A search for answers after Kødbyen killing
Government drops plan to outlaw sex purchases
23 - 29 November 2012 | Vol 15 Issue 47
Full on! Hold on! Monty’s here!
Denmark’s only English-language newspaper | cphpost.dk COLOURBOX
You want what’s under these mountains? Pay up, Greenland’s premier tells Denmark
Bikers get off easy Eastern High Court gives lighter sentences to 14 biker gang members as historic trial concludes
Teenage wasteland As students party right through the night, drunkenness and absenteeism plague the nation’s upper secondary schools Drawing inspiration from Paris, Copenhagen looks to establish an international student city
A Copenhagen school teacher is pushing hard for the sport to be included in the national curriculum
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“Tremendous relief” after SAS staves off bankruptcy JUSTIN CREMER
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But hard feelings linger after intense negotiations result in employees making salary and work hour concessions
FTER a weekend spent huddled up at Copenhagen Airport hammering out a deal to save the company’s future, SAS airline officials and employees’ unions reached an agreement on Monday that will stave off bankruptcy. The Danish cabin attendants’ union, CAU, was the last of a total of eight unions from Denmark, Sweden and Norway to come to an agreement with SAS’s management. In a deal accepted 14 hours after the original deadline for
employees to accept a savings plan described as ‘make or break’ for the company, CAU agreed to having their working week extended by 3.5 hours, their annual salaries cut by the equivalent of one month’s pay and working days that can be as long as 13 hours. For CAU members, the concessions were hard to make. “I have given my life’s blood,” Helge Thuesen, the head of CAU, told DR News. “I have made agreements I was very reluctant to make. We have many single mothers and it is going to be very hard in the future, and I feel terrible about it.” As part of the deal, SAS pilots in Denmark, Sweden and Norway agreed to a ten percent wage reduction and an eight percent increase in their working hours.
Throughout the process, some SAS employees voiced their displeasure with the leadership’s tactic of applying pressure on them to accept the savings plan via the media. And those hard feelings continued after the deal was sealed. Several sources close to the negotiations told Politiken newspaper that SAS’s leadership incessantly bombarded employees with messages meant to convey the gravity of the situation. One message even went so far as to warn employees to make sure they had money with them when they were out on flights so that they could get home if the company went bankrupt. According to psychologist Janne Hertz, this put employees in “a complex psychological situation” that could come back to haunt SAS.
“It’s the classic recipe for stress, which can end up costing the company in terms of sick days and other consequences like fatigue and a lack of energy among employees,” Hertz told Politiken. While the conditions of the deal and the negotiations themselves were hard for employees, the alternative would have seen SAS enter into bankruptcy proceedings. Therefore, many Danish leaders expressed their relief that the last-minute deal was brokered. Copenhagen’s mayor, Frank Jensen (Socialdemokraterne), commended both sides for coming together to save SAS. “It is a tremendous relief because there would have been serious consequences for Copenhagen, the Øresund
SAS continues on page 15
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Week in review
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
CPH Post Word of the Week:
23 - 29 November 2012 THE WEEK’S MOST READ STORIES AT CPHPOST.DK
Vidner (plural noun) – Witnesses. Where you heard it: Copenhagen Police appealed to the public to step forward with any information regarding the Saturday morning fatal stabbing of Jonas Thomsen in Kødbyen (see page 5) Colourbox
How one local decision created a national ‘War on Christmas’ Law student named as nightclub stabbing victim Journalists attacked for reporting on Christmas tree controversy Concerns of ethnic bullying after housing board axes Christmas tree Two-year-old’s fancy footwork makes him a star
FROM OUR ARCHIVES TEN YEARS AGO. ‘Unit One’ (‘Rejseholdet’), a police drama from public broadcaster DR, wins Denmark’s first-ever Emmy in the Best Drama Series category. FIVE YEARS AGO. Danish stock market in freefall as fear of a global economic meltdown spreads.
A planned tunnel between Denmark and Germany may be at risk unless the financing can be found to replace Storstrømsbroen (pictured), which was shut down last year. After funding negotiations broke down this week, the new tunnel project is in jeopardy. Read about it at bit.ly/DKtunnel
be determined by experts, but it definitely looks like the animal in the photos [from the October spotting]. The animal was completely emaciated, so we assume that it died of starvation.” The animal had probably been dead for upwards of a week before it was found. It may take up to a month to determine if it was a wolf.
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Like Lars Løkke
According to a recent opinion poll, 61 percent of Danes feel that former PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen is avoiding the public debate and hiding himself away on Facebook. Nearly a quarter of Rasmussen’s quotes in the media are lifted from his Facebook account, and a full 62 percent disagreed with Rasmussen’s strategy
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
of letting his social media account speak for him. Rasmussen was seen in the flesh over the weekend though, when he took part in Venstre’s party conference and presented a plan to improve Denmark’s ability to compete internationally by, among other things, dropping the minimum wage to the level found in Germany.
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As reported in this space last month, what was thought to be Denmark’s first wolf in 200 years was spotted in northern Jutland. That same animal has now been found dead in Thy National Park, according to Naturstyrelsen. “We’re not yet sure if it is a wolf,” said Tommy Hansen, a Naturstyrelsen consultant. “That needs to
Scanpix / Henning Bagger
ONE YEAR AGO. Government and church officials reach agreement that ensures homosexual couples can have religious wedding ceremonies.
Porn for kids
At a time when free porn is rampant online, it no longer makes sense to forbid the sale of pornographic material to children under the age of 16, a Justice Ministry committee has decided. In the report, the committe wrote that “it is not realistic to expect that the criminal code can limit children’s access to
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free porn sites on the internet,” and therefore recommends striking a paragraph from the criminal code that says anyone caught selling “obscene photos or objects to a person under 16 shall be punished with a fine”. The committee said that the law had already become obsolete because so many kids see porn online.
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The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
23 - 29 November 2012
Everyone agrees that teen drinking in Denmark is out of control, but no-one wants to take responsibility for fixing the problem
kanal 5 / sbs tv
ordes of drunk teenagers filling the streets every weekend have been a reality for so long that they have almost become a cliché. But the weekend isn’t enough anymore. Marketing efforts by clubs, discos and bars are adding ever more nights to the seemingly endless party. It’s called lille fredag (little Friday) ... but in reality it is just Thursday night. Clubs and bars in towns throughout the country market it to high school students as an early, extra weekend night. The kids are offered deals on trays full of shots of alcohol and often they carry on drinking until it is time for them to go to class on Friday morning. The Jutland town of Silkeborg is home to Silkeborg Gymnasium – the nation’s largest upper-secondary school with nearly 1,400 students – and several other trade and technical schools. What educators call the “minefield” of the town’s many drinking establishments lies within walking distance of all of them. Torben Jessen, the head of Silkeborg Handelsskole, a trade-orientated uppersecondary school, said that Thursday night partying by his students has resulted in increased Friday morning absenteeism. And he said that many of the kids who do manage to turn up on Friday morning are simply too wasted to learn. Jessen has called for a meeting this month between educators and those involved in Silkeborg’s nightlife – an initiative that is supported by Erik Olesen, the headteacher of Silkeborg Gymnasium. “It would make the job of secondary education easier if there was no opportunity to go into town after midnight on Thursday,” Olesen told JyllandsPosten newspaper. “I fully support the school opening the debate.” Jessen said his school was not afraid to play hardball with clubs and bars that did not want to shoulder some of the responsibility for making sure students get to school on Friday. “We work with a number of discos when we have parties at school,” Jessen told Jyllands-Posten. “We have told them that if they did not work with us on this [Thursday] problem, we will not use them to cater for our parties of up to 1,000 students.” Nicky Nielsen, the owner of the city’sBuddy Holly bar, said that there are often school kids sitting in the club at closing time who ask if they can just hang around until school opens for the day. “I realise that is not a good situation,” Nielsen told Midtjyllands
Kota club / facebook
cafe saltlageret / facebook
The party never stops
With clubs and bars nationwide aggressively promoting Thursday as a night to party (above left), and shows like ‘Kongerne af Rømø’ (left) glorifying drinking, many students wake up on school days unable to function, let alone learn anything
Avis newspaper. Tommy Gubi, the owner of the Villa nightclub, refused to take any responsibility for getting kids to class. “It is up to the school and the parents,” Gubi told Midtjyllands Avis. “Making students go to school is not a club’s job. They just abolished closing laws for retailers, so why should our ability to compete be restricted?” Stenhus Gymnasium in Holbaek has forbidden alcohol on any school study trip. Students were drinking so much during trips that precious little studying was getting done. “Students were far too tired to study effectively during the trip,” headteacher Per Farbøl told the trade magazine Gymnasieskolen. “Every night there were always a few so drunk that other students were forced to look after them.” Olesen said he is not sure an outright ban is the right solution. “Overall, I think that it is about changing young people’s attitudes about alcohol, and that requires efforts from several different directions,” he said. He added that schools must do their part and that his school, along with several others, is looking at alcohol restrictions. Students at Stenhus Gymnasium protested when the school introduced the drinking ban three years ago, but teachers say that the quality of their work during study trips has improved. Jim Jørgensen, the manager of the
[The teacher] was drunker than the rest of us; I think he passed out somewhere Australian Bar in Copenhagen, stopped a promotion that involved handing out drinks tickets to students at several schools and challenging them to come to the bar on Thursday nights to see which school could down the most free shots. Teachers at the schools would hand out personalised invitations to the kids. The bars mined the students’ names from the school’s computer system. “You would come back from a break, and there would be a nice invitation with your name printed on it lying on a teacher’s desk ,” said Christian Sforzini Graugaard, the student council president at Gefion Gymnasium. “The fact that teachers handed out the invitations made it feel like a school-sponsored activity.” Jørgensen stopped the promotion after school officials complained and the bar was threatened with legal action for violating laws prohibiting the direct marketing of alcohol to minors. But that’s not to say that some teachers and schools don’t continue to
promote drinking. A father who preferred not to be identified for this story sent his teenage daughter on what he believed was a school-sanctioned event. “She went with one of her teachers and a few other students to a concert,” he said. “It ended a bit late, but I figured it would be okay since they were with a teacher.” The man’s daughter phoned him at three in the morning, very drunk and in need of a ride home. He asked his daughter where the teacher was and why he was not looking out for the kids. “He was drunker than the rest of us,” the daughter replied. “I think he passed out somewhere.” The school involved said it had no knowledge of the specific incident, but that it took the problem of teenage drinking “very seriously”. The teenage girl, however, said that teachers often drink with students on study trips and help the seniors arrange drinking challenges to ‘initiate’ younger students. Jerome Lacarriere is a pub owner and a parent from Aalborg in north Jutland. He said that his pub generally draws an older crowd and that he blames an overall lax sense of morality in Denmark for contributing to teen drinking. “It’s the superficial environment these kids grow up in,” he said. “Those stupid reality shows that glorify drink-
ing, smoking, sex and covering your body with so-called ‘cool’ tattoos play a big part in it.” Jesper Jürgensen is the head media spokesperson for SBS TV and Kanal 5, the broadcasters behind the reality show ‘Kongerne af Rømø’ in which a group of 18 to 25-year-olds spend a few weeks in a summerhouse, drinking, having sex (or at least trying to), getting naked and sometimes arrested. He disagreed that his show was contributing to teenage drinking problems, even though the demographics show that a large part of the audience for the programme is young teens. “I don’t buy it,” he said. “A TV show that is on for one hour a week at 10pm is not going to have an effect on whether teenagers are drinking or not.” Jürgensen said that young people have been drinking at music festivals, parties and clubs since the ‘60s and that shows like ‘Kongerne of Rømø’ reflect, rather than create, reality. Some students are getting weary of news reports and shows that portray their generation as little more than drunken, sex-crazed maniacs. “I think it is sad that we are seen as ridiculous and unintelligent,” one student, Martine Amalie Krogh, said during an online debate sponsored by Politiken newspaper. “We are more than drinking and sex. We want to do things to make the world a better place.”
Online this week Opposition condemns ‘secret’ tax increase The government is being accused of writing a secret tax increase into the 2013 budget. The budget deal agreed to scrap the fat tax and a planned tax on sugar, a move that will eliminate four billion kroner from the budget. The government sought to make up that revenue by raising the basic tax rate and reduc-
ing the personal tax deduction. According to new calculations, however, the reform means that some Danes will end up with a heavier tax burden next year. About 460,000 people will end up paying more than 51.5 percent of their total income in tax, which is higher than the agreed tax limit for their income group.
Shareholders agree to combine Jutland banks Investors in the Aalborgbased Spar Nord bank have approved a plan to merge with Skive-based Sparbank, creating a new bank that will carry the Spar Nord name and serve 320,000 customers with 90 branches across the country. The agreement, which creates the country’s sixth largest bank, marks
the first time in recent years that two healthy banks have merged. The merger was widely expected to be approved after the Spar Vest Fonden, Sparbank’s largest shareholder, had indicated it would vote in favour. The merger must still be approved by Finanstilsynet (FSA), the financial supervisory administration.
Calls to reduce number of unconvicted prisoners The number of suspects held on remand, and the length of time they are held for, needs to be reduced according to the public prosecutor’s office, Rigsadvokaten. Police often manage to keep suspects jailed on remand (imprisonment before trial) for
long lengths of time by arguing that the suspect would otherwise disrupt police investigations. Between 2007 and 2011, the number of suspects held on remand rose by 800 to 6,787. A person held on remand is held for an average of 94.6 days.
Read the full stories at cphpost.dk
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
23 - 29 November 2012
Memorial held as police continue Metro company continues to break noise rules search for law student’s killer As police look through video surveillance and collect statements in the hunt for the killer of 21-year-old Jonas Thomsen Sekyere, mourners say “attack against Jonas was an attack against everyone”
Scanpix/ Martin Sylvest Andersen
round 1,000 people attended a memorial in the nightclub district of Kødbyen on Monday night for 21-year-old law student Jonas Thomsen Sekyere, who was fatally stabbed in the nightclub Bakken early on Saturday morning. The tribute was organised by members of Copenhagen’s nightlife community as a show of support for Sekyere’s friends and family, as well as to protest against the carrying of weapons. “I didn’t know Jonas, but I know that so many other intelligent 21-year-olds use Copenhagen’s nightlife as their playground,” Pelle Peter Jensen, a DJ and the co-arranger of the memorial, told the assembled crowd. “The attack against Jonas was an attack against everyone.” Sekyere was a highly regarded young man with excellent prospects, who was brought up by a foster family from the age of ten due to the psychological problems his mother faced. In an article penned for Politiken newspaper last year, he described how he owed a great deal to the Danish welfare state for providing him with the support he needed. “Thanks for every hard-earned kro- ated several projects and wanted to see ne that has been thrown into the money the world, study, publish and engage in pot because without it I wouldn’t be political activism. He was destined for here today. Even though I was born great things. I sincerely feel Denmark has lost a true ambassador.” poor, today I live a rich life.” The police are still looking through Accepted to study law at the Univideo surveillance versity of Copenhagen, from the nightclub Sekyere was selected to to try to identify the chart his life at univerassailant. This has sity through an online proven difficult bevideo diary, which has cause the nightclub now been removed out He was destined for packed at the of respect for the wishes great things. I sincerely was time of the assault, of his family. Jawad Ahmad, a feel Denmark has lost a which is thought to have occurred at friend of Sekyere’s, told around 4:40am. The Copenhagen Post true ambassador According to a that Sekyere’s passing police autopsy, Sekyere died as the rehad left him heartbroken. “He was incredibly intelligent, well sult of a single stab wound through the read, charming, fun, spontaneous and heart, though it is unclear exactly why a dear friend,” Ahmad said. “He initi- or where the incident took place inside
As the Metro expansion project prepares to move into its most noisy phase, the construction sites continue to disregard city regulations
Around 1,000 people mourned the passing of 21-year-old Jonas Thomsen Sekyere (left) who died after being stabbed in a club early on Saturday morning in the Kødbyen district
the club. The autopsy also revealed that Sekyere had cuts on his hands and arms, indicating that he had attempted to defend himself from his assailant. “It means there must have been a small fight before the fatal stabbing,” police spokesperson Carsten Ahrends told metroXpress. “And a small fight on the dancefloor could ring a bell in a potential witness. There must have been someone who saw the fight in the nightclub and therefore has information about the assailant.” Police are asking specifically for witnesses who were in or around the toilet area of the club between 4:30am and 4:50am on Saturday morning to come forward. The nightclub is now closed indefinitely; mourners have gathered outside its closed doors and left candles and flowers. A Facebook group started in remembrance of Sekyere had nearly 15,000 members as of Wednesday and many left messages expressing sadness at his passing. “Dear Jonas, I was spellbound by you from the moment I met you. I thought you were charismatic, good and beautiful,” one friend wrote.
