penguins at Odense Zoo have successfully managed to hatch an egg discarded by a female
pparently, it’s not only human beings that scoff at traditional parenting roles in Denmark. The prevailing liberal views of the country have made a transition to the animal kingdom now as well. A pair of emperor penguins at Odense Zoo, who according to the zoo are gay, are now the proud new adoptive parents of a little penguin fledgling following a successful hatching experiment. The two male penguins, who were broody to the point that they sat on dead herrings due to a lack of an egg, assumed the
egg-caring duties after the biological mother discarded her egg. The female penguin in question had laid two eggs with two different fathers during the breeding period, a rare occurrence in emperor penguins. She left the father of the first egg to sit on the egg alone, before abandoning the father of the second egg as well, leaving Odense Zoo with a unique problem. “It’s very rare that female emperor penguins lay two eggs over one breeding season,” Nina Christensen, a zoologist at Odense Zoo, told Ekstra Bladet tabloid. “Normally, they lay two eggs over three seasons, so she is extremely productive. But she just doesn’t want to hatch the eggs or raise the chicks.” The zookeepers let the gay penguin couple adopt the egg
after first giving them a fake egg to practise with during a trial period. The two males were up to the task because the egg hatched, and they are now taking good care of the little fledgling, which appears to be growing normally. Emperor penguins rely heavily on their partners during the egg-sitting period, during which they place the egg on top of their feet before lowering themselves on top of it to keep it warm. Meanwhile, the other parent is charged with finding food before they switch places. The solitary male that was first abandoned by the female is raising that egg alone, but can only do so because he is fed by the zoo staff, who now know what to do with abandoned eggs in the future. (CW)
Online this week Racism charges against teacher dropped An Odense father brought and then dropped racism charges against his son’s teacher after the teacher referred to a group of immigrant boys in a derogatory way. “I’m so bloody tired of you Muslims ruining the teaching lessons,” Birgitte Sonsby, the headteacher of Ejerslykkeskolen School in Odense, said to the
group, according to Fyens Stiftstidende newspaper. The father, Shaib Mansoor, opted to drop the charges after Sonsby’s comments received media attention. Mansoor said he still wanted to see the teacher sacked. Dansk Folkeparti’s Pia Kjærsgaard weighed in by calling the situation ridiculous.
Cheaper beer prices fail to materialise In March, when the City Council decided to do away with the outdoor service fee for the remainder of 2012, cafés and restaurants applauded the move, estimating that the money they saved would translate directly into savings for their customers. Alas, that seems not to be the case. A cold one enjoyed al fresco
remains as pricey as ever – at least in the popular tourist destination of Nyhavn. Berlingske newspaper made a quick call to eleven establishments in Nyhavn to check their beer prices. Nine of the eleven eateries have not reduced their beer prices, while the two that have done so cut an astounding two kroner.
Red postboxes retreat from Denmark’s streets Post Danmark, the nation’s postal service, is set to scale back on its services after the autumn, following the decrease in conventional mail being sent around the country. That also means that Denmark’s iconic red postbox is set to suffer
as a result, with 1,500 boxes set to be taken down in the near future. In addition, the post boxes left standing will be emptied less frequently than they currently are, which is hoped to increase efficiency while cutting costs at the same time.
Read the full stories at cphpost.dk
LIFESTYLE: WINTER HEALTH THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
26 October - 1 November 2012
A plan for all seasons BY CAROLINE CAIN
No Flu in Winter Wonderland
ON’T YOU just love those c r i s p winter mornings, iceskating on the lakes, the snow, gløgg, candles and nisse in every window? Along with the charms of the Danish winter, the neverending julefrokost and ample opportunities for hygge come the typical seasonal ills. Don’t let sore throats, colds and the flu get you down this year. Be prepared with some natural remedies from the kitchen cupboard to help you deal with and reduce any uncomfortable symptoms. Is it all a load of hocus pocus?
PHOTOGRAPH © CAROLINE CAIN
WHEN IT comes to natural remedies, there are those who swear by them and those who won’t entertain the thought. On a basic level, what it comes down to is that if you’re feeling groggy, stuffy, achy and under the weather, these traditional remedies have stood the test of time to help alleviate symptoms in many a household and might well prove to be a welcome helper when you’re barely able to drag yourself off the sofa. Natural remedies work through ingesting the ingredient’s/plant’s/herb’s inherent qualities, whether they be anti-bacterial, immune boosting, anti-inflammatory, soothing etc. By using these, you’re helping your body to boost its own defences which, in both the short and long run, helps to strengthen your natural health and resistance.
honey with ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon. Take this for three days or so, as soon as you feel symptoms coming on and there’s a good chance you’ll keep that cold at bay. The above is also a good remedy to help soothe sore throats. Or try adding a spoonful of this mix to slightly cooled sage tea. If you’re able to make it down to the local health food shop, bee propolis spray is a miracle worker for soothing sore throats. For flu, as soon as you feel a cold, the flu or a sore
Caroline Cain is a half-English, half-French naturopathic nutritionist and reflexologist who believes that lasting heath, radiance and energy is achievable through a practical, relaxed approach to clean, green, healthy eating and living and a generous dash of radical self-care. She also speaks Danish and Spanish. Find out more at www.carolinecain.dk.
throat coming on, drink one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water, three times a day. Admittedly, this isn’t the tastiest of beverages, but it will alkalise your body, helping to ward off infection. For blocked noses, tickle your toes. This trick works a treat for both adults and children with blocked noses. Rub and massage the underside of each toe with firm pressure (not so firm for little toes) from the base to the tip of the toes. Try it, as this seriously clears the most stuffed-up of blocked noses within a few minutes. And above all, eat sensibly. Our diets are often not optimal enough to keep us in tip-top shape. Modern farming methods and soil quality has not helped, while convenience-packaged, processed foods have become a staple in most households. If you’re often sick during the winter, supplementing your diet with good quality multivitamins and minerals, extra vitamin C, zink and selenium will help to boost your immunity. Eat yourself out of the cold and flu season DITCH THE processed sugar – one teaspoon of sugar
depletes your immune system for four hours. Government regulations recommend no more than eight teaspoons a day. The average person eats up to 22 a day. That’s a lot of sugar – mainly hidden in packaged, processed, refined foods. It pays to know what you’re eating. We all know citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, but so are broccoli and strawberries, and how about giving goji berries a try? They make a great snack and topping for your breakfast porridge or dessert. A banana, spinach or berry smoothie will give your immune system a nutritional boost. Eat plenty of garlic and onion, and follow up by eating parsley if you’re worried about intoxicating the office (if they’re able to smell anything with those blocked noses). Make green tea your hot beverage of choice to fill up on anti-oxidants that help ward off cold and flu viruses. Increase your intake of healthy fats and oils: avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, flaxseeds and oil, chia seeds, nuts, oily fish and fish oil. No need to avoid coughing colleagues and feverish friends DO YOU think that illness and feeling blue are all part and parcel of winter? That is not so. Building up your physical health from the inside goes a long way to ensuring a healthy winter, both physically and emotionally. But if you’re experiencing serious and persistent symptoms, go to your doctor.
Natural Home Remedies for Common Winter Complaints For colds, sip on an immune-boosting squeezed lemon juice with warm water, ginger and raw honey (must be raw as this preserves healthful enzymes). Mix together one small tablespoon of raw
Naturopathic Nutritionist & Reflexologist
Natural health and detox specialist guiding and motivating you to create optimal, lasting health. tel: 50 19 76 06 www.carolinecain.dk
For four weeks at a time, four times a year, our aim is to give you all the seasonal lifestyle advice you need to thrive in the areas of gardening, health, food and sport. When should you plant your petunias, when does the birch pollen season normally start, which week do the homegrown strawberries take over the supermarket, and which outdoor sports can you play in the snow? All the answers are here in ‘A plan for all seasons’.
