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If you had a week like Viktor’s, you’d smile too


Huge SAS cuts aim to avoid permanent grounding


16 - 22 November 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 46

Oh, Christmas tree! National drama rages


Denmark’s only English-language newspaper | JUSTIN CREMER


Pension funds invest in companies that produce drones which are “terrorising” civilian populations



PET hid terror suspect’s alibi Intelligence agency neglected to say that video surveillance showed that defendant never left his home


If not for her helmet, we might not have had another ‘Brick by Brick’ column from Stephanie Brickman



Shaking a leg with Henrik The president of the Danish American Society on embracing diversity and dancing with Prince Henrik

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ARE WE LOOKING THE WRONG WAY? 4 Budget deal kills fat tax and leaves allies unhappy KEVIN MCGWIN Far-left agrees to budget that scraps maligned levies and temporarily helps those facing benefit cuts, but negotiations leave them unsatisfied


FTER two months of negotiations with parties on both sides of the political aisle, the government over the weekend agreed on the details of the 2013 budget with its far-left ally, Enhedslisten (EL). The first details of the 690 billion kroner agreement between the Socialdemokraterne-led coalition and EL began to fall into place on Saturday with the elimination of levies on fat and sugar (see related stories on pages 5 and 15).

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On Sunday, both sides shook hands on a budget that will reduce the 2013 deficit by half, to 36.5 billion kroner, after EL received a guarantee that jobless benefits set to be eliminated at the end of the year would be extended until July. Calling the deal a “temporary solution to a permanent problem”, EL leader Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen said her party had agreed to the budget, even though it considered it flawed. “We didn’t do this for the government’s sake,” Schmidt-Nielsen said, speaking during a press conference after refusing to appear with the government’s negotiators after the deal was signed. “We did this for the thousands of people who wouldn’t have had any money come January 1.” Schmidt-Nielsen admitted on Sun-

day that the budget negotiations made it clear that her party had mistakenly thought the government stood further to the left than it actually did. Nevertheless, she underscored that the 2013 budget had set aside funds to areas EL had sought funding for, including a number of social welfare programmes, public transport and renewable energy. Political commentators said it was unprecedented for a party not to appear together with government representatives after shaking hands on a budget deal, but the finance minister, Bjarne Corydon (Socialdemokraterne), nevertheless underscored that the budget had been something all parties involved had agreed to. “The budget has been agreed upon,

and Enhedslisten was a part of the productive negotiations that brought it about,” he said in a statement. Within EL, however, the decision to accept the budget has led to turmoil. EL executive committee member Bjarne Thyregod told Politiken newspaper that the budget agreement represented “a betrayal of our ideals” and called for the election of a new executive committee. Nine of the 25 members of EL’s executive committee voted against the budget. 2013 budget winner and losers Government says budget will “create jobs and prosperity for Denmark” page 5 First-in-the-world fat tax repealed page 5 Business leaders: fat tax was a failure page 15

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Week in review

The Copenhagen Post

CPH Post Word of the Week:


Værdier (plural noun) – Values. Where you heard it: Out of the mouths of outraged individuals who contended that a housing association’s decision to forego a Christmas tree constituted an attack on traditional Danish values Scanpix / Claus Bech

Well, that was odd

Concerns of ethnic bullying after housing board axes Christmas tree Opinion | Why Denmark is great and why more people need to know Dating the Danes | Where have all the Vikings gone? Journalists attacked for reporting on Christmas tree controversy Aarhus siblings’ love child sets off incest debate

FROM OUR ARCHIVES TEN YEARS AGO. A poll of Danes reveals that 53 percent favour abandoning the krone for the euro while only 33 percent oppose. FIVE YEARS AGO. Bars, cafés and other restaurants report changes to their bottom lines due to new smoking ban laws. ONE YEAR AGO. City Council pushes ahead with a plan to allow the sale of marijuana in the face of uncertain approval from parliament. Weekly press conferences are typically stale affairs, but at Tuesday’s presser with PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a man described as “confused” (in a striped sweater) shouted out random questions and delivered a note to the PM that allegedly said he would take over the country. He was kicked out

ways, as many as 1,900 women a year would be diagnosed with melanoma by 2030. The organisation is advising women to stop visiting tanning salons altogether and get better at applying proper sunscreen. Kræftens Bekæmpelse is also pushing for new regulations within the tanning salon industry.

Denmark’s only English-language newspaper Since 1998, The Copenhagen Post has been Denmark’s leading source for news in English. As the voice of the international community, we provide coverage for the thousands of foreigners making their home in Denmark. Additionally, our English language medium helps to bring Denmark’s top stories to a global audience. In addition to publishing the only regularly printed English-language newspaper in the country, we provide up-to-date news on our website and deliver news to national and international organisations. The Copenhagen Post is also a leading provider of non-news services to the private and public sectors, offering writing, translation, editing, production and delivery services.

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Refugee influx

The Danish asylum system is under so much stress that Immitation Services has started approaching to the nation’s councils to help them house asylum seekers. The Danish Red Cross, which runs the majority of the nation’s asylum centres, has been so overwhelmed by asylum seekers that it has been putting many of them

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

up in hotel rooms. But this isn’t working and now the state has turned to the councils for help. The Justice Ministry estimates that by the year-end, 6,000 people will have sought asylum in Denmark in 2012, compared to 3,800 last year. Many of the additional asylum seekers come from war-torn Syria, as seen above.

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

Scanpix / Claus Bech

Here’s a record Denmark could have certainly done without. With 800 Danish women being diagnosed with melanoma each year, Denmark is in first place among the Nordic nations for incidence of the disease. The national cancer society, Kræftens Bekæmpelse, said that unless Danish women change their

Scanpix / Bulent Kilic


Stop doing this

CORRECTION Our review of the film ‘Argo’ erroneously referred to it by its Danish title: ‘Operation Argo’

Flip-flop on pot

If Copenhagen is to legalise cannabis, like Mayor Frank Jensen (Socialdemokraterne) and his City Council colleagues wish, it’s unlikely to happen with Helle Thorning-Schmidt in the prime minister’s office. At her weekly press conference on Tuesday, Thorning-Schmidt made it clear she wasn’t having it. “I’m not for

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legal cannabis, I might as well say it,” she said. “I have dramatically changed my viewpoint in this area.” As Ekstra Bladet tabloid pointed out, Thorning-Schmidt advocated for a pilot project in 2003 to legalise cannabis in Christiania in order to battle organised criminality – the same reason Jensen cites today.

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4 The EU is our present, China our future – so why do we still only care about America? Cover Story

The Copenhagen Post

The EU and China impact Danish lives as much as the US does, so why doesn’t the Danish media seem to care about the world’s other two superpowers?



fter Barack Obama’s re-election on November 6, Danish newspapers have had to find a new way to fill their pages. In the weeks and months leading up to the US presidential election, Obama and his opponent Mitt Romney regularly graced the covers of newspapers that scrutinised their efforts and popularity in key swing states. The ubiquitousness of the American election in the Danish media raised some questions. How can the obsessive level of coverage be explained when the papers don’t devote as many column inches to the European Union and China? After all, the EU sets, by some estimates, 80 percent of Denmark’s legislation and China is increasingly encroaching on Danish and European interests, especially after the recent 12 billion kroner investment in an iron mine in Greenland – an autonomous country in the kingdom of Denmark. The first answer is that Obama, the overwhelmingly favourite candidate in Denmark, is a leader that Danes can identify with. “Danes haven’t lost the enthusiasm for Obama that the rest of the world has,” said Russell Duncan, a professor of history and social studies at the University of Copenhagen. According to Duncan, Danes can empathise with Obama and his policies, which can be seen as an extension of the social democrat tradition with a greater focus on welfare and empathy toward minority groups. He added that the level of election coverage was also due to an understanding of how much of Denmark’s interests are protected by the US on the word stage. “Danes understand that the world is global and that the United States is involved in protecting EU interests in the South China Sea where Maersk, for example, is very prevalent,” he said. But while the US is protecting Danish interests, they are no longer without competition in international might. Unlike Europe and the US, which are still gripped by flat-lining growth, China has been travelling the world buying up farmland and mineral resources, such as the iron mine in Greenland. Danes are aware of this rising power. A poll carried out last week for Politiken newspaper found that 53 percent of Danes think that China will be the world’s leading superpower in ten years,

Denmark to share warplanes with neighbours Pooling of military resources seen as a way to cut costs while maintaining operational capabilities

Scanpix / Jason Reed

Peter Stanners

16 - 22 November 2012

Danes are enamoured with the guy on the right, but they should be paying closer attention to the guy on the left

while only 30 percent thought it would be the US. Why then do most newspapers contain little about the mechanisms of China’s power structure or any of the major events in its 88 cities that are the same size or larger than Denmark? On the day Obama discovered he would be occupying the Oval Office for another four years, Politiken – which devoted the entirety of the previous day’s issue to the US election – ran an entire issue on China to mark the highly choreographed power transfer at the top of its ruling Communist Party from current president Hu Jintao to his successor, Xi Jinping. But Clemens Stubbe Østergaard, a senior research fellow at Copenhagen’s Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, thinks we should have started paying them more attention a long time ago, especially given that China has deep pockets at a time when the US is strapped for cash. “Denmark’s economy is dependent on exports, so maintaining our still high standard of living is dependent upon up-to-date knowledge of what is already the second biggest economy in the world, with a middle class the size of the European population,” Østergaard said. “We have been far too complacent.” Jørgen Delman, a professor of China studies at the University of Copenhagen, argued that while the US is still a more significant trading partner for Denmark, developing a long-term relationship with China is vital for securing Denmark’s future. “It sounds idealistic, but right now

Right now the most important thing to do is build partnerships with the future China the most important thing to do is build partnerships with the future China. Danish universities have already started many different collaborations with Chinese researchers on topics and issues that could produce solutions for future problems,” Delman said. “We need to collaborate to ensure it becomes a viable business for both sides. This is important if we want to see them return to Denmark and work with us.” While China’s enormous wealth and talented researchers may prove useful to Denmark in the future, its lack of parliamentary democracy and civil liberties, as well as China’s widespread censorship, means that Danes are unlikely to ever have as much of an emotional stake in China as they do in the US. There is, after all, as much squabbling in the US’s two-party system as there is in Denmark’s consensus-orientated coalition system. But in reality, Denmark long ago handed over a large portion of its legislative decision-making to Brussels and the EU. Yet, decisions made by the European Parliament are rarely reported on.

For Morten Messerschmidt, MEP for Dansk Folkeparti, this is problematic. “I think it’s good that journalists covered the US election because what happens over there influences the whole world,” Messerschmidt said. “I only question why a broadcaster like TV2 News doesn’t give the same level of coverage to the European Parliament. What happens every day in Brussels is much more influential to our lives than the election in the US.” Professor Marlene Wind, the head of the Centre for European Politics at the University of Copenhagen, is also disappointed by the lack of attention given to European politics and argues that the complexity of European decision-making is probably to blame. “Reporting on detailed policy-making in the EU can easily become detailed and boring,” Wind said. “A lot of EU policies are difficult to understand.” The American election, on the other hand, had all the right ingredients for good television. “It’s a competition that is easy to communicate,” she said. “You have winners and losers and it’s easy to point out who is good and bad. Then there are pretty pictures of families and people crying. It’s perfect television.” The attention given by the media to the different superpowers, then, ultimately reflects a reality in which entertainment is more important than politics. And as far as Danes are concerned, Obama is good TV, the EU is boring, and China is the future.

ollowing an agreement signed by the defence minister, Nick Hækkerup (Socialdemokraterne), Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland will in the future operate a joint fleet of military transport planes. However, there are no concrete plans at present to do the same with fighter jets. Norway and Denmark both have four C-130 Hercules transport planes while Sweden has eight. Finland will contribute its three smaller transport planes, the EADS CASA C-295, to the joint fleet. Iceland does not own any military transport planes, but has promised to contribute funds to purchasing more jointly-owned aircraft. “This is an opportunity for a Nordic co-operation for the operative use of planes, maintenance, education and training exercises.,” Hækkerup told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. The Nordic countries also agreed to the possibility of sharing the costs of field rations, batteries and ammunition, as well as sharing the responsibilities for radar surveillance and tug boats. Across Europe there is a move towards cutting military spending, and pooling resources is considered an efficient way of reducing costs while minimising operational capabilities. For example, Denmark and Sweden independently carry out radar surveillance of the Baltic Sea. However, Denmark’s facility on the island of Bornholm will need replacing in the coming years, so it makes sense to just share Sweden’s newer radar facility, which covers the same area. Lars Bangert Struwe, from the Centre for Military Studies at the University of Copenhagen, claims that while the increased co-operation could bring savings, it could also result in conflict. “What would happen if we fell out with Sweden? Or if a conflict arises that NATO is involved in, but Sweden has decided to stay out of it, and we rely upon them for surveillance?” Struwe told Jyllands-Posten. Struwe added that countries risk losing their sovereignty as they increase their co-operation. But according to General Major Flemming Lefner from the Danish military command, Forsvarskommandoen, it is a necessary risk. “Giving up sovereignty is the price you pay for ‘smart defence’,” Lefner told Jyllands-Posten. “It is clear that there will be some challenges due to our sovereign borders. But by pooling our capacities in surveillance, for example, it ensures that we have the necessary capacities when we need them.”

Online this week Government finalises war commission

Helping Iraqi kids is all in a day’s work for teens

Two refuse to help mother and child in overturned car

The justice minister, Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne), and the foreign minister, Villy Søvndal (Socialistisk Folkeparti), have presented the investigative commission that will look into Denmark’s war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the next five years, the commission has been charged with

Some 20,000 high school students got the day off from school last week on Wednesday in order to help young people in Iraq. The annual Operation Dagsværk (All in a day’s work) is a one-day charity event that involves students doing odd jobs in order to raise 200 kroner each for a foreign cause. The aim this year was

Police in western Jutland say they are stunned that two men refused to help a mother and her baby whose car overturned last week in a bog just outside of the village of Bramming on Saturday. “One said that he had a bad shoulder and the other said he

investigating whether Denmark has complied with all international conventions during the wars. It will specifically focus on the treatment and transfer of detainees – a subject that has come into focus after the surfacing of a video that conveys Danish soldiers passively watching Iraqi forces kick and punch prisoners.

to help the youth of Iraq “have the right to be young”. To accomplish that goal, Operation Dagsværk partnered with an organisation called Cross Cultures Project Association (CCPA), which uses sport as a way to create better relationships and build bridges between people living in conflict areas.

was not wearing the right shoes and then ran from the scene,” said Henning Ravn from the Ribe police department. “It is totally unacceptable.” Four other men managed to get the car back on its wheels, most likely saving the mother and child’s lives.

