Lights, camera, action for Buster Film Festival
Ready, steady, go for Fat Freddy’s Drop
Curtains up for drama competition
16 - 22 September 2011 | Vol 14 Issue 37
Denmark’s only English-language newspaper | cphpost.dk Peter Helles erksen/scanPix
PET argues that working with Libya was necessary to maintain contact with a potential ally in a hostile Arabic world
‘MacCarthy’s World’ We should bear in mind the best known Clintonism of them all. (It’s about the economy, stupid)
OpiniOn | 9 CULTURE
For one city collective, food is what makes the community go around
Retailer’s lack of confidence Nation’s largest retail group says don’t expect 2012 to be the year of the consumer
Culture | 15 How English-language standup is creeping up on Denmark The 2011 ZULU Comedy Festival saw more foreign acts take the stage ever before 9 than 771398 100009
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Bicycle races are coming your way Copenhagen is staging the Road World Championship, the country’s largest sporting event ever, and hoping to count itself among the winners 6
As election winds down, small parties set to play big role PETER sTaNNERs Support from parties on the left, right and centre could be decisive for next government
cross the country on Thursday night, Danes glued to their televisions watching the election results unravel. In the final day before the election, at the time this paper went to print, it was looking increasingly likely that the incumbent Liberal-Conservative government would lose its 10-year grip on power. But any win by the Social Democrats and the Socialist People’s Party (SF) would be far from the landslide predicted earlier in the year, and the Social Democrats might even form a government with a smaller proportion of the vote than it earned in the 2007 general election.
With the Liberals and Conservatives also suffering in the polls, the election period has seen voters flocking to the smaller parties. At each end of the political spectrum, the Red-Green Alliance on the left and the Liberal Alliance on the right may both triple their proportion of votes to just over six percent each. The clear winners, however, is looking to be the Social Liberal Party which might receive about ten percent of the vote – twice as much as it received in 2007. The party has pulled the centre of politics in a new direction, with liberal economic attitudes, support for immigration and the EU, while at the same time remaining highly critical of immigration laws passed under the Liberal-Conservative rule. Their attraction with the voters also lies in their unique position in
which they can either support a new Social Dem-SF government, or replace the Danish People’s Party (DF) supporting the incumbent government. With their support of Social Dem leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt for prime minister, it’s clear which government they would prefer to support. Their clear intention of bringing consensus across the middle of Danish politics – by inviting parties such as the Conservatives to dialogue – has also been welcomed and helped develop their image as a fair and reasonable party. Reflecting the powerful position they currently occupy, Wednesday’s election coverage focused on Liberal leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s desire to include the Social Liberals in a new government. Social Lib leader Margrethe Vestag-
er welcomed the gesture, but not everyone was convinced it was genuine. With the Liberals only a few percentage points behind the Social Dems, some political commentators asked whether Rasmussen was using the invitation to show voters that the government no longer wanted the support of the right-wing DF. In doing so, voters who might only vote for Social Dems to keep the DF out of office may defect to the Liberals. Whichever is the case, when the nation awakes on Friday morning, it will most probably to an entirely reshaped political landscape. To find out whether the PM holds on to power, or whether Helle ThorningSchmidt succeeds in her bid to reclaim parliament for the left, visit cphpost.dk.
WEEk iN REviEW
The Copenhagen poST CphpoST.dk
16 - 22 September 2011 morten germund/Scanpix
The Week’S MoST Read SToRIeS aT CphpoST.dk Citizenship requirements too demanding, opposition argues Foreign students are welcome here, university says Left out in the cold by citizenship rules ’ opposition stumbles toward consensus on immigration election ’11 | Who’s running?
FRoM oUR aRChIVeS Ten YeaRS ago. The overall support of the danes (80 percent) for george W Bush’s call for ‘the war on terror’ raises the eyebrows of political analysts. The result shows danes are not as reluctant to use military force as they used to be FIVe YeaRS ago. Copenhageners are not quite sure what to think of the new ‘mutant’ Little Mermaid by Bjørn nørgaard that is unveiled on Langeline Quay.
SUNDAY: PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen takes a break from his re-election campaign on Sunday to speak during the US Embassy’s 9/11 remembrance ceremony. Among the other dignitaries on hand was Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, Denmark’s prime minister at the time of the attacks.
bers – two Danes and four Filipinos – are still being held by the pirates. According to the website somalireport.com, three and a half million kroner was paid to the pirates several weeks ago. The website also claims the pirates are waiting for an additional three million kroner. The source of the money was not released.
denmark’s only english-language newspaper Since 1998, The Copenhagen Post has been Denmark’s leading source for news in English. As the voice of the international community, we provide coverage for the thousands of foreigners making their home in Denmark. Additonally, our English language medium helps to bring Denmark’s top stories to a global audience. In addition to publishing the only regularly printed English-language newspaper in the country, we provide up-to-date news on our website and deliver news to national and international organisations. The Copenhagen Post is also a leading provider of non-news services to the private and public sectors, offering writing, translation, editing, production and delivery services.
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CAROLINE Wozniacki lost in the semi-finals of the US Open on Sunday in straight sets to Serena Williams. Wozniacki, the world number one and the tournament’s top seed, lost to the eventual runner-up 6-2, 6-4 in a match that saw the three-time winner hit 11 aces. Wozniacki has held the world’s top ranking
President and Publisher Ejvind Sandal Chief Executive Jesper Nymark Editor-in-Chief Kevin McGwin Managing Editor Ben Hamilton News Editor Justin Cremer Journalists Jennifer Buley & Peter Stanners
for a year but had been gunning for her first grand slam victory. With the loss, critics again questioned her ability to win big matches. The Dane, however, defended her position. “I’m still number one in the ranking and still number one in the race. No one can take that away from me right now.”
Editorial offices: Slagtehusgade 4 – 6 DK 1715 Copenhagen V Telephone: 3336 3300 Fax: 3393 1313 www.cphpost.dk News Desk email@example.com 3336 4243 The CPH Post welcomes outside articles and letters to the editor. Letters and comments can be left on our website or at: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOMALIAN PIRATES have finally released a Danish family who had been held since February. According to the Foreign Ministry, the parents and their three children, plus two deckhands, are back on their hijacked boat, in good health and expected to be back in Denmark shortly. However six more crew mem-
one YeaR ago. Some 62 percent of danes are uncomfortable with american authorities having access to national dna and fingerprint registers.
Wash your clothes
THE ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency unveiled an information campaign this week reminding people to wash new clothes and other fabrics before using them. The presence of dyes and other chemicals such as formaldehyde in new clothes can lead to rashes and other allergic reactions, according to the
Sales and Marketing Director Hans Hermansen Sales, Advertising and Marketing email@example.com Subscriptions firstname.lastname@example.org Annual home delivery rates: 1 year: 1,200kr 6 months: 750kr 1 year (online): 365kr Discounted bulk rates available. Distribution email@example.com
EPA. Studies show that eight out of ten people are aware of the presence of chemicals in new fabrics, but only half wash them before thier first use. Although the chemicals in clothes and other consumer products are legal, overexposure to chemicals can present a health risk, the EPA warns.
Layout and design Justin Cremer Aviaja Bebe Nielsen Logo by Rasmus Koch The Copenhagen Post accepts no responsibility for the content of material submitted by advertisers. The Copenhagen Post is published weekly by CPHPOST.DK ApS Printed by Dagbladet, Ringsted. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited by law.
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
16 - 22 September 2011
PETER STANNERS PET may have received information from Libya’s intelligence agency gained through torture, sparking debate about human rights by politicians
HE DANISH domestic intelligence agency PET swapped information with Libya’s spy agency, ESO, it was revealed yesterday. The correspondence was revealed in letters found at the abandoned headquarters of ESO by the organisation Human Rights Watch (HRW) – photographs of which are now in the possession of newspaper Politiken. The ten photographs reveal that the head of PET, Jakob Scharf, along with two colleagues, met the head of ESO, Moussa Koussa, in August 2008 and that PET sent technicians to Tripoli to establish a secure line between their headquarters in the town of Søborg north of Copenhagen and the spy centre in Tripoli. The letters also reveal that the countries swapped information about individuals suspected of terrorism activities. PET has since confirmed that it had contact with ESO – which in 2008 was accused by the US State Department of hu-
man rights violations including the torture of prisoners – but argued that it was necessary to maintain contact. “At the beginning of 2008, after the Mohammed cartoons were reprinted, we noticed an increased focus on Denmark,” Scharf told Politiken newspaper. “The Danish embassy in Pakistan was bombed and there was information about a bomb threat against the Danish consulate in Tripoli.” “It was in that context that I met the ESO chief in Libya – in order to make them aware of the threats against Danish interests and to ensure that they would inform us quickly if they had to.” HRW accidentally came across tens of thousands of documents while looking for a secret prison within ESO’s abandoned buildings, they revealed a close correspondence with not only the Danish, but also the British and American intelligence agencies MI6 and the CIA. According to Lotte Leicht from HRW, the documents are now being protected by rebel soldiers, though their content reveals little not already known. “We have only seen a fraction of the archive, but so far we haven’t discovered anything new,” Leicht told Poltiken. “But what’s important isn’t the content, but the tone that characterised the co-operation between the intelligence agencies.”
“From looking at the documents we have found we wouldn’t say that [PET] had a close relationship with the Libyan intelligence agency,” she added. Concerns have been raised, however, that the swapping of information may have led to the torture of individuals, such as in the case of ‘Salih’, whose phone number was given to ESO by PET as part of a Libyan investigation into his activities. While the agency is currently responsible for investigating itself in cases of possible human rights violations, politicians, such as Line Barfod from the Red-Green Alliance, are now considering ways of making the the agency more accountable. “It’s absolutely vital that they don’t pass on information that might put someone in danger,” she told Politiken. “It worries me that PET may have asked Gaddafi’s intelligence agency to check up on people for them,” she added. “It has to be investigated whether these people were subsequently tortured and whether Denmark used information obtained through the use of torture.” The Socialist People’s Party is also concerned that PET could potentially be handed information obtained through the use of torture. “A new government would want far more power over PET,”
said one of its MPs, Karina Lorentzen Dehnhard, suggesting that parliament should be allowed to call in PET officials for hearings when there is doubt about how they source their information. However, she refusel to speculate on whether PET had used information from ESO to carry out investigations. “We need to make sure we don’t overspeculate about what might have taken place,” Denhardt said. “I have no reason to believe that the PET is not upholding the law or Denmark’s obligations to protect human rights.” The Danish People’s Party, meanwhile, regards co-operations with other countries’ intelligence agencies, even if they have been accused of human rights violations, as important for protecting the country from terrorist threats. “But it’s definitely not a desirable scenario to have to cooperate with countries that use torture and I hope that we use as little information from these countries as possible,” Peter Skaarup from the Danish People’s Party told Politiken. “I have faith in PET that it is doing the right thing and that they have protected us well from terrorism.” A report is due to be presented to parliament about PET’s methods over the last ten years.
Danish and Libyan spy agencies co-operated, secret letters reveal
PET’s collaboration with Libya’s intelligence agency is part of a pattern that saw organisations from the West, including defence firm General Dynamics, fostering closer ties with the Gaddafi regime
Business leaders and study: students too complacent JENNIFER BULEY Students lack drive and overestimate their workloads; and that’s hurting Danish competitiveness, report finds
ANISH students don’t know how good they have it. They study and work less than most other European students, but think that they study and work more, according to a new report. In a just-released Interresearch study for the Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv) 70 to 80 percent of young Danes between the ages of 15 and 30 said – mistakenly – that they dedicate as much or more time to their studies and work as other European students their age. Considering that Danish students also enjoy some of the highest student stipends in Europe, some business policy experts are saying students here could use a reality check. The same conclusion could be drawn from a large study involving 220,000 business and engineering students from 24 European countries by the German research firm Trendence. According to that study, which was released last year, Danish students expected to earn the highest salaries of any European students in
their first post-graduation jobs, whilst working the fewest hours. Danish business and engineering students expected a starting salary of between 370,000 and 390,000 kroner per year for a work week of between 42 and 43 hours. In contrast, their Swedish counterparts expected to work 45-50 hours per week for 250,000 to 260,000 kroner per year. “The Danish students’ salary expectations are well above the European average. The interesting thing is that high salary expectations are often linked with more weekly working hours, but the Danish students want to work fewer hours,” Trendence research leader Caroline Dépierre told Politiken newspaper. Steen Nielsen, the job market policy chief for the Confederation of Danish Industry, expressed concern that Danish students were clinging to unrealistic expectations despite a tougher, global economy. “The result illustrates very well that we have high salaries and few working hours in this country. The students have grasped that very well,” Nielsen told Politiken. “But it’s not a good sign for the future, because looking forward we are going to have to work more.” In light of the new Interresearch study, job market specialists also worried about the impli-
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cations of students’ lack of work lust. “Unfortunately, it looks like the students are preserved in a culture of complacency that has devalued hard work. Young people themselves have to demand more and better instruction, or otherwise, as a consequence, we will be overtaken by foreign countries,” Chamber of Commerce policy advisor Emilie Wedell-Wedellsborg told public broadcaster DR. “It’s time to step on it and put our backs into it.” But according to professor Camilla Hutters, of the Danish Centre for Youth Research at
Aarhus University, Danish students are not complacent at all – they are more ambitious. “In my research young people indicate that they feel pressured on many fronts, and I do not see them as being complacent. They put a lot of energy into finding professional work, where they don’t just switch their brains off, but instead get qualified for the job market,” Hutters told DR. “So even though young Danes don’t spend as many hours working as other young Europeans, they are often highly intensive hours,” she added.
