Tag Archives: Denmark

World Report: Happy Finns

Brussels 15.08.2022 The European Union’s member-state Finland was crowned the happiest country in the world for the fifth consecutive year, with a score significantly ahead of its peers in the World Happiness Report 2022 ranking.

The other EU member-state Denmark kept its second place, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network said on Friday, August 13. Iceland bypassed Switzerland to take third place and the Netherlands concluded the top five. The U.S. ranked 16th, up three places from 2021.

“The lesson of the World Happiness Report over the years is that social support, generosity to one another, and honesty in government are crucial for well-being,” Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, said.

“World leaders should take heed,” Sachs said. “Politics should be directed as the great sages long ago insisted: to the well-being of the people, not the power of the rulers.”

Over the ten years the report has been published, the biggest gains in happiness have taken place in Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, and biggest declines posted in Lebanon, Venezuela and Afghanistan. The authors detected, on average, a long-term moderate upward trend in stress, worry, and sadness in most countries, as well as “a slight long-term decline in the enjoyment of life,” they wrote.

The report uses global survey data to report on how people evaluate their own lives in more than 150 countries around the world, with the ranking based on a three-year average. Key variables that contribute to explaining people’s life evaluations include gross domestic product per capita, healthy life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom to make life choices and perceptions of corruption.

Borrell welcomes Denmark EU defence prospect

Brussels 01.06.2022 “I welcome the outcome of the referendum held in Denmark yesterday. The Danish people have spoken. They have decided to abolish the 30-year-old opt-out clause related to EU defence. This is a historic decision that will allow Denmark to participate fully in the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)” reads the Statement by the EU High Representative Josep Borrell on the outcome of the referendum on the opt-out in defence matters in Denmark. (Image: illustration)

“At a time when it is more imperative than ever for the EU and its Member States to reinforce their defence capabilities and capacity to act, this decision will bring additional strength and unity to our CSDP and defence initiatives.

“As soon as the Danish government will have formally informed the other EU Member States of its decision, in line with its constitutional provisions, we stand ready to swiftly take all the necessary steps to ensure that Denmark can fully participate in all aspects of CSDP”.

Danish not integrated migrants law proposal

Brussels 10.09.2021 The hardline former immigration minister Inger Støjberg has united with the Danish People’s Party (DF) on a plan to deport as many as 50,000 migrants by 2030, who are not respecting the laws and rules of the receiving society.

Støjberg, being an independent Member of the Parliament after leaving the Liberal Party, has joined the DF party on a plan that could see as many as 70% of the people who have come to Denmark in the last few decades claiming refugee status or under family reunification rules would be expelled.

The proposal would lead to the deportation of migrants who have been unemployed for seven of the last ten years, have been on welfare benefits for more than 12 consecutive months, have not attained a certain proficiency in the Danish language, or have been convicted of a crime that resulted in a prison sentence of more than three-months, amongst other criteria.

According to a report from the Danish television broadcaster TV2, both Støjberg and the Danish People’s Party believe that under the conditions of the proposal, at least 50,000 migrants could face deportation.

Danish NSA spies on EU leaders

Bruxelles 30.05.2021 Denmark’s secret service helped the US National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a European media investigation published on Sunday revealed. (Image: illustration).

The disclosure that the US had been spying on its allies first started coming to light in 2013, but it is only now that journalists have gained access to reports detailing the support given to the NSA by the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (FE).

The report showed that Germany’s close ally and neighbour cooperated with the American spying operations targeting the chancellor and president.

The then chancellor candidate for the German centre-left socialist party (SPD), Peer Steinbrück, was also a target, the new report disclosed.

The Danish government knew of the involvement of the country’s secret service in the NSA scandal by 2015 at the latest.

They began to collect information on the FE’s cooperation with the NSA between 2012 and 2014 in the secret Dunhammer report following the disclosures by the former NSA employee and whistleblower Edward Snowden, NDR reported.

The information they gathered made it clear that the FE had helped the NSA to spy on leading politicians in Germany, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and France.

Danish intelligence also helped the US agency to spy on the Danish foreign and finance ministries as well as a Danish weapons manufacturer. The FE also cooperated with the NSA on spying operations against the US government itself.

Upon discovering exactly how far the cooperation between the two countries’ intelligence services went, the Danish government forced the entire leadership of the FE to step down in 2020.

Will Greenland follow Alaska?

An idea to purchase Greenland  from Denmark came one and a half century after the successful operation of acquisition of Alaska from Russia (1867) for an amount of USD7,2 million. The other historic deal was an acquisition of Louisiana for USD15 million from France (1803). 

Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen‘s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time,” President Trump tweeted.

The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!”

While meeting with reporters in Copenhagen, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said she did not wish Donald Trump’s decision to cancel his trip to Denmark to become a diplomatic crisis.

