Danish News Round-Up: The white elephants in our midst – The Post

Danish News Round-Up: The white elephants in our midst

Elsewhere, efterskole is increasingly popular and big parties oppose normalising MP pensions

And let’s not get started on the exorbitant rates some retailers are charged for inhabiting premises regarded as tourist traps by many locals (photo: Empty Retail Space/Flickr)
October 1st, 2019 1:00 pm| by Ben Hamilton

Over 800,000 sqm of retail space lies empty today in Denmark, according to an analysis of EjendomDanmark figures released by the EDC housing agency.

And the problem is not restricted to the regions, as Strøget in Copenhagen and several major shopping centres have been identified as having particular difficulty finding new tenants, reports Børsen newspaper.

A long list of reasons
Henrik Libak, a retail expert, blames online sales for the downturn, as well as an increasing demand from consumers for more experience when they shop – principally eating, drinking and entertainment.

Meanwhile, Poul Erik Bech from EDC blames the municipalities for depopulating town and city centres by relocating schools and public institutions.

Record numbers heading to efterskole after elementary schooling
Over a half of all tenth grade students (ages 15-16) went to efterskole in 2018. The 55 percent of public school-leavers who elected to spend a year at one of the boarding schools – which are credited with giving the children a respite from the ardours of traditional school, maturity, and a better idea of what they want to do with the rest of their life – is a steep rise from 2011, when 42 percent opted to go, and the highest proportion since records began in 2005. Meanwhile, 12 percent of ninth grade students also elected to go to an efterskole.

Documentary to explore why the ‘Estonia’ suddenly sunk
Five Danes were among the 852 people who died aboard the ‘Estonia’, a ferry that suddenly sank in severe weather in the Baltic in September 1994 on its way from Tallinn to Stockholm, and now a new documentary series will seek to explain why the tragedy occurred. Only 147 people survived the accident. Earlier this year, a 40.8 million euro lawsuit against Bureau Veritas, the French company that declared the ship seaworthy, and Meyer-Werft, the German shipyard where it was built, failed. The series will premiere on TV Norge in the autumn of 2020.

MPs in favour of normalising their pensions, but not everyone is happy
Neither Socialdemokratiet nor Venstre support a SF proposal to normalise MP pensions, which for a long time have been criticised for being far too lucrative. The proposal, which has wide parliamentary backing, will seek to restructure their tax-free allowances, reports Berlingske. The SF group chair, Jacob Mark, has told the newspaper that the government part’s stance is “hypocritical” as it defends “an old-fashioned model”.

Price of large petrol cars set to shoot up, claims KPMG audit
An audit carried out by the consulting firm KPMG suggests that consumers face a sizeable price hike for the large petrol cars that so many motorists favour these days. Car manufacturers will pass on extra costs brought on by the green transition and potential EU fines for exceeding carbon limits, and the average price of such a car could rise by 57,000 kroner – a claim that car importers interest group Danske Bilimportører rejects. “Our analysis shows that rising costs and potential EU fines can have an impact on car prices in Denmark,” confirmed KPMG analyst Jacob Skjærris to TV2.

Drug dealer handed a 12-year sentence for selling to Bornholmer
A 33-year-old man has been sent to prison for 12 years for selling drugs to a client in Bornholm – the longest ever sentence handed out on the island for the crime. The dealer, who immediately appealed against the sentence, was found guilty of supplying 5.7 kilos of amphetamine and 4,300 ecstasy pills. When Copenhagen Police arrested the dealer, they found 27 kilos of amphetamine at his Sydhavn residence. In August, his Bornholm buyer was handed seven years after being caught in possession of the drugs.