Denmark’s leading ladies address the nation
The Mayans were wrong, but what if Saxo is right?
5 - 10 January 2013 | Vol 16 Issue 1
Rub me the right way and I’ll ... It’s panto!
Denmark’s only English-language newspaper | cphpost.dk MIKE KOLLÖFFEL, DR
Nation welcomed in the New Year with a lot of noise, but relatively few firework accidents
New wolf spotted Gone for nearly 200 years, Canis lupus seems to be making a comeback in Denmark
‘Borgen’ supremacy Actress Birgitte Hjort Sørensen on the considerable success of Denmark’s latest entertainment export
Record number of refugees making their way to Denmark leads to cash offer for rejected asylum seekers
Record number have stubbed out their final cigarette
TV show for peanuts
How an expat made a sitcom about wampires for the cost of a domain site and two sets of fangs
Tougher bans has the number of smokers in Denmark at a record low; targeting sales is the best way to approach the last holdouts, says specialist
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AST YEAR the number of smokers in Denmark fell to a record low. Some 120,000 Danes stubbed out their smoking habits in 2012, and some 17 percent of people over 15 now smoke on a daily basis, while another five percent smoke socially. Those figures are down from 18 percent and six percent last year. “It’s a very pleasing development,” Dr Inge Haunstrup Clemmensen, of Kræftens Bekæmpelse, the Danish can-
cer society, told Berlingske newspaper. The new statistics come from the annual smoking habit survey carried out by analysis institute Epinion for Kræftens Bekæmpelse, the national health authority Sundhedsstyrelsen, and lung and heart associations Danmarks Lungeforening and Hjerteforeningen. The results indicate that 39 percent of Danes are now ex-smokers – more than 1.7 million people. A quarter of those who have quit smoking did so between 2008 and 2012. The report also concluded that the vast majority of current smokers would like to quit. Almost 70 percent of daily smokers have plans to quit and every eighth smoker has plans to quit in January, suggesting that another 120,000
people are looking to stop smoking as part of their new year resolutions. Smokers have found that their habit has become increasingly burdensome in recent years. Smoking bans cover the vast majority of indoor public spaces, and earlier this year smoking was banned on school, daycare and educational property, inside and out. A recent survey also found that Danes were ready to ban smoking in company cars. Today, smoking is permitted in cranes, company cars and other business vehicles, as long as the person is alone in the vehicle. But Knud Juel, a public health specialist with Statens Institut for Folkesundhed, was sceptical about the proposal. “I don’t think it will do much. It
would be more effective to toughen tobacco sales to children,” Juel told Berlingske. “That isn’t enforced very well and doing so would be taking a considerable step in the right direction.” According to Juel, studies indicate that the use of tobacco among teens has not fallen at the same rate as the overall decline. “That indicates that we are dealing with a smaller group who have a significant tobacco consumption and who are more difficult to get to stop than other smokers,” he said. The news comes on the heels of Copenhagen’s deputy mayor Ninna Thomsen (Socialistisk Folkeparti) indicating that her goal is to make Copenhagen a smoke-free city by 2025.
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Week in review
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CPH Post Word of the Week:
5 -10 January 2013 THE WEEK’S MOST READ STORIES AT CPHPOST.DK
Umotiveret (adjective) – Unmotivated. Where you heard it: Coming out of a long holiday filled with food and drink, many found it hard to go back to work on Wednesday, the first working day of 2013. Or maybe it was just us. Scanpix / Keld Navntoft
Yanks poke fun
Police admit using Google translation in terror investigation was mistake Opinion | A tax everyone wants to see cut Dating the Danes | A land of extremes! Weird or wacky: deciphering the code that defines the Dane Stormy build-up to a whitish Christmas
FROM OUR ARCHIVES TEN YEARS AGO. Deputy mayor Søren Pind considers tendering out snowclearing contracts after blizzard leaves city with too much to handle. FIVE YEARS AGO. A 19-year-old is fatally stabbed on Strøget amidst calls for stricter weapon legislation.
Calling his mother Queen Margrethe II a “dress-designing, chain-smoking, multilingual rockstar”, American news site The Huffington Post ridiculed Crown Prince Frederik and other members of the Royal Family for their “seriously lacklustre” style at the New Year’s Day gala
the price of grain subsequently nose-dived, it took seven months for the price of bread to fall – and when it did, it did so only slightly. Grain only makes up five percent of the cost of a loaf of bread, and the price of bread has risen far more in Denmark than in Germany or Sweden, the report found.
Denmark’s only English-language newspaper
First aid wanted
The majority of councils don’t have any first aid guidelines for their daycare personnel, according to a survey by Politiken newspaper. But despite two kindergarten teacher unions asking for guidelines, the education minister, Christine Antorini (Socialdemokraterne), has no intention of changing current laws that
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would force teachers to learn first aid. Figures from the national board of health showed that each year over 20,000 children suffer injuries at daycare that require a visit to the emergency ward. Although most of the incidents are minor, a mandatory first aid course could help teachers assess injuries and administer aid.
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Thanks to recent increases in the price of wheat and grain, bread is more expensive than ever in Danish supermarkets. A University of Copenhagen report indicated that when the price of wheat and grain rose significantly in 2007 and again in 2011, the price of bread went up almost immediately. But when
Scanpix / Keld Navntoft
ONE YEAR AGO. Declassified information embroils the former defence minister, Søren Gade, in Iraq torture allegations.
The Danish book industry could be a thing of the past unless price regulation is reinstated, according to Lars Boesgaard, the managing director of Denmark’s second largest publisher, Lindhardt and Ringhof. It was just two years ago that fixed book prices were abolished, but in an open letter to the culture minis-
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ter, Marianne Jelved (Radikale), Boesgaard proposed a period of up to four months in which new books would have fixed prices. Boesgaard argued that this would give booksellers a fair chance to sell an equal number of bestsellers as internet sites and supermarkets. Jelved said she would look into the issue.
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3 Queen warns against trying to achieve a “perfect life” News
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
5 -10 January 2013
Scanpix / Keld Navntoft
Justin Cremer In addition to familiar themes, Queen Margrethe’s New Year’s speech also included a warning about the dangers of social media and a look at Denmark’s 40-year relationship with the EU
ddressing the nation on New Year’s Eve for the 41st time, Queen Margrethe II delivered a message of cautioned hope for the future. The queen’s 15-minute televised address touched on familiar themes, while also noting Denmark’s relationship with the EU, and even the dangers of Facebook. Wearing a drab, maroon dress accented with pearls, the queen’s speech more than anything had the spectre of the ongoing global financial crisis hanging over it. “We don’t know what 2013 will bring – neither for ourselves, our society or Denmark,” Queen Margrethe said. “We make prognoses, we make calculations, [and] we do our best to ensure that events do not surprise us,
This was the 41st time that the nation began its New Year’s festivities by listening to Queen Margrethe II
[but] the new year will always be unknown territory.” Pointing to the historic efforts of Denmark’s tradesman, sailors, farmers, labourers and craftsman, the queen said that “our society is a result of the efforts we have made through the years to form our future and our progress.” She then delivered a message that despite the ongoing trou-
bles faced in Denmark and elsewhere, Danes can band together to pull through. “In times of crisis, problems can seem overwhelming and obstacles can feel like hindrances that can not be overcome.” And while saying that Denmark has measures in place to assist those in need, the queen cautioned against “leaving it to society to save the day”.
“We must always begin with ourselves, with our loved ones and those we meet along the way,” Queen Margrethe said. “An individual can make an enormous difference through an encouraging remark, a helping hand and considerate respect for others.” The queen said that Denmark’s tight-knit society and its small geographic size are as-
sets that can carry the country through the continuing economic crisis. She then cautioned against letting unrealistic expectations make things seem worse than they really are. “There is a tendency to paint a picture of a perfect life with a spouse, children, an inspiring career, exciting hobbies and a youthful appearance regardless of age,” she said. “Who can live up to all of that? And why should we? We all meet adversity sooner or later. We will break our backs with the crises we encounter if only the perfect – and superficial – life is good enough.” The 72-year-old Margrethe said that the nation’s youth are particularly vulnerable, especially with the expansion of technology and social media. “The modern forms of communication, with the internet and Facebook, have tremendous opportunities, but there are also dangers associated with it,” the queen warned. “The very young can be so engrossed in it, it is as if they live in cyberspace while reality is lived in a kind of display window, where it is more about appearances than being
one’s self.” Noting that January 1 marks 40 years since Denmark joined the EU, Queen Margrethe stressed the importance of the European community. “[Joining the EU] was a big step for us, and one that has not gone unchallenged, but it is a proven fact that our continent and the European community has produced a prosperity that all have benefited from, and that we have experienced pervasive peace after centuries of war, strife and mutual mistrust.” As is her custom, the queen then addressed her subjects in Greenland and the Faroe Islands and also acknowledged the Danish majority living in Southern Schleswig, as well as Danes worldwide welcoming in 2013 away from their motherland. Queen Margrethe gave the nation’s thanks to Denmark’s soldiers and veterans before noting that 2012 was a special year for her personally, thanks to her 40-year jubilee. As always, the queen ended her speech with the familiar refrain of “Gud bevare Danmark” (God save Denmark).
Change is coming, but improvement will have to wait, PM warns
n a New Year’s address that focused heavily on the economy, PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne) told Danes on New Year’s Day that the road to recovery is going to be “long and arduous”. “We need to be ready for a new era that requires us to make changes, an era that requires us to find new ways of doing things in the public sector, and one that requires our companies to survive in the face of tough competition.” But although ThorningSchmidt, holding her second
New Year’s Day address as prime minister, and one that conveyed a similar tone as her first, predicted the tough times would last for “many years to come”, she said improvements would be visible in 2013. “We can expect things to slowly improve in the new year. Not by a lot, but improvement nonetheless.” Tax reform, renewable energy and education were three of the ways the PM said Denmark could pull itself through the difficult economic period, but Thorning-Schmidt also drew a parallel with the challenges the country faced during the oil crises of the 1970s. “In Denmark, it resulted in new ideas and forward-thinking decisions. Today, Denmark is a leader in energy efficiency, and
Scanpix / Keld Navntoft
Adapting to new economic realities will help the nation secure growth in the long-term, Thorning-Schmidt said during her New Year’s address
Thorning-Schmidt: “A long and arduous” road ahead
we create lots of environmentally related jobs. We Danes turn change into opportunity.” Thorning-Schmidt highlighted education as one of the keys to the country’s economic future.
“I say this to all young Danes: get an education. Not for your parents’ sake. Not for my sake, but for your own sake. The most important thing isn’t what you study, as long as you study something.
Pledging to make the current generation of young Danes “the best educated in Danish history” as a way to help secure the country’s economic future, she also reminded young people that they also have a responsibility to complete their education. “We’ve set up our system so that people who pay taxes pay for your education. We find this sensible, and we do it willingly, but we also expect that you live up to your end of the bargain. You need to finish your studies faster. We need you.” Breaking somewhat from tradition, Thorning-Schmidt opted to deliver her remarks from her office in Christiansborg rather than Marienborg, the prime minister’s summer residence. It was the first time since 1986 that the annual ad-
dress was not delivered from Marienborg. “I work here [in Christiansborg] every day and therefore I wanted to invite you all in,” Thorning-Schmidt said in a video announcing the move. Similar to Queen Margrethe’s mention of Facebook in her address a day earlier (see story above), the PM’s speech also attempted to show that she was in touch with modern times. “I doubt that I am the only mum who tries – sometimes in vain – to keep up with apps, Twitter and Instagram.” While she may have given a shout-out to Twitter, a December study revealed that Thorning-Schmidt is among a minority of world leaders who do not actively use the popular service to communicate. (KM)
PM’s policies financially sound, say economists Despite leading a left-leaning government, Thorning-Schmidt is judged more economically responsible than her right-ofcentre predecessor
M Helle ThorningSchmidt’s (Socialdemokraterne) economic policies, such as cutting early retirement pensions and unemployment benefits, have angered her party’s traditionally left-leaning voter base, but earned her high praise from economists. Nine out of ten economists surveyed believe that ThorningSchmidt is at least as economically responsible as former PM
Lars Løkke Rasmussen and his centre-right government. The results cast doubt on the conventional wisdom that governments on the right have a better handle on the economy than those with a left-of-centre leadership. Jes Asmussen, an economist at Handelsbanken, said that policies carried out during Rasmussen’s tenure actually damaged the economy. “They did not engage in sustainable reforms,” Asmussen told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “They overheated the housing market and the economy in general.” Mads Lundby Hansen, the
There were a wide range of great reforms, including early retirement chief economist at the libertarian think-tank Cepos, said the reforms put in place by Ramussen’s government were a case of too little, too late. “There were a wide range of great reforms, including early retirement and benefits reform, but they should have come before the crisis hit,” he told Jyl-
lands-Posten. Hansen had high praise for what he saw as ThorningSchmidt’s continuation of Rasmussen’s tight-fisted policies. The prime minister’s embracement of financial austerity has strained her relationship with some traditional allies. The nation’s labour unions, usually staunch Socialdemokraterne supporters, are shaking their collective heads over policies that they say offer no hope for the unemployed. “I am not sure what planet the prime minister is living on,” 3F union president Poul Erik Christensen told JyllandsPosten. (RW)
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THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
5 -10 January 2013
Fewer break-ins and injuries reported over the holidays SCANPIX / BAX LINDHARDT
RAY WEAVER Nationwide figures are down, but tragedy still befell some amid the celebrations
HE NUMBER of festive period burglaries across the country appears to be down, according to police. Although the final tally won’t be known until later this month, police report that so far this year’s numbers are an improvement on 2011. As of December 26, police had responded to 749 break-ins nationwide reported between December 24 and December 26. Central and West Zealand Police say that 80 burglaries were committed during the period, compared with 111 last year. South Jutland Police registered a “significantly lower” number of holiday break-ins. According to police spokesperson Frits Lund, some 39 break-ins were reported this year compared with 95 in 2011. In Copenhagen, there were 108 burglaries, roughly the same as last year, according to inspector Tommy Laursen. Once an item is stolen, it’s highly unlikely the owner will ever see it again. Even with improvements in recent years, police solved only 8 percent of burglaries in 2011, according to security firm Secubi. But some of those whose belongings were taken may actually get them back, thanks to a resident who tipped cops off to the location of a Copenhagen warehouse crammed with stolen property. “There were flat screen TVs, lap-
Fireworks light up the sky over Copenhagen’s Lakes, topping off a relatively safe New Year’s Eve
tops, jewellery and other personal belongings,” Laursen told DR News. “Some of it comes from burglaries committed over Christmas.” The majority of break-ins occurred in single-family homes, and most of what was stolen were easily sellable items such as iPads, computers, jewellery and cash, according to the police. One family in northern Copenhagen also reportedly lost everything this Christmas – not to burglars, but to a Christmas Eve fire that burned their Klampenborg home to the ground.