“I actually think we have responded very nicely from the Danish side,”  Frederiksen said. “When you are close allies and good friends, like Denmark and the U.S. are, there should also be room for disagreements along the way. I hope we can stop this discussion soon.”

“Obviously, the right decision for this country,” U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton said, claiming he had put forward the idea of purchase of Greenland. “Several months ago I met with the Danish ambassador, and I proposed they sell Greenland to us.” It is a right decision for the United States, he added.

Greenland is a autonomous Arctic territory of Denmark, with a population of 56,480 people (2013).  About 80% of Greenland is covered by a shield of ice. The territory also has “untold” economic potential in mineral wealth, Cotton said.

The Senator underlined that the territory’s location makes it a vital component of the U.S. defense posture. There’s good reason that Thule Air Force Base has remained operable in northern Greenland since the 1950s, he said.

Greenland village

The Kingdom of Denmark implemented steps for enforce democracy for people of Greenland, granting them home rule in 1979, and in 2008 more powers were transferred from Danish government to local authorities – Greenland government – in Self-Government Act.

 

EU Ambassadors summoned in Tehran

Tehran has summoned the envoys of three EU member-states accusing them of harboring radical groups, after an attack at a military parade in the city of Ahvaz resulting in deaths and injures of military and  guests.
The UK, The Netherlands and Denmark diplomats were invited shortly after attack to Foreign Ministry.

“It is not acceptable that these groups are not listed as terrorist organizations by the European Union as long as they have not carried out a terrorist attack in Europe,” Bahram Qasemi, Foreign Ministry spokesman, said, as cited by IRNA news agency.
Up to 25 were people killed and more than 60 others injured as gunmen fired indiscriminately at the crowd during a military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz.

The attack has been claimed by the ‘Patriotic Arab Democratic Movement in Ahwaz’ separatist group, which Tehran says is supported by Saudi Arabia.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the country held “regional terror sponsors and their US masters accountable for such attack[s.” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei later also linked the Ahvaz shooting to the US allies in the region.

EU resells tigers for cooking in China

On International Tiger Day 29th July more bizarre details of Europe‘s ties with dubious tiger traders come to light. Research conducted by international animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS shows that at least 1,412 live captive-bred tigers from the EU were legally exported between 1999 and 2016. It is believed that several of these animals have ended up in Asian tourist areas or were killed for traditional Chinese medicine. However, even in Europe tigers are slaughtered. On 16th July Czech authorities discovered a dead tiger as well as tiger skin, claws, bouillon cubes and broth – also called tiger wine – made from tiger bones on a property near Prague.

FOUR PAWS petition now calls on the EU Commission to ban the trade in captive-bred tigers https://help.four-paws.org/en/ban-tiger-trade

The world has already lost more than 90% of its tigers. There are only about 3,900 tigers and in the wild, yet the number of tigers held in captivity is unknown. The new findings and the extent of the tiger trade in Europe are therefore more than shocking. We call on the European Commission to protect the endangered tigers and ban commercial trade in captive-bred tigers. Tiger traders and their cruel business should no longer have a place in the EU,says Kieran Harkin, Head of Wildlife Campaigns at FOUR PAWS.

https://twitter.com/fourpawsint/status/1022818936981733376

The global trade of the endangered big cat and its body parts is flourishing. According to FOUR PAWS investigations and Czech authorities, a living tiger attracts up to 22,000 euros (USD26,000). A kilo of tiger bones is available for about 1,700 euros (USD2,000) and a litre of tiger wine – an allegedly healing broth made from tiger bones – can be found for 85 euros (USD100) on the black market. Between 1999 and 2016, 862 live tigers were legally imported into the EU and 1,412 were exported, which means that Europe’s tiger business is worth more than 50 million euros (USD59 mln) – although this troubling figure is estimated to be higher. During the same period, 8,278 illegal tiger products, such as tiger bouillon cubes, teeth and claws, and 57 illegal live tigers were confiscated in the EU. This horrific trade in endangered tiger parts is wide reaching, with evidence of illegal activity across France, Italy, Belgium, Slovenia, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Czech Republic.

Shocking findings in the Czech Republic
In recent raids near Prague, Czech authorities discovered a dead tiger as well as tiger bones, tiger broth and other remains last week. To not damage the skins, the arrested suspects apparently killed the animals with gunshots in the eyes. The suspects include the well-known zoo owner Ludvik Berousek. At a meeting with FOUR PAWS undercover investigators in June 2018, which was filmed with a hidden camera, Berousek told the investigators that he helps Asian buyers to get the necessary documents for the transfer of the tigers. The zoo owner also bragged that he had already sold a few tigers to China in the last two months. Additionally, the Czech authorities raided the Vietnamese Sapa market in Prague, finding tiger meat products available for sale.

