The Nyhavn canal in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

I wasn’t much of a connoisseur, I admit, in the matter of Nordic cultural differences before I moved to Sweden from Turkey in 2011. Narcissism of minor differences, I’d always thought, complacent in my half-baked knowledge of Viking history and Norse mythology. It took me several years and two seasons of The Bridge (Bron/Broen), the riveting Scandi-noir TV crime series, to realise that the Danes and the Swedes neither resemble nor necessarily like each other.

At first I felt closer to Martin Rohde, the Danish police detective in the series who has to work with his Swedish counterpart, Saga Norén, after a corpse is discovered exactly in the middle of the Øresund Bridge which connects the two countries.…  Seguir leyendo »

This week, the American people and the world have become much more familiar with Greenland, the world’s largest island. We know that two U.S. presidents, Harry Truman (in 1946) and Donald Trump (Friday) have expressed interest in purchasing it. President Truman quoted a price of $100 million in 1946; we never learned the figure President Trump had in mind. But the offer was moot before it was proffered: Greenland is not for sale, but very much “open for business,” according to Greenland’s foreign minister and the prime minister of Denmark.

Over the past few days, there have been many questions about the possible motivations behind the president’s interest in and enthusiasm for Greenland.…  Seguir leyendo »

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that President Trump has expressed a repeated interest in purchasing Greenland, the autonomous Danish territory that lies between the north Atlantic and Arctic oceans.

While the president’s motives are uncertain, the administration probably sees strategic value in controlling more of the territory. Holding Greenland would provide added leverage in the Arctic, where the United States faces increased competition from Russia and China.

Many took the news as farce, but it’s not the first time a U.S. president has considered buying the ice-covered territory. Secretary of State William H. Seward considered buying both Greenland and Iceland, a project he abandoned after his Alaska purchase deal met with fierce criticism.…  Seguir leyendo »

Editor’s note: In light of the news that President Trump is interested in purchasing Greenland, we asked Jeff Colgan to update his piece on toxic waste and climate change.

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that President Trump has repeatedly expressed interest in buying Greenland. Trump is reportedly interested in the territory’s national resources and usefulness to the U.S. military.

But there’s something lurking beneath Greenland’s icy surface that Trump may want to know about: toxic nuclear waste, left over from the Cold War, that may be exposed by climate change that is melting ice at a rapid rate.

What’s more, the United States may owe Denmark — the country Trump would presumably have to make a deal with to buy Greenland — money to pay for the environmental cleanup.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cómo ser danés

A Dinamarca se la considera de un modo unánime en todo el mundo la sociedad solidaria e igualitaria por excelencia. La prosperidad, la falta de desempleo, la enseñanza generalizada, la redistribución de los ingresos y los servicios públicos, siempre han estado relacionados, según analistas, sociólogos y economistas, con la gran homogeneidad del pueblo danés, con una ética compartida que fue forjada inicialmente por la Iglesia luterana. La fe ha desaparecido y los daneses son agnósticos, pero la ética permanece. Está demostrado que los pueblos aceptan mejor ser solidarios cuanto más homogéneos son. Esta ley se cumple incluso en Estados Unidos, donde los estados que más redistribuyen, los del norte, son también los más homogéneos cultural y étnicamente.…  Seguir leyendo »

Le Danemark s’isole-t-il de plus en plus via sa politique anti- immigration ? Le 12 avril, Inger Støjberg, sa ministre de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration, annonçait au Jyllands-Posten, un des principaux quotidiens conservateurs du pays, sa volonté de rétablir les contrôles à ses frontières avec la Suède. Cette déclaration survenait peu après l’attentat perpétré à Stockholm par un Ouzbek qui avait vu sa demande d’asile refusée. Objectif du gouvernement : protéger le Danemark de l’éventuel retour d’autres migrants illégaux venant de Suède où ils sont estimés à 12 000, selon les autorités.

Cette décision s’inscrit dans un contexte tendu au Danemark depuis les élections législatives de juin 2015.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Trump administration isn’t the first government to try to keep Muslims out of a Western country. Many European voters (even anti-Trump Europeans) agree with this goal – and their governments have been simultaneously creeping in that direction.