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Just after 9pm on December 24, police were alerted that the family’s Christmas tree was in flames. “They may have left the tree unsupervised while there were candles burning,” Mogens Mogensen, from the North Zealand Police, told JyllandsPosten newspaper. “They came back to find it burning and tried to put it out. They couldn’t extinguish the flames, so they went outside and called for help.” Fire brigades from both Gentofte and Lyngby responded to the scene. No-one was hurt in the blaze, but the
Dangerous stolen fireworks beginning to surface Many of the ‘chrysanthemum bombs’ taken from a Lolland factory are still missing
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OLICE are slowly beginning to recover some of the 512 powerful fireworks that were stolen from a Lolland fireworks factory on December 28. In Wednesday’s most recent find, officers from the South Zealand and Lolland-Falster Police department, acting on a tip-off, found some of the socalled chrysanthemum bombs in a lake near Nakskov, on the island’s west coast. “Unfortunately, this is only a small fraction of the stolen bombs,” Stefan Jensen, a police spokesperson, told the Ritzau news bureau. “These are some of the largest, but not the biggest ones. We’re still looking for the rest and are no closer to catching the thieves.” Another anonymous tip-off helped police find some of the stolen fireworks on Saturday, the day after they were stolen. “We got a tip-off that the fireworks were on a rural property on Lolland,” police spokesperson Henrik Karlsen told DR News. The man who lives on the property was not home, and police would not speculate as to whether he was involved in the theft or had purchased the fireworks from thieves. On Monday, police on Lolland arrested a 34-year-old man believed to be connected to the theft, but did not have enough evidence to hold him and he was released on Monday afternoon.
Some of the chrysanthemum bombs stolen could contain over a kilogram of gunpowder – enough to flatten a house – and are intended for professional use only. Proper use of the fireworks calls for a 100-metre safety zone, and although Despite brisk sales of legal fireworks, some wanted more the bombs have firepower and turned to stealing chrysanthemum bombs a long fuse, police say it burns very that he drew his service pistol. Ten officers were injured, none seriously. quickly. There were no reports of ChrisPolice strongly advised against buying or attempting to use the fireworks, tiania residents being hurt in the incisaying that they are normally fired from dent, and no-one was arrested. Some of the 32 chrysanthemum mortar-like bomb tubes, which the bombs confiscated in the raid contained thieves had not taken during the theft. “We will find those who committed 1.6 kilograms of gunpowder. It was the burglary, but the most important initially reported that the bombs were thing right now is to find the fireworks,” some of those stolen from the Lolland said Bøje Jørgensen, a police officer in factory, but police later said that there was no evidence to support that theory, Nakskov, told DR News. In a related incident, police in Co- although they continue to investigate a penhagen were attacked when they at- possible connection. A small chrysanthemum bomb was tempted to remove the same type of dangerous fireworks from a warehouse also found early on Wednesday morning by a passer-by near a stream in the in Christiania. A spokesperson for the Copenha- village of Helsinge in northern Zealand. gen police said that officers moved in Police detonated the 350 gram exploto remove the fireworks after receiving sive at about 2:30am, after it was detera tip-off that they were being sold in the mined that it was wet and too unstable to move safely. commune’s open-air drug market. The explosive was far smaller than Bystanders pelted the police with stones and launched fireworks at them. those stolen from Lolland, and police The police responded with tear gas. One said it is normal to find unexploded officer reported feeling so threatened fireworks following New Year’s Eve.
SCANPIX / JENS NØRGAARD LARSEN
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house suffered extensive damage. As the holidays came to a close, emergency responders reported a “relatively quiet” New Year’s Eve. “The rainy weather probably helped,” Klaus Kristiansen, a spokesperson for Falck, which operates fire services for a number of councils, told Jyllands-Posten. “But the number of New Year fires has been decreasing in recent years, so maybe people are getting better at taking care of each other.” Despite the improving statistics, a number of homes and businesses went
up in flames on New Year’s Eve. A bakery in Ølstykke, a scout meeting house in Fredensborg and a home in Skævinge were all apparently set alight by New Year’s Eve fireworks. The scout house was completely destroyed and the Skævinge home also suffered heavy damage. No-one was hurt in any of the fires. Investigators could not immediately identify the cause of any of the fires, but each one happened just after midnight, and fireworks are being investigated as the principal cause of all three incidents. Across the country, 113 fireworkrelated injuries were reported. Eight of those were serious eye injuries requiring hospitalisation. Those numbers were consistent with past years. The new year was also accompanied by at least one violent attack in Copenhagen. A 22-year-old man was stabbed in the chest with a knife at the nightclub Krasnapolsky. Police were called to the scene shortly after 1am on New Year’s Day. “He was stabbed once, and the wound was not serious, but it did require surgery,” Dannie Rise, a spokesperson for the Copenhagen Police, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. Police said the reasons for the attack were unknown, but that they were speaking to witnesses and looking at CCTV surveillance videos taken on the morning in question in order to identify a suspect. “Two to three people were seen running from the site, and we are trying to locate them,” said Rise.
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
5 -10 January 2013
As origins of the first wolf are established, zoologist believes the second one is a young male looking for fresh territory, to possibly start a pack
month after the dead canine carcass found in Thy in northern Jutland was verified as being a wolf, another wolf appears to be on the prowl in the same area. There have been several reported sightings of a new wolf, as well as pictures taken of the animal which are of a far better quality than the ones taken of the wolf in Thy. Mogens Trolle, a zoologist at the natural history museum, Statens Naturhistoriske Museum, has seen the pictures – taken on December 26 by Alice Durinck and her husband near Lem in western-Jutland – and he is almost certain that it is a wolf. “The close-up photos of the animal are of considerably better quality than the wolf photos from Thy and it looks a lot like a grey wolf – a relative of the Thy wolf, in other words,” Trolle told Ekstra Bladet tabloid. Wolves are known to travel long distances in search of food and territory, and Trolle thinks that the newly-spotted wolf is a young male. “Some of these wolves travel incredible distances, over 1,500
Aggressive tree disease could cost millions Christian Wenande
Skov og Landskab
New wolf sightings in Jutland
Getting an overview on the spread of Phytophthora in Denmark is not adequate, plant pathologist contends
A zoologist at Statens Naturhistoriske Museum said the new pictures taken on December 26 are almost certainly of a wolf
kilometres, in their search,” Trolle said. “So a good explanation for this is that the young wolves are coming to Denmark in search of a good place to settle that isn’t occupied by other wolves.” Experts believe that the wolves are coming to Denmark from Germany, where the wolf population has boomed over the past ten years. Small wolf populations in eastern Germany near the Polish border have increased and pushed the wolf populations further and further west. Now some appear to be heading north into Denmark. Last year saw the first wolf sighting in Denmark for nearly two centuries, but despite the recent activity and the wolves’ adaptation to eating deer instead of elk, Trolle doesn’t believe that Denmark will have its first wolf pack in the near future. “At first it will primarily be young, single wolves coming to Denmark. But if a male meets a
female in Denmark or close to the border, then we could have our first pack here. The more individuals that come up here, the higher the chance of a pack,” Trolle said. New information has also come in from Germany about the wolf that was found dead in Thy in November. A Frankfurtbased research team have helped Aarhus University verify that the dead wolf was four years old and had travelled nearly 900 kilometres from where it was born near the German-Polish border. “It’s unique to be able to prove with great certainty that the wolf stems from the Milkeler pack, in the Lausitz region in Sachsen, Germany,” Liselotte Wesley Andersen, a head researcher at Aarhus University, told Politiken newspaper. “Usually, we have little knowledge on where wild animals come from, unless they are marked or tagged.”
f you’re on a stroll in the woods in 2013 and see a small net bag in a waterway or lake, then do not remove it. Most likely, it’s not trash. The net bag is part of the University of Copenhagen’s effort to get an overview of the country’s new and very aggressive tree disease, Phytophthora, which has begun wreaking havoc in a number of parks in the country. Naturstyrelsen, the state nature agency, has granted funds to the pilot project that will take samples from as many as 60 trees throughout Denmark and combine them with visual observations of the trees from which the samples stem. According to the Environment Ministry, similar efforts are being carried out in other EU and Scandinavian countries. Phytophthora, which takes its name from Greek and literally means ‘the plant destroyer’, is of the plant-damaging watermould genus and has caused tremendous damage to crops and trees worldwide. In Denmark alone, the economic damage sustained by the disease could exceed hundreds of millions of
The economic damage of the Phytophthora disease, shown here affecting a beech tree, could exceed hundreds of millions of kroner
kroner. Dansk Skovforening, which represents the forestry industry, said the economic damage would be caused by the loss of up to one million cubic metres of broad-leafed trees in Denmark, and because wood that would normally be used in the production of furniture would wind up being sole more cheaply as firewood. The disease is transmitted via a parasite, attacks the roots and kills broad-leafed trees such as oak, birch, beech and ash, and it can also attack pine trees. The disease spreads easily through water, soil and plant matter and it can survive in the ground for up to 20 years after a tree is dead and chopped down. Threes with the disease tend to be thinly leafed and have small, pale leaves, dead twigs and branches. The trees grow new leaves later than usual and in
some cases there are dark spots on the bark of the trunk. Kirsten Thinggaard, one of the country’s few plant pathologists and the person who discovered that the disease had reached Denmark, had criticised the government’s inaction earlier this year, warning that the disease is far cheaper to prevent than it is to heal once prevalent. And while Thinggaard is pleased that the government has finally taken action, she maintained that getting an overview of the issue is not enough. “Something must be done to tackle the problem, and that will mean significant investment within the realms of research and information,” Thinggaard told Politiken newspaper. In southern Sweden, biologists estimate that about half that country’s beech trees will die from the disease over the next few decades.
Ray Weaver While the nation suffers from the worst flu outbreak in years, germs are getting a free ride on public transportation
he current influenza outbreak is the worst since the country was hit by the swine flu in November 2009, according to the capital region’s flu committee. Some emergency rooms in the Copenhagen area have been handling up to 250 calls per hour from sick people – most of which complain of influenzalike symptoms. “We have not experienced anything like it since 2009,” Jens Lundgren, the head of the flu committee, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “We have had minor outbreaks, but nothing that has drawn on emergency doctors to this extent. “ Lundgren warned that the flu should be taken seriously. “If flu develops into pneumonia, for example, it can be serious and potentially life-threatening,” he said. Lundgren advised sufferers to stay home, both for their own health and to prevent infecting those around them. A prime spot to pick up the flu virus, and also bacteria is on public transportation.
The buttons, handles, knobs and other surfaces inside buses, trains and the Metro are teeming with bacteria that passengers carry away with them on their hands every time they ride, according to a recent study by Rådet for Bedre Hygiejne, the hygiene council, and Michael René from Metropol professional college. Two of 20 samples taken from the blue buttons on the doors of S-trains – ten from the outside and ten from inside the cars – showed positive results for the presence of intestinal bacteria. Intestinal bacteria is not necessarily harmful, but their presence reveals that unwanted bacteria lurks on the trains that could cause the norovirus known as ‘Roskilde sickness’ or other infectious diseases. “People tend to forget that there is bacteria on the trains,” Lars Münter, the project manager for Rådet for Bedre Hygiejne, told Politiken newspaper. “If we were better at recognising that it is there, and took the proper precautions, we could drastically cut down on the number of infectious diseases in Denmark.” Münter pointed out that 40 percent of Danes do not always wash their hands after using the toilet, according to a recent study. While two positive results out of 20 samples may seem low, Münter said that the test was done when there was frost out-
side and many passengers were wearing gloves and mittens. Studies suggest that the risk of getting infections increases when people spend more time inside and closer together, like when riding on public transport. Professor Allan Randrup Thomsen from the University of Copenhagen said that the body is constantly fighting one infection or the other and developing immunities. “Studies show that people who normally do not use public transportation often become infected,“ Thomsen told Politiken. “Maybe those who frequently use public transport build up immunity.” Thomsen warned that viruses transmitted when a sick person coughs or sneezes can make others sick, and advised sneezing into your arm rather than into your hand to prevent transferring the infection. “A general awareness that you do not want to transmit infection to others when you have a cold just makes sense,” said Thomsen, who also advised staying home when you feel sick. All of the experts agreed that simply being diligent about hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of diseases. “Bacteria has to move from point A to point B,” said Münter. “They are not malicious and do not jump on you, so the best
DSB / René Strandbygaard
Feeling sick? Stay off the train!