Read the full stories at

5 Pioneering fat tax repealed News

16 - 22 November 2012

Retailers pledge to reduce prices by full amount after government scraps the world’s first ever tax on the fat content of food


ust over a year after it became law, Denmark’s first-in-the-world tax on the fat content of food has been repealed. The 2013 budget agreement between the Socialdemokraterneled government and the far-left Enhedslisten also resulted in the cancellation of a similar levy on sugar content that was due to come into effect next year. Although its proponents touted the fat tax for its progressive approach to policy-making when it was implemented last year, it had come under increasing criticism by food producers and the opposition for making Danish products more expensive than imports, and for increas-

ing the administrative burden of the food producers who were required to collect the levy (see related story, page 15). Prior to its repeal, the nation’s butchers were in the process of mounting a legal challenge to the law. Businesses were also predicting the sugar levy would place a similar burden on Danish food producers. Recent industry statistics also showed that Danes had not changed their consumption habits during the first 12 months the levy was in effect. However, the first scientific study of the effects of the levy, released by the University of Copenhagen on Saturday, found that during the first three months of the levy, Danes did purchase fewer fatty products, although there was speculation that this could have been due to hoarding prior to the change coming into effect. Previous studies had revealed that retailers and food producers

Consumer groups fear the savings wouldn’t be passed on

Jens Nørgaard Larsen

Kevin McGwin

had exaggerated price hikes when implementing the fat tax, and after its repeal, consumer advocates immediately expressed concern that retailers would not pass on the full amount of their savings to consumers once the levy was eliminated. Representatives from COOP and Dansk Supermarked, the nation’s two largest supermarket groups, pledged that would not be the case, however. “Prices will be regulated down by the full amount, just as they were regulated up by the exact amount when the levy came into effect,” Jens Juul, a spokesperson for COOP, told the Ritzau news bureau. (See related story, page 15)

2013 budget: What’s included A lifeline for those losing unemployment benefits, and better handling of family reunification cases, among the highlights of the new budget


he long-in-the-works 2013 budget announced on Sunday will “create jobs and prosperity for Denmark and help the people who are about to see their unemployment benefits run out”, according to the Finance Ministry. The key elements of the 690 billion kroner budget include: • Jobless benefits. 480 million kroner to offer those who will lose their jobless benefits (dagpenge) on January 1 the right to six months of the smaller cash welfare benefit kontanthjælp if they agree to educational training • Eliminating levies. The elimination of the unpopular fat and sugar taxes. The money will be made up by raising the bundskat,

or bottom tax rate, by 0.19 percent and lowering the personal allowance by 900 kroner • Green growth. 1.5 billion kroner for a ‘green growth package’ that will improve the environment and create more green jobs between the period of 2013 and 2018. Among the initiatives are electrifying the railway between Køge and Næstved, encouraging ‘green entrepreneurs’ and supporting environmentally-friendly changes in the food industry • Flex-jobs. The creation of 13,500 additional flex-jobs • Youth unemployment. A ‘youth package’ that will set aside 645 million kroner until 2017 to combat youth unemployment by encouraging more young people to take an education and helping those who have finished their educations get their first jobs • Social improvements. Social investments totalling 1.1 billion kroner that include: 180 million

kroner towards discounted dental care for socially-disadvantaged individuals; 3.7 million kroner to Nørrebro’s Natcafeen, an overnight shelter for foreign homeless people; a total of 18.5 million kroner over the next four years to expand opening hours and shorten waiting times for family reunification cases at Immigration Services (Udlændingestyrelsen); and various other investments targeting refugees, victims of human trafficking and other socially-disadvantaged people • White-collar crime. Sharpened controls against economic crimes, including stiffer punishments for insider trading and bankruptcy fraud • Culture. Free admission to the permanent exhibitions at the art museum Statens Museum for Kunst and increased financial support for the tourist attractions Fregatten Jylland and Den Gamle By. (JC)

PET withheld alibi in terror trial Surveillance video does not show suspect leaving his flat the night of an arson attack


he domestic intelligence agency, PET, has come under fire for withholding, for over a year, a potential alibi for one of the five men currently on trial for politically motivated terrorism. The prosecution alleges that the man left through his back door on his way to participating in an arson attack against the Greek Embassy in 2011 after he was not registered leaving his front door by PET agents who were monitoring him. PET neglected to inform the prosecution, however, that it had also installed video surveillance

on the man’s back door, and that the footage from that camera does not show him leaving. “You can only wonder why PET has sat on a piece of evidence that would give a person an alibi,” Hanne Reumert, a defence lawyer for one of the accused, told DR News. “It makes me worry that maybe PET is withholding more in this or in other cases.” According to Reumert, the new piece of evidence will have a huge impact on the trial. “It’s a strong alibi that shows he was not at the scene of the crime at the time,” Reumert said. The five men are charged under anti-terrorism legislation and could receive life in jail. They are accused of start-

ing, and attempting to start, fires at a range of targets around Copenhagen, including a police academy. The prosecutor alleges that the attacks were all politically motivated and thus can be considered acts of terror. According to reports, police found a logo spray-painted beside the door of the Greek Embassy, which was set on fire using a napalm-like fluid but was quickly put out by passers-by. The logo is that of a Greek anarchist movement called Conspiracy of Fire Cells that the prosecution alleges inspired the defendants. Police found that internet searches for Greek anarchist groups were made on one of the accused’s computers. (PS)

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6 Danish pensions invest millions in deadly drones News

The Copenhagen Post

Human rights organisations say pensions should withdraw their investments as they fund drones “terrorising” the civilian population in Pakistan


anish pension funds have invested in companies producing the unmanned drones that are being used by the US to attack militants in a covert war that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians in Asia. According to British human rights organisation Reprieve, PensionDanmark alone has invested 125 million kroner in companies that produce drones responsible for killing over 3,000 people, including hundreds of children. Catherine Gilfedder, Reprieve’s corporate social responsibility advocate, told The Copenhagen Post that the drones were inflicting significant harm on civilian populations in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, where the US is targeting militants from groups such as the Taleban and al-Qaeda. “Drones in Pakistan hover

over towns 24 hours a day, seven days a week, terrorising communities and killing innocent civilians,” Gilfedder said. “Corporations that profit from this campaign of terror should be held to account by their investors. Danish entities that invest in these companies must consider the serious consequences of where they put their money and end their role in supporting this programme of terror.” PensionDanmark, which is responsible for the pensions of 620,000 Danes, has investments in ten companies that produce parts for the drones, including Boeing, Northrop Gruman, Honeywell, Cobham and General Electric. The pension company has social responsibility guidelines that state: “If a company violates generally accepted norms, PensionDanmark will decide to exclude that company from its investment universe.” It adds: “PensionDanmark does not invest in companies which deliberately and repeatedly violate laws and regulations […] or deliberately and repeatedly violate laws and regulations laid down by international organisations ratified by Denmark.”


Peter Stanners

16 - 22 November 2012

Operators of the unmanned drones are capable of carrying out deadly targeted attacks from the comfort of a desk

As a result, it has blacklisted a range of companies involved in the manufacture of cluster bombs and mines, such as Hyundai Motor Company and Lockheed Martin, as well as companies implicated in corruption, such as News Corp. But PensionDanmark’s CEO, Jens-Christian Stougaard, argued that there isn’t the same international consensus against the use of drones. “We must admit that there are neither UN or EU sanctions against drones,” Stougaard told

Information newspaper. “Because they are not illegal, there are no political sanctions against them and it does not break our guidelines to invest in them, so we see no reason to stop doing so.” According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the covert drone operation in Pakistan – which was started by former President George W Bush in 2004 and continued by the Obama administration – has killed over 3,000 people including as many as 885 civilians and 176 children. According to a report, ‘Liv-

ing under drones’, by Stanford University and New York University, the drone campaign terrorises the population in northern Pakistan, where citizens attempt to live normal lives as drones circle above them. “The presence of drones and the capacity of the US to strike anywhere at any time led to constant and severe fear, anxiety, and stress, [and] undermines people’s sense of safety to such an extent that it has at times affected their willingness to engage in a wide variety of activities, including social gatherings, educational and economic opportunities [and] funerals,” the report states. While the Danish parliament tends to support American global security efforts, such as in Afghanistan, Danish politicians have questioned the legitimacy of the American drone campaign. “Obama is in a moral quagmire because there is no independent authority overseeing who is being targeted with these killings,” opposition MP Søren Pind (Venstre) told Politiken newspaper in July. “There is no court watching. Obama is ignoring the principles we normally advocate in the West.” Enhedslisten’s defence

spokesperson, Nikolaj Villumsen, has called on increased legislation on the use of unmanned drones. “It cannot be right that the USA is using technology that allows them to perform killings all over the world without trials or regulations,” Villumsen told the online news source Arbejderen. “The [foreign] minister needs to state Denmark’s position on drones and make it clear whether he will work towards tightening the international rules regarding the use of drones.” Villumsen is calling on the Danish government to follow the lead of the Norwegians, whose foreign and defence ministries have stated that there is a need for clearer rules about the use of unmanned drones. Any political pressure to stop investment in drone technology might not be forthcoming from the Danish government, however, after it agreed in May to help finance five new drones for NATO after pressure from Obama. Other Danish pensions to invest in companies that help produce drones include PFA, Nordea Liv og Pension, Danica Pension and Unipension.

Wind turbine compensation stirring discontent Lobby group: Cut student People living next to wind turbines say that their compensation does not reflect the actual value of their losses


n evaluation of the 551 compensation payments made to people living next to wind turbines indicates that the average amount was 57,000 kroner per household. Estate agents say the amount is often far below the actual property value loss, which in some cases is up to 20 percent of the value. The loss-of-value clause was passed by parliment in 2008 at the urging of Dansk Folkeparti (DF) and gave neighbours to wind turbines the opportunity to seek financial compensation for property value loss. Fifty-three percent of applicants have received compensation, but those that have had money awarded say the amount did not come close to reflecting the actual value. One of them, Torben Tornvig, from the Jutland town of Brande, was awarded 75,000 kroner to compensate for the loss incurred as a result of the 150m-high wind turbines currently being built 630

metres from his home. “I don’t want to live here with my family, and I am very disappointed in the compensation amount,” Tornvig told JyllandsPosten newspaper. “My estate agent has estimated that my property value has depreciated by at least 500,000 kroner. The 75,000 kroner payment is nothing when you have towering windmills so close. I don’t even know if I can sell the property.” The DF environmental spokesperson, Jørn Dohrmann, acknowledged the frustration of people living next to wind turbines, but underlined that some compensation was better than nothing. “We know that the large wind turbines are a bother to people living next to them, and that they devalue their properties. We can always discuss whether the amounts are enough, but at least we got the compensation deal through – otherwise they wouldn’t have got anything,” Dohrmann told Jyllands-Posten. The Energy Ministry, which manages the compensation system, is also responsible for

I don’t want to live here with my family, and I am very disappointed in the compensation amount promoting the development of renewable energy. Some have pointed out that this is a conflict of interest and are now calling for decisions to be made by a different organisation, such as the Justice Ministry. Others have pointed out that the system appears to be stacked against homeowners. “Firstly, one can’t appeal against the verdicts, but must instead file a civil suit, and secondly, the evaluation authorities decide the amounts before the turbines are even up,” Jens Peder Rasmussen, also from Brande, told Jyllands-Posten. “They miss seeing the visual evidence of the wind turbines dominating the horizon and area.”

Rasmussen estimates that his home will lose about 1 million kroner in value because of the wind turbines, but he lives over a kilometre away from them and will not receive any compensation. The evaluation authorities are split into five regions and are made up of a legal expert, a estate agent and a representative from the Energy Ministry. Birgitte Egelund Olsen, a professor from Aarhus University and the head of the Central Jutland Region’s evaluation authority, denied that the amounts were predetermined. “I can understand if people think the amounts are too small, but we do an independent, caseby-case evaluation where a number of things are assessed: the distance to the turbines, the visual aspect, the noise, shade, the character of the property and the market evaluation of the area,” Olsen told Jyllands-Posten. Since the law came into effect in January 2009, a total of over 31.2 million kroner has been awarded in compensation. (See related story page 8).(CW)

grants and invest in kids Improving the educational standards of children is best achieved by investing in early learning, argues business group


he student grant system should be cut and the money reinvested in pre-school education in order to better raise the educational level of children whose parents themselves don’t have an academic education, says business lobby group Dansk Industri (DI). DI is proposing that SU student grant periods should be reduced to five years, and that the money currently spent on the sixth year should instead be used to fund reading and maths programmes for young children. This approach, the organisation argues, would better raise the academic level of children. Speaking to Berlingske newspaper, DI spokesperson Charlotte Rønhof said the savings could also be used to improve the standard of university education. “The argument for giving the

sixth year of SU has been that it would help the students who aren’t as academically minded because of their background,” Rønhof said. “This turns out not to be the case.” “It would be better to use the money on children who are expected to do less well in school,” she continued. “In that way we can ensure that all children are given the same prerequisites for academic achievement.” The government is looking to pass reforms that will save two billion kroner a year by encouraging students to complete their university education quicker. The education minister, Morten Østergaard (Radikale), has already ruled out cutting SU periods as an incentive to speed up university studies. But opposition party Venstre has said it supports only providing SU for the same number of years as it normally takes to complete an educational programme – so five years of SU for a five-year programme. (PS)

Online this week High court rules in favour of former Hells Angels leader

Dog walk turns macabre

Brian Sandberg, one of Denmark’s most notorious gang members, is back on the streets. The Eastern High Court on Monday acquitted Sandberg, who for years was a leader in the biker gang Hells Angels, on two counts of attempted murder. He was, however, found guilty of ordering an August 2009 at-

A man walking his dog last week on Thursday in northern Zealand received a surprise when he stumbled across a human skeleton. The remains were sent for investigation, and police technicians and sniffer dogs inspected the scene of the discovery, but police have not yet said if they believe a crime has been commit-

tack that was at the heart of one of the largest gang trials in the nation’s history. With the Eastern High Court finding him not guilty on the attempted murder charges, the former biker, who claims to have left the Hells Angels in August for personal reasons, was released based on time served.

