Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

Denmark defies critics and cancels holidays to increase military spending

Danish lawmakers have voted to scrap a spring holiday to use savings and increase defense spending, despite harsh criticism from the opposition, unions and the country’s bishops.

ByJAN M. OLSEN Associated Press

February 28, 2023, 11:13 a.m.

Copenhagen, Denmark — Danish lawmakers on Tuesday voted to scrap a spring holiday to use savings and boost defense spending, despite harsh criticism from the country’s opposition, unions and bishops.

In a vote of 95 to 68, the 179-seat Folketing approved the centrist coalition government’s bill to scrap Store Bededag, or high day of prayer, which falls on the fourth Friday after Easter. Some 16 deputies were absent.

Savings from vacation scrapping are estimated to be around 3 billion crowns ($426 million) per year. The ruling coalition of Social Democrats, center-right Liberals and center Moderates is seeking to meet the NATO target of spending 2% of gross domestic product on defense by 2030, partly in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In Denmark, where political consensus is the norm, both left and right opposition have united to defy the government’s decision.

Opposition lawmakers called the bill “insane”, “crazy” and “totally wrong”, but failed to agree on calling a referendum on the issue. In Denmark, 60 legislators can demand a plebiscite.

“Arrest the thief,” Karsten Hønge, a member of the Socialist People’s Party, said during a three-hour parliamentary debate. “The government is ordering people to work an extra day.”

Several lawmakers have expressed concern that eliminating the vacation would complicate negotiations later this year between employers and unions over wages and working conditions. In Denmark, the government traditionally stays away from these issues.

Workers in Denmark currently have up to 11 public holidays; the figure is lower in years when Christmas and New Year fall on weekends.

The loss of the holiday – created more than 300 years ago when a Danish bishop merged several minor festivals – has sparked a nationwide backlash of nearly 6 million people where more than 73% of the population belong to the State Lutheran Church, although less than 3% of people are regular churchgoers.

Unions have launched an online petition which has garnered nearly 500,000 signatures, while Denmark’s 10 Lutheran bishops have spoken of a “breach of trust”.

The government controls 89 seats in parliament and is supported by four legislators representing the semi-independent Danish territories of Greenland and the Faroe Islands.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.

Back to top button