The close confines of public transportation make catching an infection from fellow passengers more likely
thing anyone can do is to remove them from their hands.” Münter advised washing hands every time there was a change of location – when you get to work from the train, leave the daycare, switch computers or
go to a restaurant. “If you’ve been working in the garden and get dirt on your hands, you would not start cutting salami without washing up first,” said Münter. “Use the same method every time you move
from one place to the other, because even though you can not see it, yours hands can be dirty.” Despite the many cases of influenza being reported, the Statens Serum Institut is not calling the current outbreak a pandemic.
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The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
5 -10 January 2013
Long-running international custody Refugee surge leads to dispute headed for the high court more cash offers to leave Judge accuses Dane of kidnapping his son, but court rules boy does not need to be returned to his mother in Austria
A spike in the number of refugees has led to the government suggesting an increase the payment that encourages rejected asylum seekers to return home
he mother of a half-Danish, half-Austrian boy caught up in an international custody battle has decided to ask the Eastern High Court to overturn a municipal court ruling that would allow the boy’s father to retain custody in Denmark. “Of course I will not accept the decision, and I will seek to appeal the decision to the Danish High Court,” Marion Weilharter wrote in a press release. The highly publicised custody case involving six-year-old Oliver added another chapter in late September, when the Helsingør Municipal Court ruled that the boy should be permitted to live with his father, Thomas Sørensen, in Denmark. After splitting up with Sørensen, Weilharter moved to her native Austria with Oliver in 2010, and while an Austrian court granted her sole custody of the boy, a Danish court granted sole custody to Sørensen. After ongoing legal wrangling, the case took a dramatic turn in April of this year when Sørensen drove to Graz, Austria, and took Oliver back to Denmark against Weilharter’s will. Sørensen took the boy while Weilharter was dropping the boy off at kindergarten. A co-conspirator held Weilharter down while Sørensen grabbed Oliver and subsequently drove him
Weilharter said she won’t accept the ruling and will fight to regain custody of her six-year-old son
I cannot accept this. Will Europe accept it? back to Denmark. Sørensen was later sentenced to a 12-month suspended prison sentence by an Austrian court for kidnapping. Weilharter could very well have a good case in Denmark should her request be taken up. Although the municipal court ruled against Oliver returning
to Austria, one of the three presiding judges did not agree with the verdict, maintaining that the boy had been kidnapped by his father and should be returned to Austria. Weilharter lashed out at the court for sanctioning “kidnapping”. “I cannot accept this. Will Europe accept it? This means that we must all fear that Danish citizens come to our country and ‘take’ our children – it can happen to anyone,” Weilharter wrote. Sørensen, according to a spokesperson, was elated by the December ruling, but said he was concerned that he might not be able to retain custody.
equests for asylum in Denmark hit a ten-year high in 2012, according to Immigration Service statistics. Some 5,521 refugees had applied for asylum up until November, and 2,279 of those applications have been approved – a nine year high. The police expected a further 500 to apply in December, resulting in more than 6,000 applicants in 2012, compared with only 3,806 applicants in 2011. New rules allowing asylum seekers to live and work outside of refugee centres, and the high numbers fleeing unrest in places like Syria, have created the long lines at Denmark’s gates. “Denmark has had an extremely tight immigration policy, so the small concessions that the government has made are being reflected,” Ninna Nyberg Sørensen, from the Danish Institute for International Studies, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. The majority of those seeking asylum hail from Somalia and Syria. There has also been a rise in the numbers of Serbs, Moroccans, Burmese, Nigerians and Russians seeking asylum. Inger Støjberg, a spokesperson for opposition party Venstre, criticised the government for making it more attractive to seek asylum in Denmark. “The increase is due to government concessions,” Støjberg told Jyllands-Posten. “They are going to cost
us a lot of money and cause us a lot of trouble.” The spike in the number of asylum seekers has resulted in more refugees being granted asylum, but has also created a jump in the number of rejections as well. A report by Rigspolitiet, the national police force, showed that the number of rejected asylum seekers facing repatriation has almost tripled over the past three years from 510 in 2009, to 1,407 in 2012 (by mid-December). The government’s answer to getting some of those denied entry to go home is to offer them more money to leave. Under a new government proposal, rejected asylum seekers would be paid 20,000 kroner per adult and 10,000 kroner per child if they voluntarily go home before 1 July 2013. Currently, leaving voluntarily only pays 3,793 kroner for adults and 1,896 kroner for children. “We have, unfortunately, in recent years seen an increasing number of rejected asylum seekers who do not leave,” the justice minister, Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne), told metroXpress newspaper. “Now we will give them a financial incentive to leave.” Bødskov should not count on the support of opposition party Dansk Folkeparti (DF) to get the extra cash to fund his proposal. “This is a desperate government’s attempt to get a grip on asylum and immigration policy,” DF integration spokesman Martin Henriksen told metroXpress. “Now it is throwing out bait, but it doesn’t solve the problem.” (RW)
Denmark wants to cash in on China’s green goals Søvndal: Our rejection of Coloubox
euro was a “wise” decision
Foreign minister says rejection of common currency strengthened the nation
hen China announced last month that it would commit 320 billion kroner to cutting air pollution by 2015, Danish officials saw an opportunity to get in on the action. The trade minister, Pia Olsen Dyhr (Socialistisk Folkeparti), said that if China wants to successfully reach its goals, it should look no further than Denmark for inspiration and, yes, investment. Dyhr told Politiken newspaper that despite China’s tendency to buy Chinese, Denmark has a real opportunity to help China along the way to its green goals. “We have, with our growth market strategy for China, put an emphasis on the importance of a good and close dialogue between the authorities in China and Denmark, so that we can help Danish business make inroads [into China],” Dyhr told the paper. One Danish company Politiken pointed to as having success cashing in on China’s efforts was catalyst company Haldor Topsøe, which provided catalytic converters to buses used during the 2008 Olympic Games and has helped Chinese diesel motor producers comply with the country’s sharpened environmental requirements. Other Danish companies would be well-advised to market their environ-
With China looking to cut air pollution, Danish officials say they should look our way for inspiration and technology
mental know-how to China, according to Dyhr. “Denmark has the technological solutions to increase energy efficiency and reduce air pollution – filters, catalysers, effective cauldrons and well-functioning district heating systems,” Dyhr told Politiken newspaper. “And many abroad have had their eyes opened in recent years to what Denmark can do in this particular area.” Dyhr’s position was backed by the climate minister, Martin Lidegaard (Radikale), who was recently in China to meet with government officials and leaders in the energy sector. “Even though we are a small country, we can really make a difference,”
Lidegaard told Politiken. “We have experience and knowledge that is sought after by the Chinese authorities – we can build sustainably, carry out energy renovations and deliver energy-efficient building materials.” In the first nine months of 2012 – a year that saw President Hu Jintao make the first ever visit to Denmark by a Chinese head of state and PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne) return the favour with an official state visit of her own – Denmark’s exports to China increased by 20 percent. China’s recently-announced pollution goals aim to cut the level of harmful particles in 117 cities by a minimum of five percent by 2015. (JC)
enmark’s decision not to adopt the euro 20 years ago has put the country in a “favourable” position in Europe, according to the foreign minister, Villy Søvndal (Socialistisk Folkeparti). Søvndal said that not having the euro allows Denmark “to “I think that every- build bridges” in Europe one recognises after the crisis that it was a very wise decision out at the same time.” MEP Morten Messerschmidt that allows us to build bridges in a flexible Europe,” Søvndal told Jyllands- (Dansk Folkeparti) accused Søvndal of Posten newspaper. “Our position is engaging in “pure populism” by playing that we want to participate in practical up to recent polls that show the number partnerships, which makes sense and is of Danes opposed to adopting the euro is increasing. an advantage for Denmark.” “The government owes the public Former foreign minister Uffe Elleman-Jensen (Venstre), who attempted a clear answer about its policy,” Messto get the country to adopt the single erschmidt told Berlingske newspaper. currency 20 years ago, called Søvndal’s “Søvndal’s announcement is nothing but hot air thought up by a spin doctor.” comments “nonsense”. Both PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt “Denmark is, for all intents and purposes, a member of the Eurozone, (Socialdemokraterne) and the economy only with zero influence or protection,” minister, Margrethe Vestager (RadiElleman-Jensen told Jyllands-Posten. “I kale), have argued in favour of Denhave no idea what he means that we can mark becoming the 18th country to ‘be a bridge’. We cannot be both in and adopt the euro.
Scanpix / Søren Bidstrup
After China makes significant investment in cutting air pollution, Danish officials say that we have the technology and experience needed to reach the country’s goals
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THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
5 -10 January 2013
The year of living smartly End the unethical killing of animals in military training COLOURBOX
If 2012 was the year that mobile technology became a part of our lives, hopefully 2013 will be the year we figure out how to live with them
HE YEAR 2012 is going to be remembered in many ways as the year of social media. Already an established part of most people’s lives before the year began, services like Facebook and Twitter last year became indispensible communications tools for businesses, the press, lawmakers and public agencies. Many of these initiatives have been well received, and even the police received a rare bit of praise for effectively using social media – not just in terms of adopting the casual tone of the medium, but also for understanding that it is a source of two-way communication. The solidification of social media’s position comes thanks to the rapid spread of smartphones, tablets and all the other devices that allow us to keep in touch with anyone, anywhere, anytime. As we saw with the mobile phone, the internet and even the landline telephone before that, society has reached a tipping point in its use of smartphones. Instead of giving their owners a technological leg up, they are on the verge of becoming a required accessory of daily life. Without one, people are in many ways cut off from services that once were primarily offered in physical format and only recently have moved to being offered first and foremost online. Despite the divergent viewpoints about mobile technology expressed by the queen and the prime minister in their annual addresses, their comments are equally valid. They also serve to underscore the vast generational gap that exists when it comes to being online. While mobile computing will be an indispensible part of life for the youngest generation, adults of the prime minister’s generation will continue to see them as an optional tool. Case in point is the prime minister herself: despite her praise for social media, she is among the minority of world leaders not communicating on Twitter. Similarly superficial in his acceptance of social media is her predecessor, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, who hasn’t updated his profile since he lost the 2011 general election. Meanwhile the queen, well-intentioned and well-placed as her concerns may be, reportedly has neither a mobile telephone nor an email address. While this may be a matter of regal distance, others in her generation are equally cut off from online living. Closing the digital divide entirely is unlikely, but the more people of all ages understand how mobile technologies are used and how they affect us, the better off we’ll be. As smart as mobile technologies are, in the end they are only as smart as the people who use them.
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EOPLE AROUND the world were shocked recently when news broke that the Danish Ministry of Defence has medical personnel participate in an archaic training drill – callously nicknamed ‘Danish Bacon’ by UK military doctors who also attend the course – in which live pigs are shot with high-velocity bullets to inflict life-threatening, multi-organ injuries and bone fractures. The Ministry of Defence is violating the law and perpetuating the myth that shooting animals helps save human lives on the battlefield. The truth is that having military personnel try to repair the wounds of pigs who have been violently injured on a firing range does not help humans. During my seven years of active duty as a US navy hospital corpsman – including as a member of the United States Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan’s
use only modern non-animal military training methods are supported by scientific research. More than a decade’s worth of studies by military and civilian trauma experts show that lifelike simulators – the best of which “breathe”, “bleed”, and are made of artificial human skin, fat and muscle – better equip trainees to treat human traumatic injuries, in terms of both skill acquisition and psychological preparedness. This is because there are vast differences in anatomy and physiology between humans and pigs that make the former extremely poor models for human injuries, especially given the superior human-based simulators available. For example, the pressure required to apply a tourniquet effectively to the small amputated legs of pigs is enormously different from what is needed to stop the haemorrhagic bleeding of a human’s arms or legs. Likewise, pigs have much thicker skin than humans and the anatomy of their internal organs, blood vessels and airway is unlike humans, so repairing blast or gunshot wounds that these animals have sustained does not simulate the skill needed for saving human lives. Indeed, in a 2009 internal email obtained by PETA US, a deputy surgeon with US Army Europe candidly admitted to colleagues that “there still is no evidence that [trauma training on animals] saves lives”. In view of this mounting evidence, it is perplexing that defence minister Nick Haekkerup would state, as he recently has to
the media, that “if you did not complete the exercises, it would mean a greater risk that some of our soldiers were either more maimed or died from gunshot wounds, because they faced less experienced doctors.” It is feasible for Denmark to train its armed forces without harming any animals, and there are also legal requirements to do so. Danish animal protection law states that “animals must not be used for experiments when the use of cell, tissue or organ cultures or other methods are deemed to be equally appropriate”. Similarly, EU regulations state that “member states shall ensure that, whenever possible, a scientifically satisfactory method or testing strategy, not entailing the use of live animals, shall be used instead of a procedure.” There is no scientific, ethical or legal justification for harming and killing animals in military trauma training exercises. The preference for and widespread use of sophisticated non-animal training methods by military and civilian facilities around the world is proof that these methods are viable full replacements for the use of animals. For the sake of animals, service people and the civilians relying on troops for life-saving medical treatment, ending the use of animals in military training is a morally sound policy decision. The author is a media specialist for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and a former US navy hospital corpsman.