he city’s deadline to receive an explanation as to why the construction of the Metro extension continues to violate noise requirements has come and gone without an answer. The City Council had given Metroselskabet, the company that operates the underground railway and is overseeing its 17-station expansion, until Monday to explain why it told people living next to construction sites that they could expect loud noise until 9pm. The company had been told just days before that noisy work needed to be completed by 6pm. “We still haven’t received an explanation from Metroselskabet despite repeated requests,” Jens Elmelund, the head of development for the City Council’s technical and environmental administration, told Politiken newspaper. “We have also reiterated that it is against regulations to operate a crane on the construction site at 9pm. Metroselskabet had given us a guarantee that this would not happen.” On Monday, the company launched a 3 million kroner advertisement campaign aimed at informing residents that the noise from the construction sites is only going to get louder. “What we are doing can be compared to what you would do when you have a party at home in your flat,” Henrik Plougmann Olsen, Metroselskabet’s managing director, told metroXpress newspaper. “If you put up a note beforehand, indicating that you’re having a party, then you’ve tried to be considerate.” The Metro expansion project is set to move into its noisiest phase. Starting next year, it will begin driving retaining walls into the ground so that the excavation and construction of the stations can begin. This phase is expected to last between eight and ten months at each site. According to Erik Skotting, the technical director of Metroselskabet, when the walls are in place the digging will commence – a process that will generate less noise since much of it will occur underground. There will also be four-metre high fences placed around the sites that
will absorb some of the noise. This is not the first time that the Metro expansion has come under scrutiny. Many businesses located next to the Metro construction sites have closed after they saw their business decline. Metroselskabet has also been criticised for offering inadequate housing to people seeking refuge from construction noise. Likewise, many people don’t believe that fining the Metroselskabet for violating noise regulations will have an effect. Metroselskabet had sought exemption from the city noise limits in order to be allowed to operate drilling rigs on weekdays from 7am until 8pm, while also being able to work from 9am until 5pm on Saturdays. But the council rejected their request, instead permitting loud work to be carried out between 7am and 6pm on weekdays, but not on Saturdays. Furthermore, Metroselskabet must adhere to noise limits of 70 decibels, although construction is allowed to reach 85 decibels during peak noise phases. In special cases, drilling is permitted to continue until 7pm if there are unforeseen traffic problems and geological occurrences. If this happens, Metroselskabet must explain to the city why it was necessary to exceed the time limits. The City Council has already told Metoselskabet that noise levels on four of the construction sites – Stampesgade, Marmorkirken, Sønder Boulevard and Nuuks Plads – are too high. “Copenhagen won’t get a new Metro without some noise,” Elmelund told news website Dknyt.dk. “But naturally, people should be disturbed as little as possible while construction lasts. We have set some clear rules for the sites, and we will monitor them closely and make sure the builders are in compliance.” Aside from the noise issues, the new phase of the Metro construction will also result in a sharp rise in construction vehicle traffic going through the city. Over 500 fully loaded dump trucks are expected on the streets each day. The lorries will drive to the Nordhavn area where the dirt will be used for as landfill in the construction of a new housing and office development. The 17 new Metro stations in Copenhagen will cost around 21.3 billion kroner and are expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
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The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
23 - 29 November 2012
Peter Stanners Politicians, journalists, academics and young Muslims weigh into the debate – everyone has an opinion
hen a housing association in Kokkedal voted to cancel its annual 7,000 kroner Christmas tree and celebration three days after spending 60,000 kroner on a party celebrating the Muslim holiday of Eid, the story quickly went viral. Religious intolerance was blamed for the cancellation of the Christmas celebrations after initial reports suggested that a majority on the housing association’s board were Muslim. Some of the board members later explained that the Christmas tree was axed because no-one wanted to take responsibility for getting it. The actual story is not so clear, however. Politiken newspaper has reported that only three of the nine board members were Muslim, while the chairman of the housing association said that she had offered to take on the responsibility of buying the Christmas tree, though this is not noted in the minutes of the meeting. The details remain sketchy, but this hasn’t stopped politicians from telling the public that dark forces are at play. “Some might say that it is merely a banal disagreement over a little case within a board,” MP Karen Jespersen (Venstre) wrote in an opinion piece on
Berlingske’s website. “But the case has a larger perspective. It shows how radical Muslims react when they get power.” That view was shared by a number of opinion writers who argued cancelling the Christmas tree demonstrated a tendency by Muslims to use democratic tools to replace Danish cultural norms with their own. Soon after, Ekstra Bladet tabloid ran a story about how the Salvation Army noticed that around 90 percent of those asking for support over Christmas in a small town in Jutland had names that were not traditionally Danish. “We noticed that many had foreign names,” the Salvation Army spokesperson told Ekstra Bladet. “Let’s just call them Muslims.” MP Pia Kjærsgaard (Dansk Folkeparti) smelled blood. “At a time when a Muslimdominated housing association uses all of its resources to fight the Danish traditions of Christmas cheer and Christmas trees, Muslims also stand in line to ask for Christmas help,” Kjærsgaard wrote on Facebook. “For what? Hardly to celebrate Jesus’s birth or to mark the Christian holiday in any other way.” To Susi Meret, an assistant professor at Aarhus University and expert in far-right politics, the arguments have been predictable. But she questioned how the two local stories had become nationwide news so suddenly. “The story brought up value issues and the supposed threat that the Muslim ethnic minority
Value politics in spotlight again after Christmas tree row
For many, the argument over the tree was a sign of a Muslim takeover
represents to Danish traditions,” Meret said. She explained that the debate over Danish values was a staple of the former government but had been dormant for some time. The speed at which this story revived the anti-Muslim rhetoric demonstrated that value politics are far from dead and buried. “Value politics were suddenly revived by this local story that became national news. And this happened despite the fact that we do not know precisely what happened within the board,” Meret said. “The members who were interviewed were suddenly on national news and weren’t necessarily people who know how to talk to the media without misrepresenting themselves.” Nils Holtug, an assistant professor at the Department of Media, Cognition and Commu-
You cannot blame everyone for what five idiots at a board meeting decide nication at the University of Copenhagen, says that the popularity of the story demonstrates the fact that many Danes are still suspicious about multiculturalism. “Looking at polls, it seems that Danes don’t embrace multicultural policies, like those in the UK and the Netherlands, because of fears about the illiberal tenets in Islam,” Holtug said, adding that views toward immigration in Denmark are very polarised. According to Holtug, the
Christmas tree debate also exposed a tension between conservative and liberal voices in Denmark: the former arguing that Danish traditions should be privileged, and the latter contending that democratic votes should be respected regardless of the outcome. These two views were represented in opinion pieces published in the wake of the story. Yildiz Akdogan, a former MP for Socialdemokraterne, suggested that the board should have been more sensitive to the needs of the minority. “One of the principal tasks of a democracy is to ensure that the rights of minorities are respected: in this case, the minority’s interest in having a Christmas tree,” Akdogan wrote in an opinion piece on Berlingske, adding on her Facebook profile: “The media need to remember that you cannot blame everyone for what five idiots at a board meeting decide.” Politiken editor Anita Bay Bundegaard argued, on the other hand, that critics of the decision to cancel the tree were hypocrites. “Where in the world could these people in Kokkedal have got the idea that a majority is a majority, and that a minority have to accede to the decision of the majority?” she wrote. “The Mohammed cartoons strike me
as the best showcase for this point of view.” She then referred to how supporters of Jyllands-Posten newspaper’s decision to publish cartoons of the prophet Mohammed argued that, regardless of how offended Danish Muslims may get, their right to publish the cartoons was secured to them through the democratic system, and that the minority has to make do with the will of the majority. Given that at least one board member refused to buy the Christmas tree because he was a Muslim, there is an indication that a breakdown in cultural communication could be to blame for the Christmas tree fiasco: a communication breakdown that Akdogan argues represents “a sad pattern in social housing areas where more and more – mostly young – people describe themselves firstly as Muslim, and second as Danish.” According to Samira Nawa, the former chairman of the New Danish Youth Council, Kjærsgaard and Jespersen are partly responsible for this shift due to their anti-Muslim rhetoric. “These politicians are just pushing Muslims further away and into the hands of more radical groups, and that’s a huge problem for both them and society as a whole,” Nawa said. “Young Muslims like me, who are educated and part of society, want to contribute. But we feel that every time we do something for our beloved Denmark, we are treated as second-class citizens. It’s as though you cannot be both Danish and Muslim.”
Bilingual students better mixed Sex purchase ban gets dropped
he number of schools with high concentrations of bilingual students is on the wane despite an increase of bilingual students overall at the country’s 1,500 schools. Most of the bilingual students are ethnic minorities, and their increased presence at Danish schools over the last 20 years has led to many parents turning to private education. However, Copenhagen and Aarhus have in recent years made efforts to alter the composition of their schools in order to improve student performance by spreading out bilingual students. Initiatives includes busing students to other districts, merging schools and making alterations to the school districts have all been implemented to change the student base of certain schools. The plan looks to be working. Last year, 55 schools consisted of more than 40 percent bilingual students, a number
that is down from 64 schools in 2009. And a number of schools that were previously known for their extremely high numbers of bilingual students are reducing their percentage, such as Rådmandsgade School in Copenhagen’s Nørrebro district. There the proportion of bilingual students has fallen from 75 percent to 63 percent in the last three years. “When registering, parents don’t ask as much about the number of bilingual students as they used to,” headteacher Lise Egholm told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “Today, they know that there are lots of ethnically Danish children.” One of the issues is that several tests have indicated that if the classroom composition contains more than 40 percent of bilingual students, it has a negative effect on grades as well as their results in the Pisa-test, a global student-evaluation. Furthermore, once the public school composition of bilingual students exceeds 30 percent, well-off parents begin shifting their kids to private schools. Yasar Cakmak, the headteacher of Amager Fælled School, said that in addition to changing the make-up of
the student body, the school had also organised community outreach and open-house events for parents. “It’s been a tough struggle, but it’s moving in the right direction,” Cakmak told JyllandsPosten. “The challenge is to earn the trust of the parents so they don’t dismiss us due to rumours and myths.” While many see bringing down the percentage of bilingual students as a way to improve student performance, not everyone believes that spreading is the answer. “Instead of spreading out the bilingual students, they should train the teachers and ensure that some schools specialise in handling the bilingual students and catering to their needs,” Christian Horst, a lecturer and researcher of multicultural education at Aarhus University, told Jyllands-Posten “We need to stop seeing bilingual students as a disruptive element.” There is still a considerable number of parents in Copenhagen who choose to put their children into private schools, and that number has not increased in recent years. (CW)
Despite positive results of programmes to disperse bilingual students, experts suggest that doing so is not a way to improve school quality
Proposed ban on buying sex dropped after review by Justice Ministry committee
proposal that would make it illegal to purchase sex has been given the thumbs down by a Justice Ministry committee charged with determining the legality and feasibility of proposed legislation. Even though making the purchase of sex illegal has broad support in parliament, the coalition government decided last week to accept the recommendation by Straffelovrådet to bury the proposal. The ban was aimed at criminalising the johns, not prostitutes. “I imagine that we will now look for a milder solution,” Pernille Vigsø Bagge, the equality spokesperson for coalition member Socialistisk Folkeparti (SF), told Politiken newspaper. Bagge joined Socialdemokraterne (S) equality spokesperson Rasmus Horn Langhoff in stressing that both parties are still in favour of banning sex purchases. “SF adopted the policy in
The buying and selling of sex will remain legal in Denmark
executive committee in 2005 and we have not changed our minds,” said Bagge. Langhoff’s party came out in favour of a ban in 2009 after a heated internal struggle. Mette Frederiksen (S), the current employment minister and the party’s social welfare spokesperson at the time the ban was proposed, was a strong advocate of criminalising prostitution. The justice minister, Morten Bødskov (S), is on record as opposing the criminalisation of the sex trade. Straffelovrådet, which will release its report next week, is under his jurisdiction. The gender equality minister, Manu Sareen (Radikale),
said during the 2011 election that he supported banning the sex trade because it exploited women. Last month, he told parliament he is no longer sure a ban is the best solution. Dorit Otzen, who runs a shelter for prostitutes in Copenhagen’s Vesterbro, was disappointed that parliament would not pass the ban. “I have seen the consequences of prostitution for many, many years,” she told Politiken. The government is now expected to offer help to sex trade workers and trafficked women through counselling and other support programmes.
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
23 - 29 November 2012
Greenlandic premier calls for Danish investment Colourbox
Peter Stanners Denmark is being called upon to reinforce its stake in the semiautonomous Arctic territory by investing in its mineral wealth
An estimated 30-40 friends of the Hells Angels on trial were outside the courtroom to show their support, and in some cases cause trouble
Biker gang trial concludes with lightened sentences Justin Cremer Fourteen bikers get a total of 112 years in prison, while outside the courtroom their fellow members cause problems
ne of the largest gang trials in Denmark’s history wrapped up on Tuesday at the Eastern High Court with relatively light sentences for 14 Hells Angels members and associates. The trial − which last week saw the release of Brian Sandberg, the one-time leader of the Hells Angels − resulted in the 14 bikers being sentenced to a combined total of 112 years of prison. It was a lighter sentence than the one they received last year at Glostrup City Court. A 15th man, who was found guilty by the Glostrup court, was acquitted by the Eastern High Court. The longest sentence went to Danny Olson, who received 15 years and three months, while the shortest went to Mads Petersen, who was given one year behind bars. Sandberg was acquitted on two counts of attempted murder, but found guilty of ordering an August 2009 attack that was at the heart of the trial. 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. The historic trial was built largely around the testimony of a turncoat witness known only by the initials MFP. Based on the testimony of MFP, who confessed to five attempted murders and two assaults and decided to break the gang’s code of silence and co-operate with the police, 15
of the 16 gang members were sentenced to a total of 135 years in prison last September by the Glostrup court on charges related to attempted murder, a 2009 group attack at Brorsons Kirke and weapons possession. They immediately appealed against their sentences, which ultimately resulted in them getting off lighter at the high court on Tuesday. Because he had turned against his former comrades, MFP had to be put under heavy protection due to threats against his life. Some 30-40 associates of the Hells Angels were outside the court on Tuesday, and a few of them harassed members of the press. Someone cut a wire on TV2’s camera, and DR’s reporting van had a tyre slashed. No-one was arrested for the vandalism, and police reported that they were able to disperse the crowd with no problems. But for Peter Skaarup of Dansk Folkeparti (DF), that wasn’t enough. He has called on the justice minister, Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne), to make sure such a thing doesn’t happen again. “It’s never been seen before that bikers go after the media,” Skaarup told DR News. “The justice minister needs to make sure that there are enough police officers present to ensure this sort of thing doesn’t happen and the press can do their jobs in peace.” DF’s call was echoed by political foes Socialistisk Folkeparti (SF). SF’s spokesperson Karina Lorentzen Dehnhardt said the police should create a zone around the court buildings to keep out potential troublemakers. “When they show up with their [biker] patches on their backs and their unpleasant attitude, that should be enough for police to block them from the area,” Dehnhardt said.
