Last Week in Denmark (12.11 - 19.11) Episode 44 Year 3
New rules on nicotine and alcohol; Life without electricity; Stress
You can still sign up for our meetup events around Denmark here. Nine events around Denmark between the 3rd of November and the 9th of December. Rights and opportunities, entertainment, networking, food and drinks, meetup for subscribers. Free access.
New articles on lwid.dk: 11 rules to tame the glottal stop (a guide to learning Danish by Juan Alvarez); Your Guide to Danish Salary Negotiations (by Claudia Bednorz); Living in Denmark: A guide for non-Europeans (part I) (by Maria Fuentes); Copenhagen Feminist Forum (by Sabine Anna Irbe) and The Social Club for Senior Ukrainians (by Natalia Mospan).
Our podcast is back for two weeks now :) and we are looking for people working within dental care in Denmark (especially Copenhagen) to interview for a special episode about dental rights. If you are interested, write to the producer, Wizzi Magnussen at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you speak Romanian and you are looking for a month-long internship (jobcenter requirement), you are welcome to join our team. We need someone to help us organize our Romanian content on the website and be part of producing a few articles in Romanian. The internship would start asap and it would end on 15th December. Write to email@example.com if you are interested. First come, first served basis.
Danish Politics HQ
New Laws and Regulations
622 million DKK yearly (2024-2027) to save the movie industry in Denmark: A majority in the Parliament decided to extend a lifeline to the crisis-stricken movie industry. This is the largest public investment in Danish film in the last two decades.
Also, the yearly 98 million DKK collected from the cultural tax on streaming services will go to films, documentaries and series produced in Denmark.
29% of tickets sold in cinemas must be for movies made in Denmark.
The 10 best-selling movies made in Denmark should sell on average at least 250,000 tickets.
Movies made in the early age of Danish cinema will be digitized and made publicly available.
8-10 feature films and 10-12 documentaries made in Denmark should be represented every year at international film festivals.
Municipalities will be able to establish regional film funds and each receive 27 million DKK from the state grant. The documentary film festival CPH:DOX will receive funding to expand the concept across Denmark.
Prevention plan to reduce young people use of tobacco, nicotine and alcohol: The government together with several parties in the Parliament agreed to implement a prevention plan against usage of tobacco, nicotine and alcohol amongst young people.
The price of nicotine products will be increased. It became illegal for adults to buy nicotine products for young people under 18 years old. Authorities will make visits to owners of social media pages that sell nicotine products to minors. The taste of nicotine products will be only tobacco or menthol. Where smoking is prohibited, also e-cigarettes are prohibited.
16-17 years old can only buy drinks with alcohol content of up to 6% (16.5% before) and will not be able to buy alcohol in nightlife areas after 22 o’clock. It became illegal for adults to buy alcohol drinks over 6% and sell them to young people under 18 years of age. It should be harder to find alcohol products in the supermarket. Youth programs for communities without alcohol.
The Danish Safety Agency gets 15 million DKK extra to increase the number of controls at shops (to see if they comply with the age requirement). They are allowed to seize illegal nicotine products (puff bars, f.ex). 50.000 DKK fine for stores who are caught breaking the rules. If you get three fines, you completely lose the right to sell tobacco, nicotine or alcohol products.
The Danish Safety Agency will be allowed to send “mystery shoppers” between 15-17 years old to check if the rules are enforced from 2025.
Danish Citizenship, Integration and Immigration Laws
When DF reminds us why they are a right-wing party: A member of parliament from DF posed the following question to the Minister of Transport: “How will you create security for women who are not comfortable hiring a taxi because so many of the drivers are immigrants?”. According to a spokesperson from Moderaterne, she is trying to foster the idea that you should be afraid of drivers with different ethnic backgrounds.
The answer from the minister “Women can safely take a taxi home from Christmas lunch, regardless of who the driver is.” Therefore he is not planning to change the legislation to allow you to opting-out from certain drivers, adding “I am not going to do anything to divide people into ethnic groups. That does not make any sense.”
What happens when you put a DF’er as the Danish citizenship committee president: Well, you will get an overzealous politician that is willing to break the law just to find something that could deny your citizenship application. 53 times has Mikkel Bjørn asked the Ministry of Immigration and Integration questions about citizenship applicants, including 12 times when he mentioned something he found on their Facebook profile. In the process, he broke the general administrative law, the Public Administration Act and the GDPR regulations.
The Danish Citizenship Law (which grants citizenship to applicants) is passed twice a year.