READER COMMENTS Government to take another look at dual citizenship
State guarantee a lifeline for struggling DSB
I guess, perhaps ignorantly, that drafting a reasonable dual citizenship regime (or a reasonable immigration and residence regime, for that matter) is not out of reach for Danish legal and bureaucratic minds – they can be quite effective. On the other hand, who knows what’s under the surface that we don’t see or realise. And I also believe that the real problem lies more in parliamentary democracy than in constitutional law. Let the political horse trading and wheel and deal games begin. A hard negotiation that – if certain parties best left unnamed are left out of it while their allies agree – will produce a text leaving everyone unsatisfied, and those unnamed parties vowing to repeal it. Loroferoz By website
It’s ridiculous that this debacle is allowed to continue. If a private company operated in this way, it would have gone bankrupt years ago – and the socialist press would have had a field day talking about greed and loss of money by poor management. But of course, the holy welfare state is allowed to continue to pour money down the drain. One can always raise taxes and ticket prices, so what’s the need for efficiency? Thorvaldsen By website
Parliament to beef up security
Special Medical Operations Response Team – I never trained on any live animals. My own comprehensive training in the Navy included videos, immersive drills with lifelike simulators and moulage scenarios with human actors. And I have never been unprepared to treat life-threatening injuries to fellow service-members. This is not just a matter of personal opinion. Earlier this year, PETA US and current and former US military doctors published a study in a prestigious military medical journal showing that 22 out of 28 NATO nations do not use any animals for military training. Germany, whose armed forces are among the majority that have confirmed that they don’t use animals, has even repeatedly denied applications by the US army and its contractors to conduct military training on animals on the grounds that it would violate German and EU laws requiring the use of alternatives to animals whenever available. Likewise, the NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine, designated as the primary source of expertise for the NATO Alliance’s medical community, has also confirmed that its battlefield medical courses do not use animals. It wrote to PETA US that it “does not use animals, alive or dead, or animal models for any training or course or is involved in any partner course doing so. Where needed for specific training, appropriate human patient simulators are used.” These laudable decisions to
Good for the politicians that they can shield themselves from the consequences of mass immigration and the society that they have created. They should also award themselves an additional pay rise now they’re at it. When the bombs go off, everyone else will just have to try and fend for themselves, I guess. Queuecucumber By website
Minister: waiting times for heart exams “not acceptable” Raising taxes and reducing public services seem to be becoming the new norms in Denmark. Retroactively taxing large corporations, taxing the elderly and taxing students for work conducted as a ’favour’ is a new low. Try finding a decent paid job in Denmark today. Regardless of experience and education, it is next to impossible. Robert By website Uproar over rejected residency for employed Peruvian mother By its flawed design, the current Danish immigration system – coupled with morally deplete
unaccountable and ‘don’t give a s**t’ attitude bureaucracy and politicians with cold feet – will actually ensure that all the criminals, welfare-benefit huggers and unwanted type of immigrants will get to stay in this country, and the ones who can make some positive contributions will be shamelessly kicked out. If the immigration legislature cannot be modified to rectify these issues, Denmark will soon become what it probably deserves: a country with a fast growing part of population, which they utterly despise and fear and desperately want to keep out. Buddha_in By website These laws are designed to discourage and confuse. I’m very pleased that Flavia can stay while things are decided, but there are many other cases that have not benefited from social media attention, and these people will be, and are currently being, thrown out. At some point, compassion and fatigue will set in, and even these plaintive stories on Facebook campaigns will fail to move anybody. Justice needs to work better than this. HeidiakaMissJibba By website What do they do at Immigration Service anyway – roll some dice? Flip a coin? Daniel Yeow ByFacebook
I am secretly jealous of people who are deported from Denmark. Hurrrrr By website Jews advised to keep faith symbols hidden Now I need to get a Mezuzah to put on the door in solidarity. Adam Ackerman By Facebook Odd, the usual right-wing internet trolls from the Jerusalem Post haven’t piped into the Copenhagen Post discussion yet. It is not the Jews that are hated, so much as it is the domestic and foreign policies of the Jewish state. There, now you have 38 cases of socalled anti-Semitism. SNCO By website PM’s husband a closet Russian film star There is just something about this guy that doesn’t add up. He is suspicious, to say the least, and the fact that he is married to Denmark’s prime minister and embroiled in tax evasion is a black eye for Denmark and for lawabiding citizens who are paying taxes. In my opinion, the prime minister doesn’t stand a chance at the next election. She has been less than impressive in her role. Time for change, again. Robert By website
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
5 -10 January 2013
That invisible feeling
The Balancing Act BY SARITA RAJIV Sarita Rajiv recently moved from sunkissed India to snow-topped Denmark. Having hopped from east to west, she finds herself performing a balancing act between her old and new lives. A communications specialist in the past, she is now a gifting specialist. For more, visit ilovegifting.me
INE MONTHS AGO, I moved from Mumbai to Copenhagen. Life has just not been the same since. As a child, I often fantasised about what it would mean to be invisible. My childhood fantasy came true, it seems, albeit in an altogether different way. Whether in the parks, the shops or the streets, people in Copenhagen did not seem to notice me or sense my presence. I may as well have been a ghost. There were no smiles, no friendly conversations, not even a glance. The always dependable and effective conversation-starter of having my mischievous and curious three-year-old daughter with me seemed to generate no interest among the other parents at the parks and playgrounds. As I found out, it is rather tricky to initiate a conversation with a person who is not looking at you … not even out of the corner of their eye. Was I invisible? The same scenario would have played out like this in India: complete strangers would be very interested in an udlænding (is it a coincidence that the Danish word for ‘foreigner’ has such a hard and cold ring to it?). You
It is rather tricky to initiate a conversation with a person who is not looking at you … not even out of the corner of their eye would get asked all sorts of questions, ranging from your name, nationality, marital status, salary, the reason for being in India, whether you liked India and how long you intended to stay in the country. You would be offered help with settling in, you would get invited to lunch, tea or dinner, and you would be given a crash course in Indian culture and traditions … most of it unsolicited. Indians are a rather curious and friendly lot (or maybe intrusive, depending on how you look at it). The Indian way is not necessarily better or worse, just very different. Perhaps that is why, when in situations in which I was in the company
of strangers, the contrast caught me by surprise. Fortunately or unfortunately, in the past nine months I have discovered that I am not alone and that it is not personal. A good number of foreigners seem to have had similar experiences. Though thankful that most Danes speak good English, most of the foreigners I spoke to wondered over their distant behaviour. Over time, after a lot of observation and pondering, I realised that is just how the Danes are. They tend to be reserved, do not like initiating conversations with strangers and are wary of intruding on a person’s privacy. While there is no intent or effort to be friendly to foreigners, there is rarely a deliberate intention to be rude. And perhaps their reserved behaviour is meant to signal politeness. The saving grace for me has been the friendly and helpful staff at my daughter’s børnehave (kindergarten), the polite smiles from the other parents and children there and the friendly demeanour of some of my friends’ Danish partners. They convinced me there was no sinister plan by the Danes to ignore me after all.
While I was busy unravelling typical Danish behaviour, I figured some more pearls of wisdom could be gained if I knew their language. And having begun to learn Danish at a language school, on the occasions a Dane has spoken to me (at the kommune, supermarkets or cafe), I knew I wasn’t being reprimanded for doing something wrong. Danish simply tends to sound rather harsh to a person who doesn’t know the language. Just like several other languages, I presume. Unlike in my childhood fantasies, I was not having much fun being invisible. So I decided that sometimes the best defence is a good offence. So now, every time I manage to trick a Dane into looking at me, I flash my most brilliant, friendly smile. My complex calculations reveal that for every 13 smiles I send out, there is one coming back my way. That is a success rate of close to eight percent – not bad for a start. Life’s good. NOTE: Clare MacCarthy has chosen to stop her column. We thank her for her time writing for The Copenhagen Post and wish her the best.
Time to earn your foreigners, Denmark
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.
OPE YOU ALL enjoyed a Merry Christmas, had a cracking New Year’s Eve and are in store for a 2013 that will bring you all the happiness that you deserve. Now that the gluttony and schnapps-fuelled hangover has at last dissipated (I swear I’ll move to Saudi Arabia if I get one more whiff of flæskesteg), let’s dispense with the pleasantries and dive into the crux of it. And once again the Immigration Service will bear the brunt. Yes readers, here comes another tired, yet necessary lambasting. To earn the right to live in Denmark, foreigners have to go through a gruelling process. There are numerous types of visas and permits that one can apply for, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s keep this to those who apply for a work permit under the green card scheme – a basic residence permit for the purpose of seeking work in Denmark. To qualify, applicants must accumulate at least 100 points that are given according to their educational level, language skills, work experience, adaptability and age. That’s fair enough. While immigration laws are some of the most
stringent in Europe, Denmark needs skilled workers who can contribute, not leeches. Applicants over the age of 25 also have to document that they can support themselves for their first year in Denmark while looking for work, during which time they may not receive any public assistance. That’s fine too, although the roughly 70,000 kroner that a single person must have won’t come close to lasting a year in Copenhagen, especially with one-room student flats costing 5,000 kroner a month. Then there are language courses, which are meant to convey the person’s willingness to adapt and integrate into Danish society. This is fine too; if you’re looking to settle down in Denmark the least you can do is learn the language. Basically, it’s not easy getting into Denmark. You’ve got to earn it and that, in my opinion, is perfectly acceptable. But shouldn’t Denmark have to earn the right and respect of the people looking to live here? I cringe when I see the inept debacle they call Immigration Service. The word ‘service’ is used as loosely as I’ve ever seen. Upon visiting Immigration Service,
The world has changed and it’s time to embrace that applicants are greeted with the sight of hundreds of people waiting in line to be seen by a woefully undermanned staff who are painstakingly slow and have to deal with immigration laws that change more often than Leonardo DiCaprio’s girlfriends. Often one can’t get a straight answer from anyone, and the bureaucracy is so rife that a single case can pass through so many hands that a response can take years. But it’s not really the fault of the people working there. I can imagine it can be overwhelming when the desperate hordes converge on their offices every morning. Helle Thorning-Schmidt and her pals need to propose a new fat tax, a shawarma tax or whatever other tax they can dream up, and use that money to hire some more case workers ASAP! People bloody well deserve knowing their fate in less than a year.
And what is it with bunching everyone into one group, regardless of background? I know it’s not in line with the jantelov, but all cases are not equal. Not every person coming to Denmark should have to assimilate and integrate. Many workers come only temporarily before moving on to somewhere else so why should they have to learn to say Rød grød med fløde? This isn’t the 1980s, the world has changed and it’s time to embrace that. Do the people who come to Denmark ready, willing and able to contribute really deserve the disgraceful treatment they currently receive? Does the government really think that Denmark is such a brilliant place that highly-skilled foreigners will stay and endure such indignity when other countries are lining up to welcome them with open arms? So, Denmark, if you want highlyskilled professionals to help you remain globally relevant and competitive, you better start earning it in 2013, because until you do, people will continue to leave your shores in search of places more welcoming and respectful to their foreigners. All the hygge and bicycle lanes in the world won’t change that.
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
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The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
5 -10 January 2013
All photos: Mike Kollöffel, DR
As journalist Katrine Fønsmar, Sørensen is involved in a game of cat-and-mouse with fictional PM Birgitte Nyborg (played by Sidse Babett Knudsen, top right photo in black jacket) and an on-again, off-again relationship with Nyborg’s spin doctor Kasper Juul (played by Pilou Asbæk, bottom right photo)
Bringing Denmark to living rooms around the world Kierran Connel At the intersection of entertainment and politics is the TV series ‘Borgen’ – but whether art imitates politics, or the other way round, is something one of the show’s stars has yet to settle on
n a world where people are tired of politics, a political drama based on the doings in the Danish parliament ought not to be a success. But according to one of its stars, actress Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, the success of ‘Borgen’ may have more to do with the series’s universal undertones, rather than its plotlines. In the series, which began its third season on DR1 on Sunday, Sørensen, 30, stars as the journalist Katrine Fønsmark, whose determination to expose corruption and scandal in parliament is often complicated by her on/off relationship with the prime minister’s closest advisor. The success of ‘Borgen’, named after a slang term for the Danish house of parliament, Sørensen reflected, was not
something she had anticipated. “It was a massive shock,” she told The Copenhagen Post over coffee. “Compared to the crime shows that DR has done before, nobody expected it to do so well.” The success of ‘The Killing’, of course, was a major factor behind the appeal of ‘Borgen’ in countries like the UK, where the first season regularly attracted more than 700,000 viewers. For Sørensen, the success of ‘The Killing’ “paved the way”. “It meant that all eyes were focused on Denmark, luckily for us.” Viewers of both series might notice that there are some common themes in DR’s two most famous exports. And Sørensen suggests those themes might also explain their foreign appeal. One similarity is the presence of strong female characters in both series. Just as ‘The Killing’ centred on the flawed police detective Sarah Lund, one of the ongoing storylines in ‘Borgen’ is the game of cat-and-mouse between Sørensen’s character and Birgitte Nyborg, the fictional prime minister played by Sidse Babett Knudsen.
