Morning Briefing – Friday, August 9

The Copenhagen Post’s daily digest of what the Danish press is reporting

Cabinet reshuffle
Prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne) is expected to begin the autumn political season by presenting a minor cabinet reshuffle on Friday. Rumours the PM would make changes have been swirling since the spring. Support for the government has declined steadily since it took office in 2011 and the changes are hoped to reinvigorate the Socialdemokraterne-Radikale-Socialistisk Folkeparti coalition mid-way through its term. Read more

Competitive hiring
Opposition leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen (Venstre) says the unemployed should be allowed to drop publicly-run job centres in favour of private organisations when seeking work. Currently all unemployed must be registered with their local job centre in order to receive dagpenge benefits. A recent poll found that most Danes would chose a private firm over a council-run centre if they were unemployed, and Rasmussen said allowing them to do so would stimulate competition among job bureaus. Rasmussen proposes paying job agencies based on the number of people who they help find work. There are currently 153,000 unemployed in Denmark. – DR Nyheder

More disabled kids in ordinary daycare
Parents of disabled children say they are disappointed that an idea that held the promise of their children being cared for alongside ordinary children is suffering due to a lack of funding. The practise is known as ‘inklusion’ and was supposed to eliminate the need for separate daycares for the disabled, but without appropriate funding parents say it is just a synonym for cutbacks. For councils, enrolling disabled children in regular schools is a way to curtail spiralling special-education costs, but education experts cautioned against spreading resources too thin. – Politiken

Concern over foreigners receiving Danish unemployment benefits
Add unemployment benefits to the list of generous Danish welfare benefits EU residents can qualify for, even though they have only paid into the system for a limited amount of time. Previously lawmakers expressed concern that EU residents could easily qualify for student stipends and child benefits. Now, the opposition is challenging the government to make it more difficult for them to do so. Verner Sand Kirk, the head of AK-Samvirke, an association of unemployment insurance providers, said EU rules guaranteeing residents the right to work in all member states, would make it difficult to do anything. – Jyllands-Posten

FSA to investigate bank blackmail
Nordea could find itself the subject of two separate investigations into whether it violates good banking practises by threatening customers who seek to transfer their accounts. Finanstilsynet, the financial services authority, said it would look into whether any ethical violations had occurred when Nordea told a housing association that if it transferred its account, the association’s residents would be forced to move their home loans. Henrik Øe, the consumer ombudsman, said his office may also may look into the threat. He was certain such practises were widespread, but was less convinced they violated any laws. – Børsen

Sprout set to take root in US
Sprout, a Danish-developed pencil that can end its days as herbs, may soon be finding its place in the sun on the shelves of the world’s largest retailer. Sprout, which contains herb seeds and can be planted in soil, is currently taking part in Walmart’s ‘Get on the Shelf’ product development competition. Sprout was one of a field of 100,000 products that were submitted and has now made the cut to be among the 1,000 considered for the finals. Finalists will be announced on September 6, but even if Sprout doesn’t make it into Walmart, the developers said they had plans to add new products to their use-and-plant line. – Berlingske Business