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Danish report Danish report
by Euro Reporter
2009-11-18 08:01:16
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Left-wing party blocked day-care agreement

More day-care centre blockades may be on the way if a budget agreement for the area is not reached soon. A day-care agreement should have been in place for the budget on Friday, according to several parties’ members of the city’s children and youth administration.

But the Red-Green Alliance refused to back the conditions, arguing the terms were not good enough for parents and day-care centres. The Social Democrats, Social Liberals and Liberal Party blamed the Red-Green Alliance for creating a filibuster. They said the parent blockades that took place on Monday – and are threatening to resume this week – would have been avoided had the agreement been approved. ‘I’m 100 percent certain there wouldn’t have been any blockades if the agreement had been accepted,’ the Social Democrats’ Jan Andreasen said.

‘We held four marathon meetings and we had good negotiations on Friday. The deal we put together fully lived up to the demands of the parents and day-care instructors,’ he said. The core issue which forced parents to blockade and instructors to strike last week, was a 47 million kroner cut to facilities with poor accessibility. But those cuts had been taken off the table on Friday, along with proposed increases to day-care costs for parents. According to youth administration members, the Red-Green Alliance’s Rikke Lauritzen had originally gone along with the agreement. But she later changed her mind due, according to the other parties, to pressure from her party’s leaders. Lauritzen refuted the other parties’ claims, saying the cuts planned for the day-care sector were still too large.


Minister considers ‘Junior SU’

 A state grant for teens not in school or working can possibly motivate them to begin an education or apprenticeship. In an apparent turnabout from his previous hard-line position, Education Minister Bertel Haarder has proposed giving around 11,000 young people aged 15-17 a ‘junior’ grant for those are neither taking an education nor working.

The Liberal-Conservative government and the Danish People’s Party had otherwise been criticised on several fronts for their plan to get rid of the ‘children’s check’, issued to families based on the number of children they have and their ages. Haarder said the ’Junior-SU’ check would be given with the aim of motivating the teens to seek an education or apprenticeship on their own, and also make them financially independent of their family.


Gym’s candy reprieve short and sweet

Unhealthy candy is returned to the menu for sports facility after customers complain about organic alternatives. Popular sports and event centre DGI Byen in central Copenhagen has caved in to customer demand and returned candy to its menu. The centre introduced a healthy policy more than a year ago, replacing sodas and candy with organic sweets, nuts and smoothies.

But DGI Byen’s marketing manager Eva Weiss Thomsen explained that customers were unhappy with the move. ‘Customers have asked for other sweets instead of the organic stuff, which wasn’t well received. That’s why we reintroduced regular candy,’ Thomsen said.

Thomsen said that it was not DGI Byen’s place to take responsibility for what customers and patrons eat. But the National Council for Public Health is unhappy with the u-turn. ‘It’s really frustrating because DGI is such as large organisation working for physical activity and health,’ said Bente Klarlund Pedersen, chairwoman of the council.

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