Morning Briefing – Wednesday, October 23

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

Continued death threats against poet
PET, the secret service, has now stepped in to help investigate the increasing number of death threats against Yahya Hassan, a controversial, 18-year-old poet whose first collection, released last week, criticises the Muslim community. PET and police in Copenhagen say they are still collecting evidence and have yet to decide whether to bring charges in connection with any of the threats. The media attention surrounding Hassasn’s eponymous collection has helped push sales to over 10,000 copies, report booksellers. A normal poetry collection is printed in about 400 copies. – TV2 News

SEE RELATED: Young poet threatened after TV appearance

Copenhagen businesses: Not good enough, Mr Mayor
Despite campaigning on a pledge to improve the city’s reputation as a place to do business, the mayor, Frank Jensen, has accomplished little that has helped to achieve that goal, according to businesses themselves. Copenhagen consistently ranks as one of the worst places in Denmark to do business, and a new poll finds that 30 percent of companies say the capital’s business climate has worsened since Jensen took office four years ago. Seventeen percent said things had improved. Jensen said his administration had passed new measures to assist businesses, but pointed out that it would take time before the effects of the policies could be seen. He also said disruptions in connection with construction of the new Metro line had an impact on companies’ ability to do business. – Berlingske Business

SEE RELATED: Copenhagen is Scandinavia's big easy, business survey finds

Mayors: Expect cuts 
Despite a pledge by the prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, to increase the number of public sector employees, the countries’ mayors are warning people to expect cuts instead. Half of the mayors responding to a Jyllands-Posten poll said they will cut positions as a way to save money. Unions expressed their concern, pointing out that the cuts come after years in which local councils have spent well under their government-mandated spending caps. Economists with KL, the national association of local governments, said that while some councils planned to cut, it was likely that others would take advantage of a government strategy that seeks to add 9,000 public sector jobs by 2020. – Jyllands-Posten

SEE RELATED: Economic advisers recommend increased spending

Novo struggling with illegal hormone sales
Novo Nordisk says it is concerned about its reputation after efforts to stop the illegal sale of its products on the internet have proved fruitless. Novo Nordisk, best known for its insulin, also produces a growth hormone that can be used by weightlifters. Danish tax and crime fighting agencies say there is little they can do to stop the illegal sale of drugs on the internet because the people selling the products are often not based in Denmark. Kaj Møller, a Novo Nordisk spokesperson, said in many cases the products for sale were knock-offs, but some of what was being sold was probably genuine and likely came from two major thefts, one in 2008 and one earlier this year. Møller said the thefts and further sale appeared “organised”. – Politiken

SEE RELATED: Denmark a hotbed of steroid use

Editorial Excerpt | Dumb questions
While journalists have the right to ask dumb questions, candidates for prime minister have no corresponding right to give dumb answers to relevant questions about bad public administration. Lars Løkke Rasmussen still owes us a good explanation for how he could fail to recall that he needed to pay a 27,000 kroner plane ticket for his daughter. He also hasn’t explained why he needed to keep his receipts secret and release them just four minutes before [Sunday’s] press conference. He also still needs to explain whether keeping his lieutenants uninformed about the situation while they loyally defended him for two weeks is compatible with the kind of leadership one would expect from a prime minister. – Information 

SEE RELATED: ‘Luxury Lars’ down, but not out after travel expense apology

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