Tigers as a tourist attraction, party trick and photo prop
The findings in the Czech Republic are not isolated cases. FOUR PAWS investigations show that in the past four years, animal traders have exported at least five live tigers from Germany via the Czech Republic to Vietnam, Thailand and South Korea. Further research in Vietnam revealed that at least two of the tigers ended up in the hands of a convicted wildlife trafficker. Also, the trade within the EU often leads to mistreatment of the big cats. In Spain, a zoo called “Zooexoticoskiko” is currently offering wild animals, including tigers, for photo shoots. Also, erotic images can be made with the animals. In some European countries it is also possible to hire tigers for private parties.

Lack of transparency in the EUfe
In the EU, the trade in wild tigers is forbidden, but not the trade in captive-bred tigers. Regulation and enforcement, however, is severely lacking. As a result, the exact numbers of captive and traded tigers in Europe is unknown, as movements within the EU do not require CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) import or export permits. Hence, there are hardly any official documents proving who sells tigers, when, to whom and for what purposes.

FOUR PAWS has therefore launched a petition that enables supporters to call on the European Commission to ban the commercial trade in captive-bred tigers to protect the endangered species from cruel exploitation: https://help.fourpaws.org/en/ban-tiger-trade

German prosecution requests extradition of Puigdemont

Prosecutors have asked a regional court in northern Germany to permit the extradition of the former Catalan leader to Spain. Puigdemont has been detained in Germany since March 25. The public prosecutor for Germany’s northern state of Schleswig-Holstein announced on Tuesday that it had requested the extradition of former Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont.

Puigdemont is being charged in Spain with rebellion and misuse of public funds, for his involvement in the Catalan independence referendum of October 2017. The former leader was living in self-imposed exile in Belgium and was in Finland on March 24, when Spain reactivated the European arrest warrant against him. Puigdemont was arrested when he entered Germany on March 25, as he was making his way back to Belgium.

The request came as a surprise to many European politicians , questioning how such a Medieval crime as a “rebellion” could enter the EU modern legal system.

 

Madrid opposes Puigdemont free speech in Denmark

The Spanish Prosecutor’s Office has asked the Supreme Court to issue another European arrest warrant against the President of self-proclaimed Catalan Republic Carles Puigdemont, in case he travels to Denmark for a conference on January 22.

The Catalan President’s lawyer has stated that there is a “fairly high” risk for President to be arrested during his trip to Denmark, should the Spanish Supreme Court’s judge re-issue the European arrest warrant, in case Puigdemont decided to leave from his exile in Belgium.

Although Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas acknowledged that “there are political, diplomatic, judicial, and police movements at a Spanish level,” he highlighted that they “were not entirely clear.” He believes that the warrant could be issued in time for the visit, but he also said that it is possible Denmark might reject the warrant, even though the crime of rebellion is included in its criminal code.

Denmark is well-known for its profound attachment to democratic values put to ordeal in case of Mohammed cartoon scandal. According to various political experts the risks of being deported to Madrid from Copenhagen are minimal, however it is clear that President Puigdemont can not afford any in view of Spanish hostility towards Catalan politicians.

The Spanish Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena has ruled the vice-President of Catalonia, Oriol Junqueras, must remain physically in prison without permission to attend sessions of the new Catalan Parliament. The decision also applies to two other politicians Joaquim Forn, and Jordi Sánchez, both re-elected on December 21, 2017.

 

 

Young Danes ruthless killing of swan in Italy

Three young Danes risk prison sentences or fines for animal cruelty after being accused of killing a swan in Italy.

The three boys, aged 16-17, killed a swan by hitting it with rocks during an educational school trip to Lake Garda, according to reports of broadcaster TV2.

“It was very violent and happened in front of a lot of people. So we want to make an example,” Francesco Milardo, a Carabinieri major in the town of Peschiera del Garda, said. Although the teenagers are now back in Denmark, it is expected that they will be contacted by Italian authorities.

According media reports the three boys were walking along the shore of the lake when they were confronted by the swan, which hissed and puffed its chest.

Witnesses said that the boys reacted with an astonishing cruelty by throwing stones at the animal, continuing to do so after it fled into nearby reeds, until eventually killing it.

A number of the witnesses subsequently informed police, who performed an autopsy on the animal at Verona’s animal hospital, writes Italian newspaper La Stampa.

Carabinieri declined to confirm which school the boys attend, citing restrictions on identifying minors in Italian law.

A youth court in Venice has reportedly been informed of the incident.

Denmark has its reputation for animal cruelty for yearly slaughter of black dolphins in waters of Faroe Islands.

The public slaughter of a young giraffe Marius, who was shot and dismembered in front of a zoo audience that included children, and fed to the zoo’s lions caused an international outcry.

 

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