Morning Briefing – Wednesday, October 16

The Copenhagen Post’s daily round-up of the front pages and other major Danish news stories

Sunbathers live longer
Spending time in the sun can add years to your life, a 20-year study following the health of 4.4 million Danes finds. The team of Danish scientists, whose research results will be published in the Journal of Epidemiology, found that people who were regular sunbathers and who had developed benign forms of skin cancer lived up to six years longer than the average for the population as a whole. The study also found that sunbathers had lower rates of heart attacks and osteoporosis. While the team said its evidence was conclusive, they said they had not been unable to determine what made sunbathers live longer. – Politiken

SEE RELATED: More Danes dying of cancer

PM, opposition leader now in dead heat
For the first time since the 2011 general election, Lars Løkke Rasmussen (Venstre), the opposition leader, has lost his lead over the prime minister in the polls. After two weeks of bad press, first after over-estimating the cost of a price of shoes, then for travelling first-class at tax-payer expense, Rasmussen’s support has shrunk to 37 percent, a loss of 10 percentage points. Meanwhile PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt has made up significant ground, seeing her approval ratings rise seven percentage points to 39 percent. Rasmussen’s lieutenants expected he would bounce back, but political analysts warned Venstre against expecting the issue would disappear on its own. “This is dangerous, because we’re not talking about a single slip-up. It is reminiscent of previous problems he had with being repaid for unjustified expenses,” said Rune Stubager, Aarhus University. – Berlingske

SEE RELATED: Right wing surge confirmed

Protracted scandal will cost opposition
Unanswered questions about tax-payer funded, first-class travel by Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the head of opposition leading Venstre, threatens to cost his party dearly just as it appears to be ready to sweep to power in the next election. Rasmussen has been criticised for exorbitant travel expenses but has been unwilling to make documentation of his travel expenses public. Polls have already shown Venstre losing ground in the polls, and the new scandal could fuel further voter dissatisfaction, say analysts. Rasmussen in 2008 faced criticism for similar inappropriate use of public funds over the course of a number of years. He later repaid some of the money he had been reimbursed. – DR Nyheder

SEE RELATED: 'Luxury Lars' told to step down as climate charity chairman

Work permits for undocumented immigrants
Efforts to deal with an increasing tide of illegal immigration should include new residence laws that make it possible to grant temporary work permits to immigrants who are in Europe illegally, argues Andreas Kamm, the head of Dansk Flygtningehjælp, an advocacy organisation for refugees. Kamm added that such a measure would only be a temporary solution while traditional aid efforts sought to improve economic conditions in countries with large numbers of emigrants who are in Denmark illegally. Remittances by illegal immigrants amount to up to three times as much as Denmark pays out in foreign aid to some areas, according to Hans Lucht, of the Danish Institute for International Studie. –Jyllands-Posten

SEE RELATED: Green card programme a failure, politicians say

Editorial Excerpt | Listen to the sceptics
Even though there are obvious reasons why Denmark should take part in the European Patent Court, we’ve seen in other referendums that euroscepitcs have been able to turn the vote in their favour. Decisions that would require Denmark to cede some of its sovereignty must be voted on in a referendum if five-sixths of parliament does not vote to approve the measure. This is something we should respect. And the government would do well to remember that referendums are not won with arrogance but with good arguments. – Politiken

SEE RELATED: EU patent court referendum to proceed

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