Morning Briefing – Friday, November 1

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

Voters: PM lying about NSA snooping
A majority of Danes say they do not buy PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s (S) reassurance that the NSA is not carrying out illegal spying on Denmark. A Megafone survey finds that 65 percent feel Thorning-Schmidt is lying, while half said they felt an investigation into whether the NSA is active here should be launched. After explaining the situation to parliament’s Foreign Policy Committee yesterday, the prime minister reiterated the government’s position. “We have no reason to believe that illegal intelligence collection activities have been carried out against Denmark or Danish interests.” Thorning-Schmidt said that “legal” spying was being carried out. Experts noted that the prime minister was choosing her words carefully. “She could be telling the truth, but her statement sounds like it has been tailored to fit the situation. Maybe there’s something we don’t know that she won’t tell us?” said Peter Lauritsen, of Aarhus University. – Politiken

SEE RELATED: New NSA leak: High level of Danish and US intelligence sharing

Volunteering requests out of hand, say parents
Parents are starting to say enough is enough when it comes to being asked to help out at daycares. Whereas volunteering once consisted of preparing food for a meeting and helping to organise events, many daycares now rely on parents to help out with repair, maintenance and in some cases filling in for teachers. FOLA, the association of parents, said a line should be drawn when volunteering ceases to have an element of socialising. They felt parents were simply being asked to volunteer as a way to save money, yet still being asked to pay the same amount. A FOLA survey found that 60 percent of parents had helped with external maintenance of their children’s daycare, while 28 percent had given a hand with indoor repairs. – Berlingske 

SEE RELATED: Cutbacks move disabled kids to ordinary daycare

Time to stop the cuts, union tells councils flush with cash
After pursing cautious spending policies during the recession, the nation’s 98 local councils have built up over 34 billion kroner in liquid assets, some 9 billion kroner more than they had at their disposal in 2010. The build-up is a result of councils spending less money than the state permits them, out of fear that overspending will lead to draconian sanctions by the government. In 2012 alone, councils used 5 billion kroner less than budgeted. Unions said the self-imposed austerity had led to unnecessary layoffs and reduced service levels. Economists have previously called for increased public sector spending in order to stimulate growth. – Jyllands-Posten

SEE RELATED: Economic advisers recommend increased spending

Austerity solidarity
Pay rates for managing directors and other company leaders fell by 0.8 percent between 2012 and 2013, according to figures from Djøf, a trade union representing lawyers and economists. The statistics found that over the same period, the union’s employees as a whole saw their pay increase by 1.8 percent. A union spokesperson said the pay cut came as executives were increasingly realising that it was untenable to ask employees to accept less pay, while they themselves saw their compensation increase. In one of the most prominent examples, Rickard Gustaffson, the SAS managing director, cut his own pay 20 percent as part of an austerity measure that saw all of the airline’s employees accept pay cuts. – Børsen 

SEE RELATED: Slaughterhouse workers vote against paycuts

Editorial Excerpt | Pia’s little bomb
Dansk Folkeparti’s signal that it is ready to put an end to partisanship in parliament opens up new opportunities for Venstre, Konservative and Liberal Alliance to seek new partners in order to push reforms through. Most obvious would be Radikale, who are no doubt dissatisfied with its coalition allies, Socialdemokraterne and Socialistisk Folkeparti, and their fear that voters will punish them in the next election unless they put the brakes on economic reforms to reduce taxes, improve competitiveness and bring down the cost of doing business. If Dansk Folkeparti breaks with the centre-right, it would signal a dramatic change in the political landscape. The notion has been brushed aside by Socialdemokraterne as hot air, but both the left and the right should get ready for new political alliances to emerge. – Berlingske 

SEE RELATED: Pia K throws barbs and reveals personal details in new book

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