Today in Denmark For Members

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Elizabeth Anne Brown
Elizabeth Anne Brown - [email protected] • 17 Jun, 2022 Updated Fri 17 Jun 2022 07:12 CEST
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Spectators gather for the free Folkemødet concert in Allinge on Bornholm. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix.

Covid cases rising sharply, the case against an EU minimum wage, and Danish support for Ukraine's EU membership are among the top news stories in Denmark this Friday.

Covid cases up, trend expected to continue 

The State's Serum Institute, Denmark's infectious disease agency, reports that corona infections are up 53 percent, from 3805 confirmed cases in the week commencing May 23rd to 5830 cases in the week of May 30th. 

The number of PCR tests administered increased 11 percent, and the positivity rate across all regions and in most age groups is also on the rise, the SSI says. Deaths and admissions to intensive care have remained steady, while 23 percent more people were admitted to hospitals — largely patients older than 70. 

While the 53 percent increase can seem alarming, researchers emphasize that the starting point for case loads has been low this spring. Denmark closed its rapid test centers in March, and has recommended PCR testing in fewer exposure scenarios. 

READ ALSO: Covid-19: Danish weekly infection total up by 50 percent

Denmark plans to support Ukraine's EU candidacy 

Today, a European Union commission is set to assess the feasibility of a Ukrainian bid to join the bloc. If the commission gives the green light, the Danish government is prepared to support Ukraine's candidacy to join the EU, according to foreign minister Jeppe Kofod. 

However, for prime minister Mette Frederiksen to vote in favor of Ukraine's candidacy in Brussels next week, she'll need a mandate from parliament. 

"It is also important to say that there is a long way to go. Because we want the candidates for the EU, and that applies to all candidates, to meet the Copenhagen criteria," Kofod adds. The 'Copenhagen criteria' include democracy, the rule of law, and human rights, according to newswire Ritzau. 

Kofod says Denmark would offer assistance as Ukraine worked toward those standards — particularly the rule of law and the fight against corruption. 

Denmark to vote no on EU minimum wage 

Denmark plans to join Sweden in opposition to an EU minimum wage, according to minister of employment Peter Hummelgaard. 

"From the start, we thought it was a wrong tool to legislate on minimum wages, because in Denmark, as in Sweden, we have collective agreements," Hummelgaard says. 

Despite the Nordic countries' best efforts, there doesn't yet appear to be broad enough opposition to vote the measure down when it comes before an EU council meeting in September. 

Still, based on the current text of the draft directive, the government's assessment is that an EU minimum wage would have "no impact" on the Danish model. 

READ ALSO: Why is Denmark opposed to an EU minimum wage law?



Elizabeth Anne Brown 2022/06/17 07:12

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