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SKAT targets travel cash
The Danish Tax and Custom Administration (SKAT) is stepping up its hunt for travellers carrying too much cash. In contrast to earlier operations, this year’s campaign will encompass airports, the border in Southern Jutland and ferries, Nils Bøysenved, head of department at SKAT, told DR News.
“Our experience in recent years indicates that people are not sufficiently aware of the regulations. That is why we are running this operation now.”
Customs officials and sniffer dogs Cash, Midas and Zenta will be in evidence however you are travelling.
The purpose of this operation is to raise people’s awareness: you must inform SKAT if you cross the border carrying more cash than is permitted by law. The maximum amount you are allowed to have on you in cash is EUR 10,000, equivalent to about DKK 75,000.
If you are carrying more than EUR 10,000 in cash out of or into Denmark, you must always inform SKAT before travelling. In the first five months of this year SKAT has already uncovered DKK 5 million which travellers had failed to declare.
In 2011 that figure was DKK 24 million. The penalty is a fine – last year the total amount of fines imposed for failure to declare the large amounts of ready cash being carried by travellers was DKK 3.5 million. The largest amount of illegal cash customs officials found on a single traveller was DKK 745,000. The fine for that was DKK 167,000.
When large cash sums are found on travellers officials also check whether the person concerned owes money to the State. In such cases the relevant amount is confiscated and diverted to the Treasury.
SKAT will follow up the current operation by instigating new, unannounced spot-checks in the coming months.
Voters lose faith in Thorning-Schmidt
Confidence in Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (SocDem) is in free fall in Denmark, according to a new Gallup poll conducted for Berlingske. Just 30 per cent of voters think she is the best person to lead the country after the next general election. A full 50 per cent favour the Liberal leader, Lars Løkke Rasmussen.
There has never been such a big gap between the two, but the Social Democrats’ political spokesperson, Magnus Heunicke, suggests this is because it is much harder to be heading the government than leading the opposition during an economic crisis.
“We are obliged to make reforms to create jobs, but that also means we have to make unpopular decisions. I think we will see a different result when the economy picks up,” says Heunicke, who dismisses the idea that voters are punishing Helle Thorning-Schmidt for breaking campaign promises.
Solar power boom costs billions
Danes are installing solar panels as never before.
3,000 systems were installed by the end of 2011. Energinet.dk believes that this figure is likely to jump to 25,000 by the end of this year, writes Jyllands-Posten.
However, Dansk Energi is now warning that these developments represent a disaster waiting to happen so far as the Treasury is concerned. This is because the tens of thousands of private owners of small solar panels pay no VAT, supplements or duty to the State.
25,000 solar power systems would add up to a likely loss to the Treasury of about DKK 3.7 billion by the end of 2012. This reflects the fact that homeowners with solar panels can set off 100 per cent of the solar energy they produce against their electricity consumption.
So these homeowners avoid the DKK 1.35 per kilowatt hour in duty and VAT which other electricity consumers pay to the State when the electricity meter whirrs.
Martin Lidegaard (SocLib), the minister responsible for climate and energy, acknowledged that these arrangements are living on borrowed time.
“Nothing lasts forever. But we are not about to remove these benefits overnight,” said Lidegaard, who welcomes the huge success of solar panels at this point.
The Minister also assures us that any changes will not affect homeowners who already have solar panels on the roof.
SAS launches eighth route to Poland
Scandinavian Airlines is continuing to expand into the Polish market as it will open another direct route on October 29 between Copenhagen and Lodz. SAS will offer more than 70 weekly direct flights between Scandinavia and Poland, with smooth transfers to the rest of Europe.
SAS will be the first network carrier to operate flights to Lodz, Poland’s third biggest city with a population of 1.2 million in the greater area of Lodz.
“Poland is an extremely important market to us, considering its proximity to Copenhagen. We can offer a quick direct flight or an easy transfer to all our Polish destinations. Earlier this year, SAS opened Copenhagen-Katowice and last fall also Stockholm-Gdansk. SAS will now fly to six destinations in Poland, offering eight direct routes from Scandinavia,” says Joakim Landholm, Chief Commercial Officer, SAS.
The new route, SK773/SK774, will operate daily except Saturdays with a CRJ200, comprising 50 seats and offer Business, Economy Extra and Economy classes. SK773 will depart Copenhagen at 12.20, arriving in Lodz at 13.35, whilst SK774 will depart Lodz at 14.15 and arrive in Copenhagen at 15.30. The flights will have great connections in both directions primarily to/from all of Scandinavia, the Baltic and European destinations.
SAS will offer eight routes between Scandinavia and Poland as of October 29:
Stockholm-Gdansk, Oslo-Gdansk, Copenhagen-Gdansk, Copenhagen-Lodz, Copenhagen-Katowice, Copenhagen-Poznan, Copenhagen-Warsaw and Copenhagen-Wroclaw.
SAS operates non-stop service from New York (Newark) to Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm, from Chicago to Copenhagen and Stockholm, and from Washington, D.C. to Copenhagen. From its hubs at Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm, SAS serves cities throughout Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and the rest of Europe.
Arla merger imminent
Arla Foods has announced plans to merge with two foreign cooperative dairies to make it Britain’s largest dairy producer and Germany’s third largest.
The two dairies concerned are the German dairy Milch-Union Hocheifel, which is Germany’s eighth largest and Britain’s Milk Link, which is the United Kingdom’s fourth largest.
“The Boards of Arla Foods amba and Milk Link have announced the proposed merger of the two dairy co-operatives. The proposal will result in the full merger of Milk Link, the UK’s leading dairy farmer co-operative, and Arla Foods amba, one of the largest and most successful European dairy co-operatives,” Milk Link says on its website.
“It will create the largest player in the UK dairy market, which will process over three billion litres of milk per annum and have a combined turnover in excess of £2 billion,” it adds.
The German dairy Milch-Union Hocheifel – or MUH - is also a cooperative, with some 2,600 members in Germany, Luxemburg and Belgium. Its headquarters are in Hocheifel region of Rhineland-Palatinate.
“If the members accept these mergers, it will cement Arla Foods’ position as one of Europe’s soundest dairy companies,” says Arla Foods CEO Peder Tuborgh.
“Both Milk Link and Milch-Union Hocheifel are strong, well-run dairy businesses. Their product portfolio and production lants will strengthen our businesses in Germany and Great Britain,” he adds.
The final decision on the merger will be taken on June 26 when member representatives of the three cooperatives will vote on the merger.
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