Health Food Next week
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THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
26 October - 1 November 2012
ABOUT TOWN PHOTOS BY HASSE FERROLD UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED
The inaugural Africa Denmark Rally took place at Asia House on October 16. Organised by the Danish Cultural Institute in collaboration with Danish business leaders and cultural luminaries, the rally aims to, through the channel of culture, enhance business, academic, cultural and social exchanges between Denmark and the continent. Pictured here (left-right) are: Egyptian ambassador Nabil Habashi, Ugandan ambassador Joseph Tomusange, the rally’s organiser, Aziz Fall, South African ambassador Samkelisiwe Mhlanga, a representative from Benin’s embassy, Algerian ambassador Abdelhamid Boubazine, Olaf Gerlach-Hansen and Finn Andersen from the DCI, and Moroccan ambassador Raja Ghannam
The new British ambassador is Vivien Life. As is traditional in this column, we like to welcome new ambassadors in their mother tongue, so … Hello! (strictly not in the voice of Leslie Phillips)
COMING UP SOON Harry Burton discusses Harold Pinter
Krudttønden, Serridslevvej 2, Cph Ø; Wed Nov 7, 18:15-20:00; register at www.bccd.dk, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 3118 7558
Harry Burton, an actor and director who was a close acquaintance of the late, esteemed playwright Harold Pinter, will be visiting Krudttønden theatre for a special event (with a buffet dinner no less) to talk about his friend and colleague and answer any questions afterwards. The event is being put on by the British Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with That Theatre Company & Why Not Theatre Company, whose joint production of Pinter’s Old Times will follow the talk and is included in the price of the evening (enquire with the BCCD for details). A day later, Burton will once again appear, this time to show a film about Pinter in the foyer and afterwards answer questions (with drink and snacks, admission costs 100kr). Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos)
Assistens Kirkegarden, Kapelvej 4, Cph N; Fri Nov 2, 16:00-20:00; free adm; www.embamex.sre.gob.mx/dinamarca
The Mexican community in Copenhagen are once again celebrating Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) with a procession, children’s stories and more. Don’t miss the chance to eat some pan de muertos and leave something at the altar.
Indian dance event
Osramhuset, Valhalsgade 4, Cph N; Fri Oct 26, 20:00, Sat Oct 27, 10:0014:00; members 70kr, non-members 90kr, workshop: 350kr, register at 2649 1440; www.kulturogfritid.kk.dk
Experience Indian colours and majesty at this two-day-event that includes a dance performance and workshop, organised by the Indian Music Society, in partnership with Osramhuset. Return of the Clones
Byens Lys, Christiania; Tue Oct 30, 20:00; free adm; www.scienceandcocktails.org
Who hasn’t heard of Dolly the sheep? Here to discuss cloning is Poul Hyttel, a professor of veterinary clinical and animal sciences at the University of Copenhagen. It will be followed by barrel organ music performed by cyber jazz trio Badun. An evening of Improv!
Cafe Cadeau, HC Ørstadsvej 28, Cph K; Fri Oct 26, 19:00; www.meetup. com/Copenhagen-Theatre-Circle
Join this Copenhagen Theatre Circle event and set yourselves free from your daily routine. Free your mind and take yourself out of your comfort zone. Dogenween 2012
Sankt Nikolaj Pub/Restaurant, Nikolajgade 18, Cph K; Sun Oct 28, 13:00; www.meetup.com/Dogenhagen
If you love Halloween and your dog, this event is for you. Dress up, meet new two and fourlegged friends and enjoy the celebratory atmosphere in the city centre.
The Belgian ambassador’s residence had a special visitor earlier this month: a copy of the Manneken Pis (not that the official one isn’t a copy, dating back to 1965), which traditionally every year receives new costumes from locations far-flung around the world. This year, Rosenborg Castle’s Royal Danish Collections had the honour of making a garment. Pictured here are Klaus Bondam from the Danish Cultural Institute in Brussels, Katia Johansen, a curator and textile conservator, employed at the Royal Danish Collections, Peter Kristiansen, the inspector of the Royal Danish Collections, and Belgian ambassador Jean-François Branders and his wife
Oh, what a show! Argentinian ambassador Raúl Ricardes has opened an exhibition dedicated to the life of Eva Perón at his embassy
Walking among deers Dyrehaven Park, Klampenborg Station; Sat Oct 27, 07:30; www. meetup.com/photo-cph Dig out your backpack, find a camera, some good shoes and enthusiasm, and join this fun walk through the woods of Dyrehavn Parken. It’s a chance to observe deer living free and enjoy the wonderful colours of the Danish autumn. Remember to bring a raincoat. Reiki vs Winter!
Cafe Retro, Knabrostræde 26, Cph K; Sun Oct 28, 10:00; free adm; www. meetup.com/OmReikiSharing
Need something to help you face the winter cold and blues? Then why not try Tibetan spiritual practice Om Reiki to relax and strengthen your body ahead of the long cold season ahead. Irish Comedy Night
The Dubliner, Amagertorv 5, Cph K; Thu Nov 1, 19:00; tickets: until 17:00: 80kr, after 17:0:0 100kr, reserve table at 3332 2226; info at 5030 7497; www. wisecrackers.dk or www.meetup.com/ americans-in-cph
Kevin Goldsmith, Gary Lynch, Peter Carroll, Cornelius O’Sullivan, David Duff and Khalid Geire are among the Irish comedians here to entertain you at the Dubliner.
MARIA ANTONIETTA RICCI
The Cuban ambassador Caridad Yamira Cueto Milian last week on Wednesday hosted a pop-up art exhibition with delicacies, music and, of course, plenty of rum. Pictured here are (left-right) artist Marc Flury, Milian and the curator, Marcelo Lerer
AN ACTOR’S LIFE A resident here since 1990, Ian Burns is the artistic director at That Theatre Company, and very possibly Copenhagen’s best known English language actor thanks to roles as diverse as Casanova, Oscar Wilde and Tony Hancock.
ger the better it seems. A muchloved gun is the AK47 assault HE AUTUMN leaves rifle. The US market is flooded are falling and election fe- with cheap Chinese copies of ver in the good ol’ US of the original Russian model. A is reaching its climax. I for Don’t’cha just love Free Enterone really hope that they keep prise folks? Can these weapons really that black American man in the White House. Even if the be for hunting purposes? Or do these Amerithought of little can boys just like black American to play with big children running toys? There were around playing 31,337 fatalities hide-and-seek in The obese blobs caused by fireit is a source of profound irrita- wobbling about our arms in 2009 in the US. Compare tion to the ultraright-wing, main- shopping malls can’t that number to ly white Christian have failed to catch the 2,012 American casualties fundamentalists from the War in who like to shoot your eye Afghanistan to powerful weapons on weekends to let off steam. In date. Fact. Less factual, but more fragfact, I hope they keep that black American man in the White mental, are my earliest childHouse just to make their col- hood memories: picking winkles lective jugular veins bulge and on a rocky beach; shaving my tighten against their shirt collars. head at the age of four; a picnic Brits love sweets. So do at a Highland Games gathering Americans. The obese blobs and wondering how it was poswobbling about our shopping sible for men to have such white malls can’t have failed to catch and hairy legs; and my mother your eye. Yanks, though, also telling me that she broke her love weapons. Preferably very nose running into a lamppost powerful weapons and the big- during a night-time air raid dur-
ing the Second World War. And then, of course, there were the sweets. Lucky Bags, Rhubarb and Custards, Sherbert Lemons, Sherbert Dips, Wagon Wheels, Walnut Whips, Spangles, Curly Wurlys, and my personal favourite: Aztecs. Yummy! I can see Ye Old Tucke Shoppe and the jars of sweets in the window as if it were yesterday. I’m working on a play called ‘Old Times’ by Harold Pinter right now. It’s a fragmented and at times very funny love story by one of Britain’s best wordsmiths. An East-end Hungarian Jew who the Fates and his talent decreed would one day receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Please remember to put a note in your diaries to come and see it, anytime from 24 October until 24 November. Book your tickets at www.billetten.dk. See www.that-theatre.com for more info. PS: This week’s Coming up Soon (see left) features details of a chance to listen to Harry Burton talk about Pinter, the subject of his recent documentary. Email info@that-theatre. com for tickets or buy them at the door.