Study: Strong men are more self-interested ted. Police say that based on the teeth, the skeletal remains appear to be of someone of eastern European or Middle Eastern descent, leading to some speculation that there may be a connection to the nearby Sankt Helene centre, which has at times been used as a relief centre by the Sandholm Asylum Centre.

There is a clear link between the size of a man’s biceps and his willingness to use politics to fight for his own self-interests. According to a new study from Aarhus University, the stronger a man is physically, the more likely he is to demand the economic

policy that is in his own best interest. A research team measured the size of the flexed biceps of over 1,400 men and women and made connections to their financial backgrounds and their views about the redistribution of wealth between rich and poor.

Read the full stories at

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Giving up an unbearable burden The fat tax proved that higher prices have the power to sway consumer spending habits; changing their consumption patterns may require other measures though

16 - 22 November 2012

The myth of Denmark as a corruption-free country


HEN DENMARK implemented its tax on saturated fat last year, the world listened. Expressing an interest in this country not seen since the Mohammed cartoon crisis, media outlets from around the world turned their eyes to Copenhagen to ask whether their countries could also implement a similar measure to combat obesity. The jury remains out on whether people actually reduced their fat consumption – businesses say we didn’t, while the only academic study so far says we might have. The evidence of the fat tax’s negative impact on the economy, meanwhile, is incontrovertible: it increased border trade and saddled businesses with a burdensome administrative procedure. Add to that the nearly two billion kroner the tax sucked out of consumers’ pockets over the past 12 months, and there’s no wonder it had little popular support. We wrote in our editorial just after it was implemented last year that the fat tax had the deck stacked against it: businesses were pre-disposed to hate it, nutrition experts questioned its effects, and consumers correctly predicted that prices would rise beyond the actual amount of the tax. Despite its good intentions, the fat tax, it seems, was unable to overcome these defects. Although we remain in favour of public measures to nudge people into acting healthier, the government did the right thing by eliminating fat tax. The government has yet to air new measures aimed at encouraging people reduce their consumption of unhealthy fat and sugar, but when it does, it should keep the lessons of the fat tax’s failure in mind. Firstly, any measure should encourage people to eat right by reducing the cost of healthy foods. Not only would this potentially increase revenue through higher sales, it would also keep consumers at home, rather than sending them abroad to buy less expensive butter and chocolate. If Denmark is lucky, it could possibly even beat the Germans at their own game by attracting their consumers into Danish stores for a change. Secondly, any measure the government passes should cast a narrower net. Taxing an entire nutrient group makes it all but impossible for consumers, no matter how health-conscious they are, to avoid getting caught in a tax dragnet. Narrowly targeted measures, such as New York’s ban on over-sized portions of soda, would seem better suited to swaying consumption, rather than just punishing it. Given the potential for success for measures like the fat tax, we should be asking what went wrong but, more importantly, we should be asking what comes next.

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T’S A WIDELY held conception that Denmark is one of the world’s least corrupt countries. The message is always warmly received, but this isn’t the same as saying that Denmark is free of corruption. I’m not qualified to speak about corruption in general, but there is one area in which I do have an in-depth knowledge: wind power – which is an industry that has managed to thoroughly corrupt the political system. The approval of the construction of a test centre of large land-based wind turbines near the Jutland town of Østerild was forced through parliament despite warnings about the effects it would have on the natural environment in the area and

which are well documented, can cause illness and render properties uninhabitable. Their complaints, however, are normally rejected by the authorities, who maintain that living close to wind turbines is not associated with any detrimental effects. On October 9, Berlingske newspaper published an article by three Aalborg University scientists, who proved that the official noise calculations are wrong, and that the manipulated figures tone down the problems associated with living near a wind turbine. The authorities have done nothing to show that they have scientific evidence to base their claims on. Their only reaction has been to say that the Aalborg University study is wrong because it does not jibe with the wind power industry’s own findings. We heard this most recently from the environment minister, Ida Auken, who is either being led around by the nose of the people whose interests she’s looking out for, or – as was the case with her predecessor – she is taking part in the misinformation. It’s worth noting that the compensation homeowners living near wind turbines are given to make up for lost property value is based on the falsified noise calculations – which means that people are, in fact, being cheated out of the full amount they are

actually owed. Corruption is defined as moral decay, and that is precisely what we are witnessing here. The fear that Denmark could lose jobs and the near religious obsession with wind power has made politicians deaf and blind to objections to wind as a source of energy, and led them to take part in the industry’s fraud. The environmental and human impacts of what they are doing appear to have no effect on them. It only adds to the embarrassment is that instead of hiring people, the wind industry is eliminating jobs in Denmark. Meanwhile, little has happened at the Østerild test centre. Parliament rushed to approve the establishment of Østerild, because the industry told them it was vital that they could have seven large wind turbines standing in a row. Østerild was chosen because it had the physical characteristics the industry needed. Today, one turbine stands, and it remains to be seen how many more will be built. There are a lot of people who have plenty to be ashamed of, but we shouldn’t expect that to change much. Moral scruples aren’t what we most associate with Danish politicians. The author is a retired High Court judge.

READER COMMENTS ‘Copenhagenizing’ the world, one city at a time “In Gehl’s view, making a city liveable means breathing life between the buildings. People will always fill the space, he discovered.” Except in much of Copenhagen and Denmark people don’t fill the spaces. I’ve never been in a more dead place. Outside of the hours that people are travelling to and from work, and away from a few hotspots, it’s almost always deserted. Nesby by website “Copenhagen is a little bit busier than where I live in Denmark, but it’s still an extremely quiet city compared to others ... even in the summer.” I might be missing something but that can’t be such a terrible thing ... Maz Shaw by website Calls to combat corporate censorship as Apple bans book Shame on you Apple for suppressing the time-honoured, sophisticated, Danish cultural and historical phenomenon of pik og patter. Prudish American company! hurrrrr by website Where have all the Vikings gone?

its impact on residents. The bill was able to make its way through parliament thanks to a complete manipulation of the facts – both by keeping some information under wraps, and by directly misinforming people. But it wasn’t parliament that was misled. Members of parliament who voted for the law were fully aware of the truth, yet they turned a blind eye so the law could be passed. It was, in fact, voters who were tricked into thinking that they had been told the whole truth. The only thing that matters for wind-turbine makers is money. You can wonder why law makers would play along with their game, but as soon as they threatened to move jobs abroad, they did as they were told. Laying out all the details of this situation would require more space than is available here, but for those that read Danish, Peter Skeel Hjort’s book ‘Besat af vind’ (Obsessed with wind) provides a harrowing look into the industry and the political system. Collaboration between the industry and lawmakers didn’t stop with the approval of the test centre. Since then, there has been a flood of complaints from people who were unfortunate enough to find themselves living next to large land-based wind turbines elsewhere. The effects,

So you agree with dad because Mads and other men like cooking they are not masculine? What else is not masculine about men here? Oh maybe also the fact that most men here expect a woman to work and earn money and not just be a stay home mom? I am still not sure

of your definition of masculinity, but I do know that as far as cooking goes, most of the best chefs in the world are men and most of them are not gay as far as I know. Maybe the author should broaden her ideas of what masculinity is in 2013. Larry Jf by website Apart from an Anglo-Saxon prejudice and stereotype ... Is there some matter with liking and drinking wine? For me it’s a manly enough drink. I have lived in Italy, along men you can’t possibly call effete or metrosexuals. They are those who drink the wine that they made themselves and cook with the oil and vegetables they grew themselves, from their own olives, grapes and fields. They also greet on special occasions by kissing each other on the cheeks. They can show insufferable machismo too. So? loroferoz by website Stagnating economy set to grow in 2013 This government press release is ridiculous. There are no indicators of growth next year. In fact the continuing rise in the jobless and decline in revenues suggest the opposite. theoldjanus by website Why Denmark is great and why more people need to know I’m sure we’re both way too busy for a long back and forth on human classificatory systems, especially since neither of us is likely to convince the other of anything

of importance. “And I guess the indigenous population of Australia don’t count as Australian?” I was trying to be careful with my wording and failed. I’ll try again. When the indigenous population was the majority of that particular land mass there was no such thing as ‘Australia’ which is a social construction (and the indigenous population there did not see themselves as a single group and I don’t know if they do now for that matter). The social construct of ‘Australians’ as a distinct cultural and linguistic group has always been majority white (with some non-white and minorities and admixture). The same can be said about ‘Americans’ as a distinct cultural and linguistic group and similarly with Danes and the peoples who inhabit the British Isles. That does not mean that a non-white person cannot be a full member of the cultural and linguistic group, just that they’ll be a visible minority. “I claimed it was a social construction. As a social construction, it has had powerful and often devastating impacts on humanity” as have all social constructions (like nation, language, gender roles, religion etc). Humans obviously carry a lot of evolutionary baggage and a lot of that has to do with group membership, the signs of which we’ve clearly been selected to notice and pay a lot of attention to. The concept ‘us and them’ is a big feature of human identity facing vis à vis other species and within subgroups of humans (however you divide them). I do think it’s possible to ameliorate the more negative effects of this,

but it’s not possible to eliminate them (short of evolving into a new species) and trying to do so (for example by telling people that it’s bad to notice distinctions that humans have evolved to notice) can cause more harm than good. Cliff Arroyo by website Aarhus siblings’ love child sets off incest debate You know, it’s not unusual for small isolated populations to have different notions of who you can and can’t mate with. Have you ever noticed that Danes do not count cousins beyond their first cousin? There’s a reason for that ... am2go by website The other thing that troubles me is their childish notions of fairness and how that would come into play if such a law were enacted. We all know their comical reason for allowing animal sex is because it might criminalise vets for artificially inseminating (i.e fisting) horses and livestock. I’m just having a hard time believing they could weigh each case of incest on its own, and end up not punishing truly criminal acts. HeidiakaMissJibba by website Same here. I guess this is why I stopped reading mainstream media some time ago. This is sick and is even put as “normal”. I would have never printed a reportage like this, but of course reporters and editors have a different norm for “normal”. Gabor Toth by website



16 - 22 November 2012

Battered, bruised and relieved it wasn’t worse


Brick by Brick BY STEPHANIE BRICKMAN Stephanie Brickman has recently made the hop across the North Sea from Scotland to live in Denmark with her distinctly un-Danish family. This 40-something mother, wife and superstar is delighted to share her learning curve, rich as it is with laughs, blunders and expert witnesses.

HE BLOOD on the tarmac is mine, dripping steadily from my nose. I’ve managed to clamber onto all fours, but the ground still seems to be swirling beneath me. Someone’s speaking to me, but I can’t understand him and I don’t know why. Then I realise he’s speaking Danish. I also realise to my huge relief that my teeth are still there. A few weeks previously I had bought a shiny green bicycle with two wheels, as opposed to the three-wheeled cargo bike that has previously featured in Brick by Brick. I’d been riding around without mishap and gaining confidence, but as the saying goes: pride comes before a headfirst plunge between two (mercifully stationary) cars at Lille Trianglen. That morning as I left the house, I had looked at my nerdy helmet. I almost didn’t put it on, but then I caught sight of my daughter’s helmet. How can I expect her to wear one if I don’t? It was one of those split seconds that can change everything. Had I not put it on, the pool of blood could have been the contents of my cranium. My focus gradually sharpens. The man talking to me is a doctor on his way to work at Rigshospitalet (if you’re going

My nose is like a potato and I have two black eyes to have a bike accident, doing it near a hospital comes highly recommended). There are actually loads of people trying to help me. Someone has locked my bike up for me. A blonde girl is handing me tissues, and another person is holding my handbag. The latter just wanted to be involved – some people like a drama. The blonde girl turns out to be the one who mowed me down. She was overtaking me when I moved a little to get comfortable on my saddle and swerved. It was only a little, tiny baby-swerve on a wide bike path – the equivalent in a car would not even take you out of your lane. But this is Copenhagen cycling – even a split second of incompetence is enough. Over the next few hours, a rainbow appears under one eye. By the next day, my nose is like a potato (the baking kind) and I have two black eyes, one swollen closed. People constantly crack


jokes about domestic violence, and I still don’t understand why they’re supposed to be funny. What can I say, my husband beats me – isn’t it hilarious? After a week I manage to balance out my multicoloured eyelids by putting so much make-up on I look like an extra from ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’. But there’s still the question of getting back on that bike, and I’ll do pretty much anything to avoid it. How dangerous is it really? I need to know and figure Brick by Brick’s readers could use that information too, so I put the question to Michael Bjørkman, a Copenhagen police officer involved in educating the community on road safety. “Seventy percent of bike accidents involve just the cyclist themselves,” he said. “They fall off the curb or ride into trees.” I find that reassuring. At least I didn’t ride into a tree. It also appears I’m in good company as there are a staggering 17,500 cycling injuries treated in Denmark each year. People get draped over car doors that open over the cycle paths, slip on ice or encounter cars doing various bicycleunfriendly things like turning left or right – tell them to go straight, dammit! Bjørkman was full of good advice: stop when the lights are amber – cars

can carry on through in time, on a bike you can’t. Signal your intentions, not just left and right but also that little high five that says you’re slowing down. Also, a real no-brainer: don’t drink and ride your bike. Alcohol is involved in 25 percent of all bike accidents. “It only takes a second for things to go wrong,” Bjørkman said, adding his most important piece of advice of all. “Every cyclist should wear a helmet, no matter how experienced.” He’s preaching to the converted as far as I’m concerned. In fact, if there were such a thing as a TV helmet evangelist, I would join his cause. I can almost imagine myself wearing robes and waving my hands in the air, while the helmet evangelist yells (in a fake Louisiana accent, of course): “God wants you to wear a helmet, do not listen to Beelzebub when he tells you your helmet is uncool and will make you too hot while cycling. And now the choir will join me in singing ‘Oh happy helmet’…..” Then I remember I had a blow to the head recently.

land. Likewise, Kjærsgaard used a similar tactic in Denmark when a few forced marriages occurred within the immigrant population. She saw this as a grand opportunity to campaign for the removal and expulsion of non-Western foreigners from Denmark. Kjærsgaard and her party went as far in their desperate attempts to get rid of outsiders as to create a generous fund for those non-Western immigrants who wished to be repatriated back to their countries. Likewise, Mugabe originally tried to buy the white man’s lands, but none were willing to sell. And in Denmark the majority of non-Western immigrants refused to be repatriated, even with the prospect of a generous financial incentive. In Zimbabwe, Mugabe does not consider Zimbabwean-born whites as pure Zimbabwean nationals. He prefers to call them ‘imperial offspring’. A similar trend was also rife in Denmark, and even to this day, those with a non-Western background who manage to become Danish citizens are called nydanskere (‘new Danes’) or ‘second-generation immigrants’ rather than just ‘Danes’.