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The Copenhagen poST CphpoST.dk
16 - 22 September 2011
Born and bred here, but still no vote Peter StannerS nineteen-year-old Jelena Bundalovic questions whether the citizenship test is the best way to determine an individual’s ‘danishness’
lmost a quarter of a million adults living in denmark can’t vote in the september 15 election. Jelena Bundalovic is one of them. Born in hvidovre hospital, she went to danish primary school at Ryparken lilleskole and completed high school at Ørestad Gymnasium last year. now 19 and living on her own in nørrebro, this would be the first election she could participate in. But she’s serbian, and after failing the citizenship test last year, she cannot place an X next to her favourite candidate on Thursday. “I’m a happy person but sometimes it makes me feel sad,” she told The Copenhagen Post. “Coming up to the election, everyone is talking about who they’re going to vote for and I would like to be a part of it. I could watch the debates and meet the politicians around the
city but I don’t need to because I can’t vote,” she said. “I should be part of the democracy but I’m an outsider for no reason really.” Bundalovic got 30 out 40 questions correct on the citizenship test, missing the pass threshold by two questions. It was later discovered that one of the questions was impossible to answer and was excluded, meaning she was only one question away from obtaining a danish passport. “all my schools were engaged in politics so I’ve learnt about democracy from an early age and I studied social studies at the highest level in high school. so even though I’ve learnt about these things, I’ve not been using it for anything. Right now I can just throw it out the window because I can’t use it.” Bundalovic’s parents moved to denmark from serbia in the 1980s to visit her mother’s parents, who came here in the 1960s as migrant workers. her father, who gave up a career as a professional footballer, now works as a tradesman north of Copenhagen and her mother is currently studying. Bundalovic visits serbia for a couple of weeks a year, and while she says
she feels as serbian as she does danish, she would rather live in denmark. “The kids in the serbian city where my family live have different interests. In Copenhagen I have a job and my own place, but over there they stay with their parents until they get married or sometimes for their whole life. so my aunt and cousins can’t really understand that I’m earning my own money – they can’t take me seriously.” While many of her extended serbian family have danish citizenship, she and her father decided she ought to wait until she was 18 to apply, at which point the citizenship test was introduced. “even before I took the test I knew it was difficult and not relevant. some of the questions are relevant, the ones about politics and democracy, but questions about old danish movies for example – that’s not really relevant,” she said. having lived her whole life in denmark, Bundalovic said she thought it was unfair that she was made to take the test. In her view, you should be granted citizenship if you were born and finished high-school in denmark – criteria which are far more dif-
Jelena Bundalovic suggests a system that would give young people with foreign parents citizenship if they are born and finish high-school here, a task she says is harder than passing a multiple-choice test
ficult to satisfy than simply passing a test. But she’s decided to give it another go in december. “But I have sort of given up on it because I don’t have the money and I’m not sure that I will pass it. and even after I pass it I have to wait a year to get danish citizenship, I just get one step closer,” she said. “all the extra work I have to go through to get a passport is a shame because I’m as danish as my friends are.” The system of gaining a passport is slow and expensive.
after being granted permanent residency Bundalovic had to wait one year before being allowed to take the test that costs about 700 kroner. after passing the test, she would have to pay another 1,000 kroner to apply for citizenship, which may take another year to be granted. Ultimately, Bundalovic feels it’s not only her who loses out by not having danish citizenship. she believes that her different upbringing has supplied her with a unique world-view, which is important in a small country
like denmark. “I have a lot to offer denmark because I have a different perspective and I know how things are in other countries. I’m always comparing, and comparing is good – I can see how the politicians are in serbia and compare them to the politicians here,” she argued. “all of us who have parents from other countries, we’re more open-minded,” she said. “I have a bigger view on everything and they should use it instead of pushing us away.”
Peter StannerS The number of people without the right vote has tripled since 1990 – politicians blame immigration tests
he demands placed on foreigners hoping to obtain a danish passport are far too high, argue the social democrats and socialist People’s Party (sF). “First, we made it extremely difficult to get permanent residency. and then after you finally receive it, it’s extremely difficult to become a danish citizen,” henrik dam Kristensen, the social dem secretary general, said. as a result, the social dems
and the sF want to make the citizenship test easier and to lower the language requirement for obtaining a passport. Kristensen said that he found it unreasonable that foreigners needed to answer questions like ‘In what year did the danish women’s handball team win a gold medal?’ and called the demand to complete the third and highest level of the danish as a foreign language test “unnecessary and inhibiting”. danish level two, which tests skills like being able to compose short emails in danish, is sufficient, he argued. The social dems still want to keep other requirements for citizenship, however, such as a clean criminal record and the
declaration of allegiance to denmark. “Citizenship is not something you will just be given. You have to earn it,” Kristensen said. The sF are also interested in reducing the difficulty of the citizenship test and the language requirement. “danish level three is aimed at people who have a higher education,” said astrid Krag. “We think that you can be danish if you are unskilled or an academic. The language requirement is pure snobbery.” But not all politicians are keen on changing the regulations, least of all the current immigration minister, søren Pind. “I’m not often at a loss for words, but during this election I have been,” he said. “First it
was the 24-year rule, then permanent residency, and now citizenship. If we get a new government, the whole structure of our immigration policy risks getting changed.” The debate about citizenship comes in light of a new study by the danish association of social Workers – published in their newsletter this week – which found that more than 270,000 adult residents cannot vote in the coming election because they don’t have danish citizenship. The figure is three times higher than it was in 1990, and according to the study’s author there were two reasons for the increase in disenfranchised voters. “There are more people
Citizenship requirements too demanding, opposition argues
Getting a Danish passport has never been harder, leading to a quarter of a million adults who can’t vote
coming to denmark to work and study, and it’s also become far more difficult to obtain danish citizenship,” Roger Buch, of the danish school of media and Journalism, said. “Particularly due to the higher demands
of the danish language test.” non-danish residents are not entirely excluded from danish politics however. after four years of residency, they become entitled to vote in local and regional elections.
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THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
16 - 22 September 2011
Social Democrats (A) Socialdemokraterne Slogan: Danmark skal videre (Denmark needs to move on) Red-Green Alliance. Has been plagued in the past by infighting between party’s various factions. Key issues: Economy, shoring up the welfare state
Socialist People’s Party (F) Socialistisk Folkeparti Slogan: Det kan la’ sig gøre (It is possible) The Socialist People’s Party (SF) broke away from the Communist Party of Denmark in 1959, but held on to its revolutionary party manifesto in 2003. Has been criticised for taking a turn to the right after entering into a formal alliance with the Social Dems after the
2007 election. Vaulted from 11 seats to 23 in the 2007 election. Key issues: Jobs, schools, healthcare, climate
The party whose name means ‘the radical left’ is firmly at the centre of the spectrum. Currently aligned with the Social Dems, the Social Libs have formed governments with the right, and this year voted for a centre-right plan to kill the early retirement programme.
as the defenender of the rights of ‘ordinary Danes’ left behind by globalisation. Key issues: Immigration, social welfare, animal welfare,
Name refers to its 1905 split from Venstre (the Liberals). Key issues: Economy, education, immigration, ending political partisanship
The leading ‘blue bloc’ party swept into power in 2001 campaigning for ‘the minimalist state’, a termed co-opted by Anders Fogh Rasmussen in his book ‘From Welfare state to Minimalist State’. Founded in 1870, its name in Danish means ‘Left’, and refers to
Lower taxes are a perennial issue for the Conservatives, as are ensuring a healthy business environment and family values. Traces its roots to the party known as ‘the Right’, one of the first political parties in Denmark. Its ideology is based on the thinking of Hume
and Burke. Led government from 1982-1993, but recent years have seen it weakened by infighting. Key issues: Taxes, justice, family values
Christian Democrats (K) Kristendemokraterne Slogan: Sammen skaber vi fremtiden (Creating tomorrow together)
man” immigration policies. After a shaky start, appears to have established itself as a minor party. Key issues: Economy, lower taxes, streamlining public sector
Liberals (V) Venstre Slogan: Nye tider. Varig velfærd (New era. Lasting welfare)
Danish People’s Party (O) Dansk Folkeparti Slogan: Dit land, dit valg (Your country, your choice) Formed in 1995 by members of the Progress Party with the main goal of limiting immigration, the Danish People’s Party has left an indelible mark on immigration legislation over the past decade. But as a strong proponent of the social welfare state, the DF also campaigns
Conservatives (C) Det Konservative Folkeparti Slogan: Stærke værdier – sund økonomi (Strong values – healthy economy)
Liberal Alliance (I) Liberal Alliance Slogan: Færre forbud – mere personlig frihed (Fewer laws – more liberty) Although built on the foundations of the New Alliance, the Liberal Alliance bears none of its predecessors’ centrist aspirations. Economically ultra-liberal and libertarian when it comes to social issues, the party proposes a flat 40 percent taxrate. Also supports “realistic and hu-
Formed as a reaction to the liberalisation of abortion in 1973 and pornography in the 1960s. In recent years, The Christian Democrats have campaigned against the centralisation of local government and healthcare in recent years. The party rarely wins more than the
two percent of votes needed to win a seat and did not win a seat in either the 2005 or 2007 elections. Key issues: Ending centralisation, family, healthcare
Red-Green Alliance (Ø) Enhedslisten Slogan: Råd til velfærd (Money for social welfare) its original position as a leftwing party supporting social equity, universal access to schools and medical care. Key issues: Economy, streamlining welfare state, agriculture
Formed in 1989 by several minor far-left parties, the Red-Green Alliance is the furthest to the left of the parties in parliament. Its “beautiful vision of the future”, described by leader Johanne Schmidt Nielsen, includes classic communist ideals such as a classless
society, no exploitation of labour, a fair distribution of wealth and nationalisation of key industries. Key issues: Immigration, welfare, climate
Left versus right – how Danish politics breaks the linear model PETER STANNERS
OLITICAL parties are usually plotted two-dimensionally. In its most simple expression, parties favouring socialised economies appear on the left and those preferring smaller government and free trade on the right. Environmentally minded parties are generally also considered left-wing while those hostile towards foreigners belonging solidly on the right. But this does not quite work in Denmark. Whereas in the British or American system the two dominant parties each represent a broad range of views, the eight main Danish parties are more specialised. Many of them don’t even develop full policies in key fields, instead tending to focus on pushing one major issue. This can work in a proportional system, where these parties are used to supporting a minority government, such as the Danish People’s Party who demanded concessions on immigration policy from the incumbent government in order to support their legislation.
After looking at their respective party manifestos, The Copenhagen Post has attempted to show the relative positioning of the parties on the issues of immigration, the welfare state, the economy and attitudes towards the EU and the euro. Political parties are not always consistent, however, so determining where exactly a party stands is difficult. So while we know that people may disagree with our appraisal, all we hope to do is show the rough dynamics of Danish politics – in which parties might ally on some issues and clash on others. The first graph shows the positions the parties take on immigration and the economy. Presented this way, the grouping of the parties are clear, with the red bloc being more pro-immigration and favouring socialist economies, whereas the blue bloc is more anti-immigration and economically liberal-minded. But when the parties are compared according to their position on the welfare state and their attitude towards the EU, it gets more complicated. Most
Viewed in terms of economy and immigration the parties fall into clearly defined groups that reflect the traditional left-right division
notably, the Red-Green Alliance (Ø) and the Danish People’s Party (DF) are much closer together on these issues. The Social Liberal Party (B) now also hovers above the Conservatives (C) and the Liberal Party (V), even though it is formally part of the red bloc and supports Helle ThorningSchmidt from the Social Democrats for prime minister. Hopefully the graphs show the interesting variety of parties
and opinions involved in Danish politics. Whether the variety is more democratic, (parties can focus on policy rather than stooping to populism to gain votes) or complex and unstable, (coalition governments require a great deal of good will to function ) is a matter of opinion. But it seems to be clear that in the case of Danish politics, the popular demarcations of ‘left’ and ‘right’ wing does not do justice to any party.