reenland’s premier, Kuupik Kleist, has called on Denmark to invest in developing his country’s mineral resources. In a lengthy op-ed in Politiken newspaper on Tuesday, Kleist argued it would be a shame if Denmark did not invest in the next stage of Greenland’s development, considering their long shared history. “The alliance between Denmark and Greenland has been incredibly beneficial for both,” Kleist wrote. “Isn’t it about time that we, after 300 years of history [...] openly declare the love and mutual esteem we have for one another?” Kleist’s appeal to Denmark and Greenland’s shared heritage arrives after China promised 12 billion kroner of investment for a future iron mine in Greenland. With more mines set to proceed in the coming years, Kleist proposes that Denmark and Greenland establish a commission to examine ways for Denmark to increase its investment in Greenland and ensure that Denmark maintains its prominent posi-
Greenland is hiding a trove of mineral wealth, and its premier wants Danish help to extract it
tion in the semi-autonomous Arctic territory. In response, PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne) said the proposal sounded like a good idea. “If the Self-Rule administration wants to strengthen the co-operation between Denmark and Greenland in the resources field, the government is naturally open to discussing it,” Thorning-Schmidt told Politiken. Greenland is far from financially self-sufficient, and half of the Self-Rule administration’s revenue is derived from an annual 3.5 billion kroner block grant from Copenhagen. Greenland is hiding billions of kroner of wealth underneath its soil, however, and tax revenues from the mining of gold,
aluminium and iron, among other resources, could be the potential saviour to Greenland’s economic troubles. But in an op-ed in Berlingske newspaper, Torben M Andersen and Ulla Lynge, members of Greenland’s economic advisory council, Grønlands Økonomiske Råd, wrote that there is a long way to go before the revenue derived from mining transforms the country. “It is sometimes claimed that the resource projects will automatically create a strong and self-sufficient economy, increased welfare and healthy public finances,” they wrote. “But international experience shows that the beneficial effects will only be realised if the exploitation of natural resources
results in increased employment, and that alone is a great challenge.” They added that only 55 percent of students finish upper-secondary school, meaning many do not have the necessary qualifications to get a job associated with the resource projects. So without increased investment in education, it is unlikely that Greenlanders would truly benefit from the mines. “A higher and more qualified workforce will translate into increased employment,” Andersen and Lynge wrote. “This in turn will contribute to improving public finances and increasing welfare.” But without foreign investment, these projects will not go ahead. Despite interest from China, Kleist wants to ensure that Copenhagen maintains a stake in Greenland and its new industrial future. “We suggest that experts on Greenland’s environmental and social conditions get together as soon as possible to discuss the possibilities more closely, and by next summer make suggestions to both the Greenlandic SelfRule administration and Danish government about concrete steps Greenland and Denmark can jointly make to ensure a socially beneficial exploitation of Greenland’s natural resources,” Kleist wrote.
Israeli Embassy vandalised Esbjerg sued for abandoing One arrest after pro-Palestine group throws fireworks and sprays Embassy walls with graffiti
olice on Monday night were called out to break up a group of people who had gathered in front of the Israeli Embassy to protest againstIsrael’s attacks on targets in Gaza. Over 20 people had gathered at the Embassy in Hellerup at around 8:30pm and spray-painted the words “Børne dræbere” (Child killers) on the white walls that surround the compound. The group had thrown Roman candles and were leaving the scene when the authorities arrived. “There were between 20 and 30 people that congregated by the embassy sporting a Palestinian flag. They have thrown Roman candles and maybe some rocks as well. They’ve definitely thrown something,” Henrik Olsen, a spokesperson for the Copenhagen Police, told Jyl-
lands-Posten newspaper. “And they’ve also graffiti-sprayed the embassy walls.” Of the 20 people the police managed to collar, only one was detained, but they noted the names of the other 19 as part of their vandalism investigation. “We stopped 20 people when we arrived, and one of them was detained because he had a spray can and fitted the description of some surveillance,” Olsen told JyllandsPosten. The episode comes in the wake of the escalating violence in the region after Israel reacted to Hamas-led rocket strikes on Israeli towns. Israel retaliated by killing a number of Hamas leaders, but hundreds of civilians have been caught in the crossfire. Foreign minister Villy Søvndal has appealed to both sides to cease fighting. As of Wednesday, the two sides appeared to be approaching a cease fire agreement. (CW)
Parents say that city officials are partially to blame for ignoring warning signs
he city of Esbjerg has become the first in the country to be sued for betraying its responsibility to abused children. The serial abuser known as the ‘Esbjerg man’ was convicted last year of threatening behaviour, rape, and the serious sexual abuse of eight children as young as six. Parents of three of the victims now say that the abuse could have been stopped had the council heeded the numerous warnings it received about the attacker. “We know that there were reports before my daughter was violated,” Anne Kjærulf, the mother of one of the victims, told the DR news magazine 21Søndag. “These were serious reports and
he could’ve been stopped.” The parents are asking for 50,000 kroner in damages for each of the girls, but what they want most is an admission from the Esbjerg officials that the city broke the law and betrayed the trust of its children by ignoring so many strong warnings about the offender. “We want justice,” said another mother of one of the victims, who chose to remain anonymous. “Esbjerg has failed us.” Johnny Søtrup (Venstre), the mayor of Esbjerg, said he recognised that officials should have acted sooner. “If we had intervened earlier, some of this could have been prevented,” said Søtrup. The case marks the first time a local authority has been sued in connection with abuse, and the outcome could open the door for similar charges being filed in similar cases. (RW)
Online this week New legislation could quell solar energy boom Denmark’s booming market for solar panels is likely to cool off after the climate minister, Martin Lidegaard (Radikale), introduced legislation on Tuesday that will make it less attractive for homeowners to produce solar energy. Under the previousrules, homeowners were paid to produce their own solar energy
and could purchase surplus energy back at any time during the year at the same price as they were paid to produce it. However, under the new rules they will pay more when purchasing their energy back. Additionally, energy surpluses will be calculated on a daily basis, rather than on an annual basis.
Traffic safety chairman steps down after giving pay hikes Tom Behnke (Konservative) stepped down as the chairman of the national traffic safety council, Rådet for Sikker Traffik, last week after widespread criticism. Between 2007 and 2012, Behnke, a 46-year-old MP, granted executive director Anders Rosbo two unapproved raises totalling 33 percent. Ros-
bo first received a 27 percent raise in 2007 and then another six percent increase this year. Rosbo currently makes 1.1 million kroner a year, along with a 100,000 kroner bonus and a ten percent employer-paid pension. He also drives an Alfa Romeo that is paid for by the Rådet for Sikker Traffik.
Search for Funen paedophile goes nationwide Police are asking people from all over the country to help locate the man who sexually assaulted two young girls on the island of Funen. The authorities have received over 500 calls regarding the case, but are yet to charge anyone with the crimes. The first
assault took place on October 26 when an eleven-year-old girl was forced into a car by a white male between the age of 45 and 50, sexually assaulted and later released. The second victim, a ten-year-old girl, was attacked in a similar manner last week.
Read the full stories at cphpost.dk
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
23 - 29 November 2012
Haunted by the ghost Doing the tax two-step of rhetoric past Talking about minorities and their problems isn’t the same as talking to minorities about their problems
T WOULD be nice to think that a housing association’s decision not to hold a Christmas party this year was simply a hyper-local issue involving a dysfunctional board and a group of unmotivated individuals who would prefer to let someone else do all the planning for the event. And, on some levels, it is. The board of the Egedalsvænget housing estate held a ‘democratic’ vote, as it painstakingly points out in its minutes, and decided against holding the party. And had it been just a local issue, the story would have ended here. The decision may have come as a disappointment to those who were looking forward to the tree-lighting and glögg drinking that went with it, but in reality, the matter should simply have been a decision made by the individuals elected to represent residents. Much of the media attention on the Kokkedal disagreement stems, of course, from the fact that it neatly packages the immigration debate into an apparently simple case of Muslims seeking to steal Christmas away from Christians. And while that version of the story certainly does touch one of the rawest nerves of the Danish immigration debate, it misses out on the wider issue that ordinary ‘immigrants’ (as minority groups are generically labelled in many public discussions) from all backgrounds tend to see themselves being talked a lot about, yet seldom talked with – let alone included – in discussions about their place in society. What’s worse is that the language being used to talk about minorities tends to paint them in negative terms. No-one is going to argue that there aren’t problems bringing minority rates of education, income and criminality into line with the general population. But there is a difference between stating what’s wrong with a group and telling them that there is something inferior about them because they have problems. Most recently, we saw this when an Odense headteacher labelled her students as ‘you Muslim troublemakers’. She later apologised for her choice of words, but the sentiment of the original statement only underscores why some minorities no longer see any point in trying to become a part of Danish society. The focal point of the discussion about the Christmas tree in Kokkedal has been a decision by the board of a single housing association, and that’s about as local an issue as they come. But what makes this a story of national importance is that Egedalsvænget is just one of hundreds of housing estates across the country where the outcome could have been the same.
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BY STEPHEN BRUGGER
N THE late phases of the national budget negotiations, the government did an abrupt about-face on its tax proposals, ensuring that businesses will avoid three of the most annoying tax initiatives that parliament has invented in recent years. In short, the revenue that would be generated by the fat tax, the sugar tax and the increased tax on Danes working abroad simply does not match the burden they would impose on businesses and the economy. However, the elimination of these taxes is being financed by an increase in the income tax for everybody, and therefore we now find ourselves in an extremely ironic situation, in which we are actually willing to applaud the
government for raising income taxes. And frankly, it feels slightly strange! As the voice of international business in Denmark, AmCham is particularly focused on the framework conditions relating to Denmark’s competitiveness and ability to attract investments. We have repeatedly demonstrated that Denmark’s high taxes and the high cost of doing business – combined with low productivity growth – have contributed significantly to an investment gap, which Denmark has built up over the past decade. And our members were astonished by the recent efforts to isolate Denmark from the outside world, namely the removal of the tax exemption for Danish expatriate employees. The proposal in itself has already had significant implications for international companies, where many have simply stopped posting Danish employees abroad. Additionally, the fat tax was an example of a purely political agreement being made in a broader context of a tax reform without any real understanding as to the impact of implementation – or its effectiveness in the fight against obesity. As it turned out, they have yet to find out how to do either. Unfortunately, this didn’t stop the government from implementing the new law
earlier this year and creating a massive administrative burden for all companies in the Danish food chain. In general, the government and parliament have made a habit of changing the tax rules – at least once a year. And it seems as if they’re oblivious to the fact that a change of the rules in itself often has a negative impact on business – particulary companies investing from abroad. Essentially, companies that are considering investing in Denmark must have confidence that the rules they base their investment on are not going to change dramatically. If they perceive a risk of significant rule changes, the company is less likely to choose Denmark as an investment location. As a small market in a high cost environment, Denmark should actually be offering companies a guarantee that the conditions currently in place will not change during the next five or ten years – and if they do, the new rules will be grandfathered in for existing companies. This would in turn give companies truly stable investment conditions and enhance Denmark’s reputation as a country ‘Open’ for business. With the fat tax now being eliminated (and the sugar tax and the expat tax not being introduced), the government is left
with a public deficit that will be covered by a tax increase – with our support. In other words; an elegant dance with two steps back – and then one forward. On the other hand, if the government had taken one step back directly (to the tax increase), we would certainly have complained about the negative impact on Danish competitiveness. So, with this little dance, the government has assured the support of the international business community for a tax increase, which we know is harmful to businesses and the economy. And, as mentioned, this feels … slightly strange. Looking forward, we anticipate there will again be new rules: maybe on personal taxes, maybe corporate taxes – and maybe removing some of the errors from the past. The multimedia tax was short-lived, and now the fat tax and perhaps next time the rules on carrying losses forward could be changed back to the way they were just a year ago. A two-step can be great fun, but if you keep going two steps back for every one step forward, you’ll be dancing your way off the dancefloor, and you’ll have a hard time finding a partner for the next dance. The author is the executive director of AmCham Denmark
READER COMMENTS The EU is our present, China our future The Danes needed an Obama victory in order to strengthen Denmark’s socialist agenda. While Danes appear to be self-assured, I believe that underneath the surface many are starting to question the thorough socialist brainwashing the HWS has administered. (Does Denmark have the world’s best healthcare, school, etc? In relation to other countries, some Danes are aware that they are surely paying a high price for these services). I believe that the Obama victory is perceived as a stamp of legitimacy for the Danish socialist agenda, and those who were starting to get a little nervous about Denmark’ s path forward can breath a sigh of relief, now that even the highly capitalist USA has elected a socialist agenda. The Danish press, aka The Red Brigade, of course had a field day with this. One Danish politician who was visiting the US during the election (I believe it was Pia K) stated that Danes appeared to be more excited about Obama than Obama supporters in the US. Thorvaldsen by website Why do the Danes care only about America? Well, it’s for the same reason many other countries do: a slow motion train wreck is always more interesting to watch than the Chinese, who are dour and unexciting. bridgebuilder78 by website
The Danish entertainment media are flooded with American programmes, series, films, documentaries, sport, news etc ad nauseam. So Danes are ‘comfortable’ with American life and American language now being absorbed into Danish. China is a town in Russia. mythirdotheralias by website
emies, securing Europe’s peace for the long term. Europe has been the breeding ground for most of the world’s conflicts for hundreds of years, and this approach is a positive step to eliminate that. This is a win all the way around, and the minor technical details are just that: minor. Tom by website
Denmark to share warplanes with neighbours
Pioneering fat tax repealed
NATO already has policies and procedures in place to alleviate all of the legitimate issues regarding inter-operation. Just copy and paste. As far as mixing crews goes, not necessary. Swedes fly Swedish aircraft, Danes fly Danish aircraft, Finns fly Finnish, etc. No need to mix crews. As long as everyone plays by the mutuallyagreed-upon operational rules, it will not unwind. If Norway is prevented from certain operations due to political concerns, substitute Denmark or Finland, and Norway can fly another mission instead. This really does not take much to implement or administer as long as people do not get nationalistically stupid. It saves money, and it provides additional capability for each nation when necessary without the expenses associated with extra-capacity inventory. NATO and the European Defence organisation are already beginning to do this. It works quite well, and as a cultural side, it promotes understanding and makes long-term allies out of nations that used to be mortal en-
“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.” I’ll believe that when I see it. I think it’s highly unlikely the prices will actually drop by the amount they went up. Stores know that people will pay because most, unfortunately, have no other options, and Danes just don’t complain about it. Katrina Emmart by website This is pretty sad. Lifestyle changes take time, and if Danes want to promote the Danish food industry, they could lower the taxes on products with positive side-effects when consumed, such as vegetables. Erdem Ovacik by website The fat tax was simply too obese to help with any health issues positively. Now that it has been given an extreme makeover, let’s hope that the shops and supermarkets reflect the reduction in prices as promised, without employing the inflation card. Buddha_in by website
Danish pensions invest millions in deadly drones All forms of war kill civilians. Not using drones could lead to even more deaths, either by letting terrorists do their work or because more violent methods are used instead. Method of use and accountability are things we should be asking about. I do not believe the US is targeting civilians – that would be a war crime – but I would like to know if the use of drones has led to more or fewer civilian deaths. Drones could be used instead to search for people lost at sea and disaster relief. Drones could fly over an area and give a quick view of where people are and who needs help; they could even drop supplies. Crop spraying, monitoring the rain forests and traffic control are just a few more examples of possible positive uses of drones. Traiilertrash by website Wind turbine compensation stirring discontent This is entirely insane. Why would these people receive any compensation? This is the ‘not in my back yard’ redneck syndrome in all its glory, nourished and rewarded by the government. Next thing you know, others will want compensation because roads and train stations are being built close to their property. Dan Densen by website
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
23 - 29 November 2012
Manhattan mayhem: a reminder of what really matters
MacCarthy’s World BY CLARE MACCARTHY Clare MacCarthy is Nordic correspondent for The Economist and a frequent contributor to The Financial Times and The Irish Times. She’ll go anywhere from the Gobi Desert to the Arctic in search of a story. The most fascinating thing about Denmark, she says, is its contradictions.
