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“We will do everything it takes to get Denmark through this crisis, and we have the financial means to do so”

Every political party in parliament has been at the negotiating table and they all presented it together saying ‘we stand side by side shoulder to shoulder’ (with at least a meter’s distance as the social distancing measures require).

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By Bente D. Knudsen

It was a special sight this morning at the press meeting at the Ministry of Finance, all the leaders of Denmark’s political parties were present and one after the other came forward to speak out why their party had decided to unite with all the other parties, even those with whom they normally have huge political discrepancies.

Denmark’s Finance Minister, Nicolai Wammen, from the Social Democrats, said that the challenges ahead are huge and demands the joint efforts of all and he was proud that in less than 24 hours ( they had started negotiations Wednesday lunchtime and finished at 4 am in the morning) a large and robust deal had been agreed upon unanimously by all political parties.

It is a robust security net spread out under Denmark’s small businesses, one-man companies and freelancers, students and those who are unemployed or on unemployment benefit due to illness.

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“ We are ready to take all necessary steps to get Denmark through the coronavirus crisis and what we present today is the result of hard work and long dealing where everyone (Editor’s note: all of the different political parties) brought their wishes and ideas to the table,” Nicolai Wammen said.

Afterwards each leader was given the word and able to talk to their voters into the camera to explain what they had argued for in the deal and what they were proud of; the general speak from all was clear.

”This shows the Danish democracy and parliament at its best – we have all been listened to by the Government and we have cut out a deal which spreads a security net under the entire economy – everyone is being considered”

Another interesting point was that they all underlined there is more, ‘if we need to put in more money we will’.

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The political commentator of DR1 said afterwards, upon questioned about where the money comes from, that the Danish economy is healthy and that the country’s ability to loan money from international sources if need be to finance initiatives, the credit rating, is good.

As these new financial measures will demand a bit of time to get going, a system needs to be set-up to ensure it is used by healthy businesses that are simply hit by this sudden coronavirus tsunami, a message was also sent to the financial sector to help out with short term credit facilities until the new funding can be paid out.

The whole program for bushiness is handled by the business ministry Erhvervsministeriet.

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The measure for small independent one-man business and freelancers is directed at those who expect a loss in turnover of at least 30 percent. It is a condition that the business has had a turnover of minimum DKK 15,000 per month in the preceding period. It is for business owners who own at least 25 percent of their business which must be registered either in the CVR or CPR register. The maximum number of employees is 10 and it should have been registered prior to the 1 February 2020.

The compensation can be for a maximum of 75 percent of the expected loss in revenue compared to the average turnover in the last year (yearly account statement). The compensation is set at a max of DKK 23,000 per month and covers the period 9 March to 9 June 2020 and for a maximum period of 3 months.

Students on SU can apply for an extra SU loan during a two-month period of DKK 6,388 a month on top pf the existing SU loan options to enable coverage of loss of revenue if they lost their job due to the crisis, which many probably have.

Access to unemployment and sickness benefit for those without jobs has been negotiated into the deal by SF and Enhedslisten (left wing parties) as they said, “these people do not stand a chance of a getting a new job while this crisis goes on”.

Therefore, a three-month period from 9 March to 9 June is not be counted in the maximum two-year unemployment benefit period.

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A range of other measures were in the deal as well, some that gave added state guaranteed loans to companies with a high export turnover and there were also extra means to the travel guarantee fund, Rejsegarantifonden, (this is the one which pays out compensation to travellers under certain circumstances) as the many cancellations of already booked trips is expected to strain the fund considerably.

These new measures have been added to the huge deal described in our article here and in sum it is a considerable triple digit billion amount of kroner put out as a safety net under the Danish economy.

The aim, as all politcal leaders undelined, is to make sure that Danish businesses and employees and the Danish economy is set to put the key in the door the moment the crisis is over and get back to business as usual.

Find more information and how to apply for help for businesses here.

Students need to get hold of SU.

Please understand that it may require some patience to get through as the system will be strained and needs to set up systems to handle the pay out, this request was made by the Finance Minister.

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