In the past decade, particularly before the 2011 Danish elections, we saw Kjærsgaard use her influence to silence critics. We saw her demanding the end of the transmission of a certain “controversial” television station. Mugabe, on the other hand, has forced dozens of newspapers to close. Journalists, intellectuals and artists who criticised his regime have been forced into exile. Those who were less fortunate endured savage beatings and unmarked graves. In Denmark, however, one could argue that human rights are somewhat better functioning compared to Zimbabwe, and no savage beatings have taken place. But one could also argue that non-Western immigrants in Denmark endured mental torture for a decade due to Kjærsgaard’s far-right political rhetoric. So now I have come to the end of this ironic little column, and one might be wondering what my motive was for publishing this information. Well dear reader, I couldn’t help but notice how the tactics of right-wing populist parties are so similar in fashion.

For Copenhagen Council’s cycle courses, visit For road safety info, visit

Pia and Mugabe: Two peas in a pod


Grain of Sand BY TENDAI TAGARIRA Tendai Tagarira is one of Africa’s most prolific independent authors, having penned over 16 books. Also a filmmaker and activist, he lives in exile in Denmark after receiving death threats from the Mugabe regime. He refuses to cut his hair until democracy reigns in Zimbabwe. Visit for more.

ENMARK and Zimbabwe are countries that are worlds apart, but share similarities when it comes to populist right-wing politics. Zimbabwe is run by a now 88-year-old dictator named Robert Mugabe. On the other hand, for a decade, Danish politics was controlled by a right-wing populist party called Dansk Folkeparti (DF), until recently headed by 65-year-old Pia Kjærsgaard. Mugabe celebrates his birthday on February 21. Kjærsgaard blows out her candles two days later, on February 23. There is a mere 23-year difference between these two unlikely politicians. I am sure both Mugabe and Kjærsgaard would be reviled by this comparison, but freedom of speech makes it my right to do so. Mugabe deems himself superior to the white man, and Kjærsgaard seems to deem herself superior to anyone who is not Danish – particularly folks with a non-Western background. Yes, she is now retired as DF’s leader, but that’s not the point. She has railed against non-Western immigrants in the same manner that Mugabe has

railed against Westerners. Kjærsgaard and her party came to power by making foreigners their scapegoat for all of Denmark’s social and economic ills. She seems to be afraid that Denmark will be ‘colonised’ by nonWestern immigrants. Kjærsgaard has therefore been determined to tighten Denmark’s immigration rules in order to make it impossible for non-Western immigrants to enter the country. Over the past decade, Kjærsgaard promulgated policies that have led to deteriorating human rights and, in some cases, abuses of human rights, as in the case of ‘stateless Palestinians’ who were wrongly denied citizenship. This is not different from what Mugabe has done in Zimbabwe over the past decade. In Zimbabwe, the white minority were a small group, but they wielded enormous economic power. In Denmark, the average expatriate contributes more money to the state coffers than the average Dane. In Zimbabwe, when the whites started promoting an opposition party called MDC, Mugabe saw a grand opportunity to expel them from the country and take over their










Clare MacCarthy

Christian Wenande

Justin Cremer

Vivienne McKee

Özcan Arjulovski

Stuart Lynch

Kelly Draper

Frank Theakston








16 - 22 November 2012

How one local decision created a national ‘War on Christmas’ JUSTIN CREMER Kokkedal housing association decided to forego a Christmas tree, leading to charges of racism and fears of a Muslim takeover


HRISTMAS is typically such a festive time, but for one housing association in the Zealand town of Kokkedal, it has, thus far, been anything but. It all started when the association’s nine-person board, five of whom are Muslim, voted against having a Christmas tree this year. They apparently balked at the estimated 7,000 kroner of the tree, but had earlier had no qualms about spending some 60,000 kroner on a party celebrating the Muslim holiday of Eid. Nearly immediately after news of the decision broke, the story of the axed Christmas tree was taken up by the Danish media with gusto after several politicians and commentators suggested it demonstrated an intolerance towards Danish customs held by the minority Muslim population. Before we knew it, Denmark was in the midst of a ‘War on Christmas’. “It is deeply troubling that our integration efforts have failed so badly that Danish

traditions are removed and replaced by Muslim traditions the moment there is a Muslim majority,” Konservative MP Tom Behnke told DR News. “This is an example of a lack of respect for Danish traditions and culture. We should not want a Denmark where Danish traditions disappear when there is a Muslim majority present.” Local newspaper Frederiksborg Amts Avis, which broke the story on its front page last week on Wednesday, reported that there is deep frustration that the new majority on the board is not representative of the views of the Egedalsvænge housing complex’s residents, and not least of its many Muslims. The newspaper added that the decision had led to tensions by creating an ‘us against them attitude’ in the housing complex. And create tension it did. Karin Leegaard Hansen, a 29-year-resident of Egedalsvænge, was elected as the chair of the residents’ association in September. “The vast majority of the residents support the Christmas party, maybe 99 percent, but a majority of the board still voted against it,” Hansen told Jyllands-Posten. But not everyone on the board could agree on why the proposal to have a Christmas

Who knew one tree could create so much trouble?

tree was rejected. “No-one wanted to take on the responsibility of getting it,” one board member, Ismail Mestasi, told the press. “A vote was taken and it ended as it ended. I don’t celebrate Christmas, but I was asked to get the tree. And I didn’t want to.”

But Hansen denied this and has said she offered to take on the responsibility, but that her offer was not noted down in the minutes of the meeting. The situation inside Egedalsvænget was inflamed even further over the weekend when two journalists from TV2 News escaped unharmed after their van was attacked by 25 masked individuals. The journalists had gone to the housing complex to report on a petition that was gathering signatures of those who had lost confidence in the housing association’s board. After the men arrived and exited the van, the attackers promptly began throwing bricks and cobblestones at it. The attackers shouted slurs at the journalists, such as “Neo-Nazi”, and told them to leave. Following the attack,  the head of TV2 News condemned the treatment of his journalists. “It’s completely outrageous that things like this happen, but

I’m glad it was only our hardware that was attacked and that our personnel were unharmed,” Jacob Nybroe told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “But it’s disappointing that we can’t cover the news everywhere in Denmark.” The North Zealand Police has said it is now investigating the incident. Hard feelings over the axed Christmas tree spread far beyond Egedalsvænget as well, threatening to turn into a nationwide conflict between Muslims and ethnically Danish Christians. The Islamic association, Islamisk Trossamfund, told Ekstra Bladet that it has received some threatening phone calls since the issue was first covered. “We have received direct threats, verbal abuse and other forms of taunting as though it was us who were responsible for this case,” spokesperson Imran Shah said, before adding that Muslims are not allowed to deny other groups their right to celebrate their holidays. Many were so affected by the board’s decision that they offered to step forward and ‘save Christmas’ with their own funds. Political leaders and private citizens alike offered to pay for all or part of the Christmas celebrations. Jonas Birger-Christensen, a small business owner from Hellerup, has offered to pay 7,000

Our integration efforts have failed so badly that Danish traditions are removed and replaced by Muslim traditions kroner for the Christmas party and 7,000 kroner for next year’s Eid celebration. Despite the offer, the drama looks unlikely to subside anytime soon. Police have announced they are now investigating an accusation of racism made against the board. “It needs to be determined to what extent the decision by the Muslim members of the board to first vote ‘yes’ to a 60,000 kroner Eid party, then ‘no’ to a 8,000 kroner Christmas tree to celebrate Christian traditions, violates laws by discriminating against Christians and their traditions,” police spokesperson Karsten Egtved wrote in his report. Ray Weaver and Peter Stanners contributed to this article.

Apple bites again as it recalls banned author’s app After pulling books that contained naked pictures from its digital shelves, tech giant has now deleted the companion app


N THE latest development in the dispute between Apple and the author of two nonfiction Danish books about hippies that contain graphic images, the computer firm has pulled the books’ accompanying app. “This is far worse than the original issue of them not publishing our book because it had pictures of naked people,” Peter Øvig Knudsen, the author of ‘Hippierne 1’ and ‘Hippierne 2’, said in a statement. He added that unlike when the books were pulled, an Apple representative did speak with a member of his staff, but no reason for the decision was given. The companion app con-

tained music, narratives, photography and historical film clips related to hippie culture in Denmark. Apple’s move is the most recent development in a controversy that has national and EU lawmakers calling on the company to explain why it chose to pull the content by the respected Danish author. Apple has so far declined to comment, although it is believed that the reason is because the book and the app contain pictures of nude people and sex acts. Danish MEP Morten Løkkegaard (Venstre), however, has said that given the size and control that Apple has over the market for online books and apps, it needed to accept that there were cultural differences in its various markets. “It’s not just about corporate rights. This form of censorship has political implications as well,” Løkkegaard said. “Apple

can’t just walk into any country they want with an American ‘cowboy attitude’ and bark morals at people.” The culture minister, Uffe Elbæk (Radikale), has also voiced his discontent. After initially declining to comment on the grounds that the matter had to do with a business relationship between an author and a retailer, he wrote on Facebook that he was “amazed” Apple hadn’t stated its position. “Apple should explain itself,” he wrote. “Anything less than that is unacceptable.” But others have questioned the controversy altogether. Ben Hammersley, a member of a European Commission panel looking into ways to secure internet freedom, insisted that Apple was within its rights to remove any works it deemed inappropriate. “It’s like buying advertising space in a newspaper,” Ham-

mersley explained, and drew a hypothetical example. “Let’s say I want to print an advert featuring Queen Margrethe’s sexual adventures with the prophet Mohammed. If that newspaper, in turn, decides it’s not the sort of content it wants to be associated with and turns it down, is that censorship?” This is a point that the European Commission’s Digital Agenda, which helps European residents and businesses get the most out of computer technologies, also agrees with since the European Union now has the authority to interfere with corporate rights and regulations. “This is a complex matter. However, companies have the right to refuse any content they do not wish to be associated with, or any forms of expression inconsistent with their own beliefs and values,” Linda Cain, a Digital Agenda spokesperson, said. Knudsen and his company,

Hippieselskabet, used 200,000 kroner to make the app. And while Knudsen’s creative director, Christian Kirk Muff, admitted that it could be reworked to suit Google’s Android platform – Apple’s primary competitor, which has no guidelines for content – Muff argued that the costs of doing so outweighed the benefits. “It would cost us a further 100,000 kroner to develop a Google app. How is that a Apple’s decision to block the books and the sensible invest- accompanying app have many demanding an ment?” he asked. explanation from the company



ONLINE THIS WEEK Doctor criticised for breast removal surgery

Cold case murders to be re-opened

Harbour tunnel inches closer

A SPECIALIST doctor has been formally criticised by the health agency, Sundhedsvæsnet, for last year performing an operation to remove the breasts of a 15-yearold transsexual child. Born with a female body, Caspian’s family said that he had acted as a boy from an early age and as a result had started taking male hormones, though

POLICE in Copenhagen say they plan to re-open three murder investigations after reviewing evidence from 18 unsolved cases using new forensic technology. Forensic technicians told TV2 crime programme Station 2 that they had found possible DNA evidence in six of the so-called cold cases, and that in three of

A NEW HARBOUR tunnel designed to reduce congestion in Copenhagen was approved last week by the City Council’s finance committee. The tunnel, as proposed by the Transport Ministry, will cost 27 billion kroner and lead traffic from

those did not prevent Caspian from developing noticeable breasts that he wanted to get rid of. After being turned down by the Sexologisk Klinik at Rigshospital because he was not 18, he went to a private clinic, the HC Andersen Klinikken in Odense, which is now being criticised for carrying out the procedure.

them they were able to retrieve enough DNA from crime scene objects to develop genetic profiles of possible suspects. Police officials said the results showed that spending money to develop new forensic technology was a worthwhile investment, but that their work was now a race against the clock.

Nordhavn, in the north, under Copenhagen Harbour to the start of the Amager motorway, on the city’s southern outskirts. The tunnel is forecast to reduce the amount of traffic, particularly lorries, that travels through the city.




16 - 22 November 2012


Parfait in Dokken’s hallways where all the vendors parlez Francais BY AMY STRADA

Located at Dokken, the Fransk Affære attracted Francophiles from all over over the course of four days to revel in the leisurely French lifestyle and sip vino while enjoying the bay views of Øresund. Upwards of 30 French companies manned stands in an attempt to put a face on French culture, proffering samples of Lactalis Brie and a Kronenbourg 1664 white ale as well as quintessentially French fabrics and décor. The entire event boasted a lively atmospheric joie de vivre that only the French know how to create - a je ne sais quoi that could only come about by a common love of wine, cheese and everything French. Vive la France, indeed! Guests could really feel like they were in Paris – if it had been shrunken and placed indoors – at these red gingham tables; don’t let the artificial lighting fool you!

Can it get more French than this? Grab a glass of wine and walk a metre to your right, letting your kids play a quick game of boules

With wines from all over southern France and Italy, Jabeco Wine – run by this man, Palle Bech, and his daughter Mette Louise – has been transporting wine to Denmark for over 25 years ...

