Weekend Round-Up 1: New travel restrictions as Denmark updates India risk to red

In other news, three Danish companies make the Time 100 most influential list, Danish taxpayers could foot the legal bill for a failed 12.7 billion kroner fraud lawsuit, and fathers are taking more paternity leave every year

Several European countries are reporting cases of the Indian COVID-19 variant B1617. Over the weekend, India hit a grim milestone of 400,000 daily infections with the new variant accounting for more than half of all cases in some areas.

Now Denmark, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway and Spain, among others, have tightened travel restrictions travelling from India.

The Foreign Ministry has updated the risk assessment of India from orange to red and advises against all travel, including business travel, to India.

This means that travellers with permanent residency in India will not be able to enter or transit through Denmark without a valid reason. Valid reasons to travel include work, family, study or business.

For Danes in India
The entry rules do not apply to Danish citizens and residents returning to Denmark from India. There’s no call for an immediate return, but Danes in India are advised to contact the Danish embassy in Delhi for advice on local corona treatment options.

The new travel restrictions will remain in place while Statens Serum Institut researches the nature of B1617.

Three Danish companies on Time Magazine’s most influential list
Mærsk, Ørsted and Lego have been listed amongst Time Magazine’s 100 most influential companies of 2021. Despite supply-chain disruptions, the logistics company Mærsk – which has the largest sea-cargo capacity in the world – still managed to ship around 13 million containers filled with PPE, home-working equipment and lockdown essentials. Lined up, the 40-feet containers would circle Earth nearly four times. The Energy company Ørsted sold off its oil-and-gas assets in 2017 and pivoted to renewable energy – in particular, offshore wind. Today, Ørsted is the world’s leading offshore wind operator and is instrumental in the global drive towards green energy. Lego reported a 21 percent leap in sales in 2020, reflecting the sudden need for in-home entertainment. While the flagship product remains the classic brick, Lego’s hybrid learning resources – including online content, Braille Bricks and educational sets – have made learning-through-play even more accessible to millions of families in lockdown.

Judge rejects tax agency’s 12.7 billion kroner claim against British fraudster
The High Court in London has rejected a multi-billion kroner lawsuit against the British financier Sanjay Shah, which the Skattestyrelsen tax agency filed in 2018, on the grounds that the British courts may not be used to conduct tax proceedings in other countries. The dividend case amounts to 12.7 billion kroner, which disappeared from the Danish treasury from 2012-2015. Danish authorities believe the money disappeared through an extensive fraud system, while the main suspect, Sanjay Shah, claims that the Danish tax authorities left a “charging gate open”. Skattestyrelsen – or rather Danish tax-payers – would have to foot the legal bills of 2.4 billion if the ruling is upheld. Skattestyrelsen will try to appeal the decision and declared in a press release it was “very surprised by the verdict”.

Mapping the immigrant population in Denmark
Immigrants make up a total of 14 percent of the population in Denmark, with the majority from Turkey, Poland, Syria, Romania, Germany and Iraq. According to figures from Danmarks Statistik, people originating from Pakistan, Sweden and Turkey are over-represented in the capital municipalities, while people originating from Syria, Romania and Germany are over-represented in the rural municipalities.

Paternity leave is increasing while maternity leave decreases
Cohabiting parents who had a child in 2019 took an average of 280 days of maternity leave and 34 days of paternity leave. Corresponding figures from 2015 to 2019 show that men have taken approximately one day leave more each year, while the trend is opposite and a little slower for women. The Danmarks Statistik study targeted parents receiving unemployment benefits, with figures based on statements from Udbetaling Danmark.

Government expects significant Danish economy boom
The economy is expected to grow by 2.1 percent in 2021 and by 3.8 percent in 2022 according to the newly published 2021 Convergence Program. 2022 is forecast to have the highest GDP growth in 15 years – although this is in light of a GDP fall of 2.7 percent in the previous ‘lockdown year’ of 2020. Fiscal policy – which includes both aid packages and stimulus measures – is estimated to have saved 85,000 jobs in 2021 and 40,000 in 2022. By 2022 employment is expected to exceed the level immediately before the crisis.