OR SOME unknown reason the television feed to most of Gentofte went AWOL today. The husband and kids thought this a disaster until I reminded them to cast their minds back to Sandy – the superstorm that recently spread havoc from the Caribbean to New Hampshire and beyond. It robbed scores of people of their lives and thousands of others of their livelihoods. Suitably chastened, they revised their definition of ‘disaster’ on the spot. One of the most enduring images of this vicious tempest’s rampage across the American East Coast was the sight of a blacked-out Manhattan skyline. As the storm bore down on the Big Apple, television viewers worldwide were transfixed by the scale of the disaster and the human suffering that would inevitably follow. When cascading power outages knocked off electricity across the megalopolis, we wondered how New Yorkers would cope. Living off canned food for a few days is easy enough to imagine, but what would it be like to be trapped in an elevator on the 50th floor with
As the storm bore down on the Big Apple, television viewers worldwide were transfixed by the scale of the disaster and the human suffering that would inevitably follow no mobile phone signal and no idea of when power would be restored and rescue would come? That the disaster hit in late autumn (or fall, as our American friends prefer to call it) made the event all the more poignant; at this time of year most of the world’s major religions celebrate some variant of a festival of light. For Hindus and Buddhists it’s Diwali, for Jews Hanukkah and Christians have their Christmas.
The New York melting pot is home to them all, and this wonderful, welcoming city, which has the heart to accommodate every strand of opinion, is usually a great place to visit in late autumn. For the occasional visitor such as myself, it’s often the cheesy touristy things that are most memorable. No native New Yorker would dream of going ice-skating on Rockefeller Plaza, but believe me, it’s a fun thing to do. Likewise, the giant Christmas tree that is erected every year at the same site strikes a chord with people regardless of their attitude to Christmas. It’s a marvel to behold – a tree of up to 30 metres high, bedecked with 30,000 lights strung along five miles of wiring. The Rockefeller tree tugs at the heartstrings because it’s fundamentally an expression of joy and hope for the future. And New Yorkers being the tough and resilient folk that they are, you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be a tree again this year – power shortages regardless. But while we all gear up to celebrate Christmas, Diwali, Hanukkah or
just the seasonal break, another aspect of superstorm Sandy is worth bearing in mind: the response of the authorities to the disaster was truly outstanding. Everybody from the top brass at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to individual fire fighters on the street, swung into action quickly and efficiently in a superbly co-ordinated effort. As the New York Times pointed out in an editorial, FEMA, which is charged with directing everything from search and rescue teams, to supplying fresh drinking water and helping hospitals in an emergency, is funded by central government funds. This is an element of ‘big government’ that neo-cons like Mitt Romney wish to eliminate. Conservatives in the UK, Denmark and elsewhere are similarly keen to roll back spending on anything they don’t deem immediately necessary. But perhaps the devastation wrought by Sandy might give them pause for thought? I wish you all a happy and safe holiday.
International student city another step in the right direction
Christian Values BY CHRISTIAN WENANDE Christian Wenande’s Danish/American background caters well to a city brimming with cultural diversity and strife. The CPH Post journalist loves life in Copenhagen but yearns for the indomitable mountains, rolling prairie and starry nights of his Wyoming sanctuary.
HILE strutting about the other day, displaying my feeble attempt at sporting a Movember ‘stache, I met up with engineer Jørgen Rossen and the Danish ambassador to France, Anne Dorte Riggelsen, and was pleased to hear about their ambitious plans to establish a new international student city in Amager (see page 10). While the initiative is still in its infancy at the moment, it’s the latest move towards a more internationally-diverse and culturally-accepting Denmark. Drawing inspiration from the international student city in Paris, the International Student City in Copenhagen (ISCC) would provide housing to upwards of 5,000 students, something that the city desperately needs with the international student population expected to exceed 15,000 by 2020. But the ISCC won’t only be alleviating the housing shortage. It will also help tackle many of the other issues that have contributed to Copenhagen only being ranked 39th out of 98 student cities in the world. It’s no secret that Danes aren’t the most open people on the planet and it’s a shame that the love-
ly city is hindered by its limited ability to accommodate its valuable foreigners. One of the brilliant concepts that ISCC will employ is that each individual national will have its own house. Denmark, Cambodia, Armenia, Greece and Great Britain are just a few of the over 40 nations that have their own house in Paris. But the true genius is that only 50 percent of each nation’s students may reside in their national house. The remaining half are spread out over the houses of other nations, thus allowing students to live with and embrace different cultures. Just picture it: Americans living in the Russian house, Danes in the Colombian, French in the Australian. It’s globalisation glee. This should help address that tendency students have towards seeking out their own kind when living abroad, but it will also provide an international foundation and flavour that Danish students can ingest, which may lead to them adopting a more positive stance towards their international community. The possible establishment of the ISCC is just one of several initiatives of late that convey a consolidated movement towards a more open-minded, wel-
coming and, dare I say it, cultured Denmark. It looks as if the decision-makers are finally accepting that Copenhagen needs to shape up if it wants to remain a competitive player on the global stage. The city’s über mayor, Frank Jensen, may be a Christmas party debaucher extraordinaire, but there is no denying that he’s seen the light in terms of Copenhagen needing to embrace a more international outlook. Jensen has already endorsed building more international schools in Copenhagen and has proposed that councils adopt languages other than Danish in order to cater to the international community. He is also firmly behind initiatives geared towards attracting and retaining skilled international talent, many of whom avoid Denmark because the country is less attractive than other nations when it comes to jobs, friendliness and accommodation. They will mean that students who have a positive view of Denmark when studying are more likely to stay and keep their skills in the nation after graduating. Furthermore, that phobia of foreigners generated by 9/11, and the consequent rise of Dansk Folkeparti,
seems to have abated as of late, as was exemplified by the fall of the rightwing government and the laxation of immigration laws earlier this year. Certainly, there is much room for improvement in the immigration arena, particularly as the woeful Immigration Services that continue to be inadequate and far too bureaucratic in their procedures. Almost everyone I know seems to have a story about a highly-skilled person who wants to work here but has waited months upon months for a visa. Situations like these certainly don’t help the retention or attraction of anything, except maybe a one-way ticket out of Denmark. So yes, there are the small matters of the 800 million kroner needed to begin the construction of the ISCC, and an immigration system that still throws far too many barriers in front of people wanting to live in, and contribute to, Denmark. But with a number of dedicated souls like Rossen and Riggelsen behind the ISCC project, and a mayor who continues to fight the good fight, Copenhagen could very well morph into a little international gem sooner than one might think.
CPH POST VOICES
CRAZIER THAN CHRISTMAS
THE WORDS OF ÖZ
THE LYNCH REPORT
YOU’RE STILL HERE?
TO BE PERFECTLY FRANK
BRICK BY BRICK
GRAIN OF SAND
IN 2 WEEKS
IN 3 WEEKS
IN 4 WEEKS
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
23 - 29 November 2012
Project would help solve accommodation problems while making Copenhagen more international and cultured, supporters say
International student city in the works ‘Forgotten towns’ search
for new identity Ray Weaver Property values are dropping and residents are having second thoughts about life in between
Modelled on Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris (pictured), Copenhagen’s student city would house up to 5,000 students
“This is perhaps not even a Danish project, it is a global project,” Riggelsen said. “It would be so meaningful in so many ways, and we are looking for people, organisations and nations who can share our vision.” Despite the difficulty of raising significant funds in the midst of a global economic downturn, Riggelsen maintained that the far-reaching positive effects of the international city can transcend the current financial turmoil. “Of course the international crisis is a difficult thing, and in this part of the world you usually go to the government for money. But the idea is to appeal to the civil society, companies, organisations, personalities and other movers and shakers,” Riggelsen argued. “This is the kind of project that would help Denmark be international, from the bottom up, because that’s what happens when young international people come to our strong culture and enrich it while simultaneously taking things from it.” As a destination for international Google Maps
lans are afoot to build a massive international student city in Copenhagen that could propel the city into becoming one of the world’s top ten student destinations. Inspired by the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris (CIUP) – the international student city in the French capital, which was established in 1925 and today hosts around 12,000 students annually from nearly 140 nations in its 40 residential buildings – the vision of the International Student City of Copenhagen (ISCC) is to provide housing for upwards of 5,000 students. The ISCC will be situated on a 150,000 square metre plot of land next to Sundby Metro station in the developing Ørestad area of Amager. The location is attractive to the ISCC group due to its proximity to the city, universities and the Metro. There is also available space for possible future expansion. “It has to be next to a Metro station to provide access for the students, and it’s close to the airport as well,” Jørgen Rossen, a civil engineer and one of the project founders, said. “It takes 20 minutes to get to CBS [Copenhagen Business School] and it is two stops from the University of Copenhagen. It is also next to a youth hostel, so even if the student comes a week or two early, they can stay there for a reasonable price.” The plan is that different nations would build their own student houses for at least 100 students within the student city. The building designs should reflect the nation’s architectural traditions, and the idea is to have an exchange agreement among the various international houses. Half of the students from each individual country will stay in their own ‘national’ house, with the reminder spread among the other houses in an effort to mix cultures and traditions together. But before construction can begin, 800 million kroner must be raised to secure the land, which is owned by city and port developers By & Havn, and to build a large residential building, concert hall, library, sports facility, cafeteria and lecture halls. The financial situation is the main concern for the ISCC group, which plans to target both Danish and international sponsors. The project was founded by seven prominent people in Danish politics and business life, including: noted philanthropist and engineer Jørgen Rossen; the former foreign and culture minister, Per Stig Møller (Konservative); the Danish ambassador to France, Anne Dorte Riggelsen; and architect Louis Becker.
This is the kind of project that would help Denmark be international from the bottom up
students, Copenhagen was only ranked number 39 out of 98 cities by the leading global careers and education network QS. The city scored high marks for the quality of living, but rated badly for affordability, employer activity and student interaction. An international student city would address many of the city’s shortcomings – particularly its problems in finding accommodation. “With our high level of professors, research institutes and universities, Denmark should be one of the top ten finest university cities,” Rossen contended. “And how is that going to happen if the students can’t even find a place to live? Some students simply leave again after spending five or six weeks searching for a room.” The project has already gained significant support from a number of sectors that recognise the potential Copenhagen offers as an international hub in Europe. Being close in proximity to Sundby Metro station (marked The University of with ‘A’) is vital, supporters of the project say
Copenhagen, CBS and Aalborg University are among the universities that have backed the project, and the student advocacy organisation Danske Studerendes Fællesråd and the Liberal Alliance political party have also embraced it. “The University of Copenhagen welcomes the ISCC initiative as a new and constructive idea to improve the accommodation situation for foreign students in Copenhagen,” the University of Copenhagen wrote in its letter of support. “The lack of reasonably-priced accommodation is a growing obstacle in the attempt to attract the top international students to Copenhagen.” There are 18,000 foreign students in Copenhagen this year, with 30,000 expected by the year 2025. There are about 3,500 Norwegians, 2,000 Swedes, 1,500 Germans and 1,200 from China, among others. Also supporting the ISCC supporter is the City Council and Copenhagen’s mayor, Frank Jensen (Socialdemokraterne), who has frequently highlighted the need for Copenhagen to become more attractive and accommodating to international workers and students looking to move to the city. “The ISCC is an exciting initiative that will support Copenhagen being an international city of knowledge. If the ISCC is carried out, it will help achieve one of Copenhagen’s most significant goals: to have 3,000 more homes for youths and students by 2025,” Jensen declared in his letter of support. Rossen hopes to have raised the required funds and to have begun the construction of the ISCC in 18-24 months time.
owns like Holsted, Ølgod and Egtved at one time had their own city halls, councils and identities. But after a 2007 municipal realignment centralised services and governments in larger towns, many mediumsized councils were left uncertain of their identity. Too big to be thought of as cosy villages, and too small to have the appeal of a big city, these ‘middle towns’ have, in fact, become the middle of nowhere. “A town like Glamsbjerg on Funen has over 3,000 residents,” Steffen Damsgaard from Landdistrikternes Fællesråd, a rural advocacy group, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “They are too big to have the ‘everyone knows everyone else’ vibe of a small town, and too small to be able to offer the services of a bigger city.” Damsgaard said that families are moving away from middle-sized towns in both directions – some to the tranquillity of small villages, and others to the services and opportunities offered in the big city. The towns between the two extremes are feeling the squeeze as property values drop and families flee. Bent Schmidt, the head of Glamsbjerg’s residents’ association, said that many young families are taking flight away from the town. “The town is changing,” Schmidt told Jyllands-Posten. “We have fewer residents in their 30s and more and more in their 50s.” Schmidt said that the greying of the town makes it hard to offer daycare and the kinds of education and services that would encourage families with children to move in. Faxe Council in southern Zealand is a classic example of what happened during the 2007 reorganisation that reduced the number of local councils from 271 to 98. It was created when the former Faxe, Haslev and Rønnede councils were combined. In its first year, the new council’s smaller towns faded into the background as municipal offices were centralised in the town of Haslev. Other towns lost their city halls and libraries. In an effort to help these towns forge new identities, Landdistrikternes Fællesråd has launched a pilot project with the Ministry of Housing, Urban and Rural Affairs in six towns in Region Syddannmark. It aims to encourage the towns to share ideas and co-operate on ways they can promote themselves in a more positive light.
Online this week Dane charged with groping waitress’s derriere in Dubai A Danish expatriate has been charged with sexual molestation after allegedly groping the buttocks of a 29-year-old Macedonian waitress while intoxicated at a Dubai beach club. The 44-yearold was also charged with abusive language and the excessive consumption of alcohol. A club official asked the man to leave.
The defendant then jumped into the club’s swimming pool fully-clothed and then returned to the table, at which point the group was again asked to leave by the employee. At that point, the waitress alleges, the man “caressed my bum”. No details of the Dane’s identity have so far been released by the court.
Brahe myths are disproved – secret remains buried A Danish-Czech team of scientists last week released the results of their two-year investigation into the death of famed Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, who died suddenly in Prague over 400 years ago. A chemical analysis of Brahe’s exhumed remains indicated that they contained a normal level of
mercury, disproving the popular myth that Brahe died from mercury poisoning. “Tycho Brahe didn’t die from mercury poisoning, and he hadn’t taken any considerable doses of medicine that he could die from,” Jens Vellev, an Aarhus University scientist who led the study, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
Woman found stabbed outside Virum home A woman was found dead in the garden of her suburban Copenhagen home last week on Friday with multiple stab wounds. Police were called to the home at Frederiksdalsvej 174 in Virum at 10am after a concerned neighbour discovered a body after
being contacted by the 41-yearold victim’s colleagues, who had noticed her absence at work and asked the neighbour to check up on her. “We are treating the incident as a homicide,” said Henrik Suhr, a spokeperson for the North Zealand Police.
Read the full stories at cphpost.dk
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
23 - 29 November 2012
There’s nothing the techies like better than getting interactive BY BJARKE SMITH-MEYER
‘48 Hours’ was no ordinary documentary. This was an interactive, multi-story line exploration of gaming software development. Confused? So were we. Attendants at the CPH:Dox event were asked to shout their way through the stop-start footage of ‘48 Hours’, which offered the audience the chance to follow multiple teams of computer game developers who took part in the Nordic Game Jam conference a year ago. Within this conference, 300 participants competed in teams to make the best computer game possible, in no more than 48 hours (Photo: Daniel Rye)
On Saturday 10 November, hidden away in Grob Teater in the depths of Nørrebro, the self-titled ‘world premiere’ of audience interactive screening took place
Only the loudest members of the audience dictated the documentary’s storyline. As the footage stopped, options would appear on the screen, to which the event’s host (David Mariner, seated in front of the screen) would drag the cursor depending on the crowd’s reaction (Photo: Daniel Rye)
Documentary producer Mikael Windelin, and director Suvi Andrea Helminen proudly presented their work, which is set to be officially released on the internet on December 10, at 48hourgames.com (Photo: Daniel Rye)
The Copenhagen Post’s Film reviewer Arun Sharma also attended the event – not like him to miss a freebie
After the screening, most of the documentary’s reluctant stars, the software developers who’d attended the conference last year, all lined up at the curtain call before taking a bow (Photo: Daniel Rye)
Anna Lidell, who composed the music for ‘48 Hours’, also performed with her electronic band ‘Akiri’, in which she is the lead singer, after the screening (Photo: Daniel Rye)
The event attracted a whole host of international software game developers, documentary enthusiasts and inquisitive Danes who were curious to discover the new world of interactive filming (Photo: Daniel Rye)
Game developers Julie Michaelsen and Nicklas Nygren, who starred in the documentary, caught up with each other while sharing a drink after the screening
There were plenty of drinks to go around as people mingled throughout the night (Photo: Daniel Rye)
The party eventually spilled out onto Nørrebrogade, as the party went on well into the night
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
23 - 29 November 2012
ABOUT TOWN PHOTOS BY JESSICA O’SULLIVAN HASSE FERROLD WILL RETURN NEXT WEEK
Organiser Annette Pilmark (far left), was tickled pink with how successful the event turned out. Clavis Language School’s Tina Pedersen (centre left) was all smiles whilst on the lookout for talented freelance English teachers, chatting with the fair’s many job seekers, such as Nana Benyiwa Ackom (centre right)from Ghana. On the other side of the fair, Mærsk consultant Karlijn Lyps (far right), was in high demand as she chatted with job seeker Jesús Almansa (second right), who was among the hoards who lined up hoping to find a way into the Danish mega-conglomerate
Being a spouse is a hard job, let alone being one in a foreign country where many often don’t speak the native language. Luckily for these job-seeking spouses, there were rays of hope last week as the Copenhagen Marriott Hotel opened its doors for the 2012 Spouse Career Fair. Developed by Spousecare, and part of the Copenhagen Talent Bridge project, this free fair brought together exhibitors and highlyskilled international job-seeking spouses.