Danes love cheese too. Maybe that’s why this stand was selling like hot cakes – or, rather, hot croissants

Thierry Olive a boucherie from Coq & ko, another Danish shop that specialises in French delicacies, had me sample a handful of different saucissons (salamis). The most intense? Donkey

One of the most popular stands of the night, Denmark’s own Letz Shop was offering samples of a classic French diet – wine, cheese and olives – by a lively French-spewing Dane

and their table, which greeted guests right at the front, was a crowd-pleaser: delicious reds and sweet whites were available to sample or drink to one’s red-cheeked content

Vive la France. At least, that’s what this guy thinks

Manning the stand, this father and son team from Bridor were literally selling hot croissants. I tried the roulé praliné noisette, a deliciously sticky and savory pastry with pralines and cinnamon. Parfait!

Yet another Parisian display, the yellow umbrellas of French distillers Pernod Ricard, created a warm atmosphere, allowing people to sit and people-watch in the way only the French know how to do

Also on display were a variety of antiques and fabrics, perfect for transforming your home into the Parisian apartment you know you’ve always wanted

Helle Hornemann, the senior brand Manager of Lactalis, a cheese manufacturer from France, was all smiles as she hoped to put a human face on the company




16 - 22 November 2012


Remembrance Sunday fell exactly on November 11 this year and at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the exact moment that the First World War ended 94 years ago to the minute, many gathered at Bispebjerg Kirkegard in Copenhagen to mark the occasion at a service led by Archdeacon Jonathan LLoyd (centre-left), the Anglican/Episcopal priest in Denmark. Among those present were British Chamber of Commerce president Mariano Davies (left) and British ambassador Vivien Life (centre right). Photos: Hugh Mayo

The Copenhagen Bogforum, which took place over the weekend at the Bella Center, attracted a strong line-up of Danish and international authors. Among them were American writer Ken Follett (left), who was promoting his new book ‘Winter’s World’, German crime novellist Anne Chaplet (centre left), Denmark’s Katia Johansen (centre right), who has written a book about the queen’s dresses, and Anne-Cathrine Riebnitzsky (right), the winner of 50,000 kroner for the best literary debut of the year for her book, ‘Den stjålne vej er’, a story set in Afghanistan (where she worked as a diplomat from 2007-10), which is based on real events

LIVING IN AN EXPAT WORLD Belgium’s Tiny Maerschalk, who has worked for the International Community networking platform since its foundation in 2008, knows how it feels to settle in a new country. Dedicated to improving conditions for new arrivals, here she shares her insights about the issues that mean most to internationals in Denmark

Expat entrepreneurs

T The Canadian ambassador’s residence was the venue for a very special ceremony last week on Friday, at which Captain Jesper Petersen was presented with a ‘Canadian chief of defence staff commendation’ for extinguishing a fire on board a flight in 7 May 2008, which is credited with saving the plane and the lives of those he was flying with. Here he is (centre), standing next to the very tall Canadian ambassador, Andre Francois Girou

Can it be that time of year already? Tivoli came alive on Tuesday with the premiere of the Crazy Christmas Cabaret’s ‘Hitchcock-up!’, which is set to run until mid-January. It is the CCC’s 30th anniversary year and its 15th year in a row at the Tivoli Glassalen

HIS WEEK is the official Global Entrepreneurship Week: “the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare”. Flashy statement, but entrepreneurship can make a huge difference to expats, and especially expat partners who want to kick-start their careers in Denmark. However, entrepreneurship is not for everybody and may seem overwhelming to pursue for most people, especially if you are living in a foreign country and are unaware of the rules and regulations in the field. Still, entrepreneurship can be a gateway to the Danish job market, and it is in fact easier to get started than one might think. What’s more, the organisation ‘Entrepreneurship in Denmark’ offers free seminars and counselling in English to internationally-orientated entrepreneurs who are about to start a business or already own a company. In fact we have a lot of potential international entrepreneurs in Denmark. Research

shows that many international talents bring a partner to Denmark and 54 percent of these partners have a master’s degree or higher level of education. Moreover, almost half of them have work experience prior to following their partner to a new country. Furthermore, they are familiar with potential export markets, have language knowledge and can bring new ideas to

In fact we have a lot of potential international entrepreneurs in Denmark the table. Therefore, this group of skilled workers is a potential goldmine for Danish companies. As I always say, an educated Chinese person probably knows the business culture in Beijing better than any highly educated Danish employee – and if a company taps into this person’s knowledge, it could pave the way to success in a market that was once unattainable. Unfor-

tunately, this group of people is often overlooked. At International Community in Aarhus we regularly meet expat partners with previous work experience and a high level of education who struggle to find a job: possibly because of language barriers or simply because many companies are unaware that they can be employed on the same conditions as Danes. They can, for instance, be hired on a wage subsidy job or company internship programme, or they can become entrepreneurs as a way to overcome unemployment and be hired as consultants when a given company deals with Mrs Chang or Señor Lopez for the first time. To sum up, entrepreneurship can be a way of establishing one’s career, and there is plenty of available support if you need it. At the same time, companies need to realise that there is a group of skilled workers already in the country who can make a huge difference when operating internationally – and it does not really matter if they are entrepreneurs or just temporarily unemployed, they just need a chance to prove their worth.



16 - 22 November 2012


Honouring the past and embracing the diversity of the future CHRIS LONDON

MARIA EILERSEN We can never assume things are going to stay the same, says Danish American Society president


OU CAN picture the Danish American Society president, Lisa Resling Halpern, standing in the schoolyard, self-consciously trying to explain to the other nineyear-olds that she is both Danish and American, Lutheran and Jewish. “People wanted to pigeonhole you,” the adult Halpern recalled. “And put me in a box that they understood. That was hard.” She came home to her parents in tears, unable to see the fortune of belonging to two worlds. “I’m the product of two cultures, two religions and proudly so, but when you’re younger, you want to fit in.” However, meeting other children with a similar background as a teenager helped her embrace her ‘dual citizenship’ (technically, of course, Halpern is only American) and realise, as she put it, “that I could love both”. And Halpern has now turned her split cultural identity into a strength, nurturing the relationship between her two nationalities as the president of the

Being the president has its perks and pirouettes, as Halpern found out when she danced with Prince Henrik

Danish American Society (DAS) in New York. For more than half a century, DAS has promoted cultural understanding between Denmark and the United States through a variety of cultural exchange programmes and social events. The most celebrated annual DAS function is the Person of the Year Award, which since 1975 has honoured a number of prominent businessmen, entertainers and royals who have contributed meaningfully to the bonds between the two countries. Actor Mads Mikkelsen received this year’s award early last month, closing his acceptance speech with the words:

COMING UP SOON Building expat job opportunities

Symbion Fruebjergvej 3, Cph Ø; register by Nov 20 via 2855 5688,,;

Novum’s clarification programme will help you understand how it bridges the gap between companies that want to expand into the global market and the highly educated newcomers residing in Denmark, and the untapped resources that they can offer. Apply by sending your CV no later than 20 November, with ‘forlob’ and your city of choice in the subject line. Little Actors

Grunnet Casting & Speak, Rothesgade 6. st., Cph Ø; 4010 4900,

Grunnet Casting is searching for English-speaking girls and boys, aged nine to 12, to perform voiceovers for Danish companies. BA in the global market

Conference Suite, Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Hammerichsgade 1, Cph K; Fri Nov 23, 11:45-13:00; prices: members 325kr, non members 400kr; register at The British Chamber of Commerce

in Denmark invites you to join this event where the guest speaker

is Denize McGregor, the head of customer service and operations for Europe, Africa, Middle East, UK Regions, Ireland and South America at British Airways since January 2011.

Everything I do is for ... Pierogi Federico’s place, Skarpskyttevägen 2B, Lund; Sat Nov 17, 19:00; Attend this Meetup group and discover pierogi, Slavic dumplings of unleavened dough, cooked from a traditional recipe.

Movie Buddies

Grand Teatret, Mikkel Bryggers Gade 8, Cph K; Sat Nov 17, 18:30 www. Is cinema your passion? Do you like to discuss every feature of a movie? Then this event is for you. Join this group and find people from all over world ready to share with you the magic of movies. This week’s film is ‘Argo’, directed by and starring Ben Affleck.

ITU wants you

IT University of Copenhagen, Rued Langgaards Vej 7, Cph S;; Are you an IT expert? Apply no later than November 20 and experience teaching as an assistant in a young atmosphere helping students from all over the world with their assignments at the IT University of Copenhagen during the spring of 2013.

Science and cocktails

Byens Lys, Christiania, Tue Nov 27, 20:00; free adm; Come and join this discussion about biosemiotics with Jesper Hoffmeyer, the professor emeritus at the Biological Institute at the University of Copenhagen University. All living systems have an inner side: an interior that in each second must relate to its exterior. In this way they get information to survive reacting to the environment inputs through interpretation.

Cast Calling

Scene Kunst Skoler, Scene Kunst Skoler is searching for two English-speaking male actors, living in the Copenhagen area, aged 35 to 40, for a short run of a Peter Asmussen play to be played early next year.

“Feeling at home in more than one country is not treason, it’s open-minded.” His statement resonates with Halpern, as that’s been a huge part of the way she sees the world. Her work is also motivated by a more personal matter. It helps her stay connected to her Danish mother, who passed away when Halpern was young and who was very involved with the Danish-American community. “Doing this is a gift for me, and it’s a tie to my mom,” said Halpern. “But it’s grown in its own right.” In addition to her presidency at DAS, Halpern is also on the board of the American Scandi-

An Evening of Melodrama

Baghuset, Præstøgade 17, Cph Ø; Fri Nov 23, 20:00; free adm; www.meetup. com/Copenhagen-Theatre-Circle Learn more about melodrama at the CTC’s improv evening. And afterwards enjoy some affordable drinks and snacks in good company.

navian Foundation, the Danish American Chamber of Commerce and the Hans Christian Andersen Foundation, and she was the former president of the American Scandinavian Society. Still, her proudest endeavour is supporting the longevity of the Danish American National Exchange (DANCE) scholarship, which allows performing artists from either country to cross the Atlantic to study and expand their repertoire. Halpern’s mother started it in 1983 with Peter Martin from New York City Ballet and Frank Andersen from the Royal Danish Theatre. “That was originally the thing that drew me in,” she said.

“But I also love being a part of watching these young kids get their opportunity.” To honour her mother’s efforts, Halpern has also created a scholarship fund with friends and family in her name, the Neel Resling Halpern Foundation, that annually presents a promising Danish dancer with a grant to study abroad. “This is where I can make a contribution,” she said of her inspiring work to facilitate cultural exchange programmes. “I’m not a dancer, I’m not a singer, I’m not a painter. But if I can have some sort of role in giving them the chance to do what they love to do, then I’ve done a good thing.” And yet at DAS’s many formal events, her profession requires her to participate in the arts herself. In anticipation of dancing with Prince Henrik at the society’s Person of the Year Award last year, Halpern desperately tried to recall the steps her grandmother had taught her. “I was terrified!” Halpern admits. “But it didn’t matter because he was such a good dancer.” Though humble when talking about her work, Halpern has very strong feelings about promoting understanding across borders, based on many years studying foreign service and diplomacy. Seeing how she has been able to use her split cul-

tural identity to make a positive contribution, Halpern hopes her counterparts are able to do the same and has high hopes for the direction of the world. “We can’t be xenophobic,” she said. “We can’t afford it.” Halpern contends that populations are becoming less homogenous, and isolated communities are being confronted with diversity they can no longer repress. “We have to find a way to deal with that and not assume that things are going to stay the same.” Halpern has also introduced new technology to the Scandinavian-American community, placing an emphasis on looking to the future as well as honouring the traditions of the past. In contrast to when her mother was involved, Halpern has taught the community to engage in social media and to branch out of its formal traditions. “I wanted to bring in the younger element, while respecting our history,” she said. Her hope is for the old and experienced generation to take care of the new, not only by providing them with opportunities, but also by showing the cross-cultural youth how to embrace their global outlook. “My message in the community is that one thing doesn’t have to be exclusive of the other.”





Wine & Grub

Silver.Spoon Linnesgade 20A, Cph K; Nov 18-20, seating 1: 17:30, seating 2: 20:00;, Silver Spoon invites you to join their multi-sense experience: the autumn edition of the popular Wine & Grub, which will offer you a selection of autumnal wines paired with dishes taken from the Scandinavian tradition.

Diwali Lights

Peder Lykke Skolen, Auditorium 28, Brydes Allé 25, Cph S; Sat Nov 17, 17:00-22:00; tickets: members 90kr, non-members 110kr, under-12s 45kr, under-5s free adm, register at indanes@; Join the Indian community for a celebration of Diwali, the feast when light wins over darkness, when good triumphs over evil. Enjoy great food, dance performances by the Russian group Kalinka-Malinka, games and competitions.

International Pregnant & New Moms Coffee Meetup

Magasin - top floor children’s area, every Thursday, for more details, register for free at The Copenhagen International Parents Meetup brings together mums and dads from all around the world who have made Copenhagen their home. With nearly 500 members they list a variety of events hosted by members.



HREE WEEKS in and the Copenhagen Post’s Movember participants are over the initial embarrassment of traipsing about with a lip-full of fuzz and are now strutting confidently around with handsome moustaches. Sadly, it seems their efforts at facial preening are far exceeding their attempts

to wrangle money out of the pocketbooks of their nearest and dearest. Journalist Ray Weaver is currently in the lead having raised 475 kroner. Editor-in-chief, Kevin McGwin is in a close second place with 462 kroner raised, while journalist Christian Wenande is in hot on his heels

after raising 462 kroner. Journalist Peter Stanners is off to a poor start with only 275 kroner raised while distribution manager Dima Paranytsia definitely needs some motivation to increase his meager haul of 125 kroner. With two weeks to go, however, there’s still plenty of time to rocket up the leaderboard.



