Danish News Round-Up: Wine is Denmark's most popular beverage ... in terms of pure alcohol - The Post

Danish News Round-Up: Wine is Denmark’s most popular beverage … in terms of pure alcohol

Meanwhile, short sentence for dangerous drivers are our MPs’ biggest beef

You could say wine is the nation’s favourite way to get blotto (photo: pxhere.com)
October 22nd, 2019 1:28 pm| by Ben Hamilton

Wine is the country’s favourite source of alcohol, but Denmark consumes more beer in terms of overall litres, according to a report published by Danmarks Statistik.

Wine in 2018 accounted for 45 percent of the pure alcohol purchased in Denmark, with beer accounting for 37 percent – down from 74 percent in 1955.

Just under 360,000 litres of beer were consumed in 2018 – down from a peak of just over 700,000 in 1983 – while wine accounted for around 150,000 litres, after peaking at 170,000 litres in 2011, a year before new excise taxes came into force.

Tobacco trends
New taxes, legislation and rationing have had a major effect on the nation’s consumption of alcoholic beverages – and also tobacco products.

For example, cigarette sales have fallen by 43 percent since 2006, a year ahead of the enactment of the Smoking Act that banned smoking in most bars. In the three years prior to this, they actually rose – after a decision to lower cigarette taxes in 2003.

Rationing during World War II dramatically cut the consumption of tobacco and alcoholic beverages.

Overall, the pure alcohol consumption rate stood at between three and five litres per adult per year before WWII, 13.7 litres in 1984 and 9.7 litres in 2018.

Housing prices falling as a result of climate change
Housing prices are already falling as a result of climate change, according to Kristian K Kjeldsen, a researcher at GEUS, the national geological survey for Denmark and Greenland. Property in areas affected by major flooding and generally rising water levels have seen a downturn. A Kristligt Dagblad article on Monday reported how the value of a house in Kalundborg has fallen from 3.7 to 2.4 million due to its vulnerable location near the coast, where it has been subjected to flooding caused by storm surges. Overall, the remainder of the century, during which worldwide sea levels are predicted to rise by another 74 cm (following a 24 cm rise between 1850 and 2006), will see an increased usage of dams, dikes and water pumps.

MPs keen to increase dangerous driving sentences
Parliament is gearing up to pass legislation to encourage courts to hand out stiffer sentences for dangerous driving. Most cases, however reckless, land sentences of between 16 and 36 months, even though the maximum possible sentence is eight years. Concerned MPs, including Venstre’s Preben Bang Henriksen, who is the chair of Parliament’s Law Committee, questions what framework is required to ensure the right kind of sentences are handed out. “Even in the case of the death of a person, the sentence is about two years – just 25 percent of the maximum,” he told DR. “I can only shake my head when I read about certain cases.”

Infrastructure vulnerable to being taken over by foreign powers
A report compiled by the Centre for Military Studies at the University of Copenhagen claims that Danish airports, ports and telecommunications networks are vulnerable to being taken over by foreign interest groups – particularly those in Russia or China, which could obtain sensitive information. For example, Copenhagen Airport is a listed company, and a state-owned company could easily acquire a majority stake. The government does not have an ‘emergency brake’ to stop such deals. “We aren’t taking the threat seriously,” the report’s chief author André Ken Jakobsson told Berlingske. “Right now we are less equipped than many of our neighbours.”