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Danish Report Danish Report
by Euro Reporter
2009-03-26 09:16:19
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Drug abuse report

The country is lagging behind other EU countries when it comes to drug related deaths, prompting further discussion of possible solutions to the problem A new report has indicated that Denmark has Europe’s third-highest death rate for drug addicts, and the data has got experts and social organisations to point the finger at the country’s drug policies.

An estimated 250 people die annually from drug abuse in Denmark, according to European Union drug watchdog organisation EMCDDA. It is a figure that has been relatively constant over the past ten years and consists primarily of heroin-related deaths. Only Luxembourg and Estonia had a higher reported death rate related to drug abuse, according to the report.

‘It’s sad that we apparently don’t have the ability to bring our death toll down when so many other countries have succeeded in doing so,’ said Preben Brandt, head of the Council for Socially Marginalised People. ‘But the figures unfortunately reflect the attitudes politicians have toward addicts, both within the treatment system and the general population.’ According to the report, Denmark has around 50 drug-related deaths for every 1 million residents, compared to 20 in Sweden and just 10 in the Netherlands, where liberal drug policies have been in effect for many years.

A sad situation!


Local politicians demand higher pay

Representatives for the nation’s 2,500 local councillors are asking the national government for higher pay after the 2007 municipal reform increased their workload without increasing their compensation. The 2007 reform raised the minimum population base for a local council to 30,000, which resulted in the merger of 271 local councils into the current 98. At the same time, counties were eliminated and their responsibilities were divided between councils and the newly created regions.

Veteran politician Erik Fabrin, president of the national association of local councils (KL), and mayor of Rudersal Council, whose population base expanded from 32,000 to 54,000 as part of the merger, said he was ‘surprised’ by the amount of extra work it took to run a larger council. Fabrin recognised that approving a pay raise at a time when many types of council are still struggling with the merger would not sit well with voters. But he said higher pay would help attract more qualified individuals to local politics. ‘And the critics should ask themselves if that isn’t what we need to do our jobs better.’

A local councillor’s compensation is set by the Social Welfare Ministry at 63,000 kroner per year. If the council has more than 80,000 residents, they receive an additional 13,000 kroner. Additional compensation is given if councillors sit on committees. Esbjerg City Councillor Anders Kronborg said: ‘I receive 100,000 kroner a year for my work. That’s not enough for me to work part time so I can spend more time on politics.’ Some local councillors warn, however, that raising the pay will create a class of professional local politician.

Interesting demands in the period of …recession!


Danish clubs have all the fun

When Aalborg meets Manchester City tonight for the right to advance to the final eight in the UEFA Cup tournament, it could be the first Danish club to reach the UEFA semi-finals since Brøndby in 1991. Denmark has never had a club in the finals of the UEFA Cup, Champions League or the former Cup Winners Cup.

When Brøndby reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals with current national coach Morten Olsen, it boasted such home-grown talent as Peter Schmeichel, Kim Vilfort, Bent ‘Turbo’ Christensen Arensøe and John ‘Faxe’ Jensen - all of whom left the club after that year and moved on to top European clubs. And if the lure of big money abroad was significant for players in 1992, it has become even more of a debilitating factor today for Danish clubs trying to maintain a level of talent that can enable them to compete and win at international level.

Kim Vilfort, head of development and former player for Brøndby, does not think it possible for a Danish team to make it to the finals in an international tournament anymore. ‘I would be very surprised if it happened,’ he said. ‘We’re talking about tournaments where money means more and more.’ And Vilfort said that even raising enough money to pay for a top coach like Guus Hiddink or José Mourinho isn’t within the economic reach of a Danish club.

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