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VANDALISM

Danish Covid-19 test and vaccination centres hit by vandal and arson attacks

Covid-19 vaccine and testing centres across Jutland have been targeted in a series of incidents in recent days.

Danish Covid-19 test and vaccination centres hit by vandal and arson attacks
File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

In Rødekro, a town of 6,000 people in southern Jutland close to the German border, perpetrators vandalised several signs that showed directions to vaccination and test centres.

Police in the region have confirmed the incident and encouraged potential witnesses to get in contact.

The signs were painted over with green spray paint and phrases such as “Fuck WHO”, “Fuck WHO fascists” and “Corona is lies”.

The vandalism was most likely committed during Tuesday night, according to the police.

“Police are requesting that witnesses who have made observations, or who have knowledge of the perpetrators, contact the police with information,” law enforcement wrote in a press release. Witnesses can contact the police via telephone number 114. 

A vaccination and test centre in North Jutland town Hobro was also vandalised, according to the local sports centre, Hobro Idrætscenter, which houses the facility.

“During the night, vandalism was committed and signs were stolen in connection with the test and vaccination centres at Hobro Idrætscenter,” the sports centre wrote on Wednesday on its Facebook page.

The centre said it will replace the signs.

“It’s just incredibly tiresome,” the manager of the sports centre, Johnny Wulff, told local media Nordjyske.

Meanwhile, a vaccination centre in Silkeborg, central Jutland was targeted in an attempted arson, the regional police district said on Tuesday.

A box containing face masks was set on fire inside of a container. The perpetrator or perpetrators then attempted to push the container through a glass screen at the vaccination centre.

Fire did not spread in the building but police are taking the situation very seriously and are looking for witnesses.

Earlier this month, fire bombs were thrown at a test centre in Ballerup north of Copenhagen. That incident resulted in the National Police (Rigspolitiet) announcing that law enforcement would be keeping an extra close eye on vaccination and test centres.

READ ALSO: Hundreds gather in Copenhagen to protest Denmark’s Covid-19 laws

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COVID-19

Court turns down AfD-led challenge to Germany’s spending in pandemic

The German Constitutional Court rejected challenges Tuesday to Berlin's participation in the European Union's coronavirus recovery fund, but expressed some reservations about the massive package.

Court turns down AfD-led challenge to Germany's spending in pandemic

Germany last year ratified the €750-billion ($790-billion) fund, which offers loans and grants to EU countries hit hardest by the pandemic.

The court in Karlsruhe ruled on two challenges, one submitted by a former founder of the far-right AfD party, and the other by a businessman.

They argued the fund could ultimately lead to Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, having to take on the debts of other EU member states on a permanent basis.

But the Constitutional Court judges ruled the EU measure does not violate Germany’s Basic Law, which forbids the government from sharing other countries’ debts.

READ ALSO: Germany plans return to debt-limit rules in 2023

The judgement noted the government had stressed that the plan was “intended to be a one-time instrument in reaction to an unprecedented crisis”.

It also noted that the German parliament retains “sufficient influence in the decision-making process as to how the funds provided will be used”.

The judges, who ruled six to one against the challenges, did however express some reservations.

They questioned whether paying out such a large amount over the planned period – until 2026 – could really be considered “an exceptional measure” to fight the pandemic.

At least 37 percent of the funds are aimed at achieving climate targets, the judges said, noting it was hard to see a link between combating global warming and the pandemic.

READ ALSO: Germany to fast-track disputed €200 billion energy fund

They also warned against any permanent mechanism that could lead to EU members taking on joint liability over the long term.

Berenberg Bank economist Holger Schmieding said the ruling had “raised serious doubts whether the joint issuance to finance the fund is in line with” EU treaties.

“The German court — once again — emphasised German limits for EU fiscal integration,” he said.

The court had already thrown out a legal challenge, in April 2021, that had initially stopped Berlin from ratifying the financial package.

Along with French President Emmanuel Macron, then chancellor Angela Merkel sketched out the fund in 2020, which eventually was agreed by the EU’s 27 members in December.

The first funds were disbursed in summer 2021, with the most given to Italy and Spain, both hit hard by the pandemic.

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