More paternity leave for Danish men
In spring, three-year collective agreements were entered, covering more than 6,000 industrial companies. It is estimated that the new agreements will cost employers about 4% on an annual basis. The implementation of the agreement will be a historic innovation. Henceforth employees themselves can decide whether to have the 4% paid as salary, as pension or as holiday. The new agreement also contains a significant improvement in the opportunities for supplementary training, and paternity leave has been extended by three weeks.
Danish forces out of Iraq
The Danish government is to pull out its Danish battalion of 400 soldiers from Basra in Iraq by August 2007. The battalion has been part of the international coalition in Iraq since 2003. Denmark will instead strengthen the coalition with a number of helicopters with their crews and mechanics. Denmark is also ramping up its support for training of the Iraqi armed forces and the Iraqi police. The Danish government will furthermore increase its financial aid for the rebuilding programme in Iraq. Denmark’s military involvement in the international anti-terror offensive is to be strengthened by the deployment of more soldiers in Afghanistan. Denmark already has 390 soldiers stationed in Afghanistan.
Danish production of biodiesel
By the end of 2007, Danish motorists will be able to buy biodiesel made from slaughterhouse by-products and household waste. A consortium comprising the Technical University of Denmark, the Danish Technological Institute, Grundfos, Daka, OK Benzin and Dinex is constructing a full-scale plant with a nameplate capacity of 50,000 tons biodiesel annually. The plant’s technology will be based on known chemical processes which convert animal fat into biodiesel. The consortium also plans to use a new technology for converting waste sludge into second generation biodiesel. When both slaughterhouse by-products and wet sludge are fully exploited, it can cover up to 10% of diesel consumption in Denmark.