Law proposals and ideas
Time to take our digital security more serious: A cyberattack in May, this year, could have left 100,000 people without access to electricity or heat, if not averted last minute. The cyberattacks on our infrastructure have increased severely in the past couple of years and we can see that they are getting stronger each time. Security experts are asking the government to create a national strategy to deal with the aftermath of a successful cyberattack on our electricity grid. They are pointing to the Swedish example, where they prepare their citizens on how to deal with long power blackouts.
An idea could be to turn off the power for 24 hours in Denmark to make people more aware and nudge them to get ready for even longer periods without electricity.
You can join a course made by the Emergency Response Association called “Get ready for 3 days” to prepare for such situations. Free course (only in Danish, unfortunately - but as it is in person, you can maybe ask for translation)
Several parties are asking for a new ministry that is tasked with defending the critical infrastructure in Denmark.
Danish Economy HQ
Women receive on average 12.3% less in salary than men, according to figures from Statistics Denmark: The minister of Equality says that there is already legislation in place that should ensure that women and men receive the same pay and that the responsibility lies with the companies. A cultural change is needed in companies.
The difference in wages between women and men has gradually reduced over the last 15 years (2008 - 15.6%)
Time to check your tax advance statements (forskudsopgørelser) for 2024: If you know that next year you will earn more or less, now you can make changes to the tax statement so that you don’t pay too much or too little tax next year. Compared to other years, you can also see your home ownership tax (boligskat) in the tax advance statement. Why? Instead of paying twice a year, now the home ownership tax will be automatically paid monthly via your tax deductions. Basically, your fradrag will lower if you own a property.
Remember to include your driving deduction in the tax advance statement. You can get a driving deduction for your transport if you have more than 12 km to work (a total of more than 24 km to and from work). (field 417 in the tax advance statement)
Also, if you have loans and you experienced increased interest rates, you can report it on fields 481 and 483. This way you can increase your monthly fradrag.
You might get too much home ownership tax discount (credit) for 2024: Homeowners pay two types of tax - land tax and property value tax. If one tax increases next year and the other decreases, then you will get too much tax credit. The joy is short-lived, however, because you must pay the money back at a later date.
Stress costs our society more than 16 billion DKK every year: The last statistics we have (from 2021) show that every 7th person in Denmark feels affected by stress. From 2010 to 2021, the percentage of people affected by stress increased by 8.5%.
The jobs with the highest percentage of people affected by stress - Disability and elderly care (19.4%); University and research (18.8%); Public administration (18.2%); Restaurants and bars (16.4%); Supermarkets (16.3%); Banks and insurance companies (16%); Hospitals (15.5%); Child care (15.1%).
The jobs with the lower percentage of people affected by stress - Plastic, Glass and Beton factories (8.4%); Churches (9%); Energy companies (9%); Gardening (10.1%); Police (10.7%).
Daily Life in Denmark HQ
Doctor’s advice on how to deal with stress: The symptoms vary from person to person – from headaches and heart palpitations to memory problems and depression. But it can be difficult to feel like yourself when you are too stressed. The most obvious sign of stress is that you sleep poorly at night. There are virtually no stressed people who sleep well. Most people become irritable when they are stressed. They have a short fuse and their mood drops. Others turn it inward and can become depressive.
Talk to others about it - When you feel stressed, it can sometimes be difficult to find out exactly what the cause is.
Prioritize your obligations - Stressed people often lose the overview and find it difficult to prioritize the important tasks. For example, you can make a list in priority order, so that you use your energy on the most important thing first.
Spend your time doing something you like - Even if you feel overwhelmed, it is important to prioritize the things you like. You must spend your free time on something that pleases you and gives you joy.
Stay fit - It is generally a good idea to keep fit - also when it comes to stress. In part, physical activity prevents stress. And partly it can help if you already feel stressed.
Seek professional help if it persists.
Remember that from the 1st October, you cannot drive in Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Aarhus, Odense and Aalborg without a particle filter: Diesel cars older than 2009 are especially affected, as typically they don’t have a particle filter. In just six weeks, 4,812 fines were already given. The fine is 1,500 DKK. If you have one of these cars, you should retrofit a particle filter to meet the requirements. There are cameras installed that check your number plate to see if you respect the law, which automatically generate fines.
Older diesel cars on sale (bilbasen.dk) are decreasing their price significantly as a lot of people want to get rid of them.
