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Danish report
by Euro Reporter
2014-01-04 13:16:18
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 Magazine on Denmark revitalised

Denmark’s official English-language magazine Focus Denmark targets foreign companies and other stakeholders with an interest in Denmark. The aim is to provide information on the country with an emphasis on business and investment.

The magazine is now re-launched with new content and new design. From now on it will be published twice a year in print. Each issue will feature up to 88 pages including sections on business, society and culture as well as a special section on a Danish stronghold.

The first issue includes an interview with the CEO of toy manufacturer LEGO, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, who is promoting “value-creating conflicts” and differences of opinion in the organisation. Other topics are the government’s fine-tuning of the Danish social model, new and more flexible visa rules for businesspeople, a growing awareness of food waste, photo portraits of “the average Dane”, Danish TV series and Danish furniture design. The issue also includes a 24-page special report on energy efficiency.


Gender income inequality concern in Denmark

Women in Denmark earn less than the men, revealed new figures from Statistics Denmark. The statistics agency discovered those women who are self-employed, normal employees and retirees all had a lower disposable income than their male counterparts in 2012. Unemployed women, however, had a larger disposable income than the men. The report revealed that the Danish women’s average disposable income last year was 186,000 kroner, around 36,000 kroner less than the figure recorded for men. When comparing just the employed, the difference is even greater, with working women having a disposable income of 241,000 kroner – a full 42,000 kroner less than their male counterparts.

The only category women recorded a higher disposable income was the “unemployed and recipients of social benefits”. The statistics agency explained that this was because females receive more in family and child allowances than men. Roskilde University Institute of Society and Globalisation lecturer Karen Sjorup said the figures highlight the fact that women need to be paid more. She noted that it’s not because women receive too many benefits; it’s because they get so little out of working.

Sjorup feels that the inequality in Denmark can be reduced by properly evaluating the value of a job. She gave the example of Canada and Sweden, saying that these two countries analyse the skills required for a job before trying to set the wages more accurately. She added that she is optimistic things can improve, and said best way women can negotiate a better wage is by ensuring they have a proper education.


Cinnamon rolls without the cinnamon for Denmark

Christmas of 2013 may be sadly remembered by Denmark’s residents as the last year of the authentic cinnamon roll, thanks to impending legislation from the European Union. A food safety act passed in 2008 by the EU threatens to limit the use of cinnamon in Danish rolls to 15 milligrams per kilogram of dough. This would be enough of a reduction to change the flavour of the famous rolls. Denmark’s government has classified the dish as a “non-seasonal” dish which has brought protests from members of the Danish Baker’s Association. Sweden has classified the cinnamon buns as a “seasonal” dish.  Seasonal dishes are allowed up to 50 milligrams of cinnamon for each kilogram of dough. Britain has not released any new regulations as it believes the research is debatable.

The reduction in cinnamon levels is due to recent research that indicates that coumarin may be responsible for liver damage when taken in higher dosages.  Coumarin is found in cassia cinnamon which is readily available for cooking purposes. Other types of cinnamon contain lower amounts of coumarin, but are more expensive and have a different taste.  Cinnamon is found in India, Egypt, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and is prepared from the dried bark of the trees. Research indicates that high amounts of coumarin can cause liver damage.  Coumarin is a parent compound to warfarin, which is used to manufacture Coumadin, a popular blood thinning medication. Coumarin is also found in other sources such as celery, chamomile and parsley. Cinnamon has been used and valued as a spice since Biblical times. It is believed that the Egyptians were the first to import it in 2000 BC.  Cinnamon was used in the embalming process and is mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible as an anointing oil.

During the middle ages the use of cinnamon was seen as a status symbol.  Early explorers sought out the spice.  Christopher Columbus believed he had found cinnamon in the New World, but samples sent back to Spain were another plant. It also has several uses in alternative medicine.  Some research has showed that cinnamon may help manage blood glucose levels and may slow the growth of cancerous cells.  Traditional Chinese medicine called for cinnamon to be used for treating colds, flatulence, and nausea. Cinnamon oil is also used for aromatherapy and can reduce muscle spasms and help with concentration. It is unknown how the ban on higher levels of cinnamon in cooking will affect Denmark.  Denmark recently repealed a “fat tax” which was placed on all food containing over 2.3 percent of saturated fats.  While the fat tax prompted some Danes to change their eating habits, many citizens ordered or purchased their foods from international sources, defeating the intent of the law and causing more money to be spent outside of their country. The regulation on the levels of cinnamon in cooking is not the first controversial rulings that the EU has developed.  Children have been restricted from blowing up balloons or using party whistles due to possible choking hazards.


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