Smaller welfare state
Larger welfare state
But when seen in terms of EU and welfare issues, a different political landscape emerges (Illustrations: Peter Stanners)
RESEARCH: BRYAN DOYLE, HANG PHAM, RACHEL STONE, MIDORI TANAKA
The Social Democrats are the architects of the modern Danish welfare state. Traditionally Denmark’s most popular party and, since 1945, the dominant force in politics. Makes up the ‘red bloc’ together with the Socialist People’s Party, the Social Liberals and the
Social Liberals (B) Det Radikale Venstre Slogan: Tag ansvar (Take responsibility)
GRAPHICS BY JUSITN CREMER & AVIAJA BEBE NIELSEN
Danish politics, from A to Ø and left to right
The Copenhagen poST CphpoST.dk
16 - 22 September 2011
For cycle city, world championships a chance to show off uci road world championships
Factfile | The Riders Unlike the Tour de France, where riders race for a team (such as the Danish-based Team Saxo Bank-Sungard), in the World Championships riders compete for their country. For Denmark, 27-year-old Matti Breschel was favourite to win a medal for the host nation, though he has had to withdraw after crashing in the Vuelta a España. Breschel is one of Denmark’s most promising young riders, winning silver in last year’s World Championship in Australia and bronze in Italy in 2008. But Denmark still has a chance of making the podium. Jakob Fuglsang could threaten for a medal in the time trial after winning the team time trial in the first stage of La Vuelta. Fuglsang finished four minutes and a place behind Chris Anker Sørensen on the three-week Spanish stage tournament (they finished 11th and
12th) so are both in good form. However, it will take a strong competitor to beat Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara, who has won the World Championship Time Trial four out of the last five years. Foreign favourites for the road race include Britain’s Mark Cavendish who excels on flat courses like the one in Copenhagen. He has some serious competition, however, including Norwegian rival and defending champion Thor Hushovd. A world-class sprinter, he clinched two stage victories in this year’s Tour de France and finished fifth in the points classification, which Cavendish won. Both are currently warming up at the Tour of Britain, an easier competition than Vuelta, which many top riders have avoided before the World Championships. This year’s Tour de France winner, Australia’s Cadel Evans, who won the road race in 2009, has announced he will not participate.
With 70 roads totally or partially closed during the World Championships, a number of bus routes as well as parking along the route be affected. Check trafikken.dk/vm for information and updates.
The UCI Road World Championships are coming to Copenhagen, though Denmark’s most promising talent, Matti Breschel (pictured in red), has pulled out to due injury
peter stanners one of the world’s most prestigious cycle races comes to Copenhagen city centre next week, putting the city in the global spotlight
N ARTICLE recently appeared in the British newspaper The Guardian talking about the problems Copenhagen was facing with bicycle congestion. Copenhagen was so good at convincing its residents to get on their bikes that the cycle paths had become overcrowded during rush hour with cyclists jostling with each other for space. If one solution could be to do away with the cars and let bicycles roam the streets – what freedom that might be – and it’s taken one of the world’s most esteemed bicycle races to do just that. For one week from September 19-25, the city centre will be closing 70 streets to host the International Cycling Union (UCI) Road World Championships. If
the Tour de France is the Champions League of cycling, this is the World Cup, drawing cyclists representing nations from Eritrea to Belize to do battle on the empty streets of Copenhagen for the title of World Champion in Road Racing. Lycra-clad men and women zipping around on ridiculously expensive carbon-fibre bicycles, it turns out, are a massive draw. The competition will be Copenhagen’s biggest ever international event, with 400,000 spectators expected to watch the world’s fastest road cyclists power in and out of the city. “It is the biggest event ever held in Denmark in terms of media interest,” Jesper Worre, the head of the Danish Bicycling Association, told The Copenhagen Post. “It’s even bigger in terms of media interest than the [2009 UN Climate Conference] COP15. We’re expecting at least 30,000 foreign guests.” The championship has taken five years to plan, though it took some convincing to persuade city officials to close down the city centre to traffic for a week. “We’ve been planning the course
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and getting the acceptance of the politicians,” Worre said. “But we needed to convince city officials that we could close the city for seven days. They were asking why we needed to shut down the major roads and they forced us to seek alternatives. “But in the end they wanted it to be in Copenhagen.” This year’s World Championships are special because it will be the first time the races will be held in a city centre, which is something Worre fought for. Having the race set in the middle of a city that serves as a model for bicycling culture worldwide makes sense, and it was this that attracted the organisers to the city in the first place. “The UCI is incredibly impressed with bicycle culture in Copenhagen. When they looked out of their hotel windows in the morning, they noticed how many people biked to and from work everyday, even in the winter.” Lars Bernhard Jørgensen, the managing director of Wonderful Copenhagen – the city’s tourism agency – agreed with Worre. “I think the UCI chose Copenha-
gen for this event because we already hold a strong position in biking, both in terms of elite cycling, in which have several top riders, and also Copenhagen’s broader brand as a bike city,” Jørgensen said. “When you are deciding where to locate a large event – and this is a big event globally – then one of the first things you look for is how it will be perceived by the public and also whether the media and spectators see it as a natural and obvious choice.” And an obvious choice it is. Copenhagen’s commitment to cycling is known the world over, especially after CNN’s Richard Quest covered the city earlier this summer in their ‘Future Cities’ series. But the city’s bicycle friendliness had already attracted the attention of the UCI in 2007, when it named Copenhagen the organisation’s first Bike City. In attaining the label, Copenhagen was then named host of several other UCI cycling events, such as the BMX Supercross World Cup (2008 and 2009), track cycling’s World Cup Classics (2007-2009) as well as track cycling’s World Championships (2010). But while the other cycling events were held at venues outside the city centre, the urban setting of the Road World Championship presents a special opportunity for the city to sell itself to a massive global audience. “We expect 400 million people to watch it world-wide and 800 journal-
ists to cover the event. We’re sure some will take the opportunity to write about Copenhagen, but most will probably just cover the event, which is where the route itinerary comes in,” Jørgensen said. “Racing through the streets of Copenhagen gives the pundits the opportunity to tell stories about the city, just like they do in the Tour de France.” Jørgensen is grateful to Copenhagen’s residents for putting up with traffic restrictions during the competition week, but argues that the city stands to profit from events like these. “It’s an event that goes well with our image of Copenhagen – that it’s a liveable city, a metropolis in a nutshell where there’s room for cyclists and green solutions. All these things go well together especially when trying to attract large green technology conventions to the city for instance.” But the pay-off is not only in terms of attracting tourism and business to the city, it’s also important for the selfesteem of its residents. “Big events like this play a role in making us feel proud about ourselves. We need things to look forward to that also create an investment in our city.” The Road World Championship is a big deal then, not only for the city, its residents and bicycle fans across the world, but also for the cyclists themselves. It’s the second most prestigious race after the Tour de France in July, with many riders skipping the Spanish
The Copenhagen poST CphpoST.dk
16 - 22 September 2011 uci road world championships
The time trial course will take riders through central Copenhagen, where car traffic will be off limits during much of the week
race, vuelta e españa, in august and early september to prepare. The races are divided into five classifications – elite men, elite women, under-23 men, junior men and junior women – competing in two races, the time trials and road race. The time trials start in central copenhagen on hans christian andersen Boulevard and head to the north of the city and back, while the road race is being held north of copenhagen in rudersdal on a 14 kilometre circuit. The main event – sunday’s elite road race – will also start in central copenhagen before finishing with 17 laps of the circuit, covering over 260 kilometres. standing about watching athletes zoom by on bicycles isn’t all that’s on offer during the week, however. The world championship happens to also coincide with the copenhagen Bicycle festival that is taking full advantage of the competition to put on an array of bicycle-themed events. The activities will focus on Jarmers Plads beside hans christian andersen Boulevard where you can ‘pimp’ your bike, ride bicycle simulators and listen to live music. But the highlight is the bicycle parade on Tuesday evening. The event will follow the time trial course around the city and is a unique opportunity to experience the freedom of riding through a city with not a car in sight – a scenario many cyclists in copenhagen, after next week, might long to be enforced on a more permanent basis.
Factfiles | The routes Road races The elite road race starts at Copenhagen City Hall Square, where the riders head 28 kilometres north before starting the first of 17 laps of a 14 kilometre circuit in Rudersdal. All other Road Races start and finish on Geels Hill on Kongevejen road. Slotsbakken, at 59 metres above sea level, is the highest point on the route, while the lowest point is 17 metres. “We have designed an interesting and demanding route for the road race going up Geels Hill. We are convinced that it will be a very tough and varied World Championship,” said Danish Cycling Federation director Jesper Worre. Time trials All time trials start and finish at City Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen). The elite men will complete two laps of the 23.2 km circuit that takes riders north to the Østerbro district and Hellerup before reaching Charlottenlund Slotspark. The riders then make their way back towards the city, passing by Kastellet and Amalienborg Castle, before arriving back at City Hall Square. The under-23 riders will complete two 17.6 km laps, returning back to the city centre when they reach Hellerup. The junior riders turn around in Østerbro.
Jakob Fuglsang is Denmark’s best bet to win a medal, especially in the time trial
improved scores for public hospitals patient satisfaction is at a record high, but Copenhagen-area hospitals score lower than other part of the country
generally the most satisfied in the country, and that could be attributed, for example, to the fact that we have highly dedicated personnel, who give good, high quality service,” ulla astman, the chairman of the north Jutland regional council, told Berlingske newspaper. “The smaller hospitals perhaps have the opportunity to follow more effective procedures, because they do not get the acute cases that can be distracting. That has a bearing on planning and whether patients feel they are seen and heard,” astman added. all told, 18 of the 24 hospitals that received four stars were in Jutland. in contrast, hospitals in Greater copenhagen received lower average scores for patient satisfaction. eight of Denmark’s 60 public hospitals received just two stars – and of those eight, four are in Greater copenhagen. ‘even though we have improved, unfortunately we always measure up worse in patient satisfaction. But our hospitals also have very high numbers of acute cases compared with many of the smaller hospitals, who only do planned procedures,’ svend hartling, the Greater copenhagen regional council’s business manager, said. ”it is a lot easier to achieve a high level of patient satisfaction when you know which and how many patients will be coming in the door in the morning.” hartling emphasised that based on standardised mortality rates – which aren’t taken into account in the study – the risk of dying in the hospital is lowest in Greater copenhagen. rigshospitalet, a centre for highlyspecialised and acute care treatments, received three stars. amager hospital ,which got three stars this year versus two last year, was the only hospital in Greater copenhagen to improve its patient satisfaction score. (JB)
n The latest survey of patient satisfaction at the nation’s 60 public hospitals, 24 received four stars out of a possible five. no hospitals received a full five stars, and none received a single star. That more than one third of the nation’s public hospitals received the second highest score for patient satisfaction is remarkable because in the previous five years only one public hospital – vejle sygehus in Jutland – received the above average four-star rating. The hospitals were graded by patients on service level, quality of treatment and facilities – including, for example, general cleanliness, number of beds per room, waiting times and the patients’ feelings of comfort and safety the at time of discharge. The star system, in which one star is the worst and five stars best, was introduced in 2006 to allow people to make more informed choices about where to seek treatment. six years on, it appears that few patients use the information to choose a different hospital tfrom their local one, but the annual rating has nevertheless inspired many public hospitals to put extra focus on improving patients’ stays. Many hospitals have taken steps to improve patients’ experiences, such as assigning a personal contact person or focusing on better cleanliness and hygiene, and those efforts are reflected in this year’s scores, according to nils raahauge, a spokesperson for the national Board of health. hospitals in northern Jutland, including several small ones, received some of the highest scores nationally. “The patients in north Jutland are factfile | Best and worst-rated hospitals
Roskilde Sygehus Samsø Sygehus Skagen gigt- og rygcenter Skive Regionshospital Svendborg Sygehus, Odense University Hospital
four-star hospitals Aalborg Sygehus Brædstrup Regionshospital Dronninglund Sygehus Farsø Sygehus Frederikshavn Sygehus Frederikssund Hospital Give Sygehus Lillebælt Grenå Sygehus Grindsted Sygehus Herning Regionshospital Holstebro Regionshospital Kalundborg Sygehus Ringkøbing Regionshospital Ringsted Sygehus
Two star hospitals Aabenraa Sygehus Bispebjerg Hospital Frederiksberg Hospital Helsingør Hospital Hvidovre Hospital Næstved Sygehus Odense Universitetshospital Slagelse Sygehus
online ThiS week waiting time cap blamed for limiting treatment
Danes are positive about technologies that could help the elderly live a more independent life, according to a new study published by KL, the national association of local governments. seven out of 10 people taking the survey agreed that assistive technology makes it possible to have more control over their own lives, and 55 percent believe it is more dignified to be helped by a machine than another human. according to Bent Greve, a welfare researcher at roskilde university, the results illustrate that more people want to be able to cope on their own if they can do so on reasonable terms. senior interest group Daneage was positive about the use of new technology in areas such as bathing, eating and going to the toilet, but called for ethical guidelines.