Inspiration from a Discovery TV series convinced a former convict to go into business: Read the story of Mohamed El-Rifai from Aabenraa. He managed to create the company MV Strip with a turnover of 2.8 million DKK today. He started with a bank loan (taken by his mother) of 46,000 DKK which he invested in a sandblasting machine.
Healthcare with Punitha Kumar
35,687 chlamydia cases among 15 to 29-year-olds were recorded last year, Sex & Samfund has revealed. In collaboration with the safe sex advocacy group, Statens Serum Institut senior physician Steen Hoffmann told Ritzau, “Chlamydia is the most widespread sexually transmitted infectious disease in Denmark, and monitoring the number of detected chlamydia casess is essential for the path to prevention, which is why the SSI collects this important data every year.” In 2021, the test rate for chlamydia was only a paltry 15%, Last year, it increased by 1%. The top 5 municipalities, all within Jylland, with the highest number of chlamydia cases are as follows: Aalborg (41.9), Syddjurs (40.8), Esbjerg (40.7), Holstebro (38.9) and Århus (38.6). (cases for every 1000 people)
To date, only nine municipalities offer free home tests for both chlamydia and gonorrhea. The municipalities are Frederiksberg, Gentofte, Hillerød, Høje-Taastrup, Ishøj, Kolding, Copenhagen, Ballerup and Lolland. For more information, visit www.klamydiahjemmetest.dk Chlamydia is an infection of the urethra, cervix or rectum. Untreated chlamydia can cause reduced fertility, ectopic pregnancy, chronic abdominal pain in women and inflammation of the testicles in men. It can be treated with antibiotics.
Stop paying for your employees’ and their spouses’ Wegovy prescriptions, Novo Nordisk was told. In a DR report, experts have voiced concerns saying the reimbursement given to around 21,000 employees and their respective spouses in Denmark goes against the law and will deeply affect the healthcare system. As such, the Danish Medicines Agency has asked for an explanation from Novo Nordisk’s management.
Meanwhile, the Danish Society for General Medicine spokesperson Maria Krüger said the situation is already dire as doctors have complained that there is a long list of patients wanting a prescription for the slimming drug, rejecting alternative treatments. This already takes time away from other patients who may have serious health problems and in need of consultations. Maria added that, “This is the first time that we see that the opposite is the case. Patients come to us specifically requesting treatment with Wegovy. And when the medication can be prescribed solely on the basis of the patient's BMI (body mass index), we are not really making a medical decision.” Two other pharma companies - Lundbeck and Leo Pharma - have informed DR that they do not provide reimbursements for medicine for their employees and their spouses.
European Union HQ
This category covers interesting happenings from other EU member states, EU candidate countries and EFTA countries (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland)
Denmark will open new embassies in Moldova, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Malaysia in 2024. Also, the embassy in Tanzania will be kept open (it was planned to close). With a embassy in Moldova, Denmark will be diplomatically present in all frontline states to Ukraine. The embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina will significantly strengthen Danish presence in the Balkans and could contribute to stabilizing the country and building resistance to outside influence, as well as supporting Bosnia's EU rapprochement.
Inspiration from Africa - In Kenya, the citizens got a public holiday to plant trees: Each Kenyan is being encouraged to plant at least two seedlings, leading to the 100-million target. The initiative is intended to help fight climate change. The government is making available about 150 million seedlings in public nurseries. The tree planting will be monitored through an internet app, which monitors the exercise by allowing individuals and organisations to record activities, including the plant species, number and date planted.
Major volcanic eruption expected in Iceland: Seismic activity has fissured roads, shut down tourist attractions and led the government to evacuate a town in the potential path of an eruption. A more recent Icelandic volcanic eruption in 2010 sent clouds of ash into the atmosphere and crippled air travel across Europe off and on for a month.
This section is curated by Cicek Eris. If you have events you want us to include here please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can check out her newsletter about cultural events in Denmark here.
Aarhus, 23rd Nov, 17:00: New in town? Where do you find practical information about life in Aarhus and Denmark? How do you build a social network? And what about Danish culture? Join Newcomers' Info Evening specially tailored to all international professionals and accompanying partners new to Aarhus.
Copenhagen, 23rd Nov, 18:00-20:00: What can you expect in a traditional Danish workplace; how does work life balance, collaboration and communication play out and what are things to be aware of at a workplace in Denmark? If these are questions you are struggling with, you can join this group for newcomers.
Copenhagen, 28th Nov, 17:00-18:00: Join Lyngby Library for an introduction to the library's latest and greatest books available in English. Recent must-reads, hot new titles, and the most exciting new literary voices are presented by the staff.
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