Never one to shy away from blatant publicity, we were happy to find people such as Poland’s Karoline Szymbor (left), browsing through The Copenhagen Post. Beate Bruss (centre left) from Work in Denmark was busy helping jobseekers such as Oluwafunke Mary Adesokan (centre right) from Nigeria, who praised the event for its easy one-on-one access to exhibitors. Having been in Denmark for about four months now, it was still all smiles for these lovely job-seeking ladies (see right). Miki from Japan (left) was searching for customer-service positions, whilst Aussies Sam (centre) and Kate (right) were intereste in the health industry.
COMING UP SOON Little Actors
Grunnet Casting & Speak, Rothesgade 6. st., Cph Ø; 4010 4900, siev@nypost. dk www.grunnetcasting.com
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 www.bccd.dk/Events 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.
Science and cocktails
Byens Lys, Christiania, Tue Nov 27, 20:00; free adm; www.scienceandcocktails.org 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.
Europe Beyond the Crisis?
University of Copenhagen, The Ceremonial Hall, Frue Plads 4; Thu Nov 29, 15:00-17:00; free adm; register at www. eureco.ku.dk/english/registration/zurn/ Dr. Michael Zürn, a professor at the Social Science Research Centre in Berlin, will hold the final honorary lecture of this autumn’s EURECO Distinguished Lecture Series. This institution aims to support international impact researches and attract leading scholars.
Walkies along Amager Strand
Øresund Metro Station Krimsvej 3, Cph S; Sun 13:00; 2763 5110 www. meetup.com/Dogenhagen Join this event and start planning for ‘Rexmas’, Christmas for your fourlegged friends. MAR
International Pregnant & New Moms Coffee Meetup
Magasin - top floor children’s area, every Thursday, for more details, register for free at www.meetup.com/internationalparents-copenhagen 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.
Creating value networks
Rambøll, Hannemanns Allé 53, Cph S; Tue 4 Dec,17:00-19:30; free adm; register at ww.bccd.dk/Events, event@ bccd.dk or 3118 7558 The British Chamber of Commerce is pleased to invite you to this meeting with Christopher Barrat, a leading international speaker and consultant, senior European sales manager and a director of purchasing. He will discuss the advantages of adopting internal and external networking business models as a means to expand a business’s market and improve its employees’ performances.
Being ‘licious – maintaining that healthy glow
Gammel Kongevej 23A, Cph K; Tue Nov 27, 18:30-21:30; prices: members free, non-members 150kr; register at email@example.com; www.europeanpwn.net/copenhagen It’s Christmas party time so there’s no excuse for bad skin. Get prepared with expert Diana Sommer, who will be at hand to give practical tips about basic skincare routines.
Christmas at TIGHT
Restaurant TIGHT Hyskenstræde 10, Cph K; Thu Nov 29, 19:00; 350kr; register at firstname.lastname@example.org by Nov 22 The EPWN is glad to invite you to its Christmas dinner, organised in partnership with Tight. Enjoy a superb dinner paired with wine and pleasant international conversation partners.
American Hygge at O’s
O’s American Breakfast & Barbeque, Øster Farimagsgade 27, Cph Ø; Sun Nov 25, 11:00; www.meetup.com Come along and join this Meetup brunch event. Enjoy Danish hygge with American food and chill out in the park with your new international friends.
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.
Meet Nicolaj H Nielsen, Michael Harly and Klaus Phanareth Republikken, Vesterbrogade 26, Cph K; Tue Nov 27, 18:00; www.meetup.com/ copenhagen-it-people, Online security transactions, healthcare information and Android smartphone problems will all be debated at this meeting for IT experts.
Scene Kunst Skoler, email@example.com 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.
MARIA ANTONIETTA RICCI
INSPIRATION FROM THE SPIRE
Jonathan LLoyd is the Anglican/Episcopal priest in Denmark. You can find him on your way to the Little Mermaid at St Alban’s Church, Churchillparken. This may seem like a little piece of England complete with its distinctive spire and statue of Sir Winston, but it gathers people from across the globe plus hundreds of tourists each week. Jonathan has lived in Copenhagen for nearly four years and loves the place.
NE THING I enjoy about rival of Christmas even more Denmark is that the season special. Then, and only then, of Advent is taken serious- on Christmas Eve, the lights on ly. The tradition of lighting one the Christmas tree would go on candle each Sunday in the four (good electric English ones – not weeks leading up to Christmas is these Danish candles. You would designed to slow us down a little get arrested if you used those in a just at the time when we are being block of flats in London!) I was surprised to read in encouraged to speed up. We may be told “It ain’t Christmas until The Copenhagen Post last week Tivoli says so …”, but people the story of the fight over a like me believe “it ain’t Christmas Christmas tree at Kokkedal, until Advent is over”. Advent, in and the resulting political fallthe Christian tradition, is a time out. Two things puzzle me. of expectant waiting and long- Firstly, Jesus is honoured as a ing, both for the birth of Jesus in prophet by the Muslim faith, Bethlehem and for the dawning so Christmas is something that of a new world. Advent is a really can be shared across faiths. Secondly, the important time Christmas tree – a kind of pregis linked more nancy of hope. to Danish famEach canily tradition than dle has a differ- So the fight in to the Christian ent focus: the faith. And, in any patriarchs, the Kokkedal is not prophets, John between faiths at all case, it is a rather new invention. the Baptist and the Virgin Mary, all with a vital So the fight in Kokkedal is not role in the story of the build-up between faiths at all. Whereas Christmas started to the first Christmas. I remember as a very young child know- two millennia ago with the ing that Christmas had arrived birth of Jesus, the custom of the when we lit the fourth candle in Christmas tree developed in early the centre of our table at supper modern Germany, and predecestime. The patient (and sometimes sors can be traced back to the impatient!) waiting made the ar- 16th and possibly the 15th cen-
tury. Here in Denmark, the first attested Christmas tree was lit in 1808 by Countess Wilhemine of Holsteinborg. It was the ageing countess who told the story of the first Danish Christmas tree to Hans Christian Andersen in 1865. He had published a fairy tale called ‘The Fir Tree’ in 1844, recounting the fate of a fir tree being used as a Christmas tree. At St Alban’s Church in Copenhagen, we do have a Christmas tree. But we also have other important symbols. The christingle is an orange with dried fruits attached to it, representing the world and its gifts, and a candle representing Jesus. On Christmas Eve at 12pm, about 200 children pack the church to start their Christmas celebration, before they go home for their roast duck. And we do so round a simple crib scene, with shepherds, angels, kings and a little human baby. This is the simple celebration of the birth of a baby at Bethlehem that changed the world. And because we are all part of this story, we all come dressed up as shepherds, or kings, or angels. And not a nisse in sight! You are warmly invited to join us. Have a slow and peaceful Advent!
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
23 - 29 November 2012
Success of the scissor sisters … coming soon to a closet near you How two internationals with unique clothing concepts are making names for themselves in Danish fashion circles
WO WOMEN who came from opposite ends of the globe – Manhattan and Sydney – met in Denmark just by chance. They went on to launch their own separate clothing concepts, but have supported each other all along with their “we’re all in this together” spirit. Shouka Pelaseyed and Alexandra Brett-Jensen married Danes, moved to Denmark and, through mutual friends and workplaces, met and formed a long-lasting friendship. While navigating the challenges of a new country, culture and surroundings, they bonded as only true expats can. This is the story of two design-minded women in Copenhagen who aren’t just surviving – they’re thriving. Brett-Jensen is the founder of Antler Avenue Copenhagen (AAC), a hip, Danish-designed line of women’s and children’s clothing with a contemporary take on the exclusive Liberty of London fabric. AAC has a gorgeous range of leggings, slim-line trousers and shirts, all
with touches of Liberty fabric. Think Scandinavian chic meets London cool. After moving to Copenhagen and marrying a Dane, followed by a short stint back in her native Sydney and then relocating the family back here some two years ago, the master’s-educated Brett-Jensen started asking herself: “Is this really what I want to be doing in ten years’ time?” Brett-Jensen comes from a long line of women with a great sense of style all involved in fashion and highly regarded in the industry, so there was little doubt that she was born to be in this business. With support from friends around the world and her inner voice whispering: “This is right for you,” AAC was born. “I had samples made up,” remembers Brett-Jensen. “My girlfriends, who represent the target demographics, just fell in love with my creations and really encouraged me to pursue this dream, along with my husband, who has been incredibly supportive. It’s important to have good, honest support and feedback. It’s crucial for any start-up. Our first wholesale consignment has gone into Harrods, so as a newcomer to the industry, it gives us enormous confidence that we are on the right track.” AAC’s range targets chic women and the yummy-mummies
Alexandra Brett-Jensen and Shouka Pelaseyed have not let unfamiliar territories deter them from following their dreams
wanting a fresh and flattering alternative to jeans, as well as a cool look for their kids. Pelaseyed, meanwhile, the founder/owner of Shoukie, is a native New Yorker who dreamt of becoming a designer when she attended classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) before getting her master’s from New York University (NYU). She then put those dreams on hold for 15 years while working in Manhattan and then Denmark. But inspired by her love for her son, who is now aged seven, Pelaseyed embarked on creating Shoukie − an organic line of clothing you can co-create with your kids. “Key to my concept is giving children the opportunity to
be creative,” says Pelaseyed. “As a mom, I’ve seen how my son thrives on being creative. Kids want to be part of this process, so why not give them the chance to co-create the clothes they wear together with their parents. That way, it becomes an experience you share with them and a source of pride when they wear the outfit they helped design. I’ve always been very conscious of the environment and wanted it to play an integral part in my passion for designing. That’s why I chose organic fabrics with GOTS certification, in terrific colours and patterns from Italy.” Pelaseyed’s decision to establish a web shop was an obvious one. “Firstly, because it lends itself to personalising your prefer-
ences – the customisation aspect,” says Pelaseyed. “It’s the only way for customers to get what they really want at their own pace and in the comfort of their own home. Of course, online you can reach a wider audience. And with Shoukie, you don’t have to wait for season-specific clothes to become available.” Starting up their own businesses hasn’t been without challenges. “Luckily I’m not alone,” admits Shouka. “Alex and I both embarked on this journey together. We met here in Denmark, and ten years on, we’ve been there for each other day in and day out, through all the ups and downs. “We are both really driven and dedicated. When you’re passionate about something, you
never stop working. The wheels are constantly turning, thinking of new ideas, new designs, and new ways to reach customers − often alone, without any interaction or instant feedback! That’s why we’re so lucky to have each other. If we had never come to Denmark, we probably never would have met. I am also fortunate to have found a great team working with me to make Shoukie a reality!” “If you find yourself moving to another country, remember that it’s an opportunity for all kinds of possibilities − and for change,” adds Brett-Jensen. “Many women don’t necessarily see moving with their partner to another country as a positive experience for themselves as individuals. They often feel lost and without a role to play except ‘mum’ (and don’t underestimate the importance of the mum part). But moving also gives you an opportunity to have a clean start and to do something new. Something you’ve always wanted to do or pursue. Our advice? Go for it and surround yourself with great people, just like we’ve done.” If you weren’t able to attend their joint champagne launch at the Hellerup Sailing Club last week, find out more or contact them via www.shoukie.com or www.antleravenue.com.
Miss McLean’s gain is Grenå’s pain MOVEMBER UPDATE Kevin
Try heroine Linda McLean (right) trying to clear the ball after a tackle by Kirstine Liedecke (left)
S EXPECTED, the Exiles Ladies have finished among the bridesmaids in rygby’s Danish Championship for women, but can look forward to the 2013 campaign with confidence following a lateseason revival that saw several debutants impress. Heading into the final round of games, the Exiles, who finished fourth in the championship well behind winners Frederiksberg, only had friendlies remaining. Still, there was nothing friendly about their build-up: pitted against hosts Speed (second) and Grenå (third), they had a point to prove!
However, in the end, Speed’s home advantage proved to be telling. A two-try burst in the opening 90 seconds put Speed in a lead that they were able to maintain, and despite two tries from Sophie Rosgaard and a try by Becky Jensen disallowed due to an obstruction by Kirstine Liedecke that was unseen by everyone bar the referee, they eased their way to a comfortable win. While Speed went off to play Frederiksberg in the championship-deciding game, Exiles faced Grenå in the unofficial ‘bronze medal’ match. It has to be conceded that Grenå were blooding several new players and actually asked Exiles
to bear this in mind – literal bloodings are best avoided! And it surprised few when the Exiles raced into a quick lead. Rosgaard added to her two earlier tries, but was trumped by Linda McLean, who scored four – an accomplishment that carries with it the forfeit of buying her team two cases of beer. The game saw the welcome return of Annie ‘Mini’ Lysebjerg, who has been out for over a year. Her return, and the addition of some pretty promising players, bodes well for next season. The beginning of the season, when the team was coachless and short on players, seems like a long time ago. Roll on 2013!
NLY ONE week left to the end of Movember and The Copenhagen Post’s ‘moustachers’ have almost managed to amass a total of 3,000 kroner so far. That’s almost double the amount the team had last week, putting our participants in a real fighting mood to raise more money over the final stages
of the men’s health awareness campaign. Christian Wenande has raged into the top spot with 1,190kr, followed closely by editor-inchief Kevin McGwin, who has managed to raise 901kr. Last week’s leader Ray Weaver, however, has slipped down to third place after a fruitless week leav-
ing him with 475kr to his name. Sadly the same goes for Peter Stanners and Dima Paranytsia, who have also failed to raise any money over the last seven days. Search for our ‘The Copenhagen Post’ team on dk.movember. com, and help out our struggling Movemberers before Christian’s lead starts to embarrass them!
