No holidays, we need money for guns: Denmark’s decision

Despite protests from clergy and unions, Danes will now take one day less off. Indeed, the Copenhagen parliament approved the abolition of the Day of Great Prayer, a centuries-old religious holiday that the government decided to sacrifice in the name of the arms race and the war in Ukraine. Yes, because with this public holiday ban the executive led by Social Democrat Mette Frederiksen expects to save 400 million euros. It will be used to buy weapons.

The abolished feast coincides with the promavera (May 5, 2023) and is called “bededag shop”, which roughly means “day of great prayer” in Danish. It was founded over 330 years ago to condense several Catholic holidays into a single day, and has since become a fixed appointment for the Church of Denmark with its Lutheran evangelical inspiration, a state church: it is funded by the public coffers, and the administration is dominated by bishops, monarch, government and parliament. sees participation.

By eliminating this holiday from 2024, Denmark will save about 400m euros, a figure that will be invested in the military sector to meet NATO’s military spending target of 2% of GDP by 2030, according to the executive’s calculations. It is set for 2033, but the war in Ukraine hastened the Alliance’s duration and Denmark was forced to reconsider its plans. Hence, the sacrifice of the day off.

The initiative not only provoked strong opposition from the Danish Church: In early February, around 50,000 demonstrators gathered outside parliament in Copenhagen to protest the plan. Lizette Risgaard, head of the Danish trade union confederation FH, told Euronews that the abolition of the public holiday was a “unilateral reduction in workers’ benefits” and enriched employers who received extra working days. In addition, many employees who work on public holidays, such as nurses and doctors, emergency services, sales personnel in stores, or those working in the hospitality and tourism industries, will often lose the pay rise they expected. “I don’t think it’s a problem to have to work an extra day,” replied Prime Minister Frederiksen.

Source: Today IT