International Round-Up: Nordic happiness a myth, claims survey – The Post

International Round-Up: Nordic happiness a myth, claims survey

In other news, GPS can be a bit fishy near warzones and over a third of young Norwegians favour English over Danish when speaking to their Scandinavian cousins

Cold, rich Nordics not happier than warm, poor Mediterraneans, claims survey (photo: pxhere.com)
April 4th, 2019 5:51 pm| by Ben Hamilton

People living in southern Europe could be generally happier than those living in the Nordic states, according to a survey published at sciencedirect.com that assessed the response of 3,508 Danish men and women aged 16–95, along with three other European nationalities.

The theconversation.com survey assessed the responses of people living in Denmark, Iceland, England and Catalonia in Spain, concluding that the Catalonians were the happiest.

Nevertheless, the Danes did finish second, with the Icelanders third, and the Brexit-ravaged English last.

A question of mental well-being
The survey asked the respondents whether they were ‘feeling good’ and ‘functioning well’, and then applied the Warwick-Edinburgh mental well-being scale.

The survey contends the ladder scale used by the World Happiness Report (WHR) is strongly influenced by prosperous economic conditions, making it more likely the respondents will evaluate their lives more positively, but that this is a poor reflection of happiness.

According to the WHR, which was released last month, Finland is the happiest country in the world, followed by Denmark, Norway and Iceland.


Prime minister on visit to Greece
PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen is today in Athens where he is meeting his Greek counterpart, Alexis Tsipras. The pair are expected to discuss the future of the EU, migration challenges, growth and employment, and security. “We agree that strong and effective European co-operation is needed on the common challenges that the EU can solve better than the nation states themselves can,” said Rasmussen. “This applies not least to illegal migration, where Denmark – through Frontex – makes a significant contribution to securing the EU’s external borders in the Mediterranean and the Aegean.” Rasmussen will also visit Frontex on the island of Kos.

Foreign minister in Washington marking NATO’s 70th birthday
The foreign minister, Anders Samuelsen, is currently in Washington DC, where he is attending a NATO foreign ministers meeting on the occasion of the organisation’s 70th birthday today. But for Samuelsen, there will be more to the visit than blowing out candles. “At no time since the end of the Cold War has western security been as challenged as it is now,” he said, citing Russian missile development, terrorists regrouping and cyber warfare as the biggest threats to world peace.

Fewer Danes own holiday homes in Sweden than a decade ago
The number of holiday homes owned by Danes in Sweden has fallen by 11 percent over the last six years, reports News Øresund. Nevertheless, the total number of 10,465 is twice as large as in 2000, and the Danes remain the nationality with the second largest number of homes – fewer than the 12,000 owned by Norwegians, but slightly more than the Germans. Victoria Lindtner from Danske Torpare attributes the fall to fewer young Danes wishing to take over the holiday homes from their parents. Nevertheless, Lindtner remains hopeful their popularity will increase as more Danes take climate-friendly holidays that don’t involve air travel. Småland is the most popular region with Danish owners, followed by Scania and Halland.

GPS manipulation a problem for Danish ships – particularly near warzones
Danish shipping safety is under threat from the deliberate manipulation of navigation data – most particularly GPS signals, which can be blocked and then faked so the boats don’t know their exact location, reports Berlingske. According to a study of 1,000 journeys through Russian waters by the US think-tank C4ADS, the safety of three Danish ships was compromised in the Black and Baltic seas. Referred to as “electronic warfare”, the maritime authority warns ships that they should be wary of trusting GPS near warzones such as the Crimea.

Norwegians increasingly prefer to speak to Danes in English
Ghita Nørby has lamented how many young Norwegians prefer to use English when conversing with Danes – 35 percent in the 18-29 age bracket, according to sprakradet.no. Nørby, 84, who made the comments at a special event at the Oslo national theatre where she read some of the poetry of Hans Christian Andersen (in Danish!), told NRK that “it’s such a shame” as the Scandinavian languages are integral to the people’s identity. “We are neither English nor American,” she said. “I just can’t understand it at all.” While 32 percent of the 30-39 age bracket preferred English, only 20 percent of people in their 40s favoured it, and just 5 percent of those over the age of 60.