‘One of America’s best allies’: Denmark receives high praise from US

US President Joe Biden expressed great praise for Denmark when he met with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in the White House.

Joe Biden - Mette Frederiksen - Oval Office
US President Joe Biden (right) holds a bilateral meeting with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on June 5th, 2023. Photo by: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP

“I would like to share with everyone back home in Denmark how much praise there is for our country in the United States,” Frederiksen said after the meeting with President Biden, the Ritzau agency reported.

“We have capable defence forces, we are a reliable cooperation partner for the US, and our intelligence service was praised at a meeting I had earlier today with the head of the CIA,” she said.

Frederiksen emphasizes that a good reputation is not something that comes by itself.

“It is something that has been built up in Denmark over many years. This is thanks to our soldiers, intelligence service, cooperation between authorities, and political cooperation…

“We are a small country, but we can do so much, and that is also what the Americans praised us for today,” the prime minister said.

Biden: Denmark is one of America’s best allies

During their meeting at the White House on Monday, President Biden expressed great praise for Denmark, hailing it as one of America’s best allies.

“Denmark is one of our best allies and most faithful friends,” President Biden told Prime Minister Frederiksen at the beginning of their meeting.

Highlighting the alignment of values, President Biden specifically mentioned Denmark’s resolute stance against Russian aggression, particularly in their support for Ukraine and its people.

“We share many of the same values…One of these values ​​includes standing up against Russian aggression,” Biden said.

Among other things, he expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Frederiksen for the defence cooperation between Denmark and the US.

Furthermore, President Biden thanked Denmark for its commendable efforts in the realm of green transition.

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Finance minister hints at payrises in Danish care sectors

Denmark’s Minister of Finance Nicolai Wammen has hinted that more professions than the four care sectors currently slated for wage increases could be given a payrise in upcoming negotiations.

Finance minister hints at payrises in Danish care sectors

The government has stated it wants to give higher wages to public employees who work in the social care (SOSU in Danish), child care (pædagoger), nursing and prison officer sectors.

The so-called lønløft or payrise for these groups is a stated aim of the government in upcoming tripartite talks (termed trepartsforhandlinger in Danish) between the government, employers and trade unions.

Additional sectors could also be recipients of the 3 billion kroner the government wants to spend boosting wages, Wammen said on Wednesday.

“We want to make an extra effort [for the sectors explicitly named],” he said ahead of initial meetings ahead of the negotiations.

“But we are not saying with this that other groups can’t come in, but this is our starting point,” he said.

Labour market representatives of both employees and employers – in other words, trade unions and employer confederations – can both push for changes to the government proposal during the tripartite talks.

“We are now setting up for negotiations. We’ll know how the final model is going to look once we’ve reached an agreement,” Wammen said.

The proposal for higher wages in the four areas was announced by the government earlier this week, with one of its stated goals being to attract more staff to address shortages.

The proposed payrises could amount to 2,500 kroner per month for people working in the sectors, provided they meet with the government’s demands related to conditions such as working hours.