The Copenhagen Post

16 - 22 November 2012

Arise the Fischer King! Amazing week propels Victor into the spotlight Country needs Ajax starlet set to become one of his country’s youngest ever debutants following impressive two-goal league debut


head of Denmark’s international friendly against Turkey on Wednesday evening, the country’s media was awash with speculation over whether Denmark’s brightest talent since Christian Eriksen could be handed his debut. Should Viktor Fischer play a part in Turkey, it will complete one of the most mesmeric comet-like rises to football stardom this century. And all in the matter of a week. While Fischer, who can play as an attacking midfielder or a forward, has been on the radar of the national team for years now, it is only in the last seven days that he has taken the game by storm. First came his substitute appearance against Manchester City in the Champions League last week. It was an impressive baptism, and Fischer came extremely close to scoring a winner for Ajax, but his shot didn’t match his mazy run and ended up in the side-netting. Following that, at the weekend, he was handed his first league start for Ajax, in which he duly scored twice and set up a third in a 4-2 win over Zwolle, netting the young Dane ‘player of the week’ accolades from the Dutch league and media. And then, just days later, Fischer received that phone call that many young boys dream of from Denmark national team coach Morten Olsen, informing him that he was included in Denmark’s first team squad for this week’s friendly against Turkey. “It was a great moment. [Ajax coach] Frank de Boer told me to just do what I usually do, so I did. I am very pleased,” Fischer told NU Sport. “I have been working hard in the matches, in training and in the weights room. It’s going well for me now, and luckily I am able to show my stuff in the first team now. But it’s important that I show it in the other games. This is just the beginning.” Fischer is on the brink of signing a new four-year con-

FCN and FCK to do better

scanpix/ Lindsey Parnaby

Christian Wenande


fantastic form at the moment. Just look at what he did at the weekend.” And Fischer’s rise is no coincidence; in fact, one could argue that success is in his genes. His grandfather, Poul Pedersen, was the first player to play 50 games for Denmark and was part of the Danish squad that won a silver medal at the Olympics in Rome in 1960. Olsen also passed a milestone with the call-up, completing a triple-century of sorts. Having played over 100 games for Denmark himself, he has also coached over 100 games for Denmark and now also handed 100 players their debuts during his stint as coach. And there have been clear indications in recent years that Olsen is willing to take chances on younger players. Christian Eriksen was the youngest player at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and Denmark had the third youngest squad at Euro 2012 this summer. On top of that, a number of youngsters have been handed their debuts in the last year, including the likes of Andreas

Bjelland, Jores Okore, Andreas Cornelius, Nicklas Helenius, Nicolai Jørgensen and Jacob Juelsgård. There are currently six Danes playing for Ajax − something that could indicate a strong Danish national team in the future. With the exception of Christian Poulsen, the cluster of Danes at Ajax is reminiscent of the group who played for the Dutch club in the 1980s. It included Søren Lerby, Frank Arnesen, Jan Mølby and Jesper Olsen, and their time at Ajax coincided with the great Danish Dynamite team of that era, something that author and journalist Joakim Jakobsen draws a parallel to. “When we have a core of Danish players at Ajax, then things go well for the national team. The pattern began in the 1980s when the Danish team who developed into one of the best in the world consisted of players who played together, or had played together, at Ajax,” Jakobsen told “The same occurred in 1998 when we achieved our best ever result at a World Cup with another Ajax-

influenced team, this time consisting of the Laudrup brothers and Ole Tobiasen, with Morten Olsen as coach.” And Fischer is unlikely to be the last youngster player who Olsen baptises this season. Another 18-year-old, midfielder Lucas Andersen, who amazingly was also snapped up by Ajax recently, was only 17 when he became the youngest player ever to play for the Danish leaguebased national team in January. Andersen is in the youth team, but he has already trained with the first team and is expected to be handed his Ajax debut within a year. And another young player making waves is Hoffenheim’s 20-year-old defender Jannick Vestergaard. A stalwart for the under-21s, the towering, 1.98-metre Vestergaard has already played over 20 Bundesliga games, scoring twice. And should he continue he can imminently expect a phone call from Olsen in the near future, despite Denmark being loaded with talent in his position with Jores Okore and Andreas Bjelland breaking through this year.

enmark’s UEFA coefficient ranking is taking a hammering with both FC Copenhagen and FC Nordsjælland struggling to qualify for the knockout phase of the Europa League. FCK’s 0-2 home loss to Stuttgart last week on Thursday means that qualification is no longer in their hands. They are now third in the group, six points behind Romanian leaders Steaua Bucharest, who beat Molde 2-1 in Norway, and one point behind Stuttgart. To advance, the Lions will need to win their remaining fixtures, at home to Steaua and away to Molde, and hope other results go their way. Meanwhile, FCN’s 0-4 thrashing by Juventus a day earlier in the Champions League makes it very unlikely they will finish third in their group and thus qualify for the last 32 of the Europa League. They must beat Shakhtar Donetsk at home and Chelsea away and hope Juventus lose both their remaining games. The below average performance by Danish teams in Europe this season does not bode well for the 2014-15 season. Denmark has been passed by Cyprus and Switzerland and currently sits in 15th place in the UEFA coefficient rankings for the 2014-15 season. To move back to 13th place, FCK must progress from their group and FCN must pick up a point or two and hope that Switzerland’s two teams left in the Europa League, Young Boys and FC Basel, both fail to progress. Cyprus has no teams that can progress thanks to AEK Limassol’s poor placing. Next up for FCK is Molde away on November 22, while FCN host Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk two days earlier on November 20. Meanwhile, things didn’t get better for Denmark from a refereeing perspective. A Danish r team, led by Peter Rasmussen, were lambasted by Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini following his team’s 2-2 draw against Ajax in the Champions League, in which the English champions had a strong penalty appeal turned down in the final seconds, just moments after a goal was incorrectly ruled out for offside. (CW)

Viktor Fischer (right) made an immediate impression after coming on as a second-half sub against Man City in the Champions League

tract, despite reported interest from top clubs like Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and AC Milan. Fischer, who is 18 years and five months old and who was due to play for Denmark’s under-20 team before Olsen intervened, could become the seventh youngest player to debut for the full national side in history. Harald Nielsen was the youngest, debuting at the ripe old age of 17 years and 322 days back in 1959, followed by Michael Laudrup, whose first game in red and white was on his 18th birthday in 1982. If Fischer repeats the form he showed for the Danish youth sides, then fans are in for a treat. He scored 20 goals in 30 appearances for the under-17 side that reached the European and world finals in 2011, before moving up a level and scoring five goals in six games for the under 19s. “It’s an investment in the future. The injury situation has made it possible to include Viktor in the first team,” Olsen said according to DBU’s website. “He is an exciting player who is really developing and who is in

Sports news IN brief Bjørn unsupremacy

Agger staggered to win

Nordic group at Euros

Ladies cutting it just fine

Co-hosts with Latvia

No London double for pair

Despite leading for long periods, Thomas Bjørn eventually finished fourth at the stormdelayed Singapore Open. The Dane started the final day with a one-shot lead, but still had 33 holes to play! A 74 then derailed his bid before a 68 restored parity, although he still finished four behind the winner, Italy’s Matteo Manassero. Anders Hansen, meanwhile, finished seventh equal.

Liverpool defender Daniel Agger has been named the player of the year at the Danish Football Awards for the first time, beating William Kvist, Niki Zimling and Nicklas Bendtner. Agger said he had often wondered if he would win given his luck with injuries. Meanwhile, Brøndby IF’s Theresa Nielsen won the women’s prize, while Brian Laudrup was voted into the Hall of Fame.

The Danish women’s football side will contest the opening game of Euro 2013 against hosts Sweden in Gothenburg on July 10. The Danes, who were unseeded in the draw, will also face Italy (July 13) and another Nordic side, Finland (July 16), in a bid to make the quarter-finals of the 12-team tournament. Iceland and Norway are also competing, while Germany are the favourites.

The women’s national ice hockey team have defied the odds to win their second Olympic pre-qualification event. The Danes, who are now 6-0 in qualifying, beat hosts Latvia, Austria and Italy and will now face hosts Slovakia, Norway and Japan from February 7-10 with a place at the Olympics at stake. A place in Group B alongside Sweden and Russia awaits the winners at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Denmark is making a joint bid with Latvia to host the twogroup, 12-team Ice Hockey World Championship in 2017 in Copenhagen and Riga. The championship, which Latvia hosted in 2006, has always played second fiddle to the Olympics and tends to clash with the Stanley Cup, the sport’s most prestigious club event. Germany and France have also made a joint bid, and a decision is due in May 2013.

Despite winning their opening two matches at the seasonend ATP World Tour Finals, Frederik Løchte Nielsen and his English doubles partner Jonathan Marray were unable to clinch their second London title, losing 4-6, 3-6 to Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in the semi-finals. There are now doubts whether the Wimbledon champs will ever play together again, as Nielsen wants to concentrate on singles.


The Copenhagen Post

16 - 22 November 2012


“Final call” as SAS cuts 800 jobs Businesses: fat tax was a failure Scanpix / Mads Nissen

Scandinavian airline will look to cut jobs, reduce wages and sell off assets as it seeks to save nearly 3 billion kroner a year

Ray Weaver Levy cost millions and did not result in healthier consumer choices, say food producers



eleaguered Scandinavian airline SAS has unveiled a last-ditch plan aimed at securing the additional 2.8 billion kroner in revenue the airline needs each year in order to keep flying. Announced on Monday in Stockholm, the plan hinges on employees accepting an average 12 percent wage reduction. Employees will be asked to accept wage and pension reductions, fringe benefit cuts and longer working hours. The plan, which would also consolidate administrative activities at the airline’s head office in Stockholm, is designed to bring the SAS work force down from around 15,000 to 9,000 employees. The aggressive plan is also expected to find savings by trimming away some 6,000 jobs through the sale of subsidiary companies SAS Ground Handling and Widerøe, a regional airline, as well as by discontinuing about 800 administrative jobs. “SAS is facing major and necessary changes,” Rickard Gustafson, SAS’s managing director, said. “[The savings plan] enables us to establish an entirely new platform for SAS’s future. It is a comprehensive plan that places significant demands on the entire organisation, but which is necessary to address the conditions prevailing in the market.” The airline has given employee unions until November 18 to accept the plan. Should they do so, the plan will go into immediate effect. However, by mid-week, it was looking increasingly doubtful that employees would sign off. Lars Bjørking, the head of the pilots’ union Dansk Pilotforening, told Politiken newspaper late

SAS employees like Maria B Nielsen are being asked to make major sacrifices to keep the company afloat

on Tuesday that his union, which represents some 500 Danish SAS pilots, would not accept the deal. “We received a concrete proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement, which we have spent Monday and Tuesday pouring over,” Bjørking said. “We cannot agree to an ultimatum that we don’t know the reality of.” Other SAS employees expressed their dissatisfaction with the savings plan earlier that same day, when members of the 1,400 member-strong Cabin Attendants Union (CAU) refused to take part in a meeting with Gustafson to discuss the main points of the plan directly with employees. CAU members said they were upset that SAS had called on employees to accept the plan through the media, instead of appealing to them in person. The union members met again on Wednesday, however, and agreed to sit down with SAS on Thursday, one day after this newspaper’s deadline, to continue negotiations. CAU officials predicted that those Thursday talks would be “difficult” given the pressure SAS has applied on its members through the media. With CAU’s resistance and Dansk Pilotforening’s refusal to accept the agreement, the airline’s future is very much in doubt. Gustafson has been on record as saying that the offer is not up for

negotiation and that SAS employees have two options: sign the agreement or see the airline shut its doors. In an internal email obtained by Politiken newspaper, Gustafson positioned the savings plan as make or break for the company. “I will be very clear. This plan is crucial for SAS’s survival,” the email read. “If we implement the initiatives we have put forth 100 percent, we have a future. If we say ‘no’ to the plan, SAS will be headed for liquidation.” As part of the plan, company executives will cut their salaries by 20 percent. For Gustafson, that cut amounts to about 1 million kroner per year. “This is our ‘final call’ if SAS is to continue. We have been given this last chance to start from scratch and implement these fundamental changes. I realise that we’re asking much of our employees, but there is no other way,” Gustafson said on Monday. In order to reach its financial goals, SAS has received credit lines in excess of three billion kroner from seven banks and the governments of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, who together own 50 percent of SAS shares. SAS has implemented a number of savings plans in recent years that have resulted in its workforce being cut each year since 2004.

Business news and briefs Vestas continues downward spiral with 3,000 new job cuts With a previous round of 3,700 layoffs not yet finished, Vestas released third quarter figures last week showing that 3,000 more workers will soon be getting pink slips. The company announced that it was seeking to reduce its workforce to 16,000 by the end of 2013. At the end of 2011, the company employed nearly 23,000 people. When all is said and done,


Christian Wenande

Vestas will have reduced its workforce by 30 percent. “Vestas is working on an evaluation of its production [and] we expect to reduce the headcount further during 2013 through divestments, hiring freezes and layoffs,” the company wrote in a statement. The new savings plan is expected to cut costs by just over one billion kroner.

Cut waste, win money FDB, the co-operative that runs several of the nation’s supermarkets under the COOP umbrella, asked its customers for suggestions on how to cut down on the estimated 50,000 tonnes of food that are tossed out every year. After receiving more than 2,000 responses, three of them have been selected as finalists for a 30,000 kroner prize.

