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Summary, 27.05.2020 - The government halted publication of more positive R-number than said earlier.


TODAY'S BULLETS

  1. The government halted the publication of a more positive R-number just before the extension of the shutdown of Denmark on the 23rd of March. The R-number had dropped from 2.6 to 2.1. The week before had the Prime Minister used the old R-number when explaining the severeness of the situation, by saying one infected would infect almost 30 when the real number was 9 people. She didn't mention this in the press conference on the 23rd of March.

  2. It is again a duty, effective immediately, for all unemployed on unemployment benefits to search for jobs actively as well as accept offered jobs from the job centres. Company internships and salary grant-arrangements will also be possible again, but in Region Hovedstaden and Region Sjælland only for private companies, since public workplaces haven’t reopened yet.

  3. The government is ready to extend the compensation scheme for salary compensation until August after the new report from the economic wise men came out today. Negotiations will begin this week regarding the future for the various compensation schemes.

  4. The report on the future of the compensation scheme has come out, and it says that the compensation schemes have been crucial to the Danish businesses, the salary receivers and the Danish economy. But now should the compensation schemes, as a general rule, stop the 8th of July, as is currently planned. The reason is that the compensation schemes are halting the normal dynamic in the private sector, where companies are opening and closing, people are fired one place and hired another place etc. They suggest some exceptions from this, for various companies in special circumstances.

  5. Danish robot scientists at the University of Southern Denmark has developed the world’s first fully automatic robot, that can swab humans in their mouths. This can be used now, as well as in future pandemics.

The Prime Minister at the Press Conference the 23rd of March / Foto: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

POLITICS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • The government halted the publication of a more positive R-number just before the extension of the shutdown of Denmark on the 23rd of March. The SSI and SST were ready to publish a new report that showed that the R-number had dropped from 2.6 to 2.1 the 20th of March, but Søren Brostrøm, Director of the SST, wrote to Kåre Mølbak, Director of the SSI: “I agree (…) that we should send both the strategy report and the ITA-analysis today, but this is not the decision politically, and I understand that it won’t be before Monday that we can send it out.” The Prime Minister had explained the week before that the R-number of 2.6 meant that 1 infected would, in the third link, infect almost 30 others (26.5). With an R-number of 2.1 would that number be 9.2 people. The Prime Minister knew about this reduced R-number but didn't use the opportunity to address this difference from the week before. Experts say, though, that as long as the R-number is above 2, it wouldn't have led to a different strategy. More can be read here (Danish).

  • Jobcentres and unemployment funds (A-kasser) are reopening Wednesday. As a result is it again a duty, effective immediately, for all unemployed on unemployment benefits to search for jobs actively as well as accept offered jobs from the job centres. Company internships and salary grant-arrangements will also be possible again, but in Region Hovedstaden and Region Sjælland only for private companies, since public workplaces haven’t reopened yet.

  • The government is ready to extend the compensation scheme for salary compensation until August after the new report from the economic wise men came out today. The Minister of Finances, Nicolai Wammen (S) will call in the social partners on the job market (worker’s unions and employers’ organisations) to negotiate this extension. The other parties in the Parliament will also be called in for negotiations next week about the future of the other compensation schemes.

  • The Standing Orders Committee in the Parliament has decided to initiate the work on having an independent investigation of the management during the corona-crisis. A subcommittee underneath the Standing Orders Committee will be responsible for this investigation.

  • The European Commission proposes a recovery fund of 750 billion euro on top of previous initiatives taken due to the corona crisis. The fund will be financed by having the Commission taking loans on the capital markets, which will be paid back between 2027-2058, which the Commission proposes can be done through an increased revenue for the EU. This will require that the Member States give up collecting certain taxes, which instead will go to the EU, giving the Commission much more power.

  • The European Commission also proposes a new seven-year budget between 2021-2027 of 1.100 billion euro, an increase from the current roughly 900 billion euro between 2014-2020. Denmark has so far been strongly against an increased EU-budget.

  • Outdoor amusement parks have been allowed to reopen, but the wildest rides must still be kept closed. Those are rides that cause shouting, screaming, or if the ride includes powerful movements or rotations.

HEALTH-RELATED INFORMATION

  • 11.480 have tested positive, 52 more than yesterday (Expect large dark numbers since we haven't been testing everyone with symptoms from the start, ed.).

  • 107 are hospitalised with corona-virus, 5 fewer than yesterday.

  • Of those 107 are 22 in intensive care, 1 fewer than yesterday.