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
26 October - 1 November 2012
When home is where the university is
A six-year resident of Denmark, DTU instructor Herbert Baumeister (left), from Germany, could probably have given some advice of his own to Canadians Eugenia and Sergei Zhukovsky (centre left), still in their first month here while Sergei is on a DTU fellowship. Spain native Javier Delgago (centre right) was hoping mayor Søren P Rasmussen (right) and the rest of the council staff had good advice for finding a job
KEVIN MCGWIN As the home of a leading university, Lyngby has a magnet for attracting foreigners. But the town recognises that it needs to help make them feel happy here
Y N G B Y - TA A R B Æ K mayor Søren P Rasmussen is upfront about the challenge facing the new foreign residents of his town. “Not only will you be living among people who are difficult to get to know,” Rasmussen told the 50 or so attendees at the town’s September welcome reception, “But you’re also going to be living in a country that can be difficult
workers, but as the home of the nation’s leading polytechnical school, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), it is a major magnet for foreigners. Keeping those foreign residents in Lyngby is where Ramussen’s job begins in earnest, and the welcome reception held as a part of the Lyngby-Taarbæk City of Knowledge and Urban Development programme, he said, showed that the town was serious about wanting them to feel at home here. “Think about it. We don’t hold welcome events for Danes,” he said, pointing out that some of the topics discussed during the event, such as library programmes and job hunting, could also be
useful for natives. Most of those attending the welcome reception said they were affiliated with DTU, either as students or staff, and most, such as Javier Delagado, a computer science student from Spain, were interested in information about learning Danish and finding jobs. Delgado has been here a year and said he was interested in learning more about preparing to find a job. “Of course the situation here is better than back home,” he said. “But Denmark is a nice place, and I could see myself living here.” While Rasmussen said keeping people like Delgado in his town was beneficial for Lyngby, he added that he hoped the feel-
ing was mutual. “We each have strengths we can draw on,” Rasmussen said. “Foreigners can offer us enthusiasm, energy and a new way of looking at things. We can offer a hotspot for research and, I feel, a nice place to live.” Something else Lyngby wants to offer its foreign residents is educational programmes for their children. Earlier this year, the town started working towards establishing international classes at one of its schools. While those plans remain on the drawing board, an international daycare group has already been established. As part of the Drivhuset daycare facility on the DTU campus,
the group was established out of recognition that most foreign families won’t stay here permanently. For them, childcare and the availability of primary education in English are important considerations when it comes to deciding whether to accept a foreign assignment. The daycare group is open to all of the town’s residents, but given the concentration of foreign students at DTU, placing it there, according to Beata Engels Andersson, was a natural choice. “Where would DTU be without foreigners?” Beata Engels Andersson said. “If we want foreigners to stay here, we need to make their children feel welcome too.”
Fighting segregation one beer at a time
University’s International Week was a chance for Danish and foreign students to mingle and get to know each other
to figure out.” He knows, though, that if he wants his town to be the centre of science and commerce he would like it to be, then he’s going to have to work with local companies and organisations to help foreigners get to know the Danes and get a handle on life here. “We know people are going to have trouble settling in, but if we want them to be happy here, we need to come up with ways to help,” Rasmussen, who himself lived in Chicago for five years, said. Lyngby has a leg-up when it comes to attracting foreigners in the first place. Like many towns in the area, it has its fair share of companies that employ foreign
They may come from different corners of the world, but pizza and graffiti are the international languages of students everywhere
w e r e summarised and handed over during the closing reception. The closing reception was successful, and as an indication of how important the issue is, Ib Poulsen, the rector of RUC, and Henrik Stougaard, the vice-mayor of Roskilde, took their time to stop by and give speeches.
can joke about just about any- this, Hanne Leth, the pro-recthing, from paedophilia to roy- tor of RUC, presented the existing strategy alty, but when a and then held foreigner tries an open discusto joke about sion about it. Denmark, it is Wow, this is pretty A number of just NOT okay. Besides the cool, I did not know we students from prohumourous had so many different various grammes, both and fun events, Danes and nonone of the main nationalities at RUC Danes alike, goals was to allow anyone interested to have participated. This allowed the an impact on the international topic to be discussed in a good strategy at RUC. To accomplish atmosphere. The final ideas
Canada. There were international movie nights, sports tournaments, language exchange cafes and, of course, parties. There was even a workshop called ‘Danish Humour 101’, where two self-professed Danish ‘humour experts’ (aka students at RUC) tried to explain the ideas behind typical Danish humour. Some extremely interesting discussions followed, such as ‘Why are you so offensive?’. The conclusion was that Danes
WO ROSKILDE University (RUC) organisations, Studenterrådet and International Club, dismayed by the perceived segregation of Danish and foreign students on campus, earlier this month organised International Week to encourage more socialising among the groups. It was a resounding success. Using beer, discussions, events and good old-fashioned fun, barriers were broken and students, of all nationalities, mingled with each other. Initially described by one of its members as a “daunting prospect”, the organisations needn’t have worried about approaching students for their help, as everyone they asked said “yes”, making it “truly inspiring” to arrange such an event. Wanting to make everyone feel welcome, they invited many different organisations to collaborate. This resulted in anything and everything: from international food in the canteen to a Marxist debate about student fights in Chile and
All in all, it was a successful week. As one Danish student remarked: “Wow, this is pretty cool. I did not know we had so many different nationalities at RUC.” Well now they do!
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
26 October - 1 November 2012
Ping pong, all gone, as hosts bring nothing to the table Caroline The Danish results were mixed as Odense and Herning played host to several sports events over the weekend
conquers the Kremlin
ben hamilton Woz’s biggest win of 2012, but that’s not saying much
e may have been crowned European champion in 2009, but Michael Maze’s first round defeat completed a dour opening day for the hosts at the 2012 European Table Tennis Championships in Herning. Maze surprisingly lost to Austrian qualifier Stefan Fegerl in the first round 2-4 in sets. No other Danes progressed past the opening round. The women’s number one, Mie Skov, the world number 79, also failed miserably, losing in four straight sets to Italy’s Nikoleta Stefanova, who is ranked 122 in the world, completing a Danish nightmare in Herning. The only consolation for the Danes was that the future looks bright after two young boys, Claus Nielsen, 16, and Anders Lind, who is only 13, made their Danish debuts. German Timo Boll ended up winning the men’s singles for the sixth time, while Viktoria Pavlovich from Belarus won the women’s singles for the second time. The news was better in Odense as several Danes took part in badminton’s esteemed 2012 Yonex Denmark Open. While no Danes reached the
Michael Maze will be disappointed with his failure to produce his recent good form on home soil
finals, the lively crowd was treated to some stunning badminton featuring some nervewracking finishes. Jan Ø Jørgensen in particular gave the home fans something to shout about, reaching the semi-finals before falling admirably to the Malaysian world number one, and eventual men’s singles winner, Lee Chong Wei in two tough sets, 20-22, 15-21. Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen also managed to reach the semis, but
they lost to a Malaysian pair in a gruelling marathon of a match, 21-19, 11-21, 24-26. And while Danish legend Peter Gade disappointingly lost early on in the tournament, there will be one last time that fans can catch him in action before he retires, as he is expected to take part in the Copenhagen Masters in December along with his perennial nemesis, Lin Dan from China. The tournament will be played from December 27-28.