Whereas Danish audiences have labels “political fatigue”. grown accustomed to such characVarious political scandals and the ters thanks to programmes like ‘Unit economic crash are undoubtedly imporOne’ (Rejseholdet), which first aired in tant factors behind people’s scepticism, Denmark in 2000, “in the UK, strong but Sørensen suggested the role of the female characters are quite a big hit”, media may also be significant. Sørensen argued. While researching her role in ‘Bor“It’s more common in the UK for gen’, Sørensen spent time in various women to stay at home Danish newsrooms and with the kids than it found that the media is in Denmark. A lot “tend to do very black of women have taken and white stories” about to it as a sort of a role politics, leaving little model.” It’s more common in room for subtlety. Another similarity She hopes ‘Borgen’ between ‘The Killing’ the UK for women to might have “helped peoand ‘Borgen’ is that stay at home with ple to understand that both shows tap into the there are also grey areas” way in which the gen- the kids than it is in in politics. One of the eral public throughout things Sørensen is most Denmark Europe increasingly proud of about the series regard politicians with is the way it shows that suspicion and distrust. politicians also work hard. Sørensen reflected that although “It’s so easy when you’re on the out“politics in general is a very hot topic side to point a finger and say you’re not right now and more and more people doing a very good job,” Sørensen said. are interested in how we govern”, in “But it is actually a very tiring job to be Denmark, as in many other countries, a politician.” people are suffering from what Sørensen ‘Borgen’ has had a major influence
on Sørensen’s career. Previously, she enjoyed a number of successful roles, including performing as Roxy Hart in two major stage productions of ‘Chicago’, one of which ran at the Cambridge Theatre in London. But it is ‘Borgen’, she says, that “made me a household name”, and results in her getting recognised in Denmark and when she travels around Europe. “That’s the thing with TV,” she mused. “It gets into everybody’s living rooms.” And while ‘Borgen’ has clearly impacted her own career, Sørensen speculates about whether it has also had a wider influence on Danish society. When Helle Thorning-Schmidt became Denmark’s first female prime minister in October 2011 – 12 months after ‘Borgen’ aired for the first time in Denmark – she seemed to have much in common with the fictional Birgitte Nyborg. Perhaps ‘Borgen’ helped people to “get used to the idea of a female prime minister”, Sørensen suggested as she finished her coffee. “It’s not such a farout thought.”
Online this week Panel throws support behind driving fee
Restaurateur in labour dispute hospitalised after fire
Swedish cops look to Denmark for help with burglaries
A government-seated panel responsible for solving traffic congestion issues in Copenhagen has indicated that it is considering a GPS-based system, which will serve as an alternative to the toll-style congestion charge that the government was forced to abandon in February. Also known as road pricing, the GPS system
Amin Skov, The owner of a Jutland restaurant at the centre of bitter union blockade, was hospitalised after a fire swept through his restaurant on December 21. He was released from hospital four days later, but police have thus far offered few clues about the cause, or possible motive, behind the fire.
Police in Sweden are looking across the waters of the Øresund to a successful Danish initiative as they seek to combat the rising number of home burglaries in the southern region of Scania. “We have the same problem of roving criminal gangs that
has been criticised in the past, but now it has the backing of the Trængselskommission, which in a report released last week on Thursday, called it “the best system” compared to other available models. The panel also indicated that widening roads and adjusting synchronised traffic lights could also help alleviate congestion.
Skov’s establishment, Restaurant Vejlegården, became the focus of national media attention this summer due to its long-standing conflict with the labour union 3F. The case has caused tempers to boil, and Skov has been the target of death threats. Police said on Wednesday that they were still investigating.
they do in Copenhagen and Denmark,” Stefan Bengtsson, the head of the new unit, told Denmark’s Frederiksborg Amts Avis. Bengtsson said that adopting the methods employed by Denmark’s Task Force Indbrud would be successful in Sweden.
Read the full stories at cphpost.dk
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
5 -10 January 2013
Niels Brock rocks the house with a fond farewell and festive feast Photos: Nadeem Yousaf
wORDS: Ben Hamilton
With all the pre-Christmas present buying, family hygge co-ordination and hectic home preparation, most workplaces in this country tend to hold their festive parties as early as possible – in late November in some cases. Everyone that is except the Niels Brock International School based at Kulturvet in the city centre, which last month held not one, but two celebrations in the space of just nine frenetic days. First up, on December 13, was a farewell and graduation party to bid goodbye to the ISTEC French exchange students who have just completed a diploma in international marketing management. And then on December 21, it was the turn of the school’s bachelor and master’s students to lend their varying heritages to a memorable international Christmas event, where cuisines, cultures and customs from different countries and continents collided to create a coruscating celebration
The farewell party, in contrast to the Christmas bash, took a traditional Danish approach to the food. After all, what do the French know about fine cuisine? Clement, Eva, Aicha, Bejamin and Estelle get stuck in. Ooh, la, la, flæskesteg
It was a great team effort organising the Christmas party, and at the end of the night everyone got together to salute all the hard work
And the Danish traditions continued with a game of pakkespil – who needs vingt-et-un, when six will do?
Nadeem Yousaf (right, green shirt), the ISTEC programme man- It was all eyes to the food as the students got stuck in with gusto ager, was able to draw on his years on experience to ensure he didn’t leave the food trays empty-handed
Among those enjoying the Christmas party were Mr and Mrs Darek …
Pardeep, Akriti and Manju …
Suman and Emmie were MCs for the night, Malika performing a Napali dance … presenting …
Omar singing a Bangli song …
The students were sad to say adieu – even Eva (front left) who looks a bit miffed
Sunita, Bindu, Zenana and Susma prove that good things always wait under the tree
Shankar, Shisti, John, Pranita, Prakash and Nikita agree that John has the most exotic name
and Yadav, Yulia, Bishnu, Xiaoxi, Kulpreet, Ruichen and Pramod
Bhanu rocking the venue …
Jackie owning the stage …
and Malika and the aptly-named Santa bringing the house down
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
5 -10 January 2013
ABOUT TOWN PHOTOS BY HASSE FERROLD UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED
Hans Sprokkreeff (centre with red tie), the Dutch deputy head of mission, is retiring from diplomatic life to return to his home country. He marked his farewell with a reception last month
It’s not quite the season of Aquarius, let alone the age, but that hasn’t stopped the cast of Østre Gasværks Teater’s new production taking the opportunity to remind us they will be bringing us ‘Hair’ in abundance from 16 February. Among the cast is Sanne Salomonsen (centre, with the most hair)
By Zeus! Professor Louis Selchou Hansen (centre) has been awarded the prestigious title of honorary citizen of Ancient Olympia in recognition of his herculean contribution to the promotion of Greek history and culture in Denmark. He received the accolade last month at the Greek Embassy at a ceremony attended by Cypriot ambassador George Kasoulides (left) and Greek ambassador Alexandros Couyou (right)
Meanwhile, making room at Østre Gasværks Teater for ‘Hair’ is ‘Hey Jude’, which on 28 December enjoyed its worldwide premiere on the much bigger stage at Forum. Among the cast is former ‘X Factor’ judge Pernille Rosendahl (pictured centre in red). See page 18 of the newspaper for a review and G2 in InOut for performance details
AN ACTOR’S LIFE A resident here since 1990, Ian Burns is the artistic director at That Theatre Company, and very possibly Copenhagen’s best known English language actor thanks to roles as diverse as Casanova, Oscar Wilde and Tony Hancock.
Far from the madding crowd ...
The royals were out in force for the New Year Gala on 1 January at Amalieborg Palace – a chance for the country’s news pack to look out for telling signs that they might be hungover, but once again, they passed with flying colours. Pictured here (top-bottom) are Mary and Frederik, the Crown Prince Couple; the queen and Prince Henrik; and Prince Joachim and Princess Marie
T ACTUALLY takes quite a lot of effort to get away from it all. I have just done just that and, as a result, I went to bed at 7:45 on New Year’s Eve due to exhaustion. I travelled about 10,000 kilometres to get here to this paradise on Earth. So where am I? Well, imagine the songs of the birds, colours of the foliage and the butterflies in the tropical section at Copenhagen Zoo. That’s right, well done reader. I’m on the east coast of Thailand. More precisely at a small resort hacked out of the jungle called Koh Kood. I’m the first one up. It’s 7 am. Even my mother-in-law lasted longer than me at the celebrations taking place on the beach last night. My wife came to see how I was at 11.30, and I got up to see the New Year in. I didn’t have the obligatory glass of champagne though, (last night was a first): I sipped an ice-cold coke straight from the can as the fireworks were exploding around
us (yes, even here it seems we feel the St Alban’s Church: a very simple, canneed to do that). We danced slowly to dlelit affair that served as a reminder of some Tony Bennett out on our terrace. what this time of year should be about. Our dancing was a fairly stationary I don’t know much, but I don’t think affair as I felt I was spinning around it’s about watching Macauley Caulkin enough due to the exout-witting and haustion I mentioned smashing would-be earlier. house-thieves in true Well, I feel & Jerry style and After what seemed like Tom much better today about a poor little rich I’m pleased to say a very long night, once kid having to spend a and in case you were few nights alone. worried. After what again I’m back to my I truly hope that seemed like a very optimistic self. the world will be a long night, once better place for more again I’m back to my optimistic self. of us from today onwards. I’m going That, I suppose, is part of the human to make a start by enjoying being here condition. You can’t keep us down for with my family and enjoying our break long. As I lied there in my bed feel- far from the madding crowd. ing the world spinning around, I gave When I get back, I’ll be diving some thought to what’s it all about into rehearsals for our production of Alfie. Life. Christmas. ‘Shakespeare’s Women’, which is a The orgy of the present-giving is world premiere no less and something simply too much. We say so every year, we wrote ourselves. I’m actually very and yet every year we do the same, proud of it. don’t we? One of the highlights for me Find out more at www.that-theawas the story-telling that took place at tre.com.
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
5 -10 January 2013
Mission Impossible: How to make a TV show for the cost of a Tom Cruise poster DAVE SMITH Chinese TV series maker Xinxin Ren Gudbjörnsson, the creator of ‘The Vampire Show’, reveals how she turned down the advice of experts to make a four-episode sitcom for 660 kroner
INCE COMING to live in Denmark, Xinxin Ren Gudbjörnsson, the creator of ‘The Vampire Show’ − a four-episode online sitcom set in Denmark that she wrote, cast, financed and filmed last year − has heard one word more than any other. And no, it isn’t hygge or skål. It’s impossible. “It was difficult to deal with in the beginning because the concept of impossible was new to me,” recalled Gudbjörnsson. “In China, we often talk about how certain things can be difficult, but not impossible.” Like many who have made sitcoms, Gudbjörnsson’s first instinct, with just 660 kroner to spend on total financing, was to seek expert advice. And the results left her feeling doubtful about her project for the first time, albeit temporarily. “It was especially hard to ignore when ‘experts’ tell you that it can’t be done,” she said. “I think it is important to remember that experts don’t know everything, and a lot of them are talkers, not doers.” An application for funding from Venture Cup Denmark was turned down. “This type of business requires a lot of funding,” read the rejection letter. “I would definitely recommend you try and get funding from all the institutions that support these type of productions.” Gudbjörnsson, however, decided otherwise and proceeded to make the project happen without the help of any of the institutions. She quickly assembled a team of 20 technicians and actors and invested 660 kroner in setting up a website, www. thevampireshow.com, and buying two pairs of vampire teeth. The auditions and casting took place in March 2012 and filming followed soon after. Gudbjörnsson used a free online casting service and Facebook to find actors and received just under 200 applications, from which she chose 20 to audition. “It didn’t matter whether people had acting experience,” she said. “A charismatic look, positive attitude and willingness to learn were more important.” At the auditions, the actors performed monologues and then took part in dialogue, and everything was filmed for evaluation. “I then called my first choices to a one-to-one meeting, where we talked about expectations and time schedule.” The filming of each episode took place over a weekend, once a month over four months. Occasionally there was night filming. Everyone from the producer
Gudbjornsson: one of life’s doers
and director to the actors, technicians and extras had to bring their own food and help out on set. “We converted a cinema into a studio and borrowed the lighting, sound equipment and camera.” Gudbjörnsson’s husband is a film technician, so he directed, and she found friends who were willing to help out. One of the actors is a sound engineer, so when he wasn’t portraying Max, the super communist vampire, he was the soundman. “The key is not to be too much of an artist,” contended Gudbjörnsson. “I wrote the script. I had a very specific vision of how the series should turn out. But when things and people get in the way, I was willing to change it in order to finish the project on time. The show must go on.” The result was four episodes of satire/comedy of about 20 minutes each. “The show is called ‘The Vampire Show’, but it’s not really about vampires. The show is set as a reality show with vampire contestants, but the genre is more political satire.” It’s finished now, but Gudbjörnsson isn’t resting on her laurels. She’s writing a 90-minute feature film and filming will begin in 2013. The budget is zero kroner this time. “The film will be available online and in small cinemas, free to watch for everyone.” And of course, many people have already told Gudbjörnsson that it’s impossible. “Frankly, I don’t see how a feature film is that different from a series. It’s in fact easier in this case, because the film is vampire-free, which means we can film both day and night.” The film is going to be called ‘Adonis Escort Agency’. It’s a comedy about male escorts and, like ‘The Vampire Show’, it’s set in Copenhagen. The casting will begin in around February. “Everyone will have to audition, even the actors from ‘The Vampire Show’. All the actors will therefore have an equal chance for a part. It’s still the same deal: no-one gets paid, you have to bring your own food to filming and rehearsals, and we will be very demanding,” Gudbjörnsson laughed.
S o far it is a strategy that has paid dividends, but Gudbjörnsson is aware things could go wrong. “Proper planning with back-up plans is the key,” revealed Gudbjörnsson. “Many things can go wrong when you don’t pay for people, equipment and location.” Accordingly, Gudbjörnsson hasn’t given up her day job, although she did recently swap her job as a high school English teacher for one working as a campaign manager at a bank. The ‘experts’ warned her that her ambition was mission impossible, but she didn’t listen. “I showed up at the job interview with a battle plan for their sales campaigns,” she revealed. “The bank said that they’d rather have a person with a plan than experience. Besides, I wrote about ‘The Vampire Show’ in my application, and they were impressed with what I could do with 660 kroner.” Visit www.thevampireshow. com to access links to the show, or alternatively watch thew first episode at www.youtube.com/ watch?v=bAs78F4Nr58, if you dare. To find out more about the auditions for ‘Adonis Escort Agency’, contact XinXin via the show’s Facebook page.