But few Americans would suspect which country has done so most successfully: Denmark, which many American liberals, including Bernie Sanders, praise for its comprehensive welfare state. That welfare state, however, is apparently intended for a homogenous population. As few Westerners realize, the Danish government has spent the past decade and a half implementing some of the most restrictive immigration policies in the world.…  Seguir leyendo »

On the bus in Norrebro, a multicultural neighborhood in Copenhagen. Ilvy Njiokiktjien for The New York Times

Anti-Muslim nationalism is blazing in Denmark. Parliament has discussed banning prayer rooms in schools and universities. The right-wing and nationalist Danish People’s Party, now the second-largest party in Parliament, is calling for immigrants to celebrate Christmas to prove their Danishness. To reinforce Danish culture and custom, the town of Randers has asked cafeterias in public schools to serve pork.

Most recently, a man was charged last month with blasphemy for posting a video of a burning Quran on Facebook back in 2015 — a charge that hadn’t been prosecuted since 1971.

This case in particular is emblematic of how misguided the debate about Islam here has become.…  Seguir leyendo »

A recent demonstration against Muslim immigration organized by, “For Freedom” in Copenhagen. Ole Jensen/Corbis, via Getty images

An exchange in a recent debate on national TV was emblematic of changing times in Danish politics. An 18-year-old high school student named Jens Philip Yazdani was pitted against Martin Henriksen, a member of Parliament for the far-right Danish People’s Party who is the chairman of an important parliamentary committee on immigration, integration and housing. When Mr. Yazdani asserted his Danish identity as someone born and brought up in Denmark, Mr. Henriksen interrupted him.

“This is not how one becomes Danish,” he said, starkly forcing to the fore the old question of what is “Danishness.” In that moment, the nationalist politician signaled an end to the uneasy truce that has long defined the immigration debate in Denmark.…  Seguir leyendo »

La campagne d’Europe de Daech


Daech considère le continent européen comme un théâtre intégré d’opérations terroristes. La fermeture toute récente du corridor d’accès des djihadistes à la Turquie est intervenue trop tard pour casser l’élan de la campagne d’Europe, lancée par le bien mal-nommé Etat islamique depuis le printemps 2014. C’est pourquoi il faut élargir les problématiques hexagonales, au mieux franco-belges, pour appréhender la menace djihadiste dans sa réalité européenne. L’Allemagne constituera la première de ces études de cas, suivie du Danemark et de l’Espagne.


La carte ci-dessous rend compte des actions menées ou inspirées par Daech durant un seul mois, de la mi-juillet à la mi-août 2016.…  Seguir leyendo »

Bientôt, les policiers danois pourront confisquer les avoirs supérieurs à 10 000 couronnes (1465 francs) appartenant aux réfugiés qui demandent asile sur le territoire du royaume. Sauf s’il s’agit de «valeurs affectives» comme certains bijoux. Un large consensus, à l’exception de petits partis de gauche, s’est dessiné cette semaine au Folketing, le parlement, pour voter cette mesure prônée par le gouvernement. Il s’agit d’envoyer un «signal» aux migrants pour les dissuader de venir, s’est justifié le pouvoir sous l’influence du Parti populaire danois (DF), formation nationale-populiste qui dicte l’agenda politique depuis une quinzaine d’années à l’image de l’UDC en Suisse.

Ce signal n’est pas passé inaperçu.…  Seguir leyendo »

In October 1943, in an act of civic and moral duty, Danish fishermen and resistance fighters transported approximately 7,000 Danish Jews to safety in neutral Sweden. They were ferried over the waters of the Oresund and saved from Nazi extermination camps.

That story of heroism is central to modern Danish identity and it stands in sharp contrast to what is unfolding today. In the past week more than 3,000 mainly Syrian refugees have been arriving from Germany, passing through Denmark and crossing that same stretch of water to Sweden, which has a more open immigration policy, and where they hope to rebuild their lives.…  Seguir leyendo »

The writers of the famous Danish TV series “Borgen” couldn’t have concocted a more shocking episode than the one that unfolded during Thursday’s general elections.

After four years in office, the leader of the center-left government, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, faced a loose-knit group of rightist challengers, led by a former prime minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen. Both of them lost — leaving the leader of the far-right Danish People’s Party, Kristian Thulesen Dahl, as the election’s big winner and firmly in control of whatever new government emerges.

With 21 percent of the vote, up from 12 percent in 2011, the extreme right is now the second-largest party in Denmark.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hace poco las autoridades rusas amenazaron con dirigir misiles nucleares a barcos de guerra daneses si Dinamarca se une al sistema de defensa antimisiles de la OTAN, en lo que evidentemente es una escandalosa amenaza contra un país sin intención alguna de atacar a Rusia. También refleja un factor más fundamental de la política exterior del Kremlin: la desesperación por conservar su influencia estratégica en tiempos de un cuestionamiento sin precedentes a su autoridad.