Two ouT-of-service ambulances have been put back into service as mobile injection rooms for drug addicts in the vesterbro district. The vehicles, donated by the privately-owned emergency service company falck, will be used to transport a team of volunteer doctors and nurses and a stock of clean needles. The mobile injection room had its first shift on Monday and will be on the road twice a week. During the first three hours of operation, seven drug addicts made use of the mobile facility. “They are really happy to have a place where they don’t risk getting mugged, where there’s light, and where there are no children to see them,” Dr Kasper iversen, who was one of the vol-
The nuMBer of Danes undergoing liposuction and back surgeries has fallen drastically since the government and regional councils limited access to these types of operations starting on January 1. The five regional councils are responsible for managing healthcare, and figures obtained by Politiken newspaper show that the number of obesity operations has fallen by over a half since last year and the number of back surgeries has dropped from 2,110 to 1,880. in the coming year, restrictions on other medical treatments will be considered. The move follows criticism of government-mandated maximum waiting
unteers, told Berlingske newspaper. The volunteers can also offer first aid in case of an overdose. in Denmark, about 300 drug addicts die each year of an overdose, giving the country the third highest mortality rate among addicts in europe – surpassed only by Luxembourg and estonia.
Mobile injection room for addicts rolls out
elderly prefer robot carers, study finds
times for treatment. The limits, implemented as part of the government’s 2007 healthcare reform, stipulates that if the waiting time exceeds four weeks, the state will pay for care at a private facility. The opposition called for a system that instead treated people based on need.
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THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
Election made 2011 the year of political change
ETWEEN the time this newspaper goes to print on Wednesday and the time it reaches most of our readers on Friday, voters will have cast their ballots, a government will have been selected, and the country will be down to business again. In most ways, the Thursday election day is the worst possible date for this newspaper: we can neither use this space to support a candidate nor to analyse the result. On the other hand, it leaves us with something equally important to comment on: the election itself. And in our view, the 2011 general election has been an improvement over the past three. This year, to a greater degree than any time in the past decade, candidates have taken more time to explain why they should be elected, rather than pointing out reasons why their opponents shouldn’t be. This election also showed itself to be an improvement over the previous three in two noticeable ways. Firstly, there’s the changed attitude toward immigration. In 2001, 2005 and 2007, immigration was a highly charged and deeply divisive issue. This time around, instead of demonising foreigners as criminals, terrorists or parasites on the welfare state, most parties chose to refer to them in a positive light. Although much of the discussion focused on immigrants as an economic resource that comes, contributes and goes home, rather than as a social and cultural resource, the candidates’ openness to immigration brings them more in line with the attitudes of ordinary Danes. And the other thing missing from this year’s election has been the partisanship that has characterised national politics since the Liberal-Conservative government came to power in 2001. Much of the attention to the issue is due to the Conservatives and the Social Liberals, who stole the show early on in the election when they pledged to co-operate with each other after September 15, regardless of the election’s outcome. But even before the two parties began openly flirting, a number of parties had already begun calling for an end to the left blocright bloc mentality in parliament. With the election unlikely to give us the clear winner that we have seen in recent years, this willingness to work with opponents could become more relevant than ever for whichever party winds up forming a government. Regardless of whoever that is, we say congratulations, and we look forward to the new political climate the 2011 election appears to be forecasting.
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16 - 22 September 2011
READER COMMENTS Political coverage HI THERE, I’m an American from San Francisco, California who’s lived here in Copenhagen the past three years. I only seldomly read your Copenhagen Post, but my husband brought me one home the other day: your issue from the 9th-15th of September, 2011. I just wanted to say that I didn’t appreciate the lay-out of the candidates for this latest Danish election. The way it’s portrayed in this week’s newspaper is such that one gets the notion that only the right wing candidates are of any importance. And if one wants to go looking for the left wing candidates, it becomes like an archeological dig! I realise (only once after having dug around for them) that the week before, it was the other way around, and that the right wing
Ten years after 9/11 A pro-PET article - I am sure many civil rights groups would disagree with this article. This article shows very well how media represents the interest of government: to control society with the aim to improve their positions of power. It would be nice to see one article where you publish information from the financial report of the Ministry of Defence, and how many times they paid $2,500 to families of dead civilians in Afghanistan? Then you will see how many terrorist acts are done and how many civilians died from the bullets of Danish soldiers. Are soldiers prosecuted for war crimes (I would rather call it terrorism than a war crime)? In any case, 3,000 dead civilians in New York (killed by citizens of Saudi Arabia and not of Iraq or Afghanistan) can not be compared with one million dead civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. Western soldiers killed five times more people than Saddam Hussein, and all this for oil interests of western oil corporations that finance political parties and the private lives of politicians. Pera By website Excuse me???? Those terrorists didn’t just kill my fellow Americans in NY. They also flew planes into the Pentagon while another (due to the bravery of the passengers who fought back) crashed landed in Pennsylvania whose intended target was somewhere in Washington DC. Let me guess Pera, you must be, hmmm, a whiny Muslim, a ‘Oh woe is me’ type of person? I suggest a little more respect on 9/11. wordsey By website Hej, chill dude. Pera has a point ,and you also have a point but what we all need to understand is that there are different perspectives on 9/11. For you it is equivalent to the Holocaust, for Europe it’s an unfortunate event and the beginning of the so called ‘War on Terror’. I actually call it War on Airline passengers (you can call me a jerk for that). I will not
candidates were the ones people had to go digging around for, this time last week. However I still think it’s just a matter of poor editing. If you can’t find space for both sides in the same edition of a newspaper, then try and figure out some other way around it, so you can show the entire picture without making your reader have to go digging for it. I mean take out the pictures of the candidates out, to make more room, or try removing the graphics of the deck of cards, or what have you. But don’t separate it out where there is a week of delay before you actually show the other side. People don’t want to go digging around for their news, or have to remember random digits of a link on the internet, just to go see who the opposition candidates are. I realised that most English speaking readers, like me, won’t
be able to vote anyways in Danish general elections. Most of us want to keep our own nationality, probably, and vote in an election that matters more to us, and the world. But that is not to say that we are not still debating the issues here in Denmark, and speaking with people who can and do vote in these elections, or influencing them. In the week before a national election, it seems inappropriate that a newspaper would omit information representing an entire half of a debate. Seems even more dire of an ommission when one takes into an account that they’ve been in power for the past 10 years. This isn’t a Nazi state. We would like to have free debate in this country, even amongst non-Danish-speaking immigrants. Right? This is a Democracy. Of course the Copenhagen Post is not our only source for
information, either. But knowing how much it is appreciated by newcomers to this country who have a hard time with Danish and who haven’t yet understood this society, it feels even more dire that you portray the scenario exactly as it is, and as unobjectively and all-encompassing as possible so people get the whole picture and not just one side. That is, if you feel it necessary to enlighten non-Danish speaking readers about the elections. I am just hoping that you can and will take my complaint into consideration and think more about the people who only picked up last week’s newspaper and not the one from the week prior. It’s especially poorly timed, because the election is closing rapidly in, as I type this email. Every omission counts. That’s all I wanted to say. Thanks for hearing me out. Monica Aiken By email
detail how 9/11 is remembered in the Middle East as it would be offensive. Bottom point is that a Frenchman regards 9/11 just as important as you see Bastille Day. My condolences for the innocent victims of 14/07, 9/11, Madrid, London, Oslo, Baghdad, Kabul etc. The engineer By website
because she has both won a good number of tournaments but also has gone deep into many others. This is on top of her stamina to play in many tournaments and earn points by virtue of having the ability to compete. The ranking system is just that, a ranking system and it doesn’t pretend to say that this is a definitive list of skill. It is used mostly for seeding purposes in tournaments and is often misconstrued as a method to say who is best. She’ll win a major someday (hopefully this week) and then dispell the common misconception that she isn’t a number one just because she hasn’t won a so-called ‘major’ or ‘grand slam’ tourney yet. JFD By website
and during the craving, I suppose 30 percent was optimistic. The Engineer By website
Honestly, I think it’s time to let it go. Just let the thing go already. Sure, it was traumatic, but not as traumatic as what’s been following it in Iraq, Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern countries currently under Western occupation. Stop giving page space to this. Just let it be relegated to the history books and let’s start looking ahead instead of being stuck in the victim mentality of a so-called post9/11 world. Christina Ackerman By Facebook Yes seriously, who cares about 9/11? What happened was a huge tragedy, yes, indeed! But let’s cry about the things going on right now! At this very moment civilians are killed in Afghanistan and thousands of people are dying of hunger in Africa. I couldn’t care less about the past - it’s the present’s tragedies that we should talk about and remember every day, where we can actually still make a change! Maya Zeta Velazquez By Facebook Woz that attacking enough? Is it only me who doesn’t quite understand why she is ranked number one, yet hasn’t won that much, and is not really expected to? I applaud her efforts, and I am not saying she isn’t good, and I’m cheering her on as much as the next, but I have no idea how the system of calculating rankings can be so wrong. dianecarole By website Yes, it is most likely only you. The WTA ranking system is subjective, of course, but it is also widely accepted. CW has well earned her top spot as the world #1 mostly
It is strange to be ranked number one without winning a major tournament. I’m pretty sure they just get points for how far they get in competitions. So the further you get in all, the more you enter, and the better you do in the main ones, means you end up ranked highly - even higher (in this case) than actual Grand Slam winners. Nebs By website She got owned by Serena Williams. Woz is only number one right now because Kim Clijsters is not career focused and does not enter many tournaments and Serena Williams was injured. Her reign will soon be over. Jackofknives By website Odense Council smoking ban “According to the Cancer Society, councils would benefit financially from weaning their employees off cigarettes, as 11 percent of an employee’s work hours are spent smoking even if it is only five cigarettes a day.” If they allow employees to smoke at their desk the same result would be achieved. From an ex-smoker point’s of view, peak productivity is achieved in the half-hour before smoke-time and best decisions are taken in the three minutes after the cigarette. I feel that my overall productivity is 90 percent of what it used to be
I’d like to suggest the council seriously consider a sex ban on all employees to counter the maternity leave those work-shy women take. Damaged Goods By website Consensus on immigration It is so sad that the Democrats insist on continuing on the same path as the fanatics before them. It is also very sad that full-time politicians do not seem to have read this (among others): Article 16. (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State. or this (13(2) regarding the infamous “attachment requirement”): Article 13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. (Both from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed also by Denmark). Other things are equally sad, the most significant one being that Danish politicians have made Danish people believe that being a member of international organisations (like the UN and the EU) and executing binding agreements does not compel the country to comply with the provisions of these agreements; the second saddest thing is that no-one, not even the ‘Democratic’ parties, shows any actual signs of recovery from that political coma. Scorpio77 By website
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
16 - 22 September 2011
‘MacCarthy’s World’ BY CLARE MACCARTHY Clare MacCarthy is Nordic correspondent for The Economist and a frequent contributor to The Financial Times and The Irish Times. She’ll go anywhere from the Gobi Desert to the Arctic in search of a story. The most fascinating thing about Denmark, she says, is its contradictions.
It’s the economy, stupid
OR THE first 12 days or so everything was going swimmingly. This looked like a normal election campaign in a normal western democracy. Robust discourse on the state of the economy – on jobs, on growth, on debt, on welfare – played across TV screens, the newspapers and street corners. Politicians and citizens met and discussed their common future and how best to finance it. Spinmeisters and motley commentators strutted their stuff across the media spectrum, and commercial polling outfits spewed out one opinion poll after another charting the chances of success for the incumbent centre-right or the opposition centre-left. These charts pointed resolutely in the same direction that they had done for months – Danes were in the mood for change. It looked like game, set and victory for Helle Thorning-Schmidt and her leftist allies. No surprise here. With the domestic economy faltering, the euro crumbling at the edges and the USA tottering towards bankruptcy, it’s no wonder the Danes developed an appetite for new solutions. There’s nothing like an empty wallet to strike fear in the heart of even the sturdiest burgher. Whether the optimal recipe for effecting a turnaround is that of the centre-right blues or that of the centre-left reds is a matter of individual preference (and not an argument I’m getting into here). The real crux is that for the first time in over a decade Danes looked like they would vote with their brains and not their emotions. Then wham! Overnight the goalposts shifted and foreigners were back in focus. Just as we had been for every other Danish general election during
the past decade, you, me and everybody else who isn’t a lapsed Lutheran and who cannot track their lineage back to Harald Bluetooth are collectively the most pressing problem in Danish politics. To be fair, it wasn’t the Danes themselves who frogmarched us back into the spotlight. The trigger was a piece in Germany’s Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung suggesting that EU Commission plans to update the Schengen Accord would rob member states of their right to determine their own border control arrangements. This was like manna from heaven, for Pia Kjærsgaard’s Danish Peoples Party (DF). The doggedly anti-immigration DF had otherwise pussyfooted around the ‘foreigner problem’ for weeks. Just like the rest of the reactionary right in the Nordic countries, it feared being tainted by the awfulness of the Utøya and Oslo terrorism attacks in July and protested feebly that it was neither ideologically inspirational nor in any other way related to the evil that erupted over Norway. This fear of contamination forced DF to sideline its habitual bombast about foreigners and use the first days of the election campaign to persuade voters that Lars Løkke Rasmussen would be the safest bet to guide Denmark out of the economic crisis. Politicians on the other side of the parliamentary divide were equally chary of the immigration/foreigner issue – but for different reasons. The opposition’s problem is that it is quite seriously divided on the matter and it did not want these fissures exposed to scrutiny. The electoral pact between the Social Democrats (S) and the Socialist People’s Party (SF) stipulates acceptance
Voters shouldn’t let the immigration debate deter them from their primary focus: their pockets!
of the controversial 24-year-regulation. This regulation, introduced in the early days of Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s first government, was designed to curtail immigration by refusing residence permits to young foreign spouses. To this end, it has proved a supremely effective tool – immigration to Denmark has reduced dramatically this last decade and the vast bulk of Danes (both on the right and on the left) regard this as a jolly fine thing. The only exception is the centrist Social Liberal Party (RV), which denounces the regulation as an affront to human rights and wants it abolished. Until earlier
last week the S-SF double act had appeared decided that it was for keeps. But SF’s Villy Søvndal, in an attempt to woo back some errant voters, said the 24-year rule was under moratorium for the coming four-year electoral period only. After that, it’s time to reassess. This gave the centre-right a second solid argument against the opposition: first the EU was attacking Denmark’s sovereignty from outside, now SF was bent on undermining immigration policy from inside. These arguments played forcefully and rapidly into the opinion polls. The prospect of a comprehensive opposi-
tion victory has diminished. It could be a very tight race. Meanwhile, though the country has edged out of technical recession, the question of the projected 85 billion kroner deficit in the 2012 budget looms in the wings. As does the equally startling news that a full 45 percent of Danes over the age of 15 survive on one form or other of state handouts. Against this backdrop, Danes would be well advised to ditch the jabberwocky about us foreigners when they enter the voting booth. Try channelling another foreigner (Bill Clinton) instead: It’s the economy, stupid.