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
23 - 29 November 2012
Good catch! Netball thriving thanks to some help from within MANDY CHILCOTT A Copenhagen school teacher has embraced the sport and is pushing for its inclusion in the national curriculum
F YOU believe certain history books, it was a Danish PE teacher, Holger Nielsen, who invented handball – at the very least, he was the first to write the rules down on paper. With 47 nations now participating, that’s quite a claim to fame for this small Scandinavian country. Still, handball is the exception, not the law, as most sports played in Denmark are imports. Whether they’re from Britain (football, rugby, crickets), the States (basketball, gridiron, baseball) or elsewhere, they were introduced to the country by merchants, soldiers or immigrants, generating varying levels of interest. One of these, netball, a relative latecomer to these shores, has taken large strides in recent years thanks to the efforts of a former Danish footballer who has taken the sport to her heart. Introduced and contested by immigrants, Sara Tolstrup Husum is proving that for a sport like netball to really take hold, it needs some help from within. Husum, who this month
became the first ever Dane to be accredited as a netball umpire, took up the sport when an Australian friend introduced it to her in 2010. The 32-year-old has been hooked ever since, attending the regular Wednesday night social competition in Bellahøj, representing Copenhagen at international tournaments, and joining the Copenhagen Netball Club’s board to reinforce the club’s knowledge of local culture. Her dream is to see netball added to the curriculum in Danish schools. Husum’s positive, cando attitude on the court is reflected in her day job as a primary school teacher at Jyllinge Skole. In 2010, noting how there were a distinct lack of low-contact ball sports that could be played by both sexes, Husum introduced a modified version of netball to her students, who quickly embraced it. Since then, she has been gradually working towards gathering enough expertise in the game to seriously look at how it might form part of the local school curriculum. Husum has travelled abroad to learn more about the challenge facing her. One inspiring example is Switzerland Netball, where netball started at the international schools and – with support from parents – has grown to include multiple junior and senior leagues in Zurich, Basel, Geneva and other cities. And Husum recently travelled to Gibraltar in June this year and represented an all-women Stockholm/ Copenhagen ‘Scandinavian’ netball team in a tournament to rank up-and-coming netballing nations like Ireland, Malta, Gibraltar, Switzerland and Israel. In S e p t e m b e r,
Sara Tolstrup Husum is emerging as Danish netball’s white knight
she was named the ‘Player of the Tournament’ at a mixed netball event in Zurich, CopenNetball ished u p , a that
where h a g e n Club finrunnerslosing to Swiss team featured a number of internationals. But it was an all-Scandinavian mixed tournament hosted by Stockholm Netball Club last weekend that has finally given Husum the chance to prove her understanding of the game and earn Netball England’s internationally recognised ‘C Award’ netball accreditation. It’s hoped that the high-level learning involved in achieving that qualification will help Husum progress netball in Denmark. Her accreditation process demonstrated to her what Denmark needs to do to fully benefit from the international bodies charged with supporting new netballing countries. For example, some adaptations need to be made to progress the sport when all the official netball rules, tests and training materials remain in English. Last weekend’s tournament was also the vehicle for a long-awaited Swedish victory. Stockholm and Copenhagen netball clubs have enjoyed a friendly rivalry ever since both clubs were officially established during the 2008-09 season, but the Swedes had never actually beaten the Danes before. Despite sending to Stockholm two strong Copenhagen teams peppered with Danes and a mix of internationals from around the world, the best of the three Stockholm Netball Club
teams prevailed in the two-day tournament, the Kattegat Cup – helped in part by the recent arrival in the city of an experienced native New Zealand netballer. This is all fair play, since both clubs adopt an all-inclusive approach to tournaments and regularly feature a range of players from complete beginners to very experienced netballers from all over the world. However, at least one of the Danes did stifle a giggle when Stockholm’s team posed for a victory photo with an upside-down Swedish flag. N o doubt, a friendly rivalry like this will help the club flourish. The Kattegat Cup, which Co-
Factfile | What is Netball?
Netball is a strategic, teambased ball sport most similar to basketball – except that the goal ring has no backboard, players may not ‘dribble’ the ball, and only a low level of contact is allowed. Netball is played in over 80 countries around the world, and while it regularly features as a women’s sport at the Commonwealth Games, in Scandinavia netball is played as a mixed sport for both men and women. Factfile | Info
Copenhagen Netball Club runs a regular mixed competition on Wednesday nights from 7.30pm at Bellahøjhallen. New players are welcome to turn up and experience the game twice for free. See www. netball.dk for more details, and join the Facebook group ‘Copenhagen Netball Club’ or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
penhagen Netball Club first hosted in November 2011, has now been established as an annual event. And with Danes like Husum working hard to introduce netball to Danish schools, the future looks bright for netball in Denmark.
Swimmers blame old-school clubs for coach’s exit
AULUS Wildeboer, the Dutch coach of the national swimming team, has resigned. He will leave his post in January to take up a similar position in Australia, where he will be charged with helping that country prepare for the 2016 Olympics. The move has surprised many as he had only just agreed a new contract earlier this year. Wildeboer had been in charge for four years and during his time has been credited with reviving the national team’s fortunes. Despite returning with no medals from London, they picked up 14 medals (five golds, seven silvers, two bronzes) at the 2011 European Short Course Swimming Championships in Poland, a medal haul only surpassed by Germany. He has been particularly effective at helping the women’s team fulfil their potential. Jeannette Ottesen Gray, who won a gold medal at the 2011 World Championships, Rikke Møller Pedersen and long distance specialist Lotte Friis have all blossomed. “Paulus has been an essential component,” Pia Holmen, the head of the Danish Swimming Federation, said in a press release. “He has helped open our eyes to what it takes to be part of the international swimming elite and has satisfied our goals throughout his tenure. Results-wise, the past four years have been the best in recent times and much of the thanks goes to him.” Gray blamed a dispute with the nation’s swimming clubs. “It’s like he’s been fighting them the whole time,” she told Sporten. dk. “None of them really listened to him despite all the success he’s brought. Internationally he is well respected for his work in Denmark, and I think he’s found it tough that the Danes never understood him.” Just weeks ago, Wildeboer was urged to leave his position by Thomas Jansson, the president of Farum Svømmeklub, one of the country’s top swimming clubs, who called Wildeboer “condescending” and criticised his training methods. Friis agreed with Gray. “It’s probably because he doesn’t think in a Danish way,” she told Sporten.dk. “When we are at the World Cup or Olympics, our opponents don’t think in a Danish manner. They behave in a way that is completely alien to us.” (CW)
SPORTS NEWS IN BRIEF Istanbul impressed
Xmas present for footy fans
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Hitman hit clean out
Big-time move for Rasmus
FCN sunk by cheats
THE WORLD may have been too busy salivating over Ibrahimović’s meaningless goal against England to notice, but Denmark drew 1-1 in its friendly with Turkey in Istanbul last week on Wednesday. A 64th minute Nicklas Bendtner penalty was cancelled out by Mevlüt Erdinç’s deflected effort five minutes later. Since the game, Bendtner, who has failed to score in seven appearances for Juventus, has suggested he should move to Tottenham.
SATELLITE providers Canal Digital and Viasat Denmark have reached a deal that will result in their subscribers being able to see more football (and sport in general) from 17 December onwards. The channel-sharing arrangement will enable Canal Digital customers to see TV2 Sport, and with it at least two Champions League matches a week, while Viasat subscribers will be able to access Canal 8 and Canal 9.
LASSE Norman Hansen, Denmark’s gold medallist in the Olympic omnium, won double gold at the 2012-2013 UCI Track Cycling World Cup over the weekend in Glasgow. Choosing not to compete in the omnium, he won the 4km individual pursuit after earlier inspiring Denmark to victory in the team pursuit, in which they finished five seconds clear of the field. Despite taking place in the UK, only a few of the hosts’ Olympians performed.
DANISH kickboxer Martin ‘Hitman’ Kampmann saw his hopes of a UCI welterweight world title fight in 2013 crumble in the first round against Johny ‘Bigg Rigg’ Hendricks at an event in Montreal over the weekend, where their bout had equal top billing on the card. It leaves Kampmann with a 20-6 record. “Let me hit him one time,” Hendricks had pleaded before the fight, and one ‘bigg’ punch was all it took.
RASMUS A Sørensen, the head of youth talent at AGF, has been headhunted by English giants Manchester United to take charge of their academies in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland from January 2013. AGF’s sports director Brian Steen Nielsen said he was “annoyed” but could understand Sørensen’s decision. Among United’s other Danish employees is its sponsorship director Casper Stylsvig.
A DISGRACEFUL goal scored by Shakhtar Donetsk striker Luiz Adriano, while chasing down a ball returned after a restart, rendered Tuesday’s Champions League game between FC Nordsjaelland and their Ukrainian opponents a farce at Parken. FCN, who were leading 1-0 at the time, eventually lost 5-2, but Shakhtar will prove to be the ultimate losers as the clip goes viral and leaves their reputation for fair play in tatters.
DSB cuts losses but Ban on superstores struggles with debt in small towns likely
tate-owned transport operator DSB has posted a vastly improved result for the first three quarters of 2012, though it remains saddled with 11.7 billion kroner of debt. The company announced pre-tax losses of only 44 million, a reversal of fortune on the losses of 512 million it announced for the same period in 2011. This year’s third quarter has been particularly buoyant, after increased ticket sales and voluntary redundancies allowed the company to make a pre-tax profit of 81 million kroner. “We are far from the goal, but we’ve turned the corner,” DSB’s chief executive, Jesper Lok, said in a press release. DSB announced that delays were down on 2011, particularly on long-distance journeys, while customer satisfaction remained the same. Looming above the company, however, is a debt mountain that costs about 400 million kroner a year to service. Out of fear that DSB will have difficulty financing the debt, the Danish state has now
Government wants to limit the spread of large stores in order to protect local trade
Government will guarantee transport operator’s loans to the tune of eight billion kroner
DSB’s financial picture is blurry
offered to stand as a loan guarantor for infrastructure investments and for the daily running of the business. “We have reduced our interest-incurring debt by 386 million in the first nine months compared to the same period year before,” the DSB finance director, Jacob Kjær, told financial daily Børsen. “In other words, we’re well on our way to developing a healthy economy. I am convinced that we will achieve the necessary one billion kroner of annual savings in 2014.” Without state support, it is not likely that DSB will secure the eight billion kroner it needs up to 2014. “A state guarantee will ensure that DSB will get the necessary loans regardless of the developments in the financial markets,” the transport minister, Henrik Dam Kristensen (Socialdemokrat), told Børsen. (PS)
estricting the number of large shops in small towns will help protect retailers in town centres, according to a government proposal. By changing planning laws, the government hopes to prevent retailers covering more than 2,000 square metres from being built in towns with fewer than 40,000 inhabitants. Additionally, approval for shops larger than 2,000 square metres located outside the centre of larger towns will no longer be given. The environment minister, Ida Auken (Socialistisk Folkeparti), said the proposal is designed to limit towns from competing with each other for customers. “We want to make sure that the retail sector develops in a balanced manner and ensure that there are stores in small towns and villages,” Auken told Berlingske newspaper. The former Venstre-Konservative government was responsible for liberalising planning laws and reducing the restrictions on where shops can be built. Konservative, though, says it supports the government’s proposal in order to protect
Large discount shops suck the trade out of our town centres town-centre trade. “It’s Konservative policy to look after our town centres,” spokesperson Benedikte Kjær told Berlingske. But Venstre spokesperson Birgitte Josefsen disagreed. She argued that stores in town centres and large out-of-town superstores do not compete for the same customers. “If customers cannot find what they are looking for in their locality, they will drive far to find what they are looking for,” Josefsen told Berlingske. But John Wagner, the managing director of the national association of grocers, argued that restricting large stores would help the smaller ones. “Large discount shops suck the trade out of our town centres,” he told Berlingske. “In order to preserve the trade in local and grocery shops, we need new aggressive planning laws.” The proposal is expected to be passed by parliament next February. (PS)
As banks struggle, executives earn more Banks giving salary increases to executives as their businesses continue to struggle sends the wrong signal, shareholder representative argues
ith unemployment rates double what they were before the global economic crisis took hold in 2007, many have been forced to accept lower reductions or lost their jobs entirely. Meanwhile, executives at some of the country’s largest banks have been given raises in recent years. The salaries for the heads of the four largest Danish-owned banks, Danske Bank, Jyske Bank, Sydbank and Nykredit Bank, have risen 21 percent since 2007, all while the banks they run have experienced an average profit-downturn of nearly 80 percent. The news comes from the independent think tank Cevea, which recently published a report revealing that banks have
ignored many of the suggestions for shoring up the industry. A number of the managing directors who were at the helm of their banks when the financial crisis began have received raises – many of which are twice as high as the average banking industry salary increase over the past five years. Wages and profits increased at a rate of about 10 percent per year during the financial upswing between 2004 and 2007. But with bank profits down, Niels Mengel, the head of shareholders association Dansk Aktionærforening, said there was no argument for wage increases. “That’s quite a poor signal to send, particularly during a crisis period,” Mengel told JyllandsPosten newspaper. “Shareholders often have a difficult time preventing it from happening because voting limitations and a scattered ownership has made it hard to assemble resistance. This is a topic that should weigh
That’s quite a poor signal to send, particularly during a crisis period heavily in future annual general meetings.” All four executives declined to comment on the issue, according to Jyllands-Posten, but Jørgen Horwitz, the chief of the bank trade association Finansrådet, indicated that the decision to give executives raises ultimately rested with the owners of the banks. “Executive salaries are decided by the board,” Horwitz told Jyllands-Posten. “And as the board is assembled by the owners, then it’s also up to the owners to decide the pay and terms of employment.” (CW)
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SAS continued from front page
region and for the whole of Denmark if they had not found a solution,” Jensen told the Ritzau news bureau. The finance minister, Bjarne Corydon (Socialdemokraterne), was similarly happy that the negotiations bore fruit. “It is a good day for Denmark, and one must commend the parties who put the deal in place,” Corydon told Ritzau. “It is a big relief that employees can maintain their jobs and that we can preserve Copenhagen as a travel hub with connections to the whole world.” Corydon came under fire from the unions for sending an SMS to union officials telling them that “it would be tragic if SAS doesn’t survive.” “It is completely unheard of,” Bente Sorgenfrey, the head of the union blanket organisation FTF, told Ritazau. “I think that as finance minister, he should have refrained from getting involved like he did. It doesn’t benefit the negotiation environment when he applies pressure via an SMS.” SAS’s managing director, Rickard Gustafson, said that the savings plan was as vital for survival as it was painful to implement. “It has obviously been very intense,” Gustafson told DR. “We have made big changes in a very short time, but now we have
Scanpix/ Martin Sylvest Andersen
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
23 - 29 November 2012
Bjarne Corydon, the finance minister, is accused of improperly getting involved
laid the foundation that we will build upon. It is the first step, and it is a very important step.” Uncertainty plagued the airline all the way through to the last-minute deal. SAS planes that took off on Monday reportedly carried full tanks in order to ensure that they would be able to return home should the airline run into credit problems and be unable to purchase fuel. With the agreements finally struck with the various unions, they will now be reviewed by the airline’s board, together with representatives from the Danish, Swedish and Norwegian governments, who collectively own half of SAS’s shares, representatives from the banks Nordea and Swedbank, and other major investors. Should the agreements be accepted, the plan will go forward. The market reacted positively to the deal on Monday morning, with the airline’s shares trading at 6 kroner, up about 20 percent on last Friday’s close.
BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN DENMARK
Creating value through internal and external networks Do you want to know more about how networking can help businesses grow? Learn something about the way some leading firms organise their networking both internally and externally ? Hear about new approaches to building a network? Gain a few simple tips on how to network? Then join us at this meeting, which is being organised together with Dansk Industri’s Expat in Denmark professional network. Christopher Barrat, a leading international speaker and consultant, who has a lot of experience in the real world of business will both speak at and moderate this meeting. Having been both a senior European sales manager and a director of purchasing he has a unique insight into ‘both sides of the table’. Christopher has already spoken several times in Denmark, and to real acclaim. His style combines sharp insight, a wicked wit, and a great ability to engage with an audience on the issues that are important to them. Venue 4 December 2012 17:00-19:30 Rambøll Hannemanns Allé 53 2300 København S (Ørestad)
This event is free of charge.
Non-members are very welcome. Please contact BCCD or go to www.bccd.dk for further information.
