Weekly Highlight: 25.12.2005

First of all, I would like wish any reader of this blog a …

Merry Christmas 

Then, let’s move on to my pick of news around Scandinavian countries for the past week… 

Denmark: CCTVs for Copenhagen…

Wave of violence leads to CCTV proposal
19.12.2007

Copenhagen’s city council is expected to vote on a proposal this January that would establish closed circuit video surveillance in certain areas of the city, reports Berlingske Tidende newspaper.
Denmark has strict laws regulating the use of surveillance cameras, but a recent wave of gun violence in Copenhagen, particularly in the Nørrebro neighbourhood, has resulted in a proposal by city Social Democrats to set up a system similar to London’s CCTV.
Initially, the plan calls for setting up cameras on neighbourhood streets with the highest rates of violent crime. Other improvements, such as better lighting, are also included in the proposal. Should the system help police solve and prevent crimes, the Social Democrats would gradually expand the system.
‘This isn’t about Big Brother, and we’re not talking about the entire city. But we do need to try a few things and see what works,’ Andreasen said.

Finland:

Charity Collection Exceeds Expectations
Published 24.12.2007, 16.38

A joint Christmas charitable collection has raised over 650,000 euros this year for the needy. The organisers say this is in excess of expectations.
The collection was organised by the Finnish Broadcasting Company’s Morning TV and Radio Suomi together with the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, the Red Cross and the Kesko retailing group.
This year’s collection amounted to 23,000 euros more than the previous year. Individual gift 60 euro vouchers will be sent out to some 10,000 families.
The vouchers have been given to low income families with at least one child under the age of fifteen. Unemployment, illness, financial indebtedness are among other factors considered.

Netherlands:

No welfare for under those under 27
Monday 24 December 2007

A plan to offer work or training to anyone under the age of 27 to prevent young people from becoming dependent on welfare has been approved by the cabinet.
The plan was put forward by junior social affairs minister Ahmed Aboutaleb on Friday and will give local councils the responsibility to find a job or a training course for unemployed people under 27. Those who refuse will no longer have the right to welfare benefits.
‘Young people who are healthy in mind and body do not belong on welfare,’ Aboutaleb told news service ANP. He saids that official figures from April this year put the number of young people under 27 on welfare at around 29,000.
A similar initiative by the former government in 2005 was rejected by the Council of State as unpractical. However under the new proposal, certain groups such as young mothers and handicapped people are exempt from the compulsory scheme.
The new system is due to be introduced in 2009.

Norway:

Halal butcher caught
First published: 21 Dec 2007, 13:59

Food Safety Authority inspectors apparently uncovered an illegal halal butchery operation on a surprise visit to a farm in Østfold County on Thursday afternoon.
The Muslim practice of halal, where the animal is not anesthetized before killing, and is bled to death by having its carotid artery cut, is illegal in Norway, for violation of animal treatment laws.
“This is a severe violation of the Animal Protection Act and it will be viewed very seriously,” said Kirsti Ullsfoss, FSA district chief for the region.
Ullsfoss said that this is the first time an illegal butcher has been caught red-handed.
Eggen said many Muslims visit his farm to buy sheep, and claimed he had a routine for avoiding any illegal activity.
“I help the new owners kill the animal they have bought. It is not legal to cut the throat of a live animal in Norway, so I shoot the sheep in the forehead first. I tell the Muslims that the sheep has had a mild anesthetic. I don’t think they understand that the animal is dead after I use the rifle. Afterwards the Muslims cut the sheep’s throat. When it is done this way the animal bleeds the right way, according to the Muslims. In fact today I had a whole family come for a halal butchering, and they had a little ceremony together,” the farmer said.

Sweden:

Healthcare workers flock to private sector
Published: 24 Dec 07 10:26 CET

The number of people employed in the private healthcare sector in Sweden has doubled over the last ten years, new figures have shown.
Last year 17 percent of healthcare workers had jobs in the private sector, according to figures from Nutek, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth.
With the number of people working with private healthcare last year amounting to 115,000, Nutek expects the trend to continue over the coming years.
“In five years’ time, one in four people will probably be working for a private company,” Nutek spokesman Jörgen Lindell told Sveriges Radio.

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