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enmark’s nowscrapped surcharge on the fat content of foods has cost businesses 200 million kroner since it was implemented last October, according to Dansk Erhverv, a business advocacy group. “The tax has been expensive,” chamber spokesperson Lotte Engbæk Larsen told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “Businesses have had to absorb the costs of administration, set up new IT systems, and explain it all to customers and suppliers.” Larsen said that the red tape was the only thing to come from the levy, since it did not encourage customers to pick less fatty food. “There have been absolutely no health benefits gained from this tax,” said Ole Linnet Juul of DI Fødevarer, a food industry advocacy group. Arla, the nation’s largest dairy, said Danes were consuming just as much milk, cheese and yoghurt as before; they are just choosing cheaper, and perhaps even less healthy, varieties and the government is actually collecting less money as consumers buy down instead of less. “No-one has gained anything

Industry officials say Danes continued to buy fatty foods like cheese

from this tax, and people aren’t consuming less fat,” said Arla vicepresident Peter Giørtz-Carlsen. Snack-food producer Kim’s, meanwhile, reported its bottom line grew by nearly seven percent last year, in spite of the fat tax making its products more expensive. “I would like to see any research that shows the fat tax works,” said Kim’s managing director Kim Munk. “On the contrary, the market for crisps and snacks is growing.” Under the law, food producers were responsible for calculating the fat content of foods and collecting the levy, but Munk and other business leaders have decried the procedure. “It has been another obstacle to doing business,” he said. Every 100 kroner the state collected from the unpopular tax cost the food industry 10 kroner to administer, and businesses said

that the losses discouraged development and innovation. “The tax has required many man-hours, and in these times of crisis, businesses cannot afford to hire additional staff. The easiest way to cut costs is to cut back on product development,” said Larsen. Larsen said that everybody loses when companies fail to develop new products, because new product development helps stimulate job growth. The fat tax and a similar surcharge on sugar, which was set to come into effect in January, were key negotiating points in the government’s budget talks. With the deal struck with Enhedslisten on Sunday, both levies were scrapped. The lost revenue will be made up by raising the bundskat (bottom tax rate) by 0.19 percent and lowering the personal allowance by 900 kroner. (See related stories, page 5)


A British Company Operating in a Global World Our guest speaker at the November Lunch event will be Denize McGregor, Head of Customer Service and Operations for Europe, Africa, Middle East, UK Regions, Ireland and South America at British Airways since January 2011. She will cover some of the key issues facing companies when their operations span the globe, with experiences and stories from British Airways Denize is responsible for delivering a safe and secure operation, whilst maintaining the highest levels of customer service at more than two thirds of the airports across the British Airways network, dealing with 310 departures a day. Previous roles she has worked in since joining British Airways in 1990 include: Sales Team Manager, Industrial Relations Manager, Head of International HR and Area Customer Services Manager. During her time abroad Denize was responsible for restructuring of the overseas organisation including the introduction of a supplier managed operating model.

Venue 23 November 2012 Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Hammerichsgade 1 1611 Copenhagen

Non-members are very welcome. Please contact BCCD or go to for further information.

Price in kroner for one unit of foreign currency

If you would like to attend then please send us an email ( or call +45 31 18 75 58

Date: 14 November 2012

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SPOUSE: Victor Bosie-Boateng FROM: Ghana SEEKING WORK IN: All of Denmark QUALIFICATION: Master of social science (Development studies & International relations) from Aalborg University in Denmark EXPERIENCE: 5 years of wide experience working as a consultant to some NGO’s, a past JPO and intern at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Very organised and well abreast with project management, Good communication strategists, indepth study and understanding of climate change issues, Former teacher and teaching assistant at a university, well abreast with the use of the microsoft operating systems LOOKING FOR: Work as a consultant, assistant project officer, programme officer, development analysts, administrative officer. Also open to a position at an NGO, danida and other development oriented organisations LANGUAGE SKILLS: English (fluent), French (moderate), Dutch (moderate), Danish (Good) IT EXPERIENCE: Microsoft word, excel, powerpoint, microsoft project and many more. CONTACT: Tel: 28746935, 53302445 SPOUSE: Geet Shroff FROM: Bangalore, India SEEKING WORK IN: Midtjylland / Copenhagen / Odense QUALIFICATION: Bachelor’s degree in Communicative English from Bangalore University, India. EXPERIENCE: 8+ years of experience as Senior Copy Writer, Assistant Manager – Marketing Communications, Executive – Customer Loyalty & Communication, Customer Service Associate respectively. Through these years, I have developed content, handled complete marketing communications, organized numerous corporate (internal & external customer), private and institutional events ranging from 50 to 1000 people and also handling special projects that have included training & internal communication campaigns. LOOKING FOR: A Corporate or Marketing Communication (Internal or External) position or that of a Copy Writer at an advertising agency or a corporate house. Also open to a position at an event management company. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Danish (Beginner). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office, Adobe In Design CS3 (Basic). CONTACT:, Tel: +4550834024 SPOUSE: Clotilde IMBERT FROM: France SEEKING WORK IN: Greater Copenhagen Qualification: Master of town planning and development and master of urban geography (Paris IVSorbonne) EXPERIENCE: 5 years in field of town planning and development: Coordinator in urban project in a semi-public company: supervised a major urban project in Paris area (coordination of studies, acquisition of lands, worked with Planning Development of the Town Council, architects, developers to define the master plan and implement the project); Officer in research and consultancy firm (urban diagnosis, environmental impact assessments, inhabitants consultation). LOOKING FOR: A job in urban project field: planning department of Town Council or consultancy firm in town planning, environment and sustainable development, architecture firm, real estate development company. LANGUAGE SKILLS: French (mother tongue), English (professional usage), Spanish (basic), Danish (In progress). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office, Abode Illustrator, AutoCad (basic), PC and Mac. CONTACT: SPOUSE: Teja Priyanka FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: MBA in Finance and marketing, bachelor in Biotechnology. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Telugu(mother tongue), Hindi, English, Danish(beginner). IT EXPERIENCE: Familiar with Microsoft office (word, excel, Powerpoint,access), Photoshop. CONTACT:


16 - 22 November 2012 SPOUSE: Monika Sysiak FROM: Poland SEEKING WORK IN: Greater Copenhagen / eastern Zealand QUALIFICATION: Master degree in Environmental Engineering from Cracow University of Technology. Major in Water Supply, Sewage and Waste Treatment and Water Quality Protection. Completed one semester in Environmental Engineering at Engineering College of Aarhus. EXPERIENCE: Internship during studies in designing water supply systems and sewerage systems. LOOKING FOR: Graduation programme, internship, training, part time or full time job related to my qualifications. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Polish (mother tongue), English (fluent), Danish (starting). IT-EXPERIENCE: AutoCAD, MOUSE DHI, MS Windows, MS Office. CONTACT: EMAIL:, Tel: +45 50 43 70 43 SPOUSE: Chiara Stevanato FROM: Italy SEEKING WORK IN: København or nearby areas QUALIFICATION: Bachelor degree in Physics. EXPERIENCE: Now completing the Master’s degree in Physics at Københavns Universitet. LOOKING FOR: Research in Physics. Research projects related to scientific areas. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Written and spoken Italian, written and spoken English, written and Spoken French, very basic written and spoken Danish (still attending a second level course). IT EXPERIENCE: Operating systems: Windows, Linux. Programming languages: basic C, C++; Python. CONTACT:, Tel: 41681741 SPOUSE: Malgorzata Tujakowska FROM: Poland SEEKING WORK IN: Aarhus and the surrounding area QUALIFICATION: Masters in Ethnolinguistics with major in Chinese and English, Chinese HSK and Business Chinese Test certificates, 2-year long studies at Shanghai International Studies University and National Cheng Kung University,Taiwan. LOOKING FOR: Working for companies hiring Polish and Chinese employees, teaching Chinese, Polish, Business English, linguistics, translation and interpretation, proofreading, Chinese business and culture consulting, administrative work. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Polish (native speaker), Chinese – simplified and traditional (fluent), English (fluent), German(intermediate), Danish (intermediate-currently learning). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office. CONTACT: Tel:+45 28702377, SPOUSE: Erik Metzger FROM: San Francisco, CA USA SEEKING WORK IN: Drug & Alcohol Counselling QUALIFICATION: Masters degree in addiction counselling from Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies; Currently preparing for the IC&RC counselling exam. EXPERIENCE: Drug & Alcohol Counsellor; Masters in Addiction Counselling from Hazelden Graduate School in Minnesota, USA, August 2012. Ten years of active work in various 12-step programs. I can meet with you and/or your family to develop a custom recovery plan; all ages welcome. Registered Yoga Teacher through: since July, 2010. I can supply yoga mats and supports; my apartment or yours! Teacher of business English with training from Berlitz, Virksomhedsskolen and Denmark’s Library School (Cand.scient.bibl., 2007). *All diploma’s and certifications available upon request LOOKING FOR: Part/Full/Freelance/Volunteer work at treatment center and/or outpatient clinic. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English: Native; Danish: Fluent verbal skills and intermediate reading and writing. IT EXPERIENCE: PC and Mac – trained in many software packages and databases. CONTACT:

NGG International School

NGG ID Cirklehuset Christianshusvej 16 2970 Hørsholm +45 45 57 26 16

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 and we will post your profile on the spouse job page when possible. Remember to get it removed in case of new job.

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SPOUSE: Mayurika Saxena Sheth FROM: India/USA SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen & nearby areas, Greater Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: MCA, PGDMM(MATERIALS), B.SC (COMPUTERS) CERTIFICATIONS: CSTE, CSQA, GREEN BELT SIX SIGMA, TSP/PSP. EXPERIENCE: Eleven years of software development work/IT/BUSINESS experience with prestigious organizations (onsite and offshore): Microsoft, General Electric, Primus Telecommunications (AUSTRALIA), CitiFINANCIAL(USA), ISS and Imany. LOOKING FOR: Full Time Job in IT, Management, Consulting or Business/Financial Field. LANGUAGE SKILLS: ENGLISH fluent, HINDI fluent, DANISH AND SPANISH (Beginner). IT EXPERIENCE: Testing tools like Test Director, Quality Center, Access Server, Product Studio, Polyspace Analysis, .NET testing, Web Page testing, Electronic Appliances testing, development in Winrunner, ASP, HTML, JavaScript, VBScript, Jscript, Oracle, Cold Fusion, SQL, Access, COM/DCOM, MTS, Siebel as well as UNIX, Tuxedo, C, PL/SQL, VB.Net/ ASP .Net, VB.Net. C#. CONTACT:, Tel: +45 7169 5401



Applicant must be a native English speaker with relevant teacher qualification, preferably with knowledge and experience of the international Primary Curriculum.

SPOUSE: Margaret Ritchie FROM: Scotland, UK SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: BA Business Administration majoring in Human Resource Management EXPERIENCE: Worked in the field of Education within a Scottish University. 12 years of experience. Administrating and organising courses and conferences and also worked as a PA to a Head of School. Great communication skills. LOOKING FOR: Administration work, typing, audio typing, data input. Can work from home. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Mother tongue: English, very basic Danish IT EXPERIENCE: A good user of Microsoft Office package, access to Internet CONTACT:, Tel: 71182949

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Teacher Vacancy Grade 4 Primary Teacher

Interested applicants are invited to inquire with a cover letter and current CV to: Vice-Headmaster Karen Johansen on

SPOUSE: Jawon Yun-Werner FROM: South Korea SEEKING WORK IN: Healthcare, Hospitals, Elderly/Child Care (in Greater Copenhagen Area). QUALIFICATION: B.A. in Nursing, Masters in Public Health. I am AUTHORIZED to work as a Nurse in Denmark. (Have Danish CPR and work permit). EXPERIENCE: 1O years of experience as a nurse and midwife from the prominent hospitals. LOOKING FOR: Any healthcare related jobs (hospitals, clinics, elderly/childcare places). I am open to any shift or day. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Korean, Danish (Intermediate, in progress, Module 3). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office, SASS Statistical Software CONTACT:, Tel: +45 30 95 20 53

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The Copenhagen Post

16 - 22 November 2012

Leisure habits change as nation expands its range of pleasures Who is … Christian Wenande

“The people who use libraries use them more often. For example, when I was young I used the library to read newspapers and hile Danes are magazines and find information going to the theatre I couldn’t find elsewhere,” Elbæk and using the inter- told Politiken newspaper. “The net more than they internet has taken over some of were eight years ago, they are go- the duties, but the library has a ing to the library less and reading different role in terms of lending fewer newspapers, according to perspective and creating opinion a report financed by the Culture as a social and cultural space.” Ministry. The report, which was comThe 400piled by the conpage report sultancy firms concluded that Epinion and Pluss people are genLeadership, is the erally engaging in more activi- For example, when seventh and latest ties in their free instalment of an time, particular- I was young I used on-going study of ly in the areas of the nation’s leisure the library to read sports and exerhabits – the first cise, internet use newspapers and of which came out and computer nearly 50 years gaming, and to a magazines and find ago in 1964. lesser extent goinformation I couldn’t Since then, ing to museums, follw-up reports reading books find elsewhere have been puband visiting the lished in 1975, theatre. At the same time, however, there has been a decline in 1987, 1993, 1998, 2004 and newspaper and magazine reading 2012. About 4,800 adults and 1,500 children between the ages and TV viewing. The number of people mak- of seven and 14 were interviewed ing at least one trip to the library for the report, which also details a month also fell, from 29 per- the leisure habits of adult minor-


Culture Ministry would require more time to study the report’s findings, but said regardless of what conclusions were drawn, there was room for improvement.

ities for the first time ever. This year’s report is divided into three categories: use of literature and the fine arts, leisure activities, and media consumption. Elbæk indicated that the

“One challenge is still how the classical culture institutions can develop new audience strategies and become more inclusive than they are now,” Elbæk told Politiken.

Factfile | The 10 most notable developments in Danes’ leisure habits from 2004 to 2012

5. Minorities use the library more often that the general public, but are less likely to go to the theatre, museums or concerts.

1. The technological developments in recent years have altered people’s leisure habits significantly. The prevailing tendency is that involvement in traditional culture areas and media remain much the same, while new media and devices stimulate further consumption.

6. Most of the adult population can be characterised as actively or very actively engaged in art and culture, leisure activities and the media. Women are strongly represented in art and culture, and while there is not much gender difference in the area of leisure activity, men tend to be more likely to be engaged in the media.

2. Between 2004 and 2012, people generally engaged in more leisure pursuits. The greatest increases amongst adults were in the areas of music, sport and exercise, volunteer work and internet use.

7. Education and income are important factors in determining whether people engage in cultural activities. People who engage in non-cultural activities typically have little or no education and have a low income.

3. The main increases amongst children were in music, computer gaming, performance art, literature and internet use. Generally, children are more active than the adults. 4. Adult film viewing, library attendance, visits to attractions, TV watching, and newspaper and magazine reading is stable or in decline.

8. The number of people attending opera, ballet, musicals and classical music concerts or going to art museums is at its

highest level since 1964. People over 60, 15-19-year-olds and women are most active when it comes to the fine arts. 9. Children are generally active in all the main areas. Girls are more active when it comes to art and culture and media, while boys are more active in the area of leisure activities. There is also a notable connection between the cultural habits of parents and their children. 10. Half of the population feels that public culture expenditure is acceptable. The amount who felt too much was spent on culture and the amount who felt too little was spent were relatively equal. Private spending on cultural activities has fallen since 2004, largely due to technological developments and the emergence of new sports and exercise habits.