Price in kroner for one unit of foreign currency
If you would like to attend then please send us an email (email@example.com) or call +45 31 18 75 58
Date: 21 November 2012
• official media partner Denmark’s only English-language newspaper
THE COPENHAGEN POST THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK SPOUSE EMPLOYMENT PAGE
SPOUSE: Fernando Carlos Cardeira da Silva FROM: Portugal SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Accounting course from Danish Institution (Regnskabs medarbejder at Niels Brock), previous frequency of Accounting and Management courses in Portugal. EXPERIENCE: I have more than 5 years of experience in accounting. LOOKING FOR: Job as accounting assistant. IT EXPERIENCE: Microsoft Office (Excel, Word and Power point) and accounting software such as Navision C5. LANGUAGE SKILLS: I can read and write Danish, English, Portuguese, Spanish and French. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +45 50437588 SPOUSE: Bhargavi Lanka Venkata FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: IT industry- Software - Manual & Automation Testing. QUALIFICATION: Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science Engineering. EXPERIENCE: Part Time/Full Time work in Software Testing, 4 years and 9 months experience as Senior Software Engineer – Testing in a US based MNC in Bangalore, India. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Hindi, Enrolled for Danish classes. IT EXPERIENCE: Manual testing, Automation Regrwession testing using QTP, Web service testing using SOA Tool, HP Quality center, Unix, SQL, XML, Basic shell scripting. CONTACT: email@example.com, Tel: 50376689 SPOUSE: Chao Wen FROM: China SEEKING WORK IN: Great Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Language teacher (German, Chinese. EXPERIENCE: Teaching Chinese as a foreign language by offering company-course for 2 years, in Germany; teaching Chinese to native speaker in private school for 4 years, in Germany; teaching German as a foreign language by offering private course; exhibition interpreter; translator. LOOKING FOR: Part time or full time in Aarhus, Language teacher, translator or interpreter. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Chinese, English, German, Danish. IT EXPERIENCE: Windows, Open office, Powerpoint. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 48417526 SPOUSE: Dr Shivanee Shah FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Homeopathic Medicine Doctor, Medical transcriptionist, Medical auditor for medical insurances. EXPERIENCE: 5 years of experience of running own clinic, medical transcription, medical audits with national level scheme. LOOKING FOR: Full time/part time opportunity with pharmaceutical company, as assistant doctor, medical transcription, medical bill audits for insurance companies, data entry related jobs. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Hindi, Danish class to commence shortly CONTACT: email@example.com, Tel: +45 71841109 SPOUSE: Pooja Nirwal FROM: New Delhi, India SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen and Capital region. QUALIFICATION: Masters (M. Sc) in Environmental Science, +2 yrs of Exp. as Env. Consultant in the field of Environmental Impact Assessment. LOOKING FOR: Positions in Consultancy/Organizations/NGOs working in the field of Environmental Science (Climate Change, EIA, Env. Compliance Audits, Solid Waste Management etc.). LANGUAGE SKILLS: Fluent in English, Hindi and Sanskrit, Started learning Danish. IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office (Powerpoint, Word, Excel). CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +45 503 904 60 SPOUSE: Kamali Ganesan SEEKING WORK IN: Jylland, Denmark QUALIFICATION: IT engineer. EXPERIENCE: LEGO systems. LOOKING FOR: IT and Multimedia jobs. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Tamil, English and Danish. IT EXPERIENCE: 3 Years in LEGO systems. CONTACT: email@example.com
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23 - 29 November 2012 SPOUSE: Nina Chatelain FROM: Vancouver, BC, Canada SEEKING WORK IN: Midt - og syd jylland QUALIFICATION: BA courses in English and anthropology, certificate in desktop publishing and graphic design, internationally certified yoga teacher since 1999. EXPERIENCE: Over 7 years experience as the assistant to the director (what would correspond to a direktionssekretær position) at an international university museum where i also was seconded to act as the program administrator – a project management internal communications role – for the museum’s major renovation project. I acted as the director’s right hand and the museum’s communications hub where I had daily contact with the visiting public, community stakeholders, volunteers and students. I have earlier worked as an editor and writer in various capacities, as well as a desktop publisher/graphic designer. LOOKING FOR: An administrative role in a creative company that needs someone who can juggle a variety of projects and use excellent English writing and editing skills LANGUAGE SKILLS: English (mother tongue) and Danish (fluent comprehension-studieprøven / university entrance exam). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office Package, PC and Apple, have earlier worked with various desktop publishing software, quick to learn new software and systems. CONTACT: email@example.com, Tel: +45 29707430 SPOUSE: Rita Paulo FROM: Portugal SEEKING WORK IN: Great Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Architect . EXPERIENCE: I am an architect and I have experience in Project and in Construction Supervision. In the past 7 years, I have worked mainly in housing, master planning and social facilities buildings. My last employer was a Project and Construction company where I had the opportunity to complement my experience in projects together with construction related tasks, developing myself as a professional. LOOKING FOR: Job in Architecture or Construction Company. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Native Portuguese, Proficiency in English, Basic user of Spanish and Danish IT EXPERIENCE: Strong knowledge of AutoCad and ArchiCad. Experience in Studio Max, CorelDraw, Photoshop, Office tools. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +45 2961 9694 SPOUSE: Chia-Pei CHEN FROM: Taiwan SEEKING WORK IN: Business Chinese/ Tutorial Chinese teaching in corporations, institutions or International schools. QUALIFICATION: A certified teacher of teaching Chinese as a second language. A degree in Social Science discipline. Continuously participation in training program (organized by Beijing Hanban of CHINA and CBS) to teach Chinese to foreigners in western context. Enrolment to distance Chinese teaching education system that keeps professional Chinese teachers resourceful. EXPERIENCE: I am a certified teacher of teaching Chinese as a second language to foreigners. And I have started teaching Chinese with English in my class for 2 years. I design suitable materials to teach Chinese with different phonetic systems (PinYin for China and Hong Kong, and Mandarin Phonetic Symbols for Taiwan) as well as to interpret differences between simplified and traditional Chinese characters. My past positions were Chinese language-related, such as: reporter, translator and social science researcher. Students who I taught before regard me as a sincere, discreet teacher who helps learners to progress in short time. LOOKING FOR: Business Chinese/ Tutorial Chinese teaching. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Chinese (mother tongue), English (Fluent), French (basic), Danish (beginner). IT EXPERIENCE: Word Office, SPSS statistic software, Basic Video and Audio editing, Blog writing. CONTACT: email@example.com, Tel: 25 81 65 18 SPOUSE: Momina Bashir Awan FROM: Pakistan SEEKING WORK IN: All of Denmark QUALIFICATION: MBA (Degrees Assessed by Danish Agency for International Education). EXPERIENCE: 4 years of wide experience as Human Resources Analyst in a USA based Pakistani. Organization. Involved in Recruitment of IT personnel for outsourcing, Compensation and benefits planning, Wage analysis, Conduct Training and Development Seminars and Team building. One year of Experience in Telesales of Citibank NA., 6 months of experience in Customer Services in Telecom sector. LOOKING FOR: Jobs in HR and Customer Services LANGUAGE SKILLS: English [Fluent], Urdu [Mother tongue], Hindi [Fluent], Danish [Beginner’s Level]. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +4571352387 SPOUSE: Magdalena Bogusz FROM: Poland SEEKING WORK IN: Greater Copenhagen, North Zealand QUALIFICATION: Master degree in Economy EXPERIENCE: 8 years of experience in purchasing and sourcing in Asia and Europe, knowledge of Chinese market, experience in export to Russia, and European countries. Organising exhibitions and business trips. Sourcing and purchasing for supermarkets chains stores. LOOKING FOR: Position in import/export department in trading company – buyer/sourcing specialist/purchasing specialist LANGUAGE SKILLS: Polish (mother tongue), English (professional usage), Russian (professional usage), German (basic), Danish (beginner) IT-EXPERIENCE: MS Office. CONTACT: EMAIL: email@example.com, Tel: 5178 1195
SPOUSE: Christina Koch FROM: Australia SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Drama, 1997 University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Experienced actor and voice coach for speakers, with parallel high level experience in written communications. LOOKING FOR: Voice coaching for corporate presenters and speakers, Writing and Communications work, work in theatre organisations. IT EXPERIENCE:Microsoft Office, Office for Mac. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English – Native speaker, excellent written and oral expression. German – good reading and listening skills. Spanish – fluent oral communication, good reading and listening skills. Danish – beginners level speaking and writing skills. CONTACT: Christina@hermionesvoice.com, Tel: +45 52 77 30 93, www.hermionesvoice.com. SPOUSE: Raffaele Menafra FROM: Italy SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: A degree as Prevention techniques in Work and Workplaces. EXPERIENCE: I worked 4 years in a rehabilitation clinic. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Italian (native), English, Danish (currently learning). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org SPOUSE: Lorena Augusta Moreira FROM: Brazil SEEKING WORK IN: Great Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Interior Designer. EXPERIENCE: + 3 of experience with interior design and sales of furniture and decoration products. LOOKING FOR: Position in an Organization/Company in the fields of: Interior design, lay-out and organization of vitrines, sales and assistance management. IT EXPERIENCE: Microsoft office (word, excel, outlook, access and power-point) access to internet. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English (fluent), Portuguese (native) and Spanish (pre-intermediate). CONTACT: email@example.com, Tel: + 45 52177084 SPOUSE: Shilpa Lingaiah FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense and nearby areas of the mentioned cities. QUALIFICATION: PG Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (JSS University, India); Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (RGUHS, India). Danish agency for international education has assessed the above qualification and corresponds to Danish Master’s degree in Health Sciences. LOOKING FOR: Research related to health science, jobs in pharmaceutical industry or new challenging career opportunities. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English(fluent written and spoken), Enrolled for Danish language classes, Indian languages(Kannada and Hindi). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +4552742859 SPOUSE: Dolon Roy FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Sjælland QUALIFICATION: Masters in Science(Chemistry), BEd. (Teacher training course). EXPERIENCE: St. John Diocessan School February-May 2005, Kolkata, India. The Assembly of God Church School April-May 2006, Kolkata, India. Disari Public School June 2006-October 2007, India. Research project work Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Copenhagen University, March-July 2009. LOOKING FOR: Part time or full time work teaching in primary,secondary or higher school level (Chemistry, Mathematics, Science). LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Hindi, Bengali, Danish (modul 3/modul 5). IT EXPERIENCE: Microsoft office. CONTACT: email@example.com. Tel: +45 60668239 SPOUSE: Chiara Rodighiero FROM: Siena, Italy SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen or nearby areas, Greater Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Ph.D. in Microbiology (Univeristy of Bristol, UK), Laurea (Degree) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry (University of Padova, Italy), Project Manager Professional Certification (George Washington University, School of Business). EXPERIENCE: 5 years as Senior Project Manager for Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. Responsibility for managing multiple global projects at various stages of Research and Development. Experience coordinating activities within cross-functional teams and ensuring that internal research activities are fully aligned with project goals. Experience also includes managing a team of scientists, controlling research budgets and resource allocation. Also have experience working for Biotech (in United Kingdom) and academia (Harvard Medical School). LOOKING FOR: Full time position in the Pharma/Biotech Industry in Research, Project Management or related fields suiting my qualifications and experience. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Italian mother tongue , very good command of English and a working knowledge of French. IT EXPERIENCE: Microsoft Office package. Excellent command of internet and ability to find information on the web. Excellent command of word-processor and spreadsheet applications. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel +39 348 790 7554
SPOUSE: Sucharita Reddy FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Anywhere in Denmark QUALIFICATION: Bachelor in Technology (Electrical Engineering) EXPERIENCE: 4+ years of professional experience in SAP ABAP & OO-ABAP programming for Material Management(MM), Plant Maintenance(PM), Document Management and Record Management System(DM/RM), Extended Warehouse Management (EWM), Sales and Distribution(SD) and Finance (FI) modules. LOOKING FOR: Job opportunities in IT (technical or Functional),Consulting,Management or Business Field. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Proficient in English & Hindi. Danish(learning Intensive course) IT EXPERIENCE: SAP ABAP/4 technical skills include ABAP Programs (Dialog Programming, Standard and Interactive Reports), ALV Reporting, Smartforms, User Exit and Field Exit Development, Interfacing Data with external systems, Data conversions, Programming using BDC, ABAP/4 Workbench, Data Dictionary, Batch Job management, Workflows, Adobe Forms, Webdynpro, ABAP Objects CONTACT: email@example.com, Tel: 0045-5271184.
SPOUSE: Katarzyna Szkaradek FROM: Poland SEEKING WORK IN: Mental hospitals, voluntary(Ngo) organisations, kindergartens, nurseries, babysitting QUALIFICATION: Ma in Psychology (2008), post graduate studies in psychotherapy (4th year/ 5 year). EXPERIENCE: I am a highly motivated and creative individual with excellent communication skills. From January 2010 till August 2010 I worked independly in private practice. For the last 2 years (January ,2009 -October, 2010) I worked with children (also with special needs -Autism, Asperger, Down syndrome etc) and their families as a psychologist. My duties included organizing games, monitoring children’s development , consulting teachers and parents where appropriate and providing individual therapy. For the last 10 years I was member of NGO organisation and I was a volunteer in Israel, Italy, Portugal and Romania. LOOKING FOR: Internship in mental hospitals, part – time or full time jobs in kindergartens, nurseries, job as a babysitter, voluntary job in hospitals. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English–advance level (C1), Danish – (module 3 /module 5), Polish-native speaker IT EXPERIENCE: MS Windows, basic MS Office, Internet. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 50828802
SPOUSE: Lorenzo Albano F. FROM: Venezuela SEEKING WORK IN: Greater Copenhagen and Capital Region QUALIFICATION: PhD, MSc in Physics, BSc in Geophysics. EXPERIENCE: Lecturer in physics, mathematics and informatics. Researcher in theoretical quantum optics and quantum information. Researcher / teacher / programmer of numerical/computational methods in geophysics, signal processing, tomographic inversion, wave propagation. LOOKING FOR: Short and long term employment, in education of science and mathematics / research / scientific computing / geophysical applications LANGUAGE SKILLS: Fluent in Spanish (native), English and Italian. Danish (Modul 3, DanskUddannelse 3). IT EXPERIENCE: MSDOS, Windows 7/Vista/XP, Linux (Ubuntu), Solaris, incl. Shell scripting. BASIC, ANSI C, C++, FORTRAN. Web: HTML, CSS, Joomla!. LaTeX2E. Mathematica, MATLAB, MS Office/ OpenOffice, PhotoShop/Gimp CONTACT: email@example.com, Tel: +45 50 15 98 19
THE COPENHAGEN POST 23 - 29 November 2012 SPOUSE EMPLOYMENT PAGE 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com, Tel: +4550834024
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com SPOUSE: Jennifer Bouma FROM: The Netherlands SEEKING WORK IN: Egedal Kommune, Copenhagen 30 km. QUALIFICATION: Managers Secretary, hands on, reliable, structured, self reliant, social, team player). LOOKING FOR: Secretary job. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Dutch, Danish, English, German, French, Italian. IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office ( Word, Excel), Outlook, SAP. CONTACT: jenniferbouma@ hotmail.com SPOUSE: Jik Boom FROM: The Netherlands SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Teacher EXPERIENCE: CELTA (Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) see also Linkedin profile http://dk.linkedin.com/in/jikboom) LOOKING FOR: Work in the area of teaching (English), proofreading (English) and translation (English/Dutch - Dutch/English) LANGUAGE SKILLS: Dutch, English, French, German, Danish IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office (Powerpoint, Word, Excel) CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +45 42129175
SPOUSE: Isaac P Thomas FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: East Juthland preferably Århus QUALIFICATION: Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Science). EXPERIENCE: Process Consulting, Quality Assurance, CMMI, ISO, Quality Audit, Process Definition, Software testing, software development, data analysis, best practice sharing, quality gap analysis and “sharepoint” expertise. LOOKING FOR: Process Consulting, Quality Assurance, CMMI, ISO, Quality Audit, Process Definition LANGUAGE SKILLS: Danish beginner, English, Malayalam, Hindi and Tamil. IT EXPERIENCE: 8 years experience in IT Industry in software quality assurance, software quality control, software development. CONTACT: email@example.com, Tel: +4552225642
SPOUSE: Vidya Singh FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, Aalborg or nearby areas. QUALIFICATION: Master in Computer Management, Bachelor of Science, Certified Novell Engineer, Microsoft Certified Professional. EXPERIENCE: Total 8 years (4 year in telecommunication as customer care + 4 year as HR recruiter consultant). LOOKING FOR: HR (Trainee/Assistant/Recruiter/consultant), Customer service, office work, IT LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Hindi and Danish (currently learning). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office, Hardware, Networking, Intranet and Internet. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +45 71443554
SPOUSE: Heike Mehlhase FROM: Berlin, Tyskland SEEKING WORK IN: A job opportunity in Copenhagen (administrative position, research assistant or psychosocial care). QUALIFICATION: MPH, Master degree in Psychology, Lerntherapeutin. EXPERIENCE: Five years experience in psychological research and child psychology. LOOKING FOR: A position to expand my experience where I can use my excellent organisational, social and communication skills. LANGUAGE SKILLS: German (mother tongue), English (fluent), Danish (Module 2). IT EXPERIENCE: I am proficient in software such as word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software and basic graphic editing programs (Microsoft Office, Open Office) plus statistical software (SPSS). CONTACT: email@example.com
SPOUSE: Nitisha Sinha FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Masters in Geography and B.Ed EXPERIENCE: 4 years 3 months in teaching geography in schools for the middle to senior level. I was also a foreign expat teacher and General Education Officer at Ministry Of Education,of Singapore in Singapore. LOOKING FOR: Full time / Part time jobs in International School/Colleges/Universities to teach Geography. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Hindi and Bengali ( reading, writing and speaking) IT EXPERIENCE: Familiar with MS Office (Word, Powerpoint,) and Photoshop. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +45 71496579
SPOUSE: Debjani Nandy Biswas FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Would like to join in kindergarten, School teacher in English, official work in English. QUALIFICATION: B.A., M.A in English literature and language (American, European and Indian). EXPERIENCE: Temporary school teacher in Bongaon, India and involved in social work (handicapped society). LOOKING FOR: A possibility in getting practical experiences in kindergarten or any international school, official work (administration) in English, voluntary work also. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Hindi, Sanskrit, Bengali, little Danish (currently learning). IT EXPERIENCE: Diploma in basic computer applications. CONTACT: email@example.com, Tel: +45 50219942.