Blood-sucking has never been this much fun
THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
5 - 10 January 2013
ALL PHOTOS BAYRAM ALI
A cross between handball and football: that’s all you needed to say
Aksel Bang (Aalborg FC) sidesteps Kim Christensen and Lars Christiansen (both North Copenhagen Barracudas) on the boundary to run in for a clear shot on goal
Farum coach Morten Engsby (Denmark’s “Mr Football”) handballs to a team mate in a game versus the Jutland Shinboners
bers to the clubs,” he said. One recent recruit, Adrian Brennan, a New Zealander, has played two seasons for the North Copenhagen Barracudas. According to Brennan, most of the players in the league come from Denmark, Australia, South Africa, England, Ireland and Sweden, with some representation from Africa and eastern Europe. In his experience, Danes have taken to the game well because it combines the foot and hand skills required to play both of Denmark’s most beloved sports: football and handball. “In a way, they don’t find it strange to catch the ball and then kick it,” Brennan said. “The sport also accommodates players of various builds, as there are positions for smaller and taller players who are strong or fast.” Most clubs will start their winter training indoors this month, focusing mostly on skills and building up fitness. The 2013 season kicks off in early April, so there is plenty of time for players and supporters to get involved. “If anyone is interested, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call, and we will be more than happy to point you to your nearest club,” Ottesen said. The 2013 match fixtures will be posted online at www.dafl.dk over the coming months.
Aussie rules football combines Denmark’s two most beloved sports, and don’t forget the really short shorts – no wonder it’s been such a success
ENMARK had its first real taste of Australian rules football in 1989 when a bloke called Mick Sitch posted an ad in a local Copenhagen newspaper. He was calling for any sportsmen who wanted to try kicking around an oval-shaped ball. Three or four guys showed up at Fælledparken and the following year, there were enough players to split into three teams and start up a league – now known as the Danish Australian Football League (DAFL). It has become the largest Australian rules football league in the non-English speaking world. Troels Ottesen, the vicepresident of the DAFL, grew up playing football like many other young Danes. However, after reaching a fairly serious level in the ‘90s, Ottesen became fed up with the simulation of injury and allround acting that had started to embed itself into the game. “It only took one training session to get me hooked on Aus-
tralian rules, and from then on I ments and games in Europe,” Otwatched footy whenever I could tesen said. “They also have some and played as much as possible,” former AFL players helping them revealed Ottesen. “Combining out, so there is a chance to meet skill, pace and physicality, I really some of those guys if you get sedo believe it’s the greatest team lected for a European team, or for ball game out there.” the Vikings – Denmark’s national Ottesen plays for the Farum team.” Cats, one of the teams representWhile Denmark’s Aussie ed in the DAFL Premier League rules comp enjoyed a growing alongside seven others from Zea- support base soon after it started land, Jutland and up, the sport’s Sweden. popularity started The Cats have to dwindle from been one of the about 2004. league’s stronger Ottesen said It only took one sides over the past the DAFL is makdecade. They won training session to ing several changes the grand final to the way it rethis year and have get me hooked on cruits players so a junior develop- Australian rules, clubs can attract ment programme more participation in place to attract and from then on and interest in the fresh talent. game. I watched footy They are well “I believe connected to their whenever I could and we will succeed, counterpart Ausand in doing so, played as much as tralian Football have many more League (AFL) possible clubs popping up club, the Geelong around Denmark Cats, which signed a friendship over the next couple of years.” agreement with Farum in 2002. Now that Eurosport 2 is Several players and represent- broadcasting live AFL games duratives from the AFL have visited ing the season, Ottesen hopes Denmark over the years, includ- that they can draw a fresh batch ing the Geelong Cats’ Jimmy of players and spectators. Bartel who even had a Danish “It’s always hard to compete girlfriend for a while. with soccer and handball, but as “There is also the quite new- more and more people in Denly-formed AFL Europe body, mark learn of this great game, I which organises different tourna- am sure we will get more num-
Factfile | What is Australian Rules Football?
A high-paced sport similar to gaelic football, but with an oval-shaped ball, it was unsurprisingly invented by Irish and British immigrants in Melbourne in the 1850s.
Its key rules include: • • •
Each team has 18 players on the oval. A game is divided into four 20-minute quarters plus overtime. The ball can be propelled in any direction by way of a foot or clenched fist (otherwise known as a handball or a handpass) or open-handed tap. The ball can be kicked in a number of ways, but the most common is the ‘drop punt’ where a player holds the ball and then
drops it onto their boot. Despite physical contact being a quintessential part of the game, players wear very little in the way of protective clothing; short shorts, a sleeveless guernsey, football boots and a mouth guard are the bare essentials. At each end of the ovalshaped field, there are four posts: two taller ones and two shorter ones either side. If a player kicks the ball through the taller posts, their team will score a ‘goal’ (six points). Kicking the ball though the posts either side of the middle two will register a ‘behind’ (one point), and tapping the ball through will also score one point.
Factfile | Danish Vikings at the 2011 Euros and 2010 Worlds
IN SEPTEMBER, the national Aussie rules football side, the Danish Vikings, came within a minute of claiming the European title, the AFL Euro Cup. Leading the Irish Warriors by eleven points heading into the final of the game’s 24 minutes, they conceded two late goals to lose 4.5-5.0, a 29-30 cumulative points defeat.
The result represented a vast improvement on its 9-72 loss to Ireland at the 2010 AFL International Cup in Australia, where it eventually finished tenth in the 18-team tournament, despite being seeded eighth. It wasn’t all doom and gloom though: it managed to beat Sweden 77-38.
SPORTS NEWS IN BRIEF Gade bids farewell
Sehr gut, Leon
Not exactly stellar
Girls take kabbadi bronze
Gilling raising Arizona roofs
Peter Gade ended his career in front of friends and royalty last week on Thursday night as one of his sport’s all-time greats by beating eternal arch-nemesis Lin Dan 20-22, 21-16, 21-14 in a farewell exhibition match at the Copenhagen Masters. Gade’s 16-year career included 24 Grand Prix wins, five World Championship medals, 10 Copenhagen Masters triumphs, an All-England victory and a stint as the world’s top-ranked player..
DESPITE suffering another serious injury and only playing ten matches this season, Danish midfielder Leon Andersen has been voted the player of the year at his German club, Hannover 96. The unlucky Andersen, who had only just returned from lengthy spell out before once again succumbing to a knee injury, received the most votes by the readers of the local newspaper, Hannoversche Allgemeine.
CAROLINE Wozniacki finished 2012 on a disappointing note by committing 38 unprovoked errors and falling to a player ranked almost 100 places below her at the Brisbane International tournament last week. After Wozniacki, who was sporting her new Stella McCartney outfit, won the first set 6-2, Ksenia Pervak from Kazakhstan took control and sent the Dane tumbling from the tournament 2-6, 6-3, 7-6.
DENMARK’S women have finished third at the Kabbadi World Cup in India after beating England 19-16. But while the ladies celebrated a famous bronze in what was their debut in the tournament, the men’s side were ousted in the group stages. The sport is immensely popular in India, Pakistan and Iran, and few were surprised to see India, the hosts and defending champions, win both the men’s and women’s finals.
JONATHAN Gilling, a 2.04-metre sophomore forward for Arizona State, has been putting up solid numbers on the US college basketball scene over the past weeks, including a 18-point, 12-rebound performance against Texas Tech in late December. Gilling, who hails from Rungsted Kyst, continues to impress after breaking onto the college scene last year. Meanwhile, his sister, Mathilde, is a 1.92-metre freshman that balls for the University of Washington.
NATIONAL coach Morten Olsen has advised Christian Eriksen to remain at Ajax for the rest of the season, despite hefty interest from bigger league clubs. Olsen, who likes to advise his players, contended that Eriksen, 20, would benefit by staying to play in the Europa League and for the Dutch Eredivisie title. Eriksen has contributed four league goals so far this season, and Ajax sit three points behind joint the league leaders, PSV and Twente.
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
5 -10 January 2013
Despite the economic climate, some winter luxuries just can’t be sacrificed
2013 predictions are intentionally outrageous, but bank’s list has been right before
Chilly temperatures abroad have led to increased success for Kopenhagen Fur
“A good winter helps significantly,” Nielsen said. “It is a bit silly to put a fur coat under the Christmas tree when it’s 20 degrees.” The winter temperatures especially aided the sale of Danish furs abroad. Beijing, for example, saw the coldest week in 14 years at the beginning of December, while China’s northern neighbours in Moscow witnessed the heaviest November snow in almost 50 years. Some 85 percent of the buyers at Kopenhagen Fur’s auction last week came from China, Reuters reported. Mink now accounts for a third of Danish exports to China. Fur isn’t the only cold-
weather luxury to fare well during the economic downturn: Danish Christmas trees are also selling particularly well. As Poul Copmann, a Danish Christmas tree field manager, recently told the Economist, people would rather go into debt than do without a festive fir. Denmark is one of Europe’s top tree exporters, sending over ten million trees from 3,500 growers each season to locations around the world. Since 1996, Danish tree exports have risen from 500 million to 1.5 billion kroner. The tree industry has faced its share of struggles, however. Cheaper plastic imitations have gained popularity in recent
Scanpix / Stine Larsen
hile global warming and the recession mean a tough winter for many farmers, there are some who fare surprisingly well in changing temperatures. The Danish fur market is one of them. Reuters reported that the country’s leading brand Kopenhagen Fur – which is also the world’s largest fur auction house – is currently facing unprecedented demand from international buyers. “As it looks now, we expect the 2012/2013 season to see record high prices and volume,” the company’s managing director Torben Nielsen told Reuters. Kopenhagen Fur’s December auction, which took place last week, saw just that: a record turnout of 500 fur-seeking bidders. The average price per skin had risen to 582 kroner, up 12 percent from September’s auction – the highest price ever recorded by the company. Nielsen suggested that there’s a specific reason why furs have been selling particularly well: the weather. Chilly conditions, he explained, often boost fur sales considerably.
Scanpix / Fabian Bimmer
Furs and firs fare well over holidays
Move over Mayans! Saxo forsees more doom ahead
years, as manufacturers create more realistic imitations and buyers become increasingly concerned about fire hazards. Unusually high temperatures and low rainfall this past summer also caused much of Denmark’s evergreen foliage to wither, according to researchers from the University of Copenhagen. Still, growers like Copmann hope that authenticity will always retain a certain value. “If you invited me to dinner and I brought you a bunch of plastic flowers, you wouldn’t be too happy, would you?” Copmann told the Economist. It seems that for certain luxuries, the real thing is worth shelling out for.
he world may not have ended on December 21, but Saxo Bank seems more than ready to pick up where the Mayans’ predictions left off. The Danish investment bank has published its unofficial ‘Outrageous Predictions 2013’, and according to its findings, the economic forecast for next year is gloomy at best. The report indicates ten possible financial scenarios for the coming year based on current economic conditions. And while the events may seem unlikely, according to Steen Jakobsen, the bank’s chief economist, the scenarios are more feasible than they may appear. The predictions are “far more probable than appreciated and could have significant (mostly very negative) consequences on investment returns in the New Year”, Jakobsen wrote in the report. Among the predicted catastrophes are Spain’s debt being downgraded to junk status, oil falling to as low as $50 per barrel, and the German stock index DAX falling by 33 percent. The events, Jakobsen pointed
out, could drastically alter the financial landscape and potentially threaten the political status quo. The biggest concern heading into the new year – and the cause of the predicted unrest – he wrote, was an odd combination of what he called “extreme complacency about the risks presented” and “rapidly accelerating social tensions”. He said that society will move increasingly towards political radicalism in 2013, as politicians lose ideological ground. Jakobsen pointed to the Occupy movement, which recently won a symbolic victory over Danske Bank, as a warning of the unrest to come. Though many express doubts about the reports, a few of Saxo’s predictions have come true in the past, according to Ekaterina Kondrashova of Investcafe. “In 2011, nine out of ten predictions didn’t come true,” Kondrashova told Russian news organisation RT. “However, one of their predictions – that yields on 30-year US [treasury] bills would fall to three percent – was correct.” Jakobsen himself was quick to dismiss the sceptics, saying that the fiscal deficits in the West are currently at levels unseen since the Second World War. “We may not be fighting in the trenches, but we may soon be fighting on the streets,” he said.
BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN DENMARK
The Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link – Opportunities and Challenges Technical Director Femern A/S
Dankorts were smokin’ nationwide in the run-up to Christmas
Festive season Dankort use breaks record Debit card use broke single day record, despite a snowstorm that may have prevented some from buying their final gifts
ebit card terminals across the country came close to meltdown on December 21. On the last Friday before Christmas, consumers slid their Dankort a total of 4.3 million times, spending nearly 1.7 billion kroner, according to pay-
ment service NETS. Total sales for the Christmas season were up 2.1 percent compared to the same period last year. Dankort transactions added up to more than 25 billion kroner over the first 23 days of December. Overall, 74,860,503 transactions were conducted using Dankort – an average 335 kroner per sale, which is two kroner less than in 2011. Total sales this Christmas
were affected by the blizzard that hit the country on Sunday December 23, which was the last shopping day before the holiday. The previous daily record occurred during the 2010 Easter holiday, when Dankort’s transactions totalled 1.56 billion kroner on March 31. The NETS totals do not include the use of credit cards, which has been increasing steadily over the past few years. (RW)
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Steen Lykke graduated in 1978 with an MSc from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), majoring in civil and structural engineering. He is a highly qualified project manager and has considerable experience from major international projects, including as Contract Director of the immersed tunnel and the dredging & reclamation contracts for the Øresund Fixed Link. He was subsequently appointed Project Director and the client’s representative on the Marmaray Tunnel and Railway Project in Istanbul. Steen Lykke is currently Technical Director at Femern A/S where one of his main responsibilities is to manage the development of the concept design and the contracts, and the construction and commissioning of the 18 km long immersed tunnel under the Fehmarnbelt. Programme: • 11.45: Registration and welcome drinks • 12.00: Welcome and introduction by Mariano A. Davies, President, BCCD • 12.10: Guest speaker - Steen Lykke • 12.40: Questions and discussion • 12.55: Announcements by Penny Schmith, Executive Director, BCCD • 13.00: Buffet lunch and networking
Venue: 18 January 2013 11:45 Conference Suite on 1st floor Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Hammerichsgade 1 Copenhagen K
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: 3 January 2013
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5 -10 January 2013 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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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: Yelynn Kim FROM: South Korea SEEKING WORK IN: Greater Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Craftsman Cook, Korea Food,2004/Craftsman Bartender,2005/ Craftsman Cook, Japanese Food,2006(Certified by Human Resources Development Service of Korea). EXPERIENCE: I’m educated and trained chef who can make Korean Japanese and Chinese food. I have strong cooking skills on healthy Korean food. But I think the food that I cook is not only tastes good and healthy but also should be art on a dish. I can develop and implement of new dishes for the menu. I’m experienced chef and can work under multifaceted and busy environment. I am accurate, fast and precise in my work and I’m also a flexible and stable person. I can do supervision of the kitchen in general, including control of cleaning, hygiene, stock and other ad hoc tasks. LOOKING FOR: Chef LANGUAGE SKILLS: Korean(native),English(fluent),Chinese(good), Japanese(a little bit), Danish(currently learning) IT EXPERIENCE: MS office CONTACT: email@example.com 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: 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: email@example.com SPOUSE: Clémence Arnal FROM: France SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen; Region Sjælland QUALIFICATION: Wastewater/drinking water (processes and treatments, building design, water sampling and pollution rate measurement); environment protection (river basin management, waste management). EXPERIENCE: Waste sorting representative (Office “Communauté du Pays d’Aix”, France); Leaks investigation on drinking water networks, Help to communes to deal with their drinking water system, Control operation of individual sanitation systems (Office “G2C Environnement”, France); Drinking water stations security: putting the Antiterrorist security plan in practice, employees security , Distribution network security: determining the cost of a network re-chlorination unit (“Drinking Water” administration of Aix en Provence, France). LOOKING FOR: Water treatment assistant / engineer. LANGUAGE SKILLS: French (mother tongue); English (Fluent); Danish (Prøve Dansk 3). IT EXPERIENCE: MS-Office; AutoCAD (basic); Mapinfo (basic). CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 23 34 63 22 SPOUSE: Megan Rothrock FROM: California-USA,Via SEEKING WORK IN: Toy Design, Games Design, or Photography (Syd Denmark Jutland). QUALIFICATION: Associate Arts Degree: Corporate Communication, Design, and Commercial Illustration, with a background in animation. EXPERIENCE: Former LEGO Product Designer, LEGO Universe: Level Designer, European Bureau Editor Brick Journal Magazine. I have a strong knowledge of Toy and Gaming Markets. I am driven, enjoy solving daily challenges and I’m a strong communicator wanting to join a creative team of colleagues. LOOKING FOR: Part/Full time work in an innovative and creative . LANGUAGE SKILLS: English: native - Dutch: Excellent - Danish (currently in): Danskuddannelse 3, modul 3. IT EXPERIENCE: PC and Mac - Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, Dream Weaver, Director, Maya, 3D Studio Max, ML Cad, LD. CONTACT: email@example.com Tel: +4535140779
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: Keshab Nidhi Pantha FROM: Nepal SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Masters in Mathematics EXPERIENCE: 4 years Mathematics teaching in secondary level and 2 years Mathematics teaching in Bachlor level. LOOKING FOR: Full time/ part time Mathematics teaching in international scool or College/ University LANGUAGE SKILLS: English,Nepali,Hindi and little Danish IT EXPERIENCE: 6 months diploma in computer with MS words and excel. CONTACT: email@example.com, Tel:+45 71579893 SPOUSE: Munawar Saleem FROM: Pakistan SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: MBA logistics and supply chain management (Jonkoping University, Sweden) M.Sc. Computer Sciences (Punjab University, Lahore Pakistan). EXPERIENCE: 4 years, Lecturer in computer sciences. LOOKING FOR: Full time or part time job in Logistics and Supply. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English (fluent), Urdu (mother tongue), Swedish (Basic). IT EXPERIENCE: Proficient in MS Office (word, excel, power point etc.). CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 71412010 SPOUSE: Ylenia Fiorini FROM: Italy SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Post Graduate Master’s Degree in Peace Studies, Development Cooperation, International Mediation and Conflict resolution EXPERIENCE: I have ten years experience as social worker in Italy,and experience in various fields, in the social and third sector and I feel that my educational background combined with my campaign assistant practice in the Ngo Burma Campaign, in Barcelona, has been an excellent preparation. In the same way also my job experiences in the social field made me open to different situations and to see them as a source of knowledge. LOOKING FOR: Entry Level jobs in the third sector field, in international organization or NGO’s LANGUAGE SKILLS: Italian Mother tongue, fluent in Spanish, English, French, Swedish (basic) IT EXPERIENCE: Ms Office (Mac,Windows) CONTACT: email@example.com
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post your profile on the spouse job page when possible. Remember to get it removed in case of new job.
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
5 -10 January 2013 SPOUSE: S.M. Ariful Islam FROM: Bangladesh SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: PhD student (2nd year) in Language Policy and Practice in Aalborg University, MA in Bilingualism, MA in English Linguistics, BA in English. EXPERIENCE: 18 months as a University lecturer in English in Bangladesh. Taught advanced grammar, four skills (listening, speaking, reading & writing), ELT courses, Second Language theories, Psycholinguistics, Sociolinguistics. LOOKING FOR: A position of English teacher/lecturer in English Medium Schools, Colleges and Universities. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Bengali (mother tongue), English (second language), Danish (fluent) Danske Uddannelse PD3, Hindi and Urdu (Spoken) and Swedish (basic). IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office. CONTACT: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +45 42778296
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SPOUSE: Chiara Stevanato FROM: Italy SEEKING WORK IN: København or nearby areas QUALIFICATION: Bachelor degree in Physics. EXPERIENCE: Now completing the Master’s degree in Physics at Københavns Universitet. LOOKING FOR: Research in Physics. Research projects related to scientific areas. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Written and spoken Italian, written and spoken English, written and Spoken French, very basic written and spoken Danish (still attending a second level course). IT EXPERIENCE: Operating systems: Windows, Linux. Programming languages: basic C, C++; Python. CONTACT: email@example.com, Tel: 41681741
MUSIC FESTIVAL 7 - 20 NOVEMBER 2011
FROM SCHÜTZ TO GEIST
Early German Baroque Music 1600-1700 In commemoration of Christian Geist (c.1650-1711)
Discovering Israel: Inside the Holy Land Special advertising section INSIDE!
Photo: Karsten Movang
Copenhagen Renaissance Music Festival Special advertising section INSIDE!
THEATRE OF VOICES
4 - 10 November 2011 | Vol 14 Issue 44
Denmark’s only English-language newspaper | cphpost.dk ILLUSTRATION BY PETER STANNERS
Dane unable to obtain family reunification for his Thai girlfriend says residency rules are a Catch-22
Vil du være en del af en salgssucces på et af Danmarks mest spændende medier? Vi har vækstet konstant og er ved at implementere nye annoncemarkeder i en ny salgsorganisation. Du kan i et barselsvikariat i minimum et år være med til at styrke og præge dette team fra 1. marts 2013.
Exploiting ‘fat tax’ Supermarkets are scamming their customers under the guise of the new national ‘fat tax’
NEWS | 3
Get in or get out Is now the time to join the euro, or to run like hell?
National coach Morten Olsen’s new contract will keep him in the job until after the 2014 World Cup.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: + 45 52177084
A new budget to ‘kickstart’ the economy JENNIFER BULEY
Warrior Jesus How Christianity borrowed from Norse mythology and branded Jesus as a tough guy in order to woo the pagan Vikings
HISTORY | 19
9 771398 100009
Price: 25 DKK
SRSF’s first budget will spend 17.5 billion kroner on infrastructure and abolish previous taxes and restrictions
AN YOU HAVE your cake and eat it too? Conventional wisdom says no, but with their first budget plan since the shift of power, the new Socialdemokraterne-RadikaleSocialistisk Folkeparti (SRSF) coalition appear to be giving it a shot. Many of the elements of the new budget – which is expected to be released in its entirety on Thursday – will increase state spending at a time when the budget deficit has increased. But where the money would come from remained a mystery. A number of the new budget items reinstate spending cuts made by the pre-
vious Venstre-Konservative (VK) govern- the number of students. Moreover, stument. Here are a few of the major points: dents will no longer pay administrative Families: VK limited the state’s fees, and prospective Master’s students monthly child support handouts (bør- will have prerequisite course tuitions necheck) to 35,000 kroner per fam- paid. The government will also fund ily. That limit has now been abolished, 1,500 more state-supported internship meaning that many families will get positions. Infrastructure and job creation: larger child benefits. The government will also pay for fertility treatments and Some 17.5 billion kroner will be invested over two years in infrastructure voluntary sterilisations. Welfare: VK and Dansk Folkeparti projects, such as a new rail line between (DF) introduced specialised welfare pro- Copenhagen and Ringsted, a project to grammes that reduced the cash benefits widen the Holbæk motorway, erosion for new immigrants. Those programmes protection efforts along Jutland’s west have now been eliminated and going coast, and renovations to public housforward all residents in need of state ing. Prime minister Helle Thorningsupport will receive the same welfare Schmidt has said that these ‘kickstart’ projects will create 20,000 new jobs benefits. Higher education and research: from 2012-2013. The Danish ConstrucUniversities will get an extra one billion tion Association predicts 10,000. Tax break:meeting The unpopular ‘mulkroner over two years to cover costs as- a personal Organise sociated with a predicted increase in timedia tax’ introduced by VK will be
Cheering a Muslim as we do a Murderer!
FULL TIME MBA and sit in on a class.
abolished, saving some 525,000 Danes with business laptops and mobile phones 3,000 kroner per year. Not everyone, however, can look forward to a cash infusion. Smokers and junk food lovers will be taxed higher on their vices, while international corporations will also see higher tax bills. SRSF plans to raise revenue by closing a number of tax loopholes going back nearly 20 years that allowed international corporations in Denmark to escape paying corporate taxes (see more on page 15). All told, the spending increases in the new budget are not as big as the minister of the economy and interior, Margrethe Vestager (R), would like. She noted that VK under-reported the deficit for 2012, making it imprudent to spend more. But Denmark will still meet the EU’s financial responsibility benchmarks, despite the larger deficit, she added.
The one-year general management full-time MBA at CBS
focuses onTIME leadership,MBA entrepreneurship, and real-world experience.MEETING FULL - INFORMATION Organise a personal meeting hear how the MBA can giveprogram Join Scandinavia’s mostand internationally diverse your career a new dimension. Thursday 17th November 17:30-19:00 E-mail email@example.com or call 3815 6022
The one-year general management full-time MBA at CBS focuses on to organise a personal meeting. Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Practical Business Skills. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 3815 6022 to sign up for the meeting.
Copenhagen Business School
Copenhagen Business School Porcelænshaven 22, 2000 Frederiksberg Porcelænshaven 22, 2000 Frederiksberg www.cbs.dk/ftmba www.cbs.dk/ftmba
Vi søger en person som både behersker dansk og engelsk og som har erfaring med B2B markedet indenfor mediebranchen. Du tiltrækkes af en arbejdsplads med højt til loftet og frihed under ansvar. Du er resultatorienteret, praktiker og bremses ikke af modgang..
The CPH Post Entertainment Guide | 16 - 22 Sep
KIDS ON FILM YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT BUSTER!
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: email@example.com, Tel: 50828802
Vi udgiver en printet avis i 15000 eksemplarer hver uge, udgiver snart nye digitale medier, nye digitale annoncemarkeder og har et af Danmarks mest besøgte websites. Vi har adresse midt i Københavns Kødby og har et spændende internationalt arbejdsmiljø med engelsk som internt arbejdssprog. Du vil i det daglige både skulle vedligeholde eksisterende kunderelationer, opbygge nye kundeforhold samt være med til at opbygge nye markeder.
THE CHILDREN’S MOVIE FEST IS HERE page
BLUES w w w. c o p e n h a g e n b l u e s f e s t i v a l . d k
Free access to 65 museums and attractions in the entire metropolitan area
See more at copenhagencard.com
SEPT. 28 - OCT. 2 · 2011
John Primer w. Nisse Thorbjorn Band [US/DK] Joe Louis Walker [US] | Holmes Brothers [US] Mud Morganfield w. Peter Nande Band [US/DK] Louisiana Red & Paul Lamb [US/UK] | Janice Harrington w. Kenn Lending Blues Band [US/DK] Keith Dunn Band [US/NL] | Johnny Max Band [CA] Delta Blues Band | The Healers | Shades of Blue Thorbjorn Risager | Troels Jensen | Alain Apaloo H.P. Lange | Mike Andersen & Jens Kristian Dam Tutweiler | Fried Okra Band | The Blues Overdrive Bluesoul | Grahn & Malm | Ole Frimer | Paul Banks Jacob Fischer Trio | Svante Sjöblom | Jes Holtsoe
Vi tilbyder en fuldtidsstilling med fast løn, provision, samt fleksible arbejdsvilkår. Vi har incitamentsordninger, hyppige sociale events, og du vil med udgangspunkt i barselsvikariatet have mulighed for at bygge din stilling op og præge den ud fra dine styrker.