CPH POST VOICES
‘SO SAYS CELIA’
‘TO BE PERFECTLY FRANK’
Celia Thaysen is a British love refugee who landed on these shores six years ago. With below-par Danish, a tendency to tardiness, and a fondness for Marmite, she spends her time fumbling her way through unfamiliar territory as a working mother-of-two with a house in the ‘burbs.
English by nature – Danish at heart. Freelance journalist Richard Steed has lived in Copenhagen for nearly five years now. “I love this city and want Copenhagen to be a shining example to the rest of the world.”
A proud native of the American state of Iowa, Justin Cremer has been living in Copenhagen since June 2010. In addition to working at the CPH Post, he balances fatherhood, the Danish language and the ever-changing immigration rules. Follow him at twitter.com/justincph
Born in 1942 on the Isle of Wight, Englishman Frank Theakston has been in Copenhagen 32 years and is on his second marriage to a Dane. Frank comes from a different time and a different culture – which values are the right ones today?
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16 - 22 September 2011
Cup winners Czechoslovakia proves there’s life in the old country yet Photos: Paloma munoz & Words: Ben hamilton
World Cup fever took over the streets of Nørregade on the first weekend of September as four-a-side teams representing 32 nations contested an international football tournament organised by Play31 (www. play31.org), an organisation that uses the power of football to spread peace, striving for a world where children everywhere are free to play.
Czech this out! Because in the end, the two fans on the left got their wish as their team, representing pre-1993 Czechslovakia, prevailed to lift the replica trophy. Their sizeable squad and overwhelming physicality (according to certain sources) in an enclosed area proved crucial on the day.
Using his celebrity status and new beard to sidle up to the hipster ref is Denmark’s Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Unfortunately, this was a game of football, not ‘Game of Thrones’, and he and his team-mates left empty-handed. The support was vociferous to say the least from the many supporters who turned out to cheer on their teams – including this contingent from Afghanistan.
Ivory Coast vs Iceland! How often do you see that fixture in international football? Never, given that Iceland have never made the World Cup before, and the closest the Ivory Coast has ever got to Iceland was when Didier Drogba played with Eiður Guðjohnsen at Chelsea.
Among the competing nations were Albania …
the Danish celebrity side …
Brazil, although they didn’t live up to the hype …
and the Ivory Coast
And last but nor least, Greenland …
and Sierre Leone
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
16 - 22 September 2011
ABOUT TOWN PHOTOS BY HASSE FERROLD UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED
The US Embassy marked the tenth anniversary of 9/11 with a sombre occasion to remember all victims of terrorism. Among the attendees pictured here (from far left) are former Danish prime minister Poul Nyrup Rasmuussen, the leader of the country when the attacks took place, current PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen and US ambassador Laurie S Fulton.
Christiansborg Castle was the stage for Flag Day on September 5 – an opportunity to recognise the efforts of the Danish servicemen, veterans, and emergency services. The occasion includes addresses by the defence minister, police commissioner and the defence chief. Among the attendees were Social Dems leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt (far left), US ambassador Laurie S Fulton (centre) and prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen (near right).
The occasion included a poignant address from Fulton.
The attendees included (left to right) American singer Tamra Rosanes, who sang ‘America The Beautiful’ and ‘We Have Hope’, Social Dems leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Copenhagen mayor Frank Jensen, Holger K Nielsen, the former leader of the Socialist People’s Party, and former foreign minister Uffe Elleman-Jensen, the current export ambassador for India.
The Elephant Parade auction at Scandic Hotel Copenhagen on Friday evening was well supported by 650 guests, with three of the 102 elephants fetching upwards of 100,000 kroner. Leif Sylvester’s led the way, raising 170,000 out of a grand total of 4,283,920 kroner. Pictured here (left-right) are Liv Thøger, the brand director of Brand Copenhagen, Indian ambassador Ashok Kumar Attri and his wife, Thai ambassador Piyawat Niyomrerks, and Nepalese ambassador Vijaya Kant Lal Karna and his wife.
The Copenhagen Expat Fair on Tuesday was another well-attended occasion at City Hall, not least by a healthy contingent from The Copenhagen Post. The event gives new arrivals and lifers the chance to find out more about the international and Danish clubs available to them. Look out in next week’s paper for more coverage.
At work and at play Isabelle Valentine’s husband works at a video games company and gets to play at work. She also wanted to play for a living so she started the Montessori International Preschool. She moved to Frederiksberg in May 2008 where she lives with her young family.
The Republic of Macedonia celebrated the 20th anniversary of its independence on Tuesday at the Design Museum on Bredgade. Pictured here is the country’s ambassador Asaf Ademi, his wife, and a tremendous spread of delicacies from their country.
Brazil celebrated its national day last week with a well-attended reception. Pictured here (left-right) are Chilean ambassador Ricardo Concha, Mexican ambassador Martha Elena Alvaro, Brazilian ambassador Goncalo de Barros Carvalho e Mello Mourao and Portuguese ambassador João Pedro Silveira Carvalho.
It’s time to say farewell to Lithuanian ambassador Rasa Kairiene. Pictured here (left to right) are Mexican ambassador Martha Elena Alvaro, the new dean of the diplomatic corps, Kairiene, and Anette Lassen from the Foreign Ministry.
INCE 2009, I have been working on starting Montessori International Preschool and it has been a true rollercoaster ride. Of course, starting a new business is never a calm venture but I was not expecting such a rough ride. I did my homework. I proved that there was a desperate need for such an institution. I participated in a business plan competition that I won. I attracted the interest of the media. I got calls from interested parents. I was able to raise finance. I was ready to rumble. But only one thing kept me from moving forward: location, location, location! There is not a single English-language preschool in the municipality of Copenhagen. Why not? It is next to impossible to find a suitable place for one, and even when you do, the red tape behind it is so gruelling, time-consuming and frustrating
that anyone considering such a task would be better off having their wisdom teeth pulled out without anaesthetics. After a year of fruitless searches, I finally found a house in Valby that seemed ideal for the preschool. It had beautiful interiors and was perfectly located in a quiet area. I always considered Denmark to be advanced in terms of internet-based procedures and applications but the building department at Copenhagen City Council is so old-fashioned. I had to submit in paper three copies of the application, which were then scanned before being put at the bottom of a pile of other applications. This first step took a whole week and that was just the beginning of my frustrations. I have never encountered such a lack of procedure and organisation as with this lot. And that in addition to meetings being cancelled; procedures being delayed; no-one taking responsibility... the list goes on. I
But only one thing kept me from moving forward: location, location, location!
will not bore you with the details. All I can say is that I was not impressed. I often read about how Copenhagen needs to attract more talented foreign professionals and how having more international schools would help. Politicians boast about how they will create and support new projects, but when it comes to the grind, bureaucrats cannot follow suit. After ten months applying for the building permit from the City Council, I gave up. Goodbye Valby house, you are costing me too much time, money and patience. So what did I do next? I turned to Frederiksberg. And what did they do? They quickly understood that I could help satisfy the need for childcare and offered me a temporary location while I looked for a more permanent one. In a few weeks, they helped me more than the City Council had in the whole of the previous year. So I have not given up on bureaucrats, as long as they are in Frederiksberg. This story has a happy ending (or at least a happy continuation) as I have now opened my preschool while looking for a more long-term solution with my new buddies in Frederiksberg.
The Copenhagen poST CphpoST.dk
16 - 22 September 2011
The Londoners whose drama school empire continues to grow and grow Dave smith Its students have won leads in ‘Mary poppins’ and ‘peter Juls’, and stacks of television and commercial roles – proof that Scene kunst Skoler really delivers
he British-Born actor and theatre director russell Collins left London for Denmark some three and a half years ago in search of a better, more balanced life. With his Danish wife Christina Anthony - an actress based in London for 14 years - they started scene Kunst skoler, a business that runs theatre schools for children from four to 16 years old. After opening the first school in March 2008 in Køge, they now have 12 schools based at three locations and over 300 regular students. “it has been a great journey since we started scene Kunst skoler and we have learnt so much,” Collins tells The Copenhagen Post. “i have always preferred working for myself, and by running my own business in Denmark i have no restrictions on my potential. The language barrier, often an issue when looking for work, has no real relevance as one way or another i’m always able to get my point across. starting our international Drama school in August 2010 has been very exciting and proved to be a great addition to our schools.” scene Kunst skoler students are receiving approval in the professional world too, landing various roles, including the lead in the recent run of
‘Mary Poppins’ at Detnyteater, Copenhagen. Four students will also be performing at Detnyteater in the big production of ‘Annie’ this autumn, one student has just got a part in ‘Forbrydelsen 3’ (the third series of ‘The Killing’), another will be performing the lead in ‘Peters Jul’ at the Folketeatret this Christmas, while many more have played parts in commercials and on children’s television. “in my opinion it’s very important for children to learn creative skills,” contends Collins. “Performing to a live audience gives them a unique experience that improves self confidence, whilst reminding them that life is a joy and full of endless possibilities. Unfortunately during a financial crisis creative subjects are the first to go, but i think the importance of being creative is underestimated in regards to the balanced development of children.” russell will continue to be busy as scene Kunst skoler plans to open more schools this year and will be running their first summer camps next summer. students from all of its schools will be performing their Christmas show at Detnyteater this year to an audience of over 1,000 - an experience that all the students are really looking forward to. “our other goal in coming to Denmark was to start a family, and with our second daughter due in three weeks, we are looking forward to all of our futures here in Denmark,” reveals Collins. “overall running my own business in Denmark has really given us the balanced life we were looking for. There is actually no difference between opening a business in Den-
mark and england – pretty much the same rules apply. Although i must say, language wise, it has helped having a Danish wife.” russell, who continues to work professionally, will be taking a piece of Denmark back to the UK next year when he directs ‘The Beach’ by Peter Asmussen in London. “The move to Denmark has really paid off and we have no regrets about leaving the UK,” he says.
Win a free place at Scene kunst Skoler drama school child the chance to win a 100 percent scholarship to attend its international school in Hellerup for the remainder of this semester, which concludes with a Christmas performance at DetNyTeater. To enter your child into the draw, please answer the following question:
For further details regarding Scene Kunst Skoler contact Russell or Christina on 5614 3717, or visit www.scenekunstskoler.dk. Scene Kunst Skoler is offering your
Which three disciplines do Scene kunst Skoler teach? Answers should be sent to email@example.com by no later than September 23 at 16:00.
Some of the rising stars of the next generation of Scene Kunst Skoler scene-stealers
CoMIng Up Soon Storytime
Books & Company, Sofievej 1, Hellerup; every Tue 09:30-10:00; Free Adm; www.booksandcompany.dk
The popular storytime is back after a summer break! tuesday mornings at the international book café are dedicated to inspiring and captivating the imagination of the little ones. The wonderful storyteller sara Albers, a teacher and a mother of two young boys, entertains the kids with stories, poems, finger plays and small projects. This is a fantastic way to start the day! tK 27x3 Kinder European Challenge Sun morning; Free to run or watch, donations accepted online; www.27challenge.com
Making his way through the incredible challenge of running 27 full marathons in 27 different european countries in only 27 days (sep 11-oct 7), Maltese runner nathan Farrugia will arrive in Copenhagen on saturday evening to run on sunday morning. organisers in each of the 27 countries have selected a local charity to which people can make donations, which will receive 75 percent of the money taken. Fellow runners are welcome to join Farrugia on the run and go at their own pace.
