Danish News Round-Up: It’s official! Denmark could have its first gay PM!

PCR tests will be coming back for those in the healthcare industry, specifically those working in care homes

Venstre leader Jakob Ellemann-Jensen is not the only prospective new premier among the blue bloc, as Søren Pape Poulsen has officially confirmed he wants to put himself forward as a candidate to become prime minister.

As the leader of Konservative, he said this week that he wants to improve Denmark without putting the country through too many new political “experiments”.

Close race
For several months, Poulsen has been ahead of Ellemann-Jensen in the betting to become PM (9/4 vs 11/4), although their parties have been level-pegging in the polls.

Should Poulsen become PM, he will become Denmark’s first gay PM.

Healthcare workers to be tested for COVID-19
The government is now recommending that anyone working in care homes and within the industry should get a PCR test once every 14 days. With autumn approaching, there is a risk that cases could start increasing, the government warns. Municipalities such as Gentofte and Copenhagen already have plans to test their employees, which involve sending teams directly to the care homes to test employees.

Government earmarks funding to analyse potential criminal use of crypto currency
The government is planning on allocating more money to the police to tackle crime rate levels associated with crypto currency. Organised crime is increasingly using crypto currency to launder money, and it is believed it has recruited crypto-specialists to help with the process. The government funding will help to double the number of analysts tracking crypto currency movements.

Ukrainian patients being treated in Danish hospitals
Some 34 patients have been flown in from Ukraine to be treated at Danish hospitals. Since the War in Ukraine started, 1,235 Ukrainian patients have been flown to EU countries to be treated. Denmark has said that it can accept up to 200 patients.

Denmark buys more Monkeypox vaccines
Parliament has confirmed the purchase of an extra 10,000 Monkeypox vaccines from Bavarian Nordic. On August 9, the group eligible for vaccination was increased to include men who have sex with men and those who have a high number of sexual partners. The purchase of more Imvanex vaccines will hopefully halt the spread of Monkeypox at a time when cases are in danger of escalating.

Safety levels increasing in Denmark
A biennial Justice Ministry report based on 2021 data reveals that 88 percent of people feel safe in their neighbourhoods in Denmark. The status is an improvement on the previous report in 2019, when 86 percent of people felt safe in their neighborhoods. Those under the age of 30 in certain neighbourhoods feel less safe compared to other age brackets.

Justice minister meets football clubs to discuss violence and harassment levels
The minister of justice, Mattias Tesfaye, has met with football clubs in Denmark, as well as fan clubs, to discuss how to make games safer. There has been a perceived increase in disturbances at recent football matches, most notably between FC Copenhagen and Brøndby where police officers have been injured in confrontations with fans. The meeting will hopefully allow the different parties to create and enforce new rules to increase the safety of those attending the matches, as well as the stewards.

Venstre vows to close all job centres should it be elected
Should Venstre form the next government, it will be keen to close the country’s job centres, replacing them with a system where people are the main focus. This will reduce the bureaucracy and allow those employed to focus on helping those in need of a job, reasons Venstre. It will also allow people to be helped according to their needs.

More MPs in favour of refugees from Afghanistan staying longer
More MPs are in favour of legislation that will permit those evacuated from Afghanistan in 2021 to stay in Denmark for more than the two-year period previously agreed upon. Some 1,000 Afghans were permitted entry on the grounds they were joining family members, or had previously served the country, such as working for the Danish embassy in Kabul or translating for the Danish military. If they are still in need of protection, the MPs reason, they should be able to stay longer.

Climate change plan receiving more financial support
Klimabevægelsen, a climate action group in Denmark, has confirmed recent corporate donations of 5.5 million kroner will allow it to hold more climate-related activities across Denmark over the next three years. Most of the funds were derived from partnerships with three companies: KR Foundation, Tuborgfondet and VELUX FONDEN.