  • Of those 22 are 11 in respirators, 3 fewer than yesterday.

  • 565 Corona-infected residents in Denmark have died, 2 more than yesterday.

  • 480.239 have been tested for corona-virus (+13.230) with 11.480 positives (2.39 % positives), a drop of 0.06 %-point from yesterday (We are testing more, so we are getting closer to the real percentage of infected people in the society)

  • 10.106 are reported as healthy again, after having been hospitalised with corona-virus, 62 more than yesterday.

  • Danish robot scientists at the University of Southern Denmark has developed the world’s first fully automatic robot, that can swab humans in their mouths. This can be used now, as well as in future pandemics. This is seen as a sensation in healthcare circles, as it means the healthcare staff won’t have to do the frontline work of taking tests over and over from morning until evening, also making the process safer for them. The hope is that the robot can be tested in one of the white tents around the country already this summer. It has already been tested by the scientists themselves.

OTHER INFORMATION

  • SAS will in June resume flights from Copenhagen to Amsterdam, Chicago, New York, Bergen and Stavanger. This also means that SAS will double its capacity from 15 to 30 planes in June.

  • The traffic company Movia is short of 800 million kroner and wants the government to pay for this deficit. The company highlights that they have ensured a fully operational schedule, so everyone who needed the bus to go to work, to the doctor or to get to the hospital could do so. “The Minister of Transport has asked us to solve this task. At the same time has the government encouraged our customers to not use public transport if possible. For Movia this means an extra bill of around 800 million kroner in 2020,” says the Administrative Director, Dorthe Nøhr Pedersen. Movia is owned by 45 municipalities on Zealand as well as Region Hovedstaden and Region Sjælland.

  • Thursday evening there will be the first concert with a live audience since the shutdown. This will be at Huset in Aalborg. The venue has normally space for 120 guests, but there will only be allowed 30 to the concert with the jazz duo Svaneborg Kardyb.

  • All tests of players, judges and staff members are negative ahead of the restart of the two best Danish football leagues. This is the second week in a row with all-negative results.

  • Bakken reopens Friday at 14, says the amusement park in their newsletter today.

THE PROPOSALS FROM THE WISE MEN REGARDING THE FUTURE OF THE COMPENSATION SCHEMES

  • An expert group of three economists have been given the task to investigate the future of the various compensation schemes that have been put into place to keep the hand under the Danish companies and economy. They have now presented their findings and proposals.

  • This report will make the foundation for the political negotiations, discussion and decisions regarding the future for these compensation schemes.

BRIEF

  • The compensation schemes have been crucial to the Danish businesses, the salary receivers and the Danish economy.

  • The compensation schemes should, as a general rule, stop the 8th of July, as is currently planned.

  • The same should be the case for the various special schemes to the cultural life.

  • The reason is that the compensation schemes are halting the normal dynamic in the private sector, where companies are opening and closing, people are fired one place and hired another place etc.

  • They are suggesting that there should be some exemptions for continuing with certain compensation grants, such as companies that are closed by law, companies that haven't been open for long, as well as companies that will feel the corona-crisis later on.

SUMMARY

  • The compensation schemes have been crucial to the Danish businesses, the salary receivers and the Danish economy. "Without the compensation schemes, there would have been a loss of many more jobs and companies. This gives the Danish economy a significantly improved starting point for the recovery that is waiting ahead," says the report.

  • The compensation schemes should, as a general rule, stop the 8th of July, as is currently planned.

  • The reason is that the compensation schemes are halting the normal dynamic in the private sector, where companies are opening and closing, people are fired one place and hired another place etc. If the schemes disturb this cycle too much, it will have huge consequences on productivity, employment and prosperity. That way would the compensation schemes slow down the recovery of the Danish economy, says the report.

  • The compensation schemes are best phased out by going from direct grants to liquidity-, loaning- and guarantee schemes. This can e.g. be gradually normalizing the payment deadlines for VAT and income tax.

  • The same should be the case for the various special schemes to the cultural life.

  • They are suggesting that there should be some exemptions for continuing with compensation grants:

  1. Companies that are still closed by law should be able to get salary compensation for their employees as well as compensation for fixed costs.

  2. Companies that have been able to be open for less than a month can be given compensation for fixed costs for another month.

  3. The government can consider giving certain groups of self-employed can be given temporary access to join an unemployment fund with retrospective effect.

  4. The companies that won’t feel the consequences until later on (e.g. due to long production times), as well as seasonal parts of the tourism business, can be in need of temporary compensation schemes.



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