EPWN Copenhagen networking dinner
Restaurant VIVA, Langebrogade Kaj, 1570 Cph K; Fri 23 Sep, starts 18:30; members, non-members and guests allowed; 450kr per person; RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.europeanpwn.net/copenhagen by Fri 16 Sep
The european Professional Women’s network (europeanPWn) of Copenhagen committee invites you to join them for a celebratory dinner in honour of their ever-expanding association. Bringing together women from various cultures, backgrounds and occupations, europeanPWn has helped establish new friendships in addition to providing opportunities for personal and professional development. The dinner will include a three-course meal with a welcome drink and two glasses of wine per person. taking place on a restaurant boat, guests will have a great view of the royal Library and city of Copenhagen. Js Lyngby-Taarbæk Council: Welcoming reception for new residents
Lyngby Stadsbibliotek (The Lyngby City Library), Lyngby Hovedgade 28, Lyngby; Thu 22 Sep, 16:30– 19:00; register by email to Signe Ortved Krølner, email@example.com
new to the Lynby-taarbæk neighbourhood? Want to meet your community? Come and join the welcome reception for
new citizens! Bring your family for a ‘hygge’ afternoon of networking and also learn practical information about the council. There will be a guided tour of the library with a special surprise performance followed by a welcome greeting and practical information session at the library hall. Later, guests have the opportunity to socialise and ask questions to council staff members. refreshments will also be served. EID: Global Cross Match Copenhagen Custom House, Havnegade 44, Cph K; Thu 22 Sep, 19:00-22:00; free adm; sign up required at firstname.lastname@example.org with name, nationality and “Global Cross Match” in the subject line
Bringing together Danes and expats, Global Cross Match is designed to create a diverse association of people in Copenhagen. expand your cross-cultural social and professional network by sharing knowledge and experiences with others at this event. Guided by an hour-long ‘speednetworking’ session, you will be provided with the chance to meet many new people from Denmark and overseas. Later, there will be an abundance of time to mingle and network even further in the happening surroundings of nyhavn, which is nearby the Custom house.
Come to make unique and constructive connections with others. Basketry course
Abildhøjskolen, Skolevej 15, Præstø; Sat 17 Sep and Sun 18 Sep, starts at 09:00; materials for the course cost between 100–150kr, depending on usage
Dating all the way back to the stone Age, basketry is one of the world’s oldest crafts. in the course instructed by Jessie Adams, learn to weave while meeting others with a shared interest in this creative skill. During the course, you’ll learn to weave baskets for harvesting and storage, while more experienced basket-weavers can create their own firewood baskets. Work with a stripped arrow that will allow for a special mixing of colours in the basket. Guests are encouraged to bring pruning shears, knives and heavy stones to aid in the creation. Lecture: Dorthe Berntsen
CFS, University of Copenhagen, lecture room 25-5-11, Njalsgade 140142, 5th floor; Thu 22 Sep, 13:15– 15:00; free adm
in her lecture entitled ‘Always look on the bright side of life: social and cultural constraints on autobiographical memory’, Dorthe Berntsen will speak about autobiographical memory and its influence on cultural norms. According to Berntsen, autobiographical memory is our
ability to remember and consciously relive personal experiences from our past. Join this academic lecture to learn about the human tendency to pick out positive emotional memories when asked for memories of important and/or emotional events Sensational Street Soccer
Butchers Lab, Kødbyen, Cph V; Sat 17 Sep, starts 14:00; ages 17+; www. cphmoves.com
relax and watch ‘sensational street soccer’ as mixed eighta-side teams compete to win roskilde 2012 tickets. The afternoon will be filled with spirited groups displaying their fancy footwork. Feeling active? There is still time to gather together seven of your friends with an equal number of boys and girls - to join the action and play in the tournament. Bicycle Training
Hans Tavsen Park, Hans Tarvsens Gade 40, Cph N; ends 29 Oct, every Sat 10:00-13:00; free adm; contact: Cecilie Herløw 2291 5962, registration: email@example.com; www.dcf.dk
every saturday Cecilie herlow offers free bicycle lessons for people with a non-Danish background. if you can’t make it to nørrebro, please visit the bicycle club’s website to find out more about the lessons in Amager, Vesterbro, Fredriksberg, Valby or tingbjerg.
Kristkirke, Enghave Plads 18, Cph V; every Thu, children aged 5-7 years: 15:00-15:45, 8-11 years: 16:0016:45; contact: metteskovmark@ gmail.com, 2857 9407; www.kristkirke.dk
After their summer break the children’s choirs at Kristkirke are resuming their practicing hours and welcoming new members. if you are between five and eleven years old and eager to sing, just contact singing teacher Mette skovmark to get more information. After a little warming up, you will experience the dynamic of singing songs for several voices, a canon or whatever the group is up for. Chess for Kids and Teenagers
Skakforeningen AS04, Frejasgade 14, Cph N; every Thu, 18:00-19:00; www.as04.dk
every Thursday the chess club in nørrebro offers lessons for kids and teenagers (6-16 years), including practical as well as theoretical instruction. Learn more about opening variations, combination-techniques, basic chess principles and how to make notes on a chess game. experienced chess instructors will show you the way to success. The first three lessons are free - after that membership at the chess club is 200kr for six months.
14 no garden variety market CULTURE
The Copenhagen poST CphpoST.dk
For members of the kbhff food collective, the fruit of their labour is more than a healthy plate
Inside the the kbhff headquarters in Nørrebro, things are “warm and green”, according to their sign
Scales and heaps of veg await the next shift of volunteers
ties that he performs outside his working hours. right now he is drawing up a start-up tutorial for interested members and helping to set up a store in Østerbro later on this year. Lars Kinnunen, also a co-founder of the planned Østerbro branch, came directly from work. “I think when we open the new co-op, almost 70 people who currently come to nørrebro will transfer with us, and we expect memberships to increase rather quickly.” His mother, Inge Merethe, is waiting for him outside. The pensioner normally is in Farum, but when she is in the city, she is happy to share the immense brown bag of produce with her son. However, not everybody has someone to share with. on the community’s website a number of people have inquired about ‘singlebags’ for people who live alone. “At this point of time, we’d rather keep it simple and concentrate on one size. It’s easier to pack,” Larsen replies to this suggestion. “Maybe we could think about offering different sizes in the future.” While most of the members restrict their activity to packing produce, others take the opportunity to get a more hands-on experience at the new kbhffgarden, located in Frederiksborg half an hour outside the capital. The aim there is to cultivate vegetables and fruit and for the garden to serve as a place where people can come and learn about agriculture.
AFTEr grIPPIng audiences abroad in both its original Danish version and with an English remake, TV series ‘The Killing’ (Forbrydelsen) will be making a return to its home audience, this time as a book translated from English. The adapted version of the awardwinning 20-episode series will be written by established British crime writer David Hewsen. Britian’s Pan Macmillian publishers reportedly won the rights to ‘The Killing’ at auction for an estimated bid of 3 million kroner. ‘The Killing’ is due to be published next year, and the owner of the Danish rights, Lind & ringhof publishers, ex-
TV’s ‘The killing’ set to make comeback, this time as a page turner
pects that both the English version will be released in Denmark in August along with its Danish translation. Hewsen has reportedly been given free reign to adapt the series to a novel, provided it did not go against the original idea of the TV series.
Work, food and socialisation are all a part of a good day’s volunteering for members
In addition to packing vegetables for members, volunteers also make food
City archaeologists make filthy find ancient loo reveals the 18th century Copenhageners’ eating habits
Wo 300-year-old latrines unearthed from beneath Kultorvet square are offering up answers to questions about how everyday Copenhageners traded, ate and suffered in the 18th century. And the answers are accompanied by some still powerful odours. ”Well, it smells like rotten eggs,” archaeologist and excavation expert Hoda El-Sharnouby told Politiken newspaper. The stinky but stunning find includes two outhouses filled with nearly 300-year-old faeces. The privies and their contents are remarkably well-preserved thanks to the low oxygen content in the city’s soil. “That smell is such good news for us archaeologists, because that’s how we know that the contents are wellpreserved and have not been eaten up by bacteria,” El-Sharnouby added. With all the digging going on around Copenhagen these days as part of the Metro Cityring subway project, ancient faecal finds have become relatively common, but the thing that makes the Kultorvet faeces so special is that there is simply so much of it. “There is an insane quantity – it’s going to take me months to look through it all and analyse all the contents thor-
CopenhAgen City museum
rgAnIC food is the talk of the town after Copenhagen Cooking. At its events the organisers went out of their way to provide us with the best, the freshest and most ecological produce they could find. But is an organic banana also the most ecological one? And is a restaurant with an eco-label the only way to get closer to natural ingredients? An increasing number of grass roots initiatives in Copenhagen – like urban beekeeping project Bybi, urban food garden Prags Have and food collective kbhff – are answering that question with a ‘no’. Instead of waiting for supermarkets and restaurants to bring affordable organic food to consumers, they try taking consumers back to the roots – in the truest sense of the word. The member-based and member-run kbhff – the Copenhagen Food Community – came into being as an alternative to commercial supermarket chains and has been a win-win-project from the start. In 2008, the first branch opened in the nørrebro district and due to the huge success, the concept spread to other parts of the city, and then to Aarhus, odense and now the rural island of Borholm. The basic idea is that in return for paying a 100 kroner membership and donating three hours a month working for the collective, you are eligible to order a of bag of fresh, local vegetables for 100 kroner each week. When The Copenhagen Post visited the nørrebro store in the basement of Korsgade Street 19, it was filled with busy, cheerful people of all ages and cultural backgrounds. The people had signed up for one of the many jobs, and after speaking with the members, it quickly become clear that for most kbhff members, the project was about more than just food. “I really don’t know much about vegetables,” confessed Østerbro resident Kim Larsen. “For me it’s mainly about the cause and the company of like-minded people.” Larsen, an IT specialist, added that he felt it was important for people to start thinking about where their food comes from. Bringing affordable organic food into the city might be a good start, he said. Larsen used a day of his holiday to come to work in the store. During the rest of the year, he enlists for other du-
All photos by: Dennis brAnDbyge
16 - 22 September 2011
Whose poo is in the loo? Possibly one of your ancestor’s!
oughly. But I can already see that they ate seasonal things, raspberries or blackberries and apples. Somebody ate an apple core and it came right out the other end,” archaeo-botanist Mette Marie Hald, who is in charge of analysing the plant content of the Kultorvet faeces, said. “They ate cherries, figs and flax seeds. I have also found seeds from weeds that grow in rye fields, so they were definitely eating rye bread or rye porridge,” she added. ”We only expected to find barley porridge and local farmstead food, but we have found a whole range of plants that could possibly tell us something about trade contacts in the past.”
Less appetisingly, Hald has found evidence of intestinal worms and mites in our forefathers’ faeces. The find may also provide new understanding about the lifestyles of the lower social classes in Copenhagen in the 1700s, because the Kultorvet toilets were apparently public facilities, accessible to all. “It’s as close to the person, the body and everyday life as you can come,” Hald added. The privies were used for the last time just before the great fire of 20-23 october 1728, when large parts of Copenhagen burned to the ground. (JB)
The Copenhagen poST CphpoST.dk
16 - 22 September 2011
Ikea implicated in tax evasion scheme
Morten sørensen, økonoMisk Ugebrev
Internal documents allegedly show danish Ikea stores have cheated taxpayers out of 187 million kroner
Retailer gloomy about consumer confidence Sales at discount stores are up, but that’s about the only bright spot for Coop denmark so far this year
hen the consumer speaks, the country’s largest retailer can feel it. And what the consumers are telling COOP Denmark – the operator of food retailers such as Super Brugsen, Irma and Fakta – is that they are not likely to spur on the country to economic growth next year. In an interview with Økonomisk Ugebrev, COOP finance director Per toelstang said that while the low-end Fakta and, surprisingly, the high-end Irma had managed to increase sales during the first half, overall food sales were down 5 percent for the company, and non-food items down 10 percent. Denmark’s retail sales fell 5.1 percent from July 2010 to July 2011, well off the eU average and better than only Greece, Portugal and Malta, according to eurostat. According to toelstang, the gloomy statistics have meant that consumers have focused much more closely on price. “That’s meant stores like Fakta have grown by 5 percent and that they have gained market share.” toelstang admits Irma’s growth has been unexpected given the economic pessimism, but chalked it up to “good business skill”. While COOP’s overall decline in food sales had met with its expecta-
Consumers are increasingly in search of a bargain, says COOP’s Toelstang (pictured)
tions, the decline in non-food sales – everything from cleaning agents to magazines – had surprised the company. toelstang expects the rest of 2011 to remain lousy and predicts next year will pick up right where this year leaves off. “I’d like to offer a more positive outlook for 2012, but I don’t think we’re going to see a miracle that pulls us out of the quicksand. Falling house prices and a bull market makes us feel
poorer, and the overall uncertainty about the economy makes people insecure about their job security. “ For COOP, that means the costconscious consumer will continue to dominate the aisles, and lower sales figures for the company in general, even if discount stores continue to grow. In the meantime, with little influence over consumer demands, COOP, according to toelstang, needs to turn to efficiency gains in order to minimise its losses.