See full programme: w w w.copenhagenbluesfestival.dk & w w w.kultunaut.dk
Interesseret? Kontakt salgschef Jørn Olling for spørgsmål eller send en ansøgning til firstname.lastname@example.org. Vi indkalder løbende til samtaler.
Biotech Job Vacancies Lundbeck
PhD Student (Industrial PhD)
Head of Section - Vendor Management, Global Study Management
Global Medical Advisor
Learning Management System (LMS) Consultant
QA Professional for Finished Products
Clinical Research Physician
GMP Coordinator Supply Chain Area Specialist Senior GCP Advisor
Marketing Coordinator/PA to the Regional Director
EA & VP in Strategy & Process
Global Patient Solutions Manager
Internship in PS Finance, Novo Nordisk
Principal R&D Scientist for late stage API activities in API Development
Junior Analytical Chemist for Pharmaceutical Product Support
Academic Business Accountant
Senior Application Specialist
QA validerings kemiker
Senior Manager, Global Production Business Controlling Student worker for Business Analyses & Model team working with cellulosic ethanol
International Trial Managers Teamleader Academic for equipment and utility
SAP FI/CO/CFM Advanced Business Analyst
Global Regulatory Affairs Manager/Senior Global Regulatory Affairs Manager Quality by Design Specialist
QA Chemist Senior QA proffesional QMS Communication Adviser
For more information, deadlines and other job vacancies visit our webpage www.cphpost.dk/jobvacancies Denmark’s only English-language newspaper
The Copenhagen Post cphpost.dk
5 -10 January 2013
December 28 at Forum
was the night after Christmas, an expectant full house, a stench filled the air, and it weren’t just the sprouts. Copenhagen’s finest, dressed up to the nines, attending Østre Gasværk Teater’s latest show – now have they got the lines! A fab foursome ‘theatre concert’, its second in three years, performed before gentry and corporate, supping popcorn and beers. The proletariat on the balcony, clapping the tomfoolery, the hooray Henriks in the stalls, rattling their jewellery, coming together, unified as a nation, in deafening applause and a standing ovation. For this is our kind of musical, let the world acclaim: Lennon and McCartney … are honorary Danes. Except they’re not, so why are so many people embracing this rubbish like it’s the ‘Ben Hur’ chariot race? Because that thunderous, relentless, foot-stomping acclaim from the 4,200-strong audience was completely out of proportion compared to the insipid spontaneous applauses that greeted each number, and the complete absence of head movement all evening long (correction, the bald ‘X Factor’ judge was most definitely bobbing up and down in row three). Still, it’s worth considering at this juncture that sheep are remarkably still as well, unless startled into action. It did, dare I say it about a show in which all the lyrics are in English, feel like a very Danish affair – after all, just after the Christmas hols, most Johnny foreigners were still malingering abroad. And the flagwaving politicos were certainly out in force: I counted five in my neck of the woods, including a former tax minister who had obviously got a pass from Mumsy to stay up past his bedtime, another prominent name who sat directly in front of me and proceeded to fart his way through the entire second act,
Hector Martin She’s a veteran rock star and one of the judges on the current season of ‘X Factor’.
Creators/writers Nikolaj Cederholm (centre) and Jens and Peter Hellemann (far left and right) must take the brunt of the blame for directing their cast (including Pernille Rosendahl, second left) to sing off-key melodies
and a particularly loud clapper who prompted half my row to turn around – it was only Margrethe Vestager! It was clearly an occasion to be seen having a good time, but why this production? What’s the secret? Østre Gasværk Teater have for several years been staging ‘theatre concerts’ that feature the music of a well-known act (Gasolin’, Bob Dylan, Mozart, the Beach Boys), limited dialogue and no plot (as abhorrent as jukebox musicals are, at least they feature plots!). This enables the production to do what it wants on stage – the sky’s the limit and with the use of stage wires, it invariably takes us there. The results were often spellbinding. ‘Hey Jude’ made particularly good use of a massive fan, crane and suspended container – in fact, everything was big: the stage, the ambition and at one point the women’s dresses. There was also good use of light, most notably the silhouette in ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ and the overall effect in ‘Hey Jude’, and the costumes were magnificent – the LSD-period Beatles (the creator
Simon Cowell long for a simple karaoke version. It all makes me wonder whether ‘Come Together’ was the product of a lifetime’s worth of Beatles covers – inspired versions of songs the writing team had been sitting on forever, while ‘Hey Jude’ was something they had to rustle up on demand in a matter of months. After all, ‘Scary Movie’ was infinitely better than ‘Scary Movie 5’, if you get my point. But in the end, the public gets what the public wants: a sequel to a musical without a plot that they can pretend to enjoy at the end as the best of Danish. Which begs one last question: while John Lennon’s coffin is turning in earnest, why aren’t the doors of the lawyers of Paul McCartney? Or Michael Jackson’s estate. Or whoever owns the rights to these precious songs and so wilfully allows them to be bastardised. “And anytime you think of trying again, hey Jude, refrain, don’t cover the whole anthology. Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah.”
Anja Vang Kragh has previously planet so flat: “Hey Jude, you designed for Stella MacCartney) got it wrong! You take bad songs would have approved although and make them better. From the Brian Epstein might have held minute that you did begin, it was a sin … against the Beatles.” reservations. Of the 39 songs performed, But at the same time it was all so pointless. A couple who only a handful ( ‘Ticket to Ride’, want to hold each others’ hands ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘Can’t Buy Me through a giLove’, ‘Magical ant inflatable Mystery Tour’, prophylactic – the second half guess the song. of ‘A Day In Or the Marilyn But at the same time The Life’, ‘The Monroe ‘Seven Year Itch’ hom- it was all so pointless. Ballad of John & Oko’ and age with a pros- A couple who want ‘Blackbird’) oftrate man holdfered the kind ing onto her to hold each others’ foot to presum- hands through a giant of cover version you could ably keep her on the ground inflatable prophylactic see gracing the charts or even – I scanned the – guess the song. a reality TV audience for show. Which laughter, but there was none, so in the words is a shame, as the musicianship of Eleanor Rigby: Who is it for? was accomplished throughout, (Other than the lonely people at times exhilarating, and kind of cool. And the singers (parand sheep.) Granted, it was deliberately ticularly former ‘X Factor’ judge plotless. So is the circus. But Pernille Rosendahl) weren’t bad why oh why were the soul-pierc- either … when they weren’t being, life-affirming melodies of ing directed to perform off-key the best band to ever grace this melodies. It would make even
Contenders seeking to win their country’s fourth award in their respective categories
t least two Danish films are in contention to receive nominations when the Oscar line-ups are revealed on Thursday January 10. The first, ‘En kongelig affære’ (‘A Royal Affair’), the country’s selection in the best foreign language film category, last month made a shortlist of just nine films vying for one of the five nominations.
Should it be successful, it will better the achievement of last year’s nominee, ‘Superclásico’, which made the final nine but not the final five, and be in a position to emulate ‘Hævnen’ (‘In a Better World’), which won the Oscar two years ago – Denmark’s third triumph in the category. While bookmakers Ladbrokes expect ‘En kongelig affære’ to be nominated – it has already made the Golden Globes’ nominees list – it rates it a distant 16/1 third favourite to win, behind market leader ‘Amour’ (1/3), an Austrian French-language film that was released in
Denmark on December 20 and has been named by many critics as their favourite film of 2012. Nevertheless, ‘En kongelig affære’, Nikolaj Arcel’s historical romance about the doomed love affair between royal physician Johann Struensee and the queen of Denmark, has also received favourable reviews – particularly Stateside – and remains an outside bet to win. “I have no idea what will happen,” Arcel told Entertainment Weekly. “I have no illusions. If we get nominated, I’ll be extremely happy. It depends on what people like. It’s a tough competition.”
The second is ‘9 Meter’, which is currently on a shortlist of eleven to win the Oscar for best live action short film. The short, directed by 34-year-old Anders Walter Hansen, depicts the exploits of a young parkour exponent who is convinced his record-setting jumps will keep his dying mother alive. Should ‘9 Meter’ triumph, it will also become the fourth Danish film to win the category following ‘The New Tenants’ (2009), ‘Der er en yndig mand’ (2002) and ‘Valgaften’ (1998). The 85th Academy Awards are due to take place on February 24.
Danish duo hopeful ahead of Oscar nominations Ben Hamilton
Who is … Anne Linnet? DR/ Agnete Schlichtkrull
Kristian Septimius Krogh
Hey Jude, refrain, don’t revisit the Beatles ever again!
Will either become Denmark’s fourth winner?
Is ‘veteran’ a euphemism for washed-up rock mama trying to jump-start a career? Well, a little exposure on one of the country’s highest rated shows never hurt anyone’s career, and she said she wants to be the tough judge, which is always good for extra camera time. Her stated reason for getting into it, though, was because she was bothered that none of the winners have gone on to have careers in music. She thinks she can change that? That may be a task too big for anyone, but at 59 and still releasing albums, she must know something about longevity. Does she have X factor? She’s probably got more talent than she does X factor, but one reviewer said her last album was “embarrassing” and “lacked X factor”. Also, her former band, Shit & Chanel, got sued by the fashion house in 1981 and was forced to change their name. By that time they had already broken up though. Don’t see many stunts like that from ‘X Factor’ participants. She’s got attitude, then. Is that why she’s popular? Hard to say. She had her heyday during Danish rock’s golden age in the 1980s, so today’s adults have grown up with her music. Most people can sing along to her songs, but she’s one of those love-her-or-hateher singers – politically active, smoky voice, feminist ... ... lesbian? Bisexual, actually. She claims to have slept with over 1,000 women, and in 2010, she ‘married’ a 23-year-old woman, who’s since borne her a child. But, she also has a son by a man. Any indication of how she’ll be as a judge? She didn’t really show a tough side during her first show, and she seemed to be most excited by a male model who she described as a “James Taylor but with balls”.
DENMARK THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
5 -10 January 2013
Bearing the brunt of British barbs … on our website and since 1692 CHRISTOPHER FOLLETT And you thought the Anglodriven, relentless criticism of Denmark was bad on cphpost. dk! In the last decade of the 17th century, the British ambassador gave it to his host nation with both barrels – and it would seem that not much has changed since
N 1692, Robert Molesworth, the then British ambassador to Denmark, delivered one of the most damning ever indictments of this or any country, describing it as a nation burdened by heavy taxation, lacklustre administration, monotonous uniformity, plodding mediocrity and a dearth of dreamers and enthusiasts, who were often addicted to drinking. The diplomat’s account was then published anonymously in London in 1694 and, though initially banned in Denmark, was a bestseller throughout Europe – four editions were printed in English and one in French during its first year of publication “In Denmark there are no seditions, mutinies, or libels against the government, but all people are, or appear to be, lovers of their king, notwithstanding their ill-treatment, and the hardships they groan under,” Molesworth wrote.
“And I suppose one principal reason of this to be the equality of the taxes and the manner of taxing. It is not to be imagined by those that see it not, what a comfort it is to the sufferers to be ill-used alike.” Molesworth questioned whether the Danes really valued their freedoms. “The ancient love of liberty seems to be quite extinct in the north, and in its place to have succeeded the conveniences of a dull obedience,” he noted. “A miserable life, which jogs on at the same heavy rate, has a mixture of melancholy ease with it.” But despite the melancholia, Molesworth detected no madness, and instead just one collective monotone. “I never knew any country where the minds of the people were more of one calibre and pitch than here; you shall meet with none of extraordinary parts or qualifications, or excellent in particular studies and trades; you see no enthusiasts, madmen, natural fools, or fanciful fools, but a certain equality of understanding reigns among them: everyone keeps the ordinary beaten road of sense, which in this country is neither the fairest nor the foulest, without deviating to the right or left; yet I will add this one remark to their praise, that the common people do generally write and read … there is a great unity in
Molesworth was the first to admit he was a bit of a miserable git − and you might dislike him even more when you learn that his father made a fortune out of supplying provisions to Oliver Cromwell’s army in Ireland
belief … there are no factions nor disputes about religion; all are of one mind as to the duty they owe their sovereign.” While he conceded that Denmakr had produced some very learned men such as the astronomer Tycho Brahe, he contended that learning was at a low ebb: “There is but one university, which is at Copenhagen, and that means enough in all respects.” Like many modern day foreigners, Molesworth had trouble with the Danish language and the food. “The language is very ungrateful and not unlike the Irish in its whining complaining tone,” he complained. In regards to the cuisine, although Molesworth thought the bacon and butter was excellent, he found the sea fish scarce and Danish cheese bland. “In general, their way of cookery would hardly be pleasing to an English man,’ he said. The Danes are “much addicted to drinking”, he noted, listing Rhenish and French wines and cherry brandy as the favourite tipple of “persons of condition”, while “the poor people indulge themselves in bad beer.” On a more positive note, the Danish legal system is accorded praise. “To speak of the Danish laws, I must needs begin with this good character of them in general: that for justice, brevity and perspicuity, they exceed all that I know in the world … good laws enable them to bear their other hardships with more ease and patience,” he wrote. And Molesworth was impressed by Danish insulation as well: “Their warm stoves, with the plenty and pureness of their firing (which is beechwood) contributes to their freedom from maladies … the feather beds are better, and in greater plenty, than in any place I ever saw; and which are made use of, not only to lie upon, but also to cover with instead of blankets.” Molesworth’s observations derive from a three-year stint as British ambassador to Denmark from 1689-1692. Back in London, Molesworth became a member of parliament. Legal proceedings against him for his negative attitude to Denmark, which were instigated by the Danish ambassador to Britain, came to nothing. A Danish translation of the book did not appear until 1977.
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