Danish News Round-Up: Spending bonanza with October holiday pay

Three weeks of holiday pay will be released to employees in October. Meanwhile, debate rages on naming Copenhagen streets after rebel leaders from the colonial past

Inflation sets a new record again (photo: Pixabay/assy).

Be it home furnishings, clothes or just plain ice cream for the summer, now is the time for Danes to spend and shop as they can expect to get three weeks of frozen holiday money in October.

The minister of finance, Nicolai Wammen, made the call on Monday after political parties agreed on a package to restart the economy following the Coronavirus Crisis. The three holiday weeks of pay amounts to about 60 billion kroner, he added.

“Danes can be confident that the money will come,” Wammen said.

Fall negotiations
The frozen holiday money resulted from a law implemented in 2019 and was initially intended to remain in a public fund until employees’ retirement. The government however decided to release the funds to boost domestic consumption.

The parties will negotiate in the autumn whether to release the remaining two weeks of frozen holiday money. In the meantime, a tax-free grant of 1,000 kroner will be given to pensioners and early retirees.

The release of the holiday money is part of a comprehensive economic recovery package that the political parties agreed to. This package will replace existing ones that were meant to tide employees and businesses through the pandemic.

Slaving past: Naming Copenhagen streets splits parties
What’s in a name? There have been a lot of politics and disagreement as parties clash on the idea of naming roads and places in Copenhagen after famous rebel leaders from former Danish slave colonies. The proposal is set against the backdrop of a global debate on the fate of monuments dedicated to those involved in the slave trade – a discussion prompted by the killing of George Floyd last month. In the Danish capital, those in favour of the idea include MPs from Socialdemokratiet and Ninna Hedeager Olsen, the mayor for technology and environment. Dansk Folkeparti, in contrast, wants the roads named after famous Danish women, saying a decision should be made not just because “the Black Lives Matter movement breathes down their neck”.

Corona tests to welcome tourists, Danes at border
Coronavirus tests will welcome foreign tourists and returning Danes and residents as they land in Copenhagen Airport and reach the border with Germany. The voluntary tests are meant to catch at the earliest instance cases of Danes and residents having been infected with the virus following a foreign trip as well as foreigners with COVID-19. Due to technology requirements, the tests will first be available only to those with a Danish CPR number. Later on, they will be ready for all foreign tourists.

Government to tighten rules on arms exports
Defence companies’ exports should not fall into the wrong hands and be used for human rights violations. The minister for business, Simon Kollerup, and the minister for foreign affairs, Jeppe Kofod, stressed this message as they vowed that government would tighten control of arms exports. The move comes after Danwatch and TV2 reported that Terma supplied equipment for warships and bombers used by the United Arab Emirates to starve and bomb civilians in Yemen. The government now wants to fill gaps like these in the law to avoid this from happening again. It is also completing an investigation into the case of Terma, which could face legal liabilities.

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