But Odense wasn’t finished hosting events as the city was also the scene of the Western European League World Cup Qualifiers in dressage. The Dutch were in scintillating form over the weekend, with Adelinde Cornelissen winning the Grand Prix Freestyle with a record score of 88.175 while Edward Gal came second with 80.650. But there was delight for the Danes as well with Anna Kasprzak coming third with 77.825 and Nathalie zu Sayn-
Wittgenstein, the niece of the queen, fourth with a score of 77.600. In the overall Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2012/2013 standings after Round 1, Kasprzak sits in eighth with 17 points and zu Sayn-Wittgenstein is 12th with 15 points. Switzerland’s Marcela Krinke Susmelj leads with 30 points. The top nine qualify for the World Cup, which will take place in the spring. scanpix/claus fisker
Factfile | Mie Skov, girl wonder
Factfile | Anders Lind, boy wonder
Born: 24 May 1986 Occupation: Studies Law at Copenhagen University Clubs: Kremlin-Bicetre (France) and Vedbæk (DK) Mie Skov is Denmark’s top women’s player. She is currently ranked number 79 in the world and is the top women’s table tennis player in Scandinavia. Among her many merits, Skov has won the Danish championships 17 times and has participated in nine World Cups and eight European Championships, as well as the recent 2012 London Olympics. Skov is a class above the rest of the women’s competition in Denmark, to the extent that in preparation for the European Championships in Herning, she played in the top men’s championship league.
Born: 14 December 1998 Occupation: Attends 8th grade at Rudersdal Lilleskole Club: Copenhagen Table Tennis Club The son of two avid table tennis players, Anders Lind is a 13-year-old prodigy who was the youngest participant at the 2012 European Table Tennis Championships in Herning. His failure to progress past the qualification rounds is a mere blip on what has been a glittering career thus far. Aged just ten, he won an under-16s tournament in Belgium, and so far this year, he has reached three semi-finals in various European youth tournaments. He is currently ranked second in Europe in the under-15 age group.
aroline Wozniacki will be mightily relieved following her victory in the final of the Kremlin Cup on Sunday – her first significant title of 2012 and only her second overall, compared to six in 2011. It marks a return to form for the Dane, who last month won the KDB Korea Open, one of the lesser WTA tournaments that carry limited ranking points, at which Wozniacki, despite her world ranking of eleven, was the top seed. In contrast, the Kremlin Cup in Russia actually featured two players above her in the rankings, and she needed to dig deep to see off one of them − Australia’s Samantha Stosur, the world number nine − 6–2, 4–6, 7–5 in the final. It was a typically gutsy performance in which the Dane’s defence overcame the Aussie’s attack over three sets that included 13 breaks of serve. Wozniacki’s fans shouldn’t get carried away, though. The Kremlin Cup might be one of the 22 Premier tournaments contested on the WTA tour, but it is one of the 12 lesser ones, carrying significantly fewer ranking points than the other ten and, of course, the four grand slams. And it is the kind of tournament (mediocre prize fund, a handful of top 16 players if you’re lucky, normally preceding a more important one) that Wozniacki, during her rise to and reign over the number one spot, developed a forte for winning. Since the beginning of 2009, she has won seven of the lesser Premier tournaments, four more than anyone else in the women’s game. Nevertheless, despite the victory in Russia, for the first time since 2008, Wozniacki has failed to qualify for the year-end WTA Tour Championships, a tournament contested by the top eight in the world. Next up for Little Miss Sunshine is a minor tournament in Bulgaria, which starts next Tuesday.
Sports news and briefs Swans break curse
Thorbjørn on Bjørn’s tail
Christian under the cosh
Brave point for FCN
Helge’s medal haul
Chicky’s sticky rep
The curse of Viasat, which had seen Michael Laudrup’s Swansea City fail to win following the broadcaster’s decision to favour English Premier League games featuring the Swans over all others, ended on Saturday with a 2-1 home win against lowly Wigan Athletic. So far, Swansea, in their eight games, have already played six of the bottom eight, and none of England’s ‘top five’.
Denmark’s rising golf star, Thorbjørn Olesen, has shot up into the top 60 in the world, overtaking Anders Hansen to become his country’s second highest-ranked player. Thomas Bjørn remains number one at 45, followed by Olesen at 59, Hansen at 64 and Søren Kjeldsen at 151. Andreas Hartøs, who recently won the Czech Open Challenge, has moved up to number 275.
Christian Poulsen, one of six Danes currently playing for Dutch champions Ajax, has been subjected to a barrage of criticism in the media. One pundit, René van der Gijp, has called him a “terrible football player”, an opinion echoed by Ajax legend Sjaak Swart, while Johan Derksen, the editor of Dutch football magazine Voetbal International, said the decision to buy him was “incomprehensible”.
FC Nordsjælland on Tuesday scored their first ever goal, and their first ever point, in the Champions League against Juventus at Parken, but it could have been so much more. Despite the Italian team’s superior shot ratio (30 vs 8), FCN went ahead in the 50th minute through a Mikkel Beckmann freekick. But Juve equalised after 81 minutes and should have won it through sub Nicklas Bendtner, who missed a glaring chance.
Gymnast Helge Vammen won the Northern European Championships overall men’s title in Glasgow on Saturday, and then followed it up with another gold in the individual pommel horse on Sunday. Competing against rivals from the Nordic countries and the UK, Vammen, who failed to qualify for the Olympics, also finished fifth in the rings, eighth in the vault and sixth in the parallel bars.
A retired Norwegian cyclist, Steffen Kjaergaard, has told his country’s news agency NTB that his former Danish team, Team Chicky World, introduced him to EPO and cortisone while he was there from 1998-99. The team was then led by Kim Andersen, the current sports director at Team RadioShack. Kjaergaard went on to race and dope with Lance Armstrong at US Postal.
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
26 October - 1 November 2012
‘Swipe and pay’ fee to hit customers Christian Wenande Paying with magnetic strip instead of chip will cost 7.5 kroner, regardless of the reason, but politicians vow to fight it
This creative fee is completely unreasonable and unethically grotesque
ost shoppers have been in the irritating situation when their credit card chip fails to work and they’re asked to instead swipe the card’s magnetic strip through the card reader. According to metroXpress newspaper, this is about to become an annoyance that customers will have to pay for. Gradually being phased in this month, a 7.5 kroner fee will be imposed when a card’s magnetic strip is used, regardless of the reason. And while that’s sure to irritate consumers, they’re not alone. Prominent politicians are already speaking out against the fee, and the new business minister has promised to block it. Customers using a Mastercard, Eurocard or American Express card will have to pay a 7.5 kroner fee every time they use the magnetic strip instead of their chip. Customers have to pay even if the chip terminal at the shop is out of order, and even though many consumers already pay a fee to use their credit cards. Teller, the largest acquirer of
It will cost you 7.5 kr to do this instead of inserting your card’s chip
international payment cards in the Nordic region and a company that is partially owned by the Danish banks, was unable to estimate how many millions of kroner the new fee is expected to generate. A company spokesperson said that chip readers often don’t work because shops don’t maintain their credit card terminals properly, arguing that the new fee would encourage better upkeep. “They are simply not proficient enough when it comes to cleaning the terminal chip readers and the fee, which we are reluctant to incorporate, will urge
the shops to better maintain their terminals,” Søren Winge, a spokesperson for Teller, told metroXpress. Teller also wants the shops to ask customers to try paying via the chip three times before attempting with the magnetic strip, leading to another possible annoyance for customers: longer queues. Henrik Hyltoft, the marketing director for business advocacy group Dansk Erhverv, said that if a card’s chip doesn’t work, it can’t always be blamed on the stores. “Often it is the customers’ fault,” Hyltoft told metroXpress.