Circus of Life HHHHHH


funhouse mirror takes what we know and expect to see and turns it on its head − often literally − swelling it, squeezing it, making it simultaneously hilarious and disturbing. In an attempt to tackle humanity’s relationship with the Fall of Man, ‘Circus of Life’ holds that mirror to the audience, but the mirror is a little foggy. Pernille Garde’s latest work is a string of vignettes about sin told through sparse narrative and intricate dances performed by two sinewy, dynamic and often hilarious circus performers. A maddened disembodied voice, presumably “temptation”, cackles at and prods them along their path into temptation, but it’s all a bit murky. And bizarrely equivocal, really. First, we are told to behold the “disgusting creature” of a woman who is having sexual re-

lations with many, many men. Lust, presumably. Next is a spoken letter: “Dear Anders Breivik ...” It heaps admiration on him and goes so far as to say: “I wish you’d killed more people.” Most terrifyingly, the letter is written in blood. Wrath. And then a little girl is run over and left to die by 18 passers-by before somebody helps her. By then, it’s too late. Sloth. Lastly, the two performers come out and parade around in costumes of random plastic baubles before launching into a tirade against humanity’s material obsessions and inevitable environmental doomsday. Greed and gluttony. The idea behind ‘Circus of Life’ is a good one, and the choreography is like nothing I’ve ever seen. However, the vignettes are sporadic (they forgot about envy and pride), and the ghostly narrator silly and clichéd. Perhaps humanity should look in the existential funhouse mirror, but all I feel like doing is getting some cotton candy.

Anee Jayaraj



ie Hard’ meets ‘The Office’ in ‘BLAM!’” Or at least that’s how the Neander theatre describes its show. And those who have watched it will call it nothing less. With parkour, acrobatic stunts, drama and even some dancing, ‘BLAM!’ is an action performance that is packed with energy and theatrics. Created and conceptualised by Kristján Ingimarsson, the founder of Neander, and Jesper Pedersen, the show is back, revised and rejuvenated, playing at the Republique theatre in Østerbro until December 1. The show opens to the scene of a rather dull and dreary office where three bored and suppressed staff take to enacting action sequences from movies like ‘Die Hard’, ‘Rambo’ and this year’s ‘The Avengers’ (told you it was revised!), to name a few. What follows is an entertaining display of male egos at play, set in

Søren Meisner

Man’s fall in foggy focus More David Brent, less Daniel Craig please! Amy strada

Fie Laursen? fie laursen

Danes becoming more cultural, but some areas still lag, according to the latest review of the nation’s leisure habits

cent in 2004 to 25 percent in 2012, but that didn’t seem to worry the culture minister, Uffe Elbæk (Radikale).

Rambo started to grate a little 50 minutes in

the context of their office space, which transforms cleverly into a battle arena. Credit is definitely due to set designer Kristian Knudsen, whose creative vision enables a basic office setting to smoothly lend itself to the action sequences performed. And well done for creating a show that is truly universal. The lack of any dialogue means that ‘BLAM!’ breaks language barriers, while the circuslike performance makes it appealing to younger audiences.

However, after 50 minutes of relentless action, you start to wonder whether this is all the show has to offer, or whether there will be a surprising addition in the form of a new character or a different act that will feature another kind of performance. Unfortunately, to my slight disappointment, the action sequences continued for another 30 minutes. Because while ‘Boys will be boys’, the females in the audience will probably want a little bit more.

linn lemhag She is a 16-year-old Danish blogger who made tabloid headlines this week when she was spotted kissing Peter Birch, a reality TV star 12 years her senior How did that happen?! They attended the MTV EMA party held in Copenhagen on Monday, and seeing as Birch is currently on a break from his on/off relationship with reality ditz Amalie Szigethy, he saw the chance to switch out the old with the very, very new. Ew. It does seem a tad creepy. Laursen, however, defended their hookup, saying it was “no biggie”, and that even though she slept at his place, nothing happened. Sure … so what does this girl do? Her blog is about fashion and friends, but Laursen was essentially unknown until January of this year, when she received national media coverage when she spoke about cyber bullying on a DR1 talkshow. According to Laursen, she was the target of multiple bullies after she shared her dreams of becoming a model. Poor girl! Another blogger, Bitterfissen Bethany, called the show ‘feelings-porn’. But then again, Bethany is a self-titled bitter c**t, so you might want to take that with a pinch of salt. What’s next for Laursen, then? Apart from her blog, she’s started an anti-bullying campaign on Facebook called @Stop Mobning (Stop bullying). Despite the good-hearted philanthropy, we think (and hope?) she’s got all the makings of a future blog-star scandal queen in her: a chihuahua (named Justin after the Biebs, of course), an oversized Louis Vuitton bag, a serious penchant for the colour pink and a killer pout!

Online this week Love affair in States turning sour in Europe ‘En kongelig affære’ (‘A Royal Affair’) and ‘Kapringen’ (‘A Hijacking’) last week scooped American Film Institute audience awards – a serious boost ahead of the awards season and for their potential box office returns. However, back home ‘En kongelig affære’ was outshone by ‘Jagten’ (‘The

Hunt’) in the nominations for the European Film Awards. ‘Jagten’ picked up five including best film, actor and director; ‘En kongelig affære’ only received two – in the small-fry categories of production design and score. The awards will be presented at a televised ceremony on December 1 in Malta.

Rapper receives suspended jail sentence for assault Rapper L.O.C., born Liam O’Connor, received a 40-day suspended jail sentence for assault and battery at an Odense court last week. “I read somewhere that I risked being sentenced to four years in prison, but you know how people sensationalise things,” O’Connor, who is half Irish, told the press.

The incident occurred in early June at a music festival in the Funen town of Middelfart. O’Connor, who insisted he acted in defence of a friend, was also arrested on charges of assault in 2003. As expected, he then appeared on popular TV singing contest, ‘Voice – Danmarks største stemme’, on Saturday.

Zentropa head drops libel action against magazine Peter Aalbæk Jensen, the managing director of Danish film producer Zentropa, is dropping his libel case against Ekko. Jensen took issue with the film magazine over its claim that 750 actors were each charged 350kr to audition for ‘Klar til optagelse’ in 2009,

a film he claimed was never an official Zentropa project. Ritzau reported that Ekko apologised “if anyone was given the impression that Zentropa had received money from the open casting”, while Jensen apologised for his “at times strident accusations”.

Read the full stories at


16 - 22 November 2012

ALEXIS KUNSAK You’ve heard of Hans Christian Ørsted, but most probably due to the park and street; in reality, his endeavours in science merit worldwide acclaim and fame


HEN GOOGLE was looking for a scientist to honour on its main page, it wanted to present someone rarely acknowledged, whose discoveries had changed everyday life on Earth. On 14 August 2009, for his 200th birthday, Google the search engine chose the electromagnetic discoveries of HC Ørested to feature on its homepage. Google spokesperson Anne Espiritu explained that Ørsted reflected the company’s personality and love of innovation. “We felt his work with electric current and electromagnetism would not only make for a fun doodle,” Espiritu told National Geographic News. “But we also wanted to celebrate the work of a scientist not too many people may have necessarily heard of but benefit from every day.” Hans Christian Ørsted forever changed the way scientists think about electricity and magnetism. While preparing to perform an experiment during a lecture at the University of Copenhagen in 1820, he discovered that the magnetised needle of a compass was deflected according to the flow of an electric current through a voltaic pile (an early form of the battery). He noted that the compass needle moved away from magnetic north and pointed to the wire whenever current flowed from the battery. And he was also surprised to learn that the compass needle pointed in the opposite direction when the battery was flipped around. This result provided solid evidence that electricity and magnetism are related phenomena. The announcement of Ørsted’s discovery incited a tremendous outbreak of research in the new but rising field of electromagnetics. Although this was the early 1820s, the experiments conducted eventually led to the development of electricity generators and transformers: the foundation of the modern power system. HC Ørsted, who grew up in Rudkøbing on the island of Langeland, was more or less selftaught along with his brother, Anders Sandøe Ørsted, a future Danish prime minister (185354). The two brothers were able to instruct each other in various subjects, in addition to lessons in German and German religion from a local German wigmaker and his wife. Their father was a pharmacist, and as an 11-year-

old, HC Ørsted became his pharmacy assistant and received practical training in chemistry. At the same time he developed a strong interest in poetry. After finishing his doctorate in philosophy in Copenhagen, Ørsted travelled to Germany, France and the Netherlands in order to continue studying the natural sciences. At the renowned University in Jena in eastern Germany, Ørsted developed a close friendship with Johann Wilhelm Ritter, an imaginative scientist of around the same age. Ritter was already famous for his experiments on the chemical effects of electric currents. Ritter’s enthusiastic personality and original ideas about science were a great influence on Ørsted. In the German Romantic movement of the time, the notion of a unifying force underlying all nature was widely held. In the meantime, in 1800, Alessandro Voltas had created the first chemical battery, which allowed for closely controlled experimentation with electrical currents. In April of 1820, Ørsted made the discovery of the connection between electrical and magnetic phenomena by observing the behaviour of a compass. That is, if a current is run through a wire – in this case, from the battery at the front – then the electricity creates a magnetic field, which will deflect a compass needle. Ørsted’s initial interpretation of the experiment was that magnetic effects radiate from all sides of a wire carrying an electric current, as do light and heat. Three months later, he began more intensive investigations and published his findings, showing that an electric current produces a circular magnetic field as it flows through a wire. Strangely enough, Ørsted did not continue his research in the field of electromagnetics after publishing the report on these initial investigations in 1820. Instead he threw himself into working out an earlier question about water compression that had obsessed him since 1798. He wrote a short treatise about electromagnetics, but others carried out most of the important subsequent work relating to the new field. Following Ørsted’s discovery, Andre-Marie Ampere worked on applying mathematics to the study of electromagnetism. The units of electrical current are still measured in his name as ‘amperes’ (or ‘amps’). Another scientist, Italy’s Gian Domenico Romagnosi, had reportedly made the same discovery as Ørsted more than a decade and a half earlier. However, Romagnosi’s finding was described in only one Italian newspaper in 1802 and never received the recognition of his contemporaries. The details of


His park is a point of attraction − a tribute to his discoveries in magnetism


“One magnet said to another: ‘You’re very attactive’, to which the other replied: ‘We’re poles apart,’”, The artist tried to cheer HC Ørsted up, but he’d heard them all before

the experiment and the claim of what Romagnosi proved are still in some dispute. Ørsted himself moved on quickly to new experiments, in addition to literary and cultural pursuits of becoming of Denmark’s Golden Age. Ørsted was a close friend of other influential figures of the era including poet Adam Oehlenschläger, children’s writer Hans Christian Andersen and JL Heiberg. Being a follower of the Naturphilosophie school in Germany, HC Ørsted was concerned with the relationship between science and descriptive language. In 1836, he published his most famous work of poetry, ‘Luftskibet’ (Airship), a series of poems in different forms of verse that focus on the bridge between the worlds of science and poetry. He dedicated the series to the poet HC Andersen”. Ørsted felt strongly about the popularisation of scientific knowledge. He wanted everyone to have access to an understanding of scientific discoveries. To this end, he founded the Society for the Dissemination of Natural Science (Selskabet for Naturlærens Udbredelse), which continues to present a prize in his honour (the Ørsted Medal) for remarkable Danish contributions to physics, chemistry or the popularisation of science in general. He was also the founder of the predecessor organisations that eventually became the Danish Meteorological Institute and

the Danish Patent and Trademark Office. In order for the new science to be explained, new language needed to be developed, and Ørsted became interested in creating technical expressions for art, science and daily life. He contributed over 2,000 new Danish words, many of which are still used today, among them: billedkunst (visual art), sommerfugl (butterfly), ilt (oxygen) and brint (hydrogen). The principles of Ørsted’s word creation had already been established in 1814: new words must not lead to false impressions, they must normally indicate, not describe; and materials that were not compounds must not have compound names (such as ‘sourstuff’ for ‘oxygen’). Educational value carried more weight than national pride. Ørsted was regu-

larly inspired by similar words in other languages. For example, he took the word ‘fordampe’ which means ‘evaporate’ from German, while ‘foretagsom’, which means ‘enterprising’, was adapted from Swedish. The unit of magnetic field strength was named in honour of Ørsted in the 1930s. One oersted is the centimetre-gram – second unit of magnetic intensity, equal to the magnetic pole of unit strength when undergoing a force of one dyne in a vacuum. Sadly for him, people no longer measure things in oersteds, because now the international metric system (SI) recognises Ampere, Georg Ohm, Heinrich Hertz, James Prescott Joule and James Watt instead. Ørsted was made a knight of the Prussian Order of Merit, of the French Legion of Hon-

The park that bears his name where many routinely bare their bottoms

our, and the Danish Order of the Dannebrog, in addition to having his own park in central Copenhagen. Ørstedsparken was inaugurated on 27 October 1879. It contained Copenhagen’s first public playground, a promenade, and a bronze statue of Ørsted mounted on a granite plinth, in which he is actively demonstrating the effect of an electric current on a magnetic needle. His bronze hands are connecting the wires from an electric battery, so that the magnet oscillates. The park still retains pieces from the old fortifications of the city in its topography: a section of the moat forms an elongated lake and former bastions, sloping hills. The park has become the perfect spot to commemorate the man looking for a union between art and science.

MOVEMBER AT SAXO BANK Movember (the month formerly known as November) is a moustache growing charity event held each year to raise funds and awareness for men’s health. Last year, Saxo Bank chose to double the amount that its employees had collected for donation. This year, rather than aiming for specific cash total, Saxo Bank’s focus is global awareness involving all the Bank’s offices in Australia, Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Europe. To promote private and public conversation around the often-ignored issue of men’s health, Saxo Bank opens its doors to an event with Ph.D Andreas Røder who is Head of Movember’s Danish Prostate Cancer Advisory Committee. Andreas Røder will give a presentation about prostate cancer, research in the field and the impact of Movember.


At Saxo Bank’s Headquarters, Phillip Heymans Allé 15, Hellerup.

Please sign up for the event at

The Copenhagen Post | Nov 16-22  

Denmark's source for new s in English

The Copenhagen Post | Nov 16-22  

Denmark's source for new s in English