News in digest: Rise of the champagne nationalist

Are Danes culture vultures who like the simple things as well?

There are some English-language terms visitors to Denmark quickly get used to being misused. The true meaning of ‘flu’, for example, is ‘mild cold’, and likewise ‘pneumonia’ refers to a ‘mild lung infection’ and ‘champagne’ to ‘sparkling white wine’.

But according to the latest figures, they’re increasingly opting for the real stuff, as Denmark is now the ninth biggest importer of bubbly in Europe. And not only that: library visits are in the ascendancy. The total number rose 1.7 million to 37.7 million in 2015.

READ MORE: Forever drinking bubbles: Danes lapping up the champagne

Has Denmark become a nation of champagne-quaffing culture vultures?

Snus, spirits and selfies
Well, no is the simple answer and it starts during childhood.

Youngsters aged 15-16 lead the way in Europe for alcohol consumption, according to the latest ESPAD report. Some 92 percent drink it and 32 percent had got drunk within the last week – way ahead of the 13 percent average.

Snus, a smokeless tobacco powder that has been linked with increasing the chances of getting pancreatic cancer – pretty much the worst odds of all the terminal diseases – has never been more popular. Some 80,000 men aged 18-29 have used it in the last year.

And need we say any more than lice is quickly spreading amongst the population due to the increase in selfies …

Founded, fined, fleeced
Taking their fair share at the moment are the founding members of the new right-wing party Nye Borgerlige (New Bourgeois).

It has obtained the necessary 20,109 signatures to run for Parliament at the next elections. The next step will be finding candidates – anti-Islam commentator Lars Hedegaard is already signed up – and fund-raising.

In unrelated anti-Islam news, a 39-year-old woman from Herning made comments on Facebook inciting an arson attack on a Copenhagen mosque, saying she would contribute “a litre of petrol”.

After receiving a fine of 3,000 kroner, she said in court it was “the most stupid thing she had ever done”.

Her fine is less than a 16th of the one slapped on a couple found guilty of transporting six Syrian refugees from southern Zealand to Copenhagen last September – a crime that included giving the two adults and four children coffee and biscuits.

The Eastern High Court upheld the original 45,000 kroner and slapped an extra 5,000 on top. Lisbeth Zornig Andersen and her husband Mikael Lindholm have said they will now appeal to the Supreme Court.