Literally an eye phone, potentially a goldmine Amy Strada Danish company’s new software enables users to control their phones with their pupils
hether it’s typing away at top speeds on our laptops or toggling at a map on our phones to zoom in and out, our fingers are exhausted by technology. But don’t worry − Danish tech company The Eye Tribe is working hard to give your weary hands a rest and the software, according to industry experts, could be worth billions. The group, headquartered in southwestern Copenhagen and founded in 2011 by four PhD students from the IT University of Copenhagen, has developed a technology that reads your eye’s movements and translates them into cursor clicks and scrolls. Earlier this year, The Eye Tribe received $800,000 (approximately 4.6 million kroner)
in seed funding to develop its eye-controlled technology. “What we’ve developed is a software that enables eye-tracking or eye-control on standard, low-cost, higher volume products or components,” Sebastian Sztuk, an engineer at the Eye Tribe, told Reuters. “So we can actually use the camera that is integrated in today’s tablets and smartphones to do eye-control on a mobile device.” The software reflects infrared light off the pupil of the eye and tracks it with the on-board camera, clicking where the user looks. The Eye Tribe has released a handful of videos that show the technology in full swing, showcasing users − without hands − scrolling through webpages, slicing fruit on the popular app Fruit Ninja, and hovering the cursor from app to app with a mere wander of the eye. “Our software can then determine the location of the eyes and estimate where you’re
looking on the screen with an accuracy good enough to know which icon you’re looking at,” The Eye Tribe website explains. Say goodbye to technological carpal tunnel! Scandinavian company Venture Cup, a promoter of entrepreneurialism, is a keen supporter of The Eye Tribe. Mikkel Sorensen, the national manager of Venture Cup’s Danish branch, told Reuters that eye-control is “a multi-billion dollar industry, and right now they [The Eye Tribe] have the chance to revolutionise the way that we work with smartphones. They’re facing a massive market, and I do believe we could be looking at the entrepreneurial superstars of tomorrow as we’ve seen it with Skype.” Rumoured to be in talks with major smartphone and tablet manufacturers, The Eye Tribe hopes to have its first workable device with eye-control technology on the market in 2013.
“They tend to leave the cards in their pockets which damages the chips.” Still, Hyltoft contended that the fee was out of proportion. “A Teller’s fee can be compared to a ‘stupidity fee’, and it will only be the customer that foots the bill,” Hyltoft said. Trine Bramsen, the IT spokesperson from Socialdemokraterne, was furious to hear about the fee and wants it abolished before it begins to gradually take effect. “This creative fee is completely unreasonable and unethically grotesque. And we actually believe that it’s illegal as well,” Bramsen told metroXpress. Teller, for its part, dismissed all allegations that the fee is illegal, indicating that it is not illegal as long as the fee involves credit cards only and not debit cards, such as the widely-used Dankort/ Visa-Dankort, which would not incur fees for using the magnetic strip.
The new business and growth minister, Annette Vilhelmsen (Socialistisk Folkeparti), also jumped into the fray and vowed that customers won’t be charged for something that isn’t their fault, such as a faulty or dirty card terminal. “It has been clear that you can’t charge fees to customers if they pay with debit cards like Dankort, but for credit cards, this case illustrates that there is doubt,” Vilhelmsen told TV2 News. “As a result, I will clarify the rules. Consumers shouldn’t be paying when there are technical problems or errors with the credit card terminal.” Vilhelmsen is unsure who will pay the fees, but stressed that it should not be customers. “We will find out whether the fee will go under operating costs. But it won’t be the customer that pays. I will change the regulations so that the rules are clear and precise,” Vilhelmsen told TV2 News. The supermarket giant Coop – which own Fakta, SuperBrugsen, Irma and Kvickly – was quick to assure their customers that they wouldn’t be encountering the fee in their stores. “Our customers won’t be paying the fee, and they won’t be paying it indirectly either,” Jens Juul Nielsen, a spokesperson for Coop Denmark, told Ritzau.
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Windfarm project faces setback
new windfarm under construction in the North Sea is being halted due to energy constraints. Energy giant Dong Energy, which is behind the project, blamed its power supplier, TenneT, whose electricity cables are reportedly unable to supply the project with enough juice. Speaking to German magazine Der Spiegel, the CEO of Dong in Germany, Christoph Mertens, admitted that energy concerns have placed the company’s further plans for construction on standby. The windfarm project, which is called ‘Bokrum Riffgrund 2’, is expected to deliver clean electricity to just under 300,000 households. But with further delays expected, this isn’t expected to happen for a while. Dong Energy also said that it has yet to receive an explanation from TenneT as to why the cables have failed to supply a sufficient amount of energy. The setback also caused concern for another Danish giant, Lego, whose parent company Kirkbi plans to invest three billion kroner into the project over the next five years. (BSM)
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.
Australian Dollars AUD
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
Price in kroner for one unit of foreign currency
If you would like to attend then please send us an email (email@example.com) or call +45 31 18 75 58
Date: 24 October 2012
• official media partner Denmark’s only English-language newspaper
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
26 October - 1 November 2012
Start the weekend with instructive and efficient language learning
A Danish course at IA Sprog on Saturdays offers: • A combination of classroom instruction, self study and online learning • The newest technology and learning tools • Professional teachers • Speed and level tailored to each student
Busy working or studying during the week? Try IA Sprog: Contact: 3888 3233
Hejrevej 26, 2nd floor 2400 Copenhagen NV Phone: 3888 3233 Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.iasprog.dk
THE COPENHAGEN POST 26 October - 1 November 2012 SPOUSE EMPLOYMENT PAGE SPOUSE: S.M. Ariful Islam FROM: Bangladesh SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: PhD student (2nd year) in Language Policy and Practice in Aalborg University, MA in Bilingualism, MA in English Linguistics, BA in English. EXPERIENCE: 18 months as a University lecturer in English in Bangladesh. Taught advanced grammar, four skills (listening, speaking, reading & writing), ELT courses, Second Language theories, Psycholinguistics, Sociolinguistics. LOOKING FOR: A position of English teacher/lecturer in English Medium Schools, Colleges and Universities. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Bengali (mother tongue), English (second language), Danish (fluent) Danske Uddannelse PD3, Hindi and Urdu (Spoken) and Swedish (basic). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office. CONTACT: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +45 42778296 SPOUSE: Keshab Nidhi Pantha FROM: Nepal SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Masters in Mathematics EXPERIENCE: 4 years Mathematics teaching in secondary level and 2 years Mathematics teaching in Bachlor level. LOOKING FOR: Full time/ part time Mathematics teaching in international scool or College/ University LANGUAGE SKILLS: English,Nepali,Hindi and little Danish IT EXPERIENCE: 6 months diploma in computer with MS words and excel. CONTACT: email@example.com, Tel:+45 71579893 SPOUSE: Munawar Saleem FROM: Pakistan SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: MBA logistics and supply chain management (Jonkoping University, Sweden) M.Sc. Computer Sciences (Punjab University, Lahore Pakistan). EXPERIENCE: 4 years, Lecturer in computer sciences. LOOKING FOR: Full time or part time job in Logistics and Supply. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English (fluent), Urdu (mother tongue), Swedish (Basic). IT EXPERIENCE: Proficient in MS Office (word, excel, power point etc.). CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 71412010 SPOUSE: Chiara Rodighiero FROM: Siena, Italy SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen or nearby areas, Greater Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Ph.D. in Microbiology (Univeristy of Bristol, UK), Laurea (Degree) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry (University of Padova, Italy), Project Manager Professional Certification (George Washington University, School of Business). EXPERIENCE: 5 years as Senior Project Manager for Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. Responsibility for managing multiple global projects at various stages of Research and Development. Experience coordinating activities within cross-functional teams and ensuring that internal research activities are fully aligned with project goals. Experience also includes managing a team of scientists, controlling research budgets and resource allocation. Also have experience working for Biotech (in United Kingdom) and academia (Harvard Medical School). LOOKING FOR: Full time position in the Pharma/Biotech Industry in Research, Project Management or related fields suiting my qualifications and experience. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Italian mother tongue , very good command of English and a working knowledge of French. IT EXPERIENCE: Microsoft Office package. Excellent command of internet and ability to find information on the web. Excellent command of word-processor and spreadsheet applications. CONTACT: email@example.com, Tel +39 348 790 7554