Por supuesto, los líderes rusos saben muy bien que las defensas antimisiles de la OTAN no se dirigen a su país. De 2009 a 2014, el periodo en que fui Secretario General de la OTAN, recalcamos una y otra vez que su fin era defender a los miembros de la Alianza ante  amenazas que pudieran proceder del área euroatlántica.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russian authorities recently threatened to aim nuclear missiles at Danish warships if Denmark joins NATO’s missile-defense system. This was obviously an outrageous threat against a country that has no intention of attacking Russia. But it also reflects a more fundamental factor in the Kremlin’s foreign policy: desperation to maintain Russia’s strategic influence at a time of unprecedented challenges to its authority.

Of course, Russia’s leaders know very well that NATO’s missile defense is not directed at their country. When I served as NATO secretary general from 2009 to 2014, we repeatedly emphasized that the purpose was to defend alliance members from threats originating outside the Euro-Atlantic area.…  Seguir leyendo »

A memorial service on Feb. 16 in Copenhagen for the victims of attacks on a synagogue and an event promoting freedom of expression. Credit Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

The attack on Copenhagen’s synagogue earlier this month that left a volunteer Jewish watchman dead is a tragedy for a society that, for more than two centuries, has insisted that there is no tension between being Jewish and being Danish. It was precisely this sense of national solidarity across religious lines that helped save Denmark’s Jews from the Nazis during World War II.

And that’s why it rubbed many Danes the wrong way when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited Danish Jews to “come home” to Israel after the attack. Even if Denmark’s Jews clearly face a new threat, this time from a small group of extremist Muslim Danes, Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »

La felicidad, ja, ja

Leí en alguna parte que una encuesta hecha en el mundo entero había determinado que Dinamarca era el país más feliz de la Tierra y me disponía a escribir esta columna, prestándome el título de un libro de cuentos de mi amigo Alfredo Bryce que venía como anillo al dedo a lo que quería —burlarme de aquella encuesta—, cuando ocurrió en Copenhague el doble atentado yihadista que ha costado la vida a dos daneses —un cineasta y el guardián judío de una sinagoga— y malherido a tres agentes.

¿Qué mejor demostración de que no hay, ni ha habido, ni habrá nunca “países felices”?…  Seguir leyendo »

Los atentados en Copenhague parecen como una réplica de los que golpearon París hace un mes. En París y en Copenhague, las víctimas fueron las mismas: defensores de la libertad de expresión, librepensadores, caricaturistas, antirracistas, policías, judíos. La misma ideología mortífera, el islamismo, armaba a los terroristas.

Estos asesinatos son más que la aplicación del proyecto macabro y totalitario de los asesinos. Tienen el propósito de radicalizar a las sociedades afectadas, para incitar un cara a cara entre el islamismo y la extrema derecha. Ambos comparten la misma visión, la de un mundo amenazado por un choque de civilizaciones en el cual el frente sería una Europa al borde de una guerra civil.…  Seguir leyendo »

A couple of years ago, a Canadian minister proudly declared that Santa Claus was a citizen of Canada. After all, his home and toy factory are at the North Pole, which, according to the minister’s interpretation, belongs to Canada.

Though Santa Claus has not commented on the matter, it is now clear that he could choose several passports when he travels the world. In 2007, a privately funded mini-submarine planted a Russian flag directly beneath his alleged home. And last month, Denmark, which has sovereignty over Greenland, staked its own territorial claim, also covering the North Pole.

By filing its claim with the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, Denmark has joined our era’s “great game”: the contest for economic control over a large part of the Arctic.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hace un par de años, un ministro canadiense declaró con orgullo que Santa Claus era un ciudadano del Canadá. Al fin y al cabo, su hogar y su fábrica de juguetes están en el Polo Norte, que, según la interpretación del ministro, pertenece al Canadá.

Aunque Santa Claus no ha comentado ese asunto, ahora está claro que, cuando viaja por el mundo el 24 de diciembre, podría elegir varios pasaportes. En 2007, un minisubmarino con financiación privada plantó una bandera rusa directamente debajo de su supuesto hogar y, hace dos semanas, Dinamarca, que tiene la soberanía sobre Groenlandia, señaló su propia reivindicación territorial, que también abarcaba el Polo Norte.…  Seguir leyendo »