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AnISh Ikea stores have been depositing vast sums of untaxed profits into the private offshore bank account of the company’s Swedish founder, according to internal company documents obtained by the press. More than 750 million kroner has been syphoned off over a period spanning two decades from Ikea’s Danish subsidiaries to a private bank account in Liechtenstein controlled by Ingvar Kamprad, reports Politiken newspaper. The money has been sent to Liechtenstein, a tax haven, by way of shell companies in the netherlands and Luxembourg and labelled in Ikea’s financial books as so-called franchise fees for the right to use Ikea’s name and brand. Last year alone, some 86 million kroner left the country untaxed. All told, Danish Ikea stores have allegedly cheated Danish taxpayers out of more than 187 million kroner in corporate taxes since the middle of the 1980s. Ikea’s tax shenanigans were uncovered earlier this year by Swedish journalists who discovered the existence of a fund called Interogo, which is directly controlled by Kamprad and contains more than 100 billion Swedish kroner. The Ikea corporation confirmed that Interogo is itself the owner of Inter Ikea Systems, to which the Danish franchise fees have been paid. A
spokesman for Ikea confirmed to Politiken that money from the Danish Ikea stores was indeed being sent to Liechtenstein. “Some of the profits and part of the franchise fees from all of the stores ends up with [Kamprad],” said company spokesman Anders Byland. According to tax accountant Christen Amby, a leading expert on corporate taxes and a consultant to the Socialist People’s Party (SF), the Danish Ikea stores could have to pay big penalties if Ikea is found guilty of long-standing tax evasion. In addition, Amby believes that Ikea owes Denmark for lost royalty fees, because the Danish stores have been active developing the Ikea concept and brand. Under Danish tax law, the tax on royalties sent out of the country is 25 percent. The SF has pledged that if the opposition parties should win the general election on Thursday and gain seats in the government, it will go after Ikea and other multinational corporations that it believes are exploiting tax loopholes. ”It’s not acceptable. All corporations must pay their taxes,” said SF tax spokesperson Jesper Petersen. In recent years, other Danish subsidiaries of multinational companies have also come under fire for not paying enough taxes. The tax minister, Peter Christensen, agreed that multinationals must be held accountable for the taxes they owe, but said “strengthened international regulations” would be the most tool effective enforcement. (JB)
BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN DENMARK
Clean & reliable energy - from source to socket We would like to invite you to our next on the way home event on Wednesday 21 September, hosted by Dong Energy
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It is easy to identify with DONG Energy’s goal of delivering clean and reliable energy. But clean energy isn’t known for it’s reliability, so is this achievable - and if so, how? This event will give you the opportunity to find out about DONG’s strategy to meet this goal, as well as gaining an insight into how energy is traded.
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• Also E-learning combined with Saturday classes
16:45 17:00 17:05 17:30
To Enroll call: 3888 3233
Arrival, registration and coffee Welcome by Mariano A. Davies, President, BCCD Anders Eldrup, CEO: “Implementing DONG’s vision to provide clean & reliable energy” Morten P Thorball, Head of Valuation & Modelling: “Trading energy from different sources including wind, & supplying it to the market” Q&A discussion Drinks, snacks & networking
Location: DONG Energy, Nesa Allé 1, 2820 Gentofte
IA SPROG Hejrevej 26, 2nd floor 2400 Copenhagen NV 3888 3233 firstname.lastname@example.org www.iasprog.dk
Attendance is free of charge for members and their guests. Non-members are also welcome to attend at a cost of 125 DKK inc. MOMS. Payment will be by invoice, so please let us know your address when you sign up. If you would like to attend please sign up online (www.bccd.dk), send an e-mail to email@example.com or phone 31 18 75 58. • official media partner
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IA SPROG Hejrevej 26, 2nd floor 2400 Copenhagen NV Phone: 3888 3233 Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.iasprog.dk
THE COPENHAGEN POST 16 - 22 September 2011 SPOUSE EMPLOYMENT PAGE SPOUSE: IEUAN JONES FROM: UNITED KINGDOM SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen (Will travel if needed) QUALIFICATION: BA Hons and Professional Diploma, Town & Country Planning (Urban Design & 3rd World Development) EXPERIENCE: Over 7 years experience working as a Development Manager for one of the UK’s leading health and socialcare infrastructure companies, developing new health and community buildings. LOOKING FOR: Opportunities to transfer and develop my skills and knowledge in Denmark. Ideally a full time position but I remain realistic and my options are open. I am more than happy to take on a part time role or work placement while I continue with my Danish course. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English (Mother Tongue), learning Danish at Studieskolen, Borgergade IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint), Promap CONTACT: email@example.com Tel: +45 52 40 07 85 SPOUSE: Dolon Roy FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: Sjælland QUALIFICATION: Masters in Science(Chemistry), BEd.(Teacher training course) EXPERIENCE: St. John Diocessan School February-May 2005, Kolkata, India. The Assembly of God Church School April-May 2006, Kolkata, India. Disari Public School June 2006-October 2007, India. Research project work Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Copenhagen University, March-July 2009 LOOKING FOR: Part time or full time work teaching in primary,secondary or higher school level (Chemistry, Mathematics, Science) LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Hindi, Bengali, Danish (modul 3/modul 5) IT EXPERIENCE: Microsoft office CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mob: +45 60668239 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 tlf. 508 288 02 SPOUSE: Jennifer Bouma FROM: The Netherlands SEEKING WORK IN: Egedal Kommune, Copenhagen 30 km QUALIFICATION: Managers Secretary, hands on, reliable, structured, self reliant, social, teamplayer) LOOKING FOR: Secretary job LANGUAGE SKILLS: Dutch, Danish, English, German, French, Italian IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office ( Word, Excel), Outlook, SAP CONTACT: jenniferbouma@ hotmail.com SPOUSE: Vivek Kanwar Singh FROM: India SEEKING WORK IN: All of Denmark QUALIFICATION: 3 Years full time Bachelor in Fashion Design from National Institute of Fashion Technology (India) EXPERIENCE: 8 years of experience working in India and Republic of Mauritius with Garment Manufacturing Companies. Worked as a Key Account Manager for many International Brands like: GAP, FRENCH CONNECTION, MARKS & SPENCERS, SAKS 5TH AVENUE, etc.. LOOKING FOR: Full time Job in Textiles, Fashion and Apparel Industry. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English (fluent-Writing/Reading), Hindi (Fluent-Writing/Reading), Danish (DU3, Module 2). IT EXPERIENCE: Microsoft Certified System Engineer (no work experience though) CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, Mobile: +45-50179511 SPOUSE: Geet Shroff FROM: Bangalore, India SEEKING WORK IN: Midtjylland / Copenhagen / Odense QUALIFICATION: Bachelor’s degree in Communicative English from Bangalore University, India. EXPERIENCE: 8+ years of experience as Senior Copy Writer, Assistant Manager – Marketing Communications, Executive – Customer Loyalty & Communication, Customer Service Associate respectively. Through these years, I have developed content, handled complete marketing communications, organized numerous corporate (internal & external customer), private and institutional events ranging from 50 to 1000 people and also handling special projects that have included training & internal communication campaigns. LOOKING FOR: A Corporate or Marketing Communication (Internal or External) position or that of a Copy Writer at an advertising agency or a corporate house. Also open to a position at an event management company. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Danish (Beginner) IT EXPERIENCE: MS-Office, Adobe In Design CS3 (Basic) CONTACT: email@example.com +4550834024 SPOUSE: Steffen Schmidt FROM: Germany SEEKING WORK IN: Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Structured Finance Proffesional LOOKING FOR: A challenging finance position in Copenhagen (preferable within Corporate Finance…) LANGUAGE SKILLS: German (native), English (business fluent) IT EXPERIENCE: MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org SPOUSE: Chia-Pei CHEN FROM: Taiwan SEEKING WORK IN: Business Chinese/ Tutorial Chinese teaching in corporations, institutions or International schools. QUALIFICATION: A certified teacher of teaching Chinese as a second language. A degree in Social Science discipline. Continuously participation in training program (organized by Beijing Hanban of CHINA and CBS) to teach Chinese to foreigners in western context. Enrolment to distance Chinese teaching education system that keeps professional Chinese teachers resourceful. EXPERIENCE: I am a certified teacher of teaching Chinese as a second language to foreigners. And I have started teaching Chinese with English in my class for 2 years. I design suitable materials to teach Chinese with different phonetic systems (PinYin for China and HongKong, and Mandarin Phonetic Symbols for Taiwan) as well as to interpret differences between simplified and traditional Chinese characters. My past positions were Chinese language-related, such as: reporter, translator and social science researcher. Students who I taught before regard me as a sincere, discreet teacher who helps learners to progress in short time. LOOKING FOR: Business Chinese/ Tutorial Chinese teaching LANGUAGE SKILLS: Chinese (mother tongue), English (Fluent), French (basic), Danish (beginner) IT EXPERIENCE: Word Office, SPSS statistic software, Basic Video and Audio editing, Blog writing CONTACT: email@example.com, Tel: 25 81 65 18
THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK SPOUSE: Lillian Liu FROM: Taiwan SEEKING WORK IN: Marketing/Public Relations QUALIFICATION: Bachelor of Foreign Language and Literature (Major in English, and minor in French) EXPERIENCE: 5+ years of professional experiences in Marketing and PR. I am a dynamic and creative marketing communications talent with substantial international working experience in large corporation and in agencies, possessing Integrated Marketing Communication ability. Proficient in analyzing market trends to provide critical inputs for decision-making and formulating marketing communication strategies. Familiar with brand image build-up, channel marketing, media communication, issue management, etc. Possess in-depth understanding/knowledge of APAC market and Chinese culture. LOOKING FOR: Marketing jobs in Jylland LANGUAGE SKILLS: Mandarin Chinese, English, Danish, French IT EXPERIENCE: Familiar with Windows O/S and MS Office CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org SPOUSE: Simon Rigby FROM: United Kingdom (originally Scotland) SEEKING WORK IN: Jylland, Fyn or Sjælland (anywhere in Denmark) QUALIFICATION: Secondary High School - 8 ‘Ordinary’ levels & 3 ‘Advanced’ levels achieved. EXPERIENCE: Business Development, Sales & Marketing and Client Relationship Management specialist. 15+ years experience in securing ‘insurance and lifestyle benefits’ contracts with high volume and high consumer numbers within the Affinity Group Marketing sector from a wide variety of distribution channels including banks, financial institutions, large membership affinity groups and employers, credit card issuers and insurers. Highly accomplished and skilled at ‘low cost, high perceived value’ large scale marketing to B2B and B2C target audiences through both on-line and other direct marketing channels. Entire career spent in the banking, finance and insurance sectors the latter of which I have spent in the UK employment of 3 of the top 4 global insurance brokers. A team player and a ‘people person’ with the skills and abilities to easily and comfortably interact with individuals at all levels. Natural problem solver who sees opportunities rather than obstacles. Simplistic and structured approach to finding straightforward and practical solutions to problems. LOOKING FOR: A job within an organisation (financial services or otherwise) where my Sales & Marketing and Key Account managerial skills and experience are fully utilised and where I can provide a sustainable and tangible long term contribution to my new employer as well as to my new country within which I have chosen to permanently live. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English (mother tongue) ; German (very good) ; French (good) ; Danish (basic, but currently enrolled on a ‘Danskuddannelse 3’ language course). IT EXPERIENCE: Word - Advanced user. Powerpoint - Proficient user. Excel - Basic. CONTACT: email@example.com or mobile +45 60 16 80 40. SPOUSE: Miss Marta Guerrero FROM: Spain SEEKING WORK IN: Great Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Bachelor of English teacher for Primary Education. Bachelor of Psychologist for Education. EXPERIENCE: Over the past five years I have worked in a Primary School in Barcelona as English teacher for children from 6 to 11 years old. Moreover, last year I gained experience teaching Spanish, as a foreign language, in the UK. I also have some experience teaching adults. LOOKING FOR: Full time position as Spanish or English teacher in a Kindergarden, a Primary School or in a High School. LANGUAGE SKILLS: Spanish and Catalan (mother tongue). English (fluent speaking and writing). IT EXPERIENCE: A good user of all the basic computer knowledge (Word, Excel, Power Point,...) as well as blog and web publication and maintenance. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org SPOUSE: Andrea Heilmann FROM: Germany (Marburg) SEEKING WORK IN: Greater Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: Communications Manager & PR Consultant EXPERIENCE: I successfully work as Communications Consultant for a global company and have more than 10 years of experience with company communication and public relations as well as event management, executive assistance and project coordination. I also have a strong crosscultural understanding since I always worked with different cultures from all over the world. LOOKING FOR: Communications, Public Relations or Event Management job LANGUAGE SKILLS: English (fluent), German (native) IT EXPERIENCE: Microsoft Word, Power Point, Excel, Outlook; Lotus Notes; CMS; Acrobat Writer; PaintShop Pro CONTACT: email@example.com, cell phone +49 160 3534209 SPOUSE: Attila Simon FROM: Romania SEEKING WORK IN: Greater Copenhagen QUALIFICATION: International Welding Engineer (IWE/EWE), MSc in Welding Engineering, MSc in Flexible Manufacturing Systems, MSc in Quality Assurance of Metallic Structures EXPERIENCE: 10+ years experience in designing and manufacturing railway wagons, buses, trolleybuses and their subsystems. More than 7 years international project management experience in these areas. More than 2 years experience in industrial trading and investments LOOKING FOR: Transport, railway or welding related engineering job, also project management positions LANGUAGE SKILLS: English (fluent speaking and writing), Danish (intermediate), Hungarian (mother tongue), Romanian (native speaker) IT EXPERIENCE: Several years experience working with SolidWorks, AutoCAD, ProgeCAD and VariCAD. User level of Microsoft Office CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org; tel.: 28316752 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 Consultancies/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: email@example.com, +45 503 904 60 SPOUSE: Kaewkarn Kanchanavipu FROM: Thailand SEEKING WORK IN: Sales, marketing, project management, business processes, supply chain, HR and general management functions QUALIFICATION: M.Sc. International Business and Trade , School of Business Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Bachelor of Economics, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand; Certificate of Exchange Studies in Business Administration Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Austria; Certificate of Completion in STEPS, Saitama University, Japan EXPERIENCE: Three-year professional experience in sales, marketing, business development and project management. Proven record of achieving high performance in multiple markets: Norway, Sweden, Japan and Thailand in various industries. Able to devise and implement coherent organization strategies whilst improving internal process and procedures within a demanding environment, project deadlines and budgets. Area of expertise & experience: Operational management, sales, marketing, business development, project management, recruitment, customer service and administration. LOOKING FOR: A challenging position that will utilize my skills and offer opportunities for future development as well as wish to make a significant contribution to the organization. LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, Japanese, Thai and novice Danish IT EXPERIENCE: MS Office CONTACT: Tel: +45 50 398 555 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Denmark’s only English-language newspaper
THE COPENHAGEN POST SPOUSE EMPLOYMENT PAGE WHY: The Copenhagen Post wishes to help spouses looking for jobs in Denmark. We have on our own initiative started a weekly spouse job page in The Copenhagen Post, with the aim to show that there are already within Denmark many highly educated international candidates looking for jobs. If you are a spouse to an international employee in Denmark looking for new career opportunities, you are welcome to send a profile to The Copenhagen Post at email@example.com and we will post your profile on the spouse job page when possible.