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK SPOUSE: Katarzyna Szkaradek FROM: Poland SEEKING WORK IN: Mental hospitals, voluntary(Ngo) organisations, kindergartens, nurseries, babysitting QUALIFICATION: Ma in Psychology (2008), post graduate studies in psychotherapy (4th year/ 5 year). EXPERIENCE: I am a highly motivated and creative individual with excellent communication skills. From January 2010 till August 2010 I worked independly in private practice. For the last 2 years (January ,2009 -October, 2010) I worked with children (also with special needs -Autism, Asperger, Down syndrome etc) and their families as a psychologist. My duties included organizing games, monitoring children’s development , consulting teachers and parents where appropriate and providing individual therapy. For the last 10 years I was member of NGO organisation and I was a volunteer in Israel, Italy, Portugal and Romania. LOOKING FOR: Internship in mental hospitals, part – time or full time jobs in kindergartens, nurseries, job as a babysitter, voluntary job in hospitals. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English–advance level (C1), Danish – (module 3 /module 5), Polish-native speaker IT EXPERIENCE: MS Windows, basic MS Office, Internet. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 50828802 SPOUSE: Isaac P Thomas FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: East Juthland preferably Århus QUALIFICATION: Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Science). EXPERIENCE: Process Consulting, Quality Assurance, CMMI, ISO, Quality Audit, Process Definition, Software testing, software development, data analysis, best practice sharing, quality gap analysis and “sharepoint” expertise. LOOKING FOR: Process Consulting, Quality Assurance, CMMI, ISO, Quality Audit, Process Definition LANGUAGE SKILLS: Danish beginner, English, Malayalam, Hindi and Tamil. IT EXPERIENCE: 8 years experience in IT Industry in software quality assurance, software quality control, software development. CONTACT: email@example.com, Tel: +4552225642 SPOUSE: Debjani Nandy Biswas FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Would like to join in kindergarten, School teacher in English, official work in English. QUALIFICATION: B.A., M.A in English literature and language (American, European and Indian). EXPERIENCE: Temporary school teacher in Bongaon, India and involved in social work (handicapped society). LOOKING FOR: A possibility in getting practical experiences in kindergarten or any international school, official work (administration) in English, voluntary work also. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Hindi, Sanskrit, Bengali, little Danish (currently learning). IT EXPERIENCE: Diploma in basic computer applications. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +45 50219942. SPOUSE: Heike Mehlhase FROM: Berlin, Tyskland SEEKING WORK IN: A job opportunity in Copenhagen (administrative position, research assistant or psychosocial care). QUALIFICATION: MPH, Master degree in Psychology, Lerntherapeutin. EXPERIENCE: Five years experience in psychological research and child psychology. LOOKING FOR: A position to expand my experience where I can use my excellent organisational, social and communication skills. LANGUAGE SKILLS: German (mother tongue), English (fluent), Danish (Module 2). IT EXPERIENCE: I am proficient in software such as word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software and basic graphic editing programs (Microsoft Office, Open Office) plus statistical software (SPSS). CONTACT: email@example.com
SPOUSE: Francis Farias FROM: Venezuela SEEKING WORK IN: Greater København QUALIFICATION: Master in Spanish Studies from Universidad de Cadiz, Spain, as a Spanish Teacher and BA in Teaching English as a Second Language. Diplomas in Digital Photography (from Venezuela and Spain). EXPERIENCE: 7 years experience as a teacher of English and Spanish at JMV University. Academic translator (Spanish-English/English-Spanish) and freelance photographer. LOOKING FOR: Spanish language teacher, translator, interpreter, photographer. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish (native). Basic Danish. IT EXPERIENCE: Office tools, Photoshop. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +45 50814073 SPOUSE: Sucharita Reddy FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Anywhere in Denmark QUALIFICATION: Bachelor in Technology (Electrical Engineering) EXPERIENCE: 4+ years of professional experience in SAP ABAP & OO-ABAP programming for Material Management(MM), Plant Maintenance(PM), Document Management and Record Management System(DM/RM), Extended Warehouse Management (EWM), Sales and Distribution(SD) and Finance (FI) modules. LOOKING FOR: Job opportunities in IT (technical or Functional),Consulting,Management or Business Field. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Proficient in English & Hindi. Danish(learning Intensive course) IT EXPERIENCE: SAP ABAP/4 technical skills include ABAP Programs (Dialog Programming, Standard and Interactive Reports), ALV Reporting, Smartforms, User Exit and Field Exit Development, Interfacing Data with external systems, Data conversions, Programming using BDC, ABAP/4 Workbench, Data Dictionary, Batch Job management, Workflows, Adobe Forms, Webdynpro, ABAP Objects CONTACT: email@example.com, Tel: 0045-5271184. SPOUSE: Maihemutijiang Maimaiti FROM: China SEEKING WORK IN: Aarhus area, Denmark QUALIFICATION: M.Sc. In Computer Science, Uppsala University, Sweden; Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science, Southwest University. LOOKING FOR: IT jobs. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Chinese, Uyghur. IT EXPERIENCE: 1 year experience in Java programming and modelling in VDM++. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Denmark’s only English-language newspaper
WHY: The Copenhagen Post wishes to help spouses looking for jobs in Denmark. We have on our own initiative started a weekly spouse job page in The Copenhagen Post, with the aim to show that there are already within Denmark many highly educated international candidates looking for jobs. If you are a spouse to an international employee in Denmark looking for new career opportunities, you are welcome to send a profile to The Copenhagen Post at email@example.com and we will post your profile on the spouse job page when possible. Remember to get it removed in case of new job.
Are you An AccompAnying spouse in pursuit of A cAreer And residing in copenhAgen? Copenhagen Career Program would like to invite you to an information meeting in Jobcenter Copenhagen, Musvågevej 15, 2400 København NV.
Please register for the meeting by sending an e-mail, latest on Sunday the 28th of October to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please inform us of your full name and address when registering
Wednesday the 31st of October at 12 pm – 13.30 pm
A light sandwich and drinks will be served during the meeting
At the meeting you will receive information about: • Danish courses and course in Danish social conditions and Danish culture and history. • Measures promoting employment such as internship, employment with salary subsidy, mentor at the work place, upgrading courses and job seeking courses. • Recognition of international qualifications. • IO positions (Integrations- og oplæringsstillinger).
Copenhagen Career Program is based in the Department for Integration and Language at Jobcenter Copenhagen, Musvågevej. The Department for Integration and Language is responsible for administrating the Integration Act in the municipality of Copenhagen.
Following the meeting you have the chance to talk individually with a job counselor about your qualifications and career plans (for that purpose we recommend you to bring your CV).
few AvAilAble spots, registrAtion cphcAreerprogrAm@bif.kk.dk
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
26 October - 1 November 2012
peter stanners Danish cinemas association chairman claims the action is groundless and merely a smokescreen to bleed Ekko magazine dry through legal fees
Photo: Ekko website
Zentropa sues film magazine for libel
Who is ... Kirstine ‘Babe’ Rædkjær?