SPOUSE: Mohammad Ahli- Gharamaleki FROM: Iran SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Master degree in chemical engineering. EXPERIENCE: 5+ years as a chemical engineer in R&D oil/gas projects as a team leader or member in Iran. LOOKING FOR: A position in an Intrnational company to expand my experience and expertise. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Azeri (native), English (fluent), Farsi (fluent), Arabic (good), Turkish (good), Danish(beginner). IT EXPERIENCE: Professional (MATLAB, Hysys, Aspen plus, Auto Cad, others (Office, Minitab). CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: (+45) 71 63 12 85
Denmark’s only English-language newspaper
WHY: The Copenhagen Post wishes to help spouses looking for jobs in Denmark. We have on our own initiative started a weekly spouse job page in The Copenhagen Post, with the aim to show that there are already within Denmark many highly educated international candidates looking for jobs. If you are a spouse to an international employee in Denmark looking for new career opportunities, you are welcome to send a profile to The Copenhagen Post at email@example.com and we will post your profile on the spouse job page when possible. Remember to get it removed in case of new job.
NGG International School Rygaards International School
Teacher Vacancy Grade 4 Primary Teacher
Invites experienced, enthusiastic and well-qualified individuals, familiar with and experienced in British-style education, to apply for the following position. Applicants should be lively, energetic and committed professionals. They must also be native English speakers. The job will be for February, 2013.
Teacher vacancy is a Grade 4 class teacher position of 24 lessons per week. The position is from February 18th through to June 30th
Rygaards School has a Danish and an International English-speaking school each teaching its own separate curriculum. Rygaards International School consists of Key Stages 1 – 4 (Years 1 – 11).
Interested applicants are invited to inquire with a cover letter and current CV to: Vice-Headmaster Karen Johansen on firstname.lastname@example.org
Rygaards is a Catholic school founded in 1909 by the Assumption sisters. The school has strong ecumenical traditions and welcomes applicants who are interested in actively supporting Christian values.
Applicant must be a native English speaker with relevant teacher qualification, preferably with knowledge and experience of the international Primary Curriculum.
The position is as follows: •
Teacher’s Assistant for Reception Class. This is a temporary position.
Terms of employment in accordance with contract between BUPL and Danmarks Privatskoleforening. Applications should be addressed to The Board of Governors and sent by e-mail to: The Head of Rygaards International Primary School, Shirley Jacobsen, email@example.com. Information about the school can be obtained from our website www.rygaards.com Closing date for applications: 26th November 2012
Qualified applicants should apply by deadline December 7th 2012
NGG ID Cirklehuset Christianshusvej 16 2970 Hørsholm +45 45 57 26 16 www.ngg.dk
Ansættelse sker i henhold til organisationsaftale af fællesoverenskomst mellem finansministeriet og Lærerne Centralorganisation. Skolen bestyrelse har besluttet, at ansættelse sker under forudsætning af ren straffeattest.
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
23 - 29 November 2012
So crazy they’re psycho, this cabaret’s a must-go Who is …
DR/ MIKE KOLLÖFFEL
HERE WERE fireworks and fanfare in Tivoli last week on Tuesday when the London Toast Theatre Company celebrated the premiere of the 30th annual Crazy Christmas Cabaret. This year’s ‘Hitchcock-Up!’ saw a departure from the traditional Crazy Christmas formula, with leading lady and director Vivienne McKee doing her darndest to direct her cast in a Hitchcockstyle film on stage, in spite of her cast’s (sometimes murderous) objections. Despite the new formula, there were plenty of the recurring jokes and characters, including Dr Bent van Helsingør, McKee’s resident Danglish expert, a telephone call from Dronning Margrethe, and a cross-dressing dame by the name of Miss Marnie. As if Hitchcock’s extensive movie repertoire weren’t enough, the likes of ‘Mad Men’, ‘Singing in the Rain’, and even the iPhonegame ‘Angry Birds’ made an appearance in the show. McKee’s troupe of veteran CCC actors David Bateson, Andrew Jeffers and Bennet Thorpe were joined by newcomers Julie Steincke and Henrik Lund. The former’s powerhouse vocals and the latter’s (shock!) Danish accent and unrestricted hippumping dance moves added youth and vigour to the sea-
The master of suspense, Andrew Jeffers (left), the mistress of suspenders, Vivienne McKee, and Master Bates (top right) in mother mode
soned chemistry of the cast and made for some bombastic musical numbers, the best of which had to be when a homicidal Lund sung ‘I like to use my dagger’ to the tune of Maroon 5’s ‘Moves like Jagger’. McKee herself proved that she does indeed know what tickles the Danes, as she spent a good part of the first act with an uncomplimentary Swedish accent. After an explosive first half of master-of-suspense madness, which included a cross-dressing Marnie, Norman Bates (who
PHOTO: FLICKR/ALAN LANGFORD
This is I, Viggo the Dane … finally
The Icelandic ambient postrockers will be joined by Volbeat, Goat and Kvelertak at RF13
JESSICA HANLEY Art will soon imitate life when the actor travels to Denmark and Argentina to take on his first ‘native’ role
HARLES Bronson never actually played a Lithuanian, or Peter Ustinov an Englishman (well, hardly ever), but Viggo Mortensen, the actor who Denmark has always liked to claim is its own, is coming home! After playing an American, a Russian and on one occasion a Middle Earthian, the halfDanish (father), half-American (mother) actor has finally signed up to play a Dane in Lisandro Alonso’s as-yet-untitled film, which is set in Denmark and Argentina. He will play Gunner Blixen, a Dane who travels with his daughter to Argentina “to a de-
sert that exists in a realm beyond the confines of civilisation”, Variety reports. For Mortensen, the role holds particular significance. He spent most of his childhood in South America, where his father managed ranches in Argentina and Venezuela. The actor then attended high school and university in New York and later spent several years in Denmark, first working as a truck driver and then as a flower stallholder. Although Mortensen has received offers to star in Danish films in the past, this is his first role as a Dane. Mortensen most recently starred in the film adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’, and can be next seen in the upcoming ‘Two Faces of January’. Production is set to start early next year. Further details about the film have yet to be announced.
Hitchcock himself (Andrew Jeffers taking a break from his residency as Miss Marnie) into a fit of on-stage laughs. For this crazy Christmas virgin (McKee’s title for firsttime CCC audiences), ‘Hitchcock-Up!’ was a grand introduction to the tradition of London Toast Theatre’s crazy Christmas. It’s three hours of singing, dancing, groin-gyrating madness that will guarantee a smile on the face of both Hitchcock experts and novices, CCC fans and virgins alike!
Sigur Rós highlights the Roskilde Festival’s bumper Nordic package JUSTIN CREMER
It’s unclear whether Viggo will actually need to speak Danish
hard”, and a master of suspense who likes to be called ‘Hitch’, as he never uses the ‘cock’. Though in any other scenario the same jokes might be trite, the enthusiasm with which the actors deliver them is indeed downright crazy. Their enthusiasm is downright infectious, and with an audience so involved in the on-stage action, it’s no wonder the show has the mass-cult following that’s kept it going for the past 30 years. The feeling is mutual; as a hysterical audience member’s cackle brought
incidentally also cross-dresses) and the only two female cast members arguing over who gets to play the Hitchcock blonde, the second act strayed from the Hitchcockian film formula and back into more CCC-friendly territory, as we left the Bates Motel for a Bavarian Oktoberfest with some very camp Nazis in very tight lederhosen. The sexual puns and slapstick humour were available on tap throughout the three-hour show, with secretaries who “play hard to get and like to get it
FTER A sneak peak from a Roskilde Festival affiliated blog that revealed the signing of Norwegian hardcore metal band Kvelertak, northern Europe’s largest music festival has kicked off the planning for its 2013 incarnation with a fourpack of Nordic music acts. Roskilde officially announced last week on Wednesday that joining Kvelertak will be Icelandic post-rock stalwarts Sigur Rós, Danish rockers turned international superstars Volbeat, and the Swedish psychedelic rock outfit Goat. Led by the distinctive voice of frontman Jónsi Birgisson, Sigur Rós are perhaps one of the most unlikely successes in the modern music business. With lyrics that are sung alternately in Icelandic or the constructed language of ‘Hopelandic’ (with one single foray into English), the band’s distinctive ambient sound puts them “in an air-void space,
Crazy Christmas Cabaret
Sidse Babett Knudsen?
PHOTO: FLICKR/ALAN LANGFORD
Sigur Ros will bring the ambience of the Scandinavian wilderness
only accessed by astronauts and abstract painters”, to use the festival’s description. The unusual superstars will bring their visualheavy live show back to Roskilde for the first time since 2006. Joining them will be hometown heroes Volbeat, whose brand of stadium-friendly hard rock has brought them success far beyond Denmark’s borders. Now chummy with metal superstars Metallica, Volbeat will bring a sound that Roskilde says is “packed as tight as straw bale with equal parts power and hit potential”. The Danes will be releasing a new album in the spring − perfectly timed to whet
the appetite of their home audience ahead of the festival. The Swedes in Goat will bring their trippy, psychedelic act to Roskilde, providing a sound that is “cooked in equal parts bong water, Swedish wild strawberries and African extracts”. Their 2012 album ‘World Music’ earned significant praise from high-brow music critics. Rounding up the Nordic package will be the previouslyannounced Norwegian hardcore metal act Kvelertak, a band that put on a 2011 concert deemed to be one of the year’s best by The Copenhagen Post.
She is a 43-year-old Danish actress who is best known for her starring role in the internationally-acclaimed television series ‘Borgen’. Isn’t she the TV prime minister? Indeed she is! Knudsen has been playing Birgitte Nyborg, Denmark’s first fictional female prime minister, on ‘Borgen’ since it premiered in 2010. As we all know, the real-life version wasn’t too far behind, as Helle Thorning-Schmidt became PM the following year. What else has she done? Among other things, she’s been in a couple of Susanne Bier films: ‘Den Eneste Ene’ (‘The Only One’) in 1996, in which she plays a pregnant woman with a philandering husband, and ‘Efter Bryllupet’ (‘After the Wedding’) with Mads Mikkelsen in 2007, as a woman who passes off her daughter as another man’s son. Bier has an affinity for unloading some serious Freudian issues on Knudsen! Didn’t that win an Oscar? It was nominated, but lost to a German film in the end. Speaking of losing, this year Knudsen was nominated for an international Emmy for her performance in ‘Borgen’, but was beaten by Argentine actress Cristina Banegas. Bummer! How did she take it? Pretty well. She admitted to being disappointed, but was happy for her peer, and although she didn’t win, she was so honoured to be nominated … blah, blah, blah. We would have hoped she would have shown some Viking rage and gone a little Red Sonja on the academy, but she handled it very gracefully. That’s a shame. A win (or a media meltdown if we’re lucky) in 2013 is still possible, with the third and final season of ‘Borgen’ scheduled to air next spring. Fingers crossed!
DENMARK THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
23- 29 November 2012
Concealment and cover-up: the history of Danmarks Akvarium is far from a damp squib JANE GRAHAM The aquatic animals aren’t the only story at the historic building – intrigue and scandals have also hidden in the aquarium’s tanks for over 70 years
W ALL PHOTOS FROM DENMARK AQUARIUM
HEN Danmarks Akvarium closed its doors on October 31 this year, it was the end of an era for a building that first opened in 1937. And there are plenty of fishy tales in the aquarium’s 75-year history, filled with intrigue and mystery – from Den-
mark’s b i g gest environmental scandal i n the 1970s to the crucial role the building played in the country’s resistance movement during the Second World War Nazi occupation. Danmarks Akvarium has outgrown its antiquated building in Charlottenlund, and after a lengthy relocation to its new, state-of-the-art home in Tårnby, will reopen in the spring of 2013 as ‘The Blue Planet’.
Throughout its history, however, the dark, watery vaults of the old aquarium have held their fair share of mystery. Perhaps their biggest contribution to the nation occurred between 1942 and 1945 during the Nazi occupation of Denmark, shortly after the building’s inauguration. The aquarium’s first head, Mogens Højgaard, was a known sympathiser of the resistance movement and helped those fighting the Nazi occu-
p a tion to store a hefty stash of arms under the aquarium’s basement alongside the large reservoir tank. It was the perfect place for a secret arsenal. At 20 metres long and two metres wide, the tank runs 20 metres deep and is certainly not the kind of place you’d just happen to stroll past – few people, not even aquarium employees, had access to this part of the building’s vaults. It was dark, deep and kept at a constantly chilly temperature
in accordance with its actual purpose: to ensure parasites and bacteria were dead before the aquariums on the higher levels were filled. The arsenal is believed not only to have contained small firearms but larger weapons too, and a collection of this size was certainly a risky undertaking. What would have happened to the aquarium and Højgaard – who must have been the one to provide the resistance with the hiding
place – wouldn’t have been pretty if the Nazis ever learned of its secondary occupation. Likewise, it’s unlikely we’ll ever learn what the weapons were used for, or how crucial their role actually was – resistance members simply took what they needed and left. After Højgaard’s death in the 1960s, the story of the weapons arsenal took on a mythical status – one of numerous local anecdotes told by the aquarium’s oldest employees but never verified. Then, a few years ago, cleaning staff at the aquarium found a helmet of the kind used by the
Danish resistance fighters, which had lain forgotten under a small step for over 50 years. Less honourable was the aquarium’s role in what has been described as Denmark’s largest ever environmental cover-up. In 1973, two aquarium researchers, the husband-and-wife team Inge and Jan Boetius, were ordered by the Ministry of Fisheries to conduct a report on Kærgård Plantage, an area of Jutland’s coast close to Esbjerg. Potentially hazardous waste
had been dumped there by the nearby Grindsted Works since 1956 – all known and approved by public authorities. The pair were to assess the effect the chemicals might be having on saltwater fishes. The Boetius report concluded that although no negative effects had been found on any fish, these results should be viewed with caution, as it was impossible to predict any
longt e r m consequences. The newlyestablished Environment Ministry, however, used the report as evidence that no further course of action was needed. When the extent of the government-approved dumping became public knowledge, it developed into an environmental scandal implicating the Boetiuses and the then-head of the aquarium, Arne Schiøtz, as part of a ministerial conspiracy. Schiøtz maintained that the Environment Ministry had misinterpreted the report’s conclusions – and just managed to cling to his job throughout the storm.
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