The Copenhagen poST CphpoST.dk
16 - 22 September 2011
anglo antics competing with danish drollery on the comedy circuit The 2011 ZULU Comedy Festival had a record number of englishspeakers – proof that both danes and internationals s want more foreign acts
HE FINAl joke was told and the last lingering laugh left the venue hall as the ZUlU Comedy Festival wrapped up for its third year on Saturday. Over the two week-long festival, hordes of Danish comedians, stand-up performers and wisecrackers honed in on Copenhagen and Aarhus in their bid to make the audiences chuckle. But, hidden among the vast helping of Danish jokesters was a large portion of comedy acts in English—more than ever in the festival’s history. With 14 performances in Copenhagen and Aarhus from ten different individuals or small groups, the festival provided those seeking English-language comedy with an enormous opportunity to find them - a big change from the past two years. In both 2009 and 2010, there was only one English-language show - severely limiting the scope of the audience to Danes or Danish-speakers. The co-producer of the ZUlU Comedy Festival, Jesper Holger Nielsen, explained that the festival expanded the amount of shows in English this year in order to reach out to more expats and international students. “First of all, there were more individual English shows this year because we are trying to develop the programme to make
it more international,” Holger stated, adding that there is a dire need for English-language entertainment in the city. “There are lots of expats in Copenhagen and not many places to go for English entertainment,” he said. English-language headliners included America’s Jamie Kennedy, and established British stand-up comics Paul Foot and Nik Coppin – with even a German in the mix, the British-based comedian Henning Wehn - who all received rave reviews and a positive response from the audience. “In general the festival was quite a good success, but also a bit of a challenge because there were more shows in Copenhagen, and also shows in Aarhus for the first time,” Holger said. “But we hope to have even more English language acts next year.” Without a doubt, English-language comedy has reached Denmark and is here to stay. Two of several regular nights that have started over the last two years, Wisecrackers at The Dubliner pub in the city centre, and another at lygten Station in Nørrebro – have proved popular. However, despite the obvious popularity of these, the shows at the festival did not manage to reach as many expats and international students as ZUlU organisers had initially hoped. However, attracted by the foreign yet familiar tongue, Danes attended the English shows in surprisingly large numbers. Although the audiences were a mix of both Danes and internationals, the former greatly outweighed the latter in total numbers. Jakob Havemann, the owner of
Jamie Kennedy, Paul Foot and Henning Wehn were among the english-language headliners
Bispebjerg Comedy Corner – a hotspot for English acts at the ZUlU Comedy Festival – said the Danish audiences are not used to hearing stand-up in English. “The funny part is that the main part of the audience is still Danes going to the shows,” he stated. “But we would very much like to see more international crowds in the future.” According to Holger, through networking and partnerships with international groups and students, the future of English comedy acts will hopefully see a rise in native English speakers among
the spectators. “There is an unaware demand for comedy in English,” Holger said. “There is a market for it, but the challenge is to communicate with the expats and international students to let them know about the possibility to see English language comedy in Copenhagen.” Holger also expressed his interest to keep all the shows at a single venue, making it easier for the international community to seek them out and communicate with event co-ordinators. regardless of the less-than-sunny Danish weather, the warm welcome they
received in Denmark will be enough to keep English-speaking performers coming back for more. At Bispebjerg Comedy Corner, Havemann and an associate are working on an additional new comedy festival for next year with a line-up of entirely English-speaking acts. Moreover, the venue welcomes guests from abroad about once a month to test out their joke-cracking skills on a Danish crowd. “The performers like everything about performing here — the audience, the scene and the whole environment,” Havemann concluded.
performance dance review: Red Bull Flying Bach
He is the entrepreneur who started the café chain, Joe and the Juice. Oooh. I think I’ve had a coffee in one of those! Yes, you probably have. There are now more than 14 Joe and the Juices in the world - most of which are in the Copenhagen area.
I STArTEr nu!” The single Danish utterance from Christoph Hagel provokes a small chuckle from the audience as we all sit back and let Bach’s ‘Wohltemperiertes Klavier’ enchant us. Not many here know what to expect, but after the first couple of spins from the tiny, yet graceful ballet dancer Sylvania Pen, we know that the rest of the show is destined for greatness. I’m no dancing expert, but the greatest joy for me was to see the meeting between two such different dancing styles, and the wonderful story of overcoming boundaries and prejudices. Before we know it there are not one, not two, but seven hunks dressed in red doing spins, jumps, and freezes, show-
ing us exactly why straight-up street break dance is so amazing! With Hagel behind the piano, ‘red Bull Flying Bach’ delivers a striking blow to the audience by showing us the sensitive side of breakdance and the roughness of the classical ballet we know so well. In this show, the performers as well as the audience are forced to use all their senses – and they need them just to safely negotiate the flight path of the Flying Bach as breakdance meets ballet. It took them two years to get here, and they are far from done. So don’t miss out when the explosive red Bull Flying Bach comes headspinning, powermoving, and jumping back to Copenhagen in the spring!
What gave him the idea? He told Thorborg (from the Podcast Thorborgs Talkshow) that good nutrition had been drummed into him while he was in Denmark’s national karate team, plus he’d always been a fan of Starbucks. He therefore decided to create “a cool café where you can feel good about what you put inside yourself” - i.e fresh juices. What else did he say? He said his personal motto was “It’s not about the hit, it’s about the combination and the footwork.” Maybe this is interesting if you know what on earth it means. What are his plans for the chain? He has the ambition of putting 1,000 cafés on the globe. The first café in the US will open shortly. Is it all positive? Mostly, but you know those yellow certificates with a smiley face that hang on the doors of all the
Niels AhlmAN OleseN
Bullish breakdance to Bach Who is ... kasper Basse? The Copenhagen Post Quick Crossword
food establishments (issued by the Danish Food Administration Agency)? Well, earlier this year the Joe and the Juice at Copenhagen Airport received a distinctly ‘un-smiley’ face because of their lack of hygiene. Basse told Ekstra Bladet tabloid that this was unacceptable and that he had been so angry that he “fired the manager on the spot”. We should be grateful the discipline he learned in the martial arts stopped him from giving him a well-earned karate chop! And now? The company was again fined when the agency made an unannounced visit and found that their report was not hanging up (as is required). Ekstra Bladet called Basse again, who asserted that it had been hung up and that there “certainly hadn’t been an attempt to hide it from their customers”. We can now report that you can happily drink an energising shake before you board your flight, without worrying about hogging the in-flight toilet getting rid of it, as Joe and the Juice received a very happy smiley face on July 13.
Across 1. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 15. 18. 20. 22. 23. 24.
Promotion (11) Survive (7) Contact (5) Of the country (5) Shorten (7) Safe (6) Away (6) Eminent conductor (7) Kingly (5) Tend in sickness (5) Insanity (7) Plight (11)
Down 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 14. 16. 17. 19. 21.
Speak (5) Towed vehicle (7) Tempt (6) Stage player (5) Bravery (7) Sustenance (11) Stamp collector (11) Less obscure (7) Ennui (7) Of the universe (6) Tendency (5) Unripe (5)
Post Quick Crossword No 361 Across: 1 Bitter; 4 Dearth; 9 Inexperienced; 10 Leaflet; 11 Delve; 12 Limps; 14 Adder; 18 Refer; 19 Wreathe; 21 Laughing stock; 22 Steady; 23 Season. Down: 1 Bridal; 2 The magic flute; 3 Expel; 5 Emended; 6 Recollections; 7 Hidden; 8 Irate; 13 Parched; 15 Drills; 16 Owing; 17 Reckon.
19 Mother who proved that women can ride bikes too 16 - 22 September 2011
DENMARK THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS THE COPENHAGEN POST CPHPOST.DK
Susanne Lindberg shows off the legs that would rewrite cycling history, and land her a husband in the process
JANE GRAHAM Petite Susanne Lindberg cycled right to the top in long distance racing – but gave it all up for motherhood
E ARE so accustomed to the sight of female cyclists paying no particular attention to whether they are wearing cycle shorts or stilettos, power-dressed or in the full bloom of pregnancy, that the notion of bike riding being inappropriate and even dangerous for women, either physically or mentally, seems utterly absurd. But at the end of the 19th century, the prevailing philosophy was that women ought to be kept away from the bicycle as well as the racetrack, as much for their own good as for their husbands’. And yet Charles Hansen not only tolerated his fiancee’s desire to be a great cyclist, he actively supported it, sponsoring her on the ride which was to get her into the history books. In 1897, the future Mrs Hansen broke the world
record for riding 1,000 kilometres, a feat she accomplished in just 54 hours and 18 minutes. After marrying two years later, Lindberg disproved all those who claimed that cycling was damaging to a woman’s reproductive potential: she bore no less than seven children. The sheer stamina she must have required, not only to raise seven children but also to have set a world record in long distance cycling, appears even more admirable in light of the fact that she weighed just 45 kilos. Lindberg was born in 1871 in Copenhagen into an educated family with connections to the famous NFS Grundtvig, the religious founder of Denmark’s egalitarian folkehøjskole education system. She trained as a painter, but by the spring of 1895 was
determined to break the mould of cycling as a male domain, sneaking into the training class of the Danish Bicycle Club. This act of rebellion was followed by her participation in the club’s own Star Race, in which she quite unexpectedly came fifth out of 25 entrants. Over the following two years, she competed in all of the available races on equal footing with her male counterparts. Among the competitions she entered was the strangely titled Esbjerg race (strange in that it began and ended in Copenhagen). It was a race that many participants regularly found hard to even complete – in 1895, just six of the 34 competitors managed to make it to the finishing line at all. Lindberg was one of those forced to retire from the competition early that year,
but she was vindicated two years later when she came in 17th out of 27. But it was for her performance in 1897 that Lindberg will be remembered. The feat required more than two full days of cycling across the roads of Zealand to cover the total distance of 1,000 kilometres, with a team of 25 cyclists pacing her throughout the journey. The ride was financed by her fiancé, who paid for overnight accommodation for the team at Damhus Inn in Rødovre, west of Copenhagen. Hansen, spokesmen for physical education, was one of the foremost cyclists and in the country and an extremely well respected man. There was no doubt after the ride that the Hansen/Lindberg team were not to be taken lightly.
With the cycling about to take over our city, we ought to take pause to reflect on the achievements of Susanne Lindberg, whose effort moved not just bicycle wheels, but also the progression of the women’s movement well into the next century. One can almost picture Mrs Hansen, smiling with her husband, twin daughters and five sons, on tandem bicycles and wearing the foremost cycling fashion of the day. Despite their endurance in the saddle, the Hansens’ marriage proved a little less long-lasting. Their marriage was annulled in 1930, when husband and wife were 60 and 59-years-old respectively, and just four years before Lindberg’s death.
Over the following two years, she competed in all the available races on equal footing with her male counterparts.
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