Ekko is confident it can prove that Zentropa was a major player in making the film
Jensen argued that the piece was one of several articles critical of Zentropa, drawing attention to how none of them had asked him for a comment. “I’m not ready to bury the hatchet. They need to be busted big time before they learn their lesson,” Jensen told Politiken newspaper before launching the libel case against Ekko. Jensen’s libel case is based on an article written by the freelance writer Mikkel Kofod, which was published on Ekko’s website on January 6, claiming that “750 actors paid money to go to a casting for a Zentropa film project that never happened”. The practice was condemned by the Danish actors union, Dansk Skuespillerforbund, who withdrew the casting call from its website once it discovered the fee. Following the publication of
Habengut – a journey of invention HHHHHH
allace and Gromit, Caractacus Pott, Professor Calculus, Willy Wonka, the Hudsucker Proxy, Q – the world of fiction is full of colourful inventors, and now you can add two more names to the alumni: Mr and Mrs Professor Habengut, the central characters in ‘Habengut – a journey of invention’, a new children’s play currently playing at Børnescenen v Folketeatret on Nørregade (see G9 in InOut for more details), which is wowing the city’s children with its visual panache, humour and progressive perspective. Created by Luba Lynch and Lisbeth Burian, the partlive action (directed by Burian), part animation (Lynch) show is aimed at three to eight-yearolds, although its appeal is universal. With minimal dialogue, it tells the story of two inventors, one of whom (the man, obviously), – by mistake – sends himself back to the Stone Age. He will quickly discover, as will the children in the audience, that ideas really are everything. With my two daughters
Karoline Tiara Lieberkind
Hour well spent learning to invent
the article in January – in which it was also claimed that the 250,000 kroner raised through the fees went missing in 2009 – Jensen denied that Zentropa had anything to do with the film. “You are only involved in a project if you own the copyright for a script or the concept being developed, and if this has also been integrated into the company’s books. We have done none of these things,” Jensen said according to Ekko. “I can understand if there are people that think we are involved, but we are not and I need to explain this. Some media are stating that we have stolen money from some young people, and I need to politely point out that this is not the case.” Ekko denies that it has done anything wrong, however. On its website it has published press material released prior to the casting
Manifest 2083 HHHHHH
present (go on then: Billie, four, and Karla, eight), practically spanning the target audience, I was perfectly equipped to judge the play, as an adult, and also from the perspective of a child. I enjoyed it because of the stunning and colourful stenography and animation and quirky caricatures. Billie, judging by her alarmingly loud laughs, particularly when all of the food was thrown on the stage, loved it, while Karla thought it was “funny and good” and learnt “how not to get angry with each other when you have ideas”. Still, she did find it “difficult to follow” at times – a future critic in the making there. So just remember: if I have one idea, and you have one idea and we swap, then we both have two ideas. This Chinese proverb, said Lynch, sums up the story of the play. Ideas are to be shared. Thanks for sharing a magical play with us and the children.
of six months so Zentropa Folket is, in other words, starting a case about something the court cannot process because the case is procedurally outdated.” Jensen has been criticised by Kim Pedersen, the chairman of the association of Danish cinemas, Danske Biografer. In an op-ed for Politiken newspaper, Pedersen argues that Jensen is simply trying to bleed Ekko dry through legal fees. “Jensen and Zentropa have filed a libel suit against Ekko even though Jensen has not managed to point out one libellous line in the article the case is based on,” Pedersen said. “There is not a shadow of doubt that Jensen is simply trying to silence critical journalism in a battle brought about by two articles critical of Zentropa’s finances.” The first court date is set for November 12.
Its brilliance is manifest Stuart Lynch
It’s funky, fun and freaky
call that, it argues, links Zentropa to the film. Ekko also claims that Jensen repeatedly admitted to Ekko that Zentropa was working on the film before he changed his tune this January. As a result, Ekko’s lawyer Asger Thylstrup denies that Ekko has committed libel. “Firstly, Ekko has never accused anyone, neither the plaintiff Zentropa Folket Aps, Peter Aalbæk Jensen or anyone else, of taking the money, so there is nothing libellous in what Ekko wrote,” Thylstrup stated on Ekko’s website. “Secondly, Mikkel Kofod acted in good faith when he wrote his article. He did not invent the story that Zentropa was involved in ‘Klar til optagelse’.” He added: “Finally, this all happened in January 2012. Libel cases have a statute of limitations
anifest 2083’ is neither expensively produced entertainment nor your standard Danish theatre play. ‘Manifest 2083’ is theatre at its best: stripped-back, honest and unapologetic. Within an hour and a half we discover why it is called ‘Manifest 2083’, what was the extent of Anders Breivik’s gaming and weightlifting obsession, and how he craves media attention for both his own ego and his simplistic right-wing cause. However, these details pale against the true nature of the work that, through an intensely personal approach, brilliantly reflects the audience’s own feelings about the 2011 Norway attacks that claimed 77 lives. The opening minutes are in the ‘au natural’ manner of a lecture demonstration. This lures us into a docile learning mode and into the hands of performer and director. Solo on stage, Olaf Højgaard flits commandingly between styles and approaches, always appropriate to the text and never overplay-
eter Aalbæk Jensen, the CEO of Zentropa Films, is suing the editor and a writer of the film magazine Ekko for publishing an online piece in January 2012 that claimed 750 actors were each charged 350 kroner to audition for a Zentropa project in 2009. Jensen claims that the film, ‘Klar til optagelse’, was never an official Zentropa project and is now demanding 250,000 kroner in damages plus interest. He has also demanded that Ekko stop writing about Zentropa, and appealed to the Danish film institute, Det Danske Filminstitut, to withdraw the magazine’s 400,000 kroner annual financial support. “The magazine Ekko has wrongfully accused me of taking a quarter of a million kroner from a bunch of young people paying to be cast in the film,” Jensen told Politiken newspaper. “That is why I have decided to start libel proceedings because it was a wrongful accusation.” The conflict between Ekko and Jensen started this September after the magazine published an article in which the director Anders Rønnow expressed his frustration at working for Zentropa.
She is a 20-year-old reality starlet who can currently be seen on Kanal 5’s second season of ‘Kongerne af Rømø’. Babe!? She gave herself the nickname and introduced herself accordingly when appearing on ‘Kongerne af Marielyst’, Denmark’s answer to ‘Jersey Shore’ (because it was so desperately needed!). She probably thought herself clever, forcing the cast to refer to her as a sexy female, but you know they were really thinking of the 1995 feature film of the same name. So what happens on this show? Eight individuals spend a summer in the Danish countryside getting drunk, getting naked, fighting and saying embarrassing things. The producers wanted to cause a scandal by showing sex on TV, but none of the contestants managed to actually score. Do all the others have nicknames too? Oh yes. There was Prada (a highmaintenance gay guy), JJ (after her bra size), Vodka (ran out of ideas and picked what she had for breakfast) and X (probably just didn’t want people to know he’d been on the show). Babe and two others (with nicknames so explicit we can’t print them) are the only ones of the original cast to come back for a second season.
Lollike’s treatment of the subject matter is commendable
ing the expression. At times he dares to be simply present with the audience − a rare feat in today’s Danish theatre, which is so often desperate to entertain. Christian Lollike is an irritatingly good playwright and shows maturity more often associated with an older writer. He depicts a self-preening Breivik and the media’s often tasteless coverage of the man, holding a mirror to every one of us. The success of this mirror exists in the air of tension that permeates throughout the audience from beginning to end. When the project was first announced, it was met with a deluge of indignation and claims of profiteering. The un-
derlying message within this critique was that artists should not approach serious issues. This work reminds us that it is perhaps the artist who can best respond to crisis and further reminds us to not get lost in the discussions about multiculturalism and Islamic fundamentalism, but to remember those who lost their lives to a coward. Manifest 2083 can be seen in Copenhagen at CaféTeatret (www. cafeteatret) until November 14. See page G2 in InOut for more details. It should be noted that the Danish is accessible to the non-Dane as long as she or he is past the ‘Jeg hedder John, jeg er en kemiker’ stage.
So what does she do that’s so entertaining? Babe calls herself the ultimate party girl, meaning she likes to flash her breasts and yell ‘woo’ a lot. What she doesn’t like to do is housework, fuelling a fair share of drama on both seasons. It’s not her fault though, or at least for initially signing up: she claims she was promised luxury and VIP treatment by K5 producers, and that didn’t include doing dishes. She’s threatened to move over to TV3, where contestants on shows like ‘Paradise Hotel’ and ‘Tempted’ get treated to laundry service. Aiming high! Hopefully her reality TV dreams will come true soon, before producers decide her 15 minutes are up: “That’ll do pig, that’ll do.”
DENMARK THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
26 Oct - 1 Nov 2012
HOWL ABOUT A HAUNTED HOTEL STAY THIS HALLOWEEN? They can check out any time they like, but you know they’ll never leave! The Scottish lord, the murdered daughter and the old matron are just three of 100 different ghoulish guests who reside at Dragsholm Castle
she could no longer hide the truth. It’s believed that her father held a celebratory meal at which he drugged his daughter. While she was intoxicated, he ordered servants to take her away and hide her inside the walls of the castle. Sealed in by bricks and mortar, she was trapped forever. For days she was heard crying and scratching, but those who reported the noises were told to ignore them. For many years, few took the story seriously. But when structural renovations were made in 1910, the skeletal remains of a human female wrapped in a silk white dress were found. Those who have seen the White Lady concur that she appears to be mourning, presumably for her unborn child. She’s often seen visiting young men, perhaps searching for her lover. The remains are on display for visitors to see.
The White Lady
The Grey Lady
NUMEROUS guests and staff have reported the figure of a white lady who wanders the castle corridors. Details vary but the consensus seems to be that a young girl, possibly Celestine Mariann de Bayonne Guildenstern (who disappeared from the castle in around 1550), had been promised by her father to a nobleman friend of his. The girl, however, had secretly fallen in love with a commoner. When she became pregnant,
THERE ARE several backstories in circulation regarding The Grey Lady, the most popular being that she was the eldest sister of a large family of siblings whose parents had died. In order to keep
Not only did she die in extreme discomfort, she suffered the embarrassment of spending her final moments dressed in a curtain
them all together, she was trying to support them on her earnings alone, and when things became increasingly hard for her, she began stealing silverware from the castle. She was caught by the matron, but instead of punishing her, the matron listened to the girl’s story and decided to take her under her wing. She gave her more training and more responsibility, thus raising her wages. The girl was so grateful that, is it said, she continues to maintain the castle to the matron’s high standards even today. James Hepburn, Earl Of Bothwell SOMETHING of an international playboy it would seem, James Hepburn, Scotland’s 4th Earl of Bothwell, was of noble descent, but his behaviour seemed to be anything but. As the controversial last consort of Mary Queen of Scots, Bothwell made a grave error when, earlier in life, he made a stop in Copenhagen during a European tour. In the year 1559, he met and married Anna Throndsen, the daughter of a Norwegian admiral who was acting Danish consul. With her dowry, Bothwell continued his tour to France. When their money ran out in Flanders, Bothwell ordered Anna t o sell her
possessions, which she duly did before returning to her father to procure more funds for them. Meanwhile, on finding himself in the company of the French royal court, Bothwell found employment with Mary of Guise, who paid very well for his services. He abandoned Throndsen and began a friendship with Mary’s daughter, the soon-to-be widowed consort of the French king. On their return to Scotland in 1561, Mary assumed the throne she had technically held since she was six days old and wed her first cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. When Darnley was murdered in 1567, many believed, then and still now, that it was Bothwell who ordered the assassination despite his later acquittal of the crime. In light of widespread scepticism, Bothwell is said to then have abducted and raped Mary, forcibly ensuring their subsequent marriage. In actuality, there is evidence that the pair had long been lovers and orchestrated the entire enterprise. Catholics and Protestants alike were up in arms about the union of this queen to a man still suspected of her husband’s murder, and it soon became clear that war was inevitable. Bothwell fled abroad in the hope of raising an army and was reprimanded off the coast of Norway without proper documentation. Hauled into the port of Bergen, his arrival caught the attention of the worst pos-
sible person: his ex-wife Anna Throndsen. Now residents of Bergen, Anna’s powerful family ensured that Bothwell stayed in custody. Possibly still holding a flame for the Scot, Anna administered relatively light vengeance by accepting his ship and crew as compensation for all his wrongdoing. But then the ruler of Norway and Denmark, Frederik II, heard of the English interest in Darnley’s murder and chose to imprison Bothwell in Dragsholm Castle. There Bothwell lived his final decade, chained to a pillar. The pillar can still be seen today, around which there is a circular groove he made there. Opinions differ of Bothwell’s mental state at the time of his death: Catholics claim that Protestant reports of his insanity were concocted in an attempt to discredit a testimony he gave to exonerate Queen Mary of any involvement in her husband’s murder. In any case, he never saw Mary again; she was later executed in England in 1887, 20 years after losing the Scottish crown. Bothwell died ten years earlier, in 1578 aged 44, in appalling conditions. No-one came forth to claim his body. Many have witnessed a ghostly funeral carriage that drives a coffin from the courtyard to the nearby Fårevejle church, where his mummified remains were displayed until only recently. PHOTO BY TIM LYKKEGREN©
PHOTO BY TIM LYKKEGREN©
N THE northwest corner of Zealand, Denmark’s largest island, there stands a castle by the name of Dragsholm. In parapsychology circles the site is well-known as one of Europe’s most haunted buildings. No fewer than 100 different apparitions have been witnessed on the grounds, but three of those have garnered international reputation. With Halloween around the corner, let’s take a closer look inside Dragsholm Castle. For over eight centuries, there has stood a castle in Dragsholm. Today, you will find a handsome baroque four-winged structure built for the statesman Frederik Christian Adeler, but this was the castle’s second incarnation. In 1201, a small island (it was connected to the mainland in 1756) was purchased on behalf of the Catholic church by a man named Peder Sunesen in his capacity as bishop of Roskilde (his predecessor was Absalon, the founder of Copenhagen). The construction of the Medieval castle was completed
in 1215. Following the Reformation in which certain factions of the Catholic clergy broke away from traditional doctrine, it was decided that all property and riches belonging to clergy should become the property of the state, which resulted in Dragsholm being under royal jurisdiction from 1536 to 1664. During this time the building was used for the incarceration of noblemen. One such prisoner was James Hepburn, a Scottish nobleman who history remembers better by his official title, the 4th Earl of Bothwell, and for his marriage: he was the third husband of Mary Queen of Scots. From the mid-1930s up until the present day, Dragsholm Castle has been owned by the Bøttger family. Currently it’s a hotel, but it seems some guests are unlikely to ever check out.
Bothwell’s conditions were appalling by Danish standards. By Scottish ones, though, they were perfectly habitable
EntrEprEnEurship in DEnmark
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Tuesd AND PL a A Axelbo y 13 Novem CE b rg, Ve sterbr er 2012 9. 3 ogade 4A, 16 0 a.m. - 3.3 0 20 Co penha p.m. gen Are you an entrepreneur with a business idea, do you dream of becoming one or have you already started a company? Then participate in this big celebration of the best business idea of the year among entrepreneurs with an international background. All the best entrepreneurs with international mindsets and ideas for business development will be gathered at the award show. You are also very welcome if you are a consultant who offers counselling on starting and running a business, work in an organization for expats or in any other way are interested in co-operating with Entrepreneurship in Denmark. Read more and sign up: www.entrepreneurshipindenmark.dk.
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