Denmark abolishes public holiday to bail out state coffers

The Danish government has decided to abolish the Store Bededag (“great day of prayer”) public holiday from next year, it announced on Thursday. In compensation, the workers will receive a slightly higher salary.

As soon as it took office in December, the brand new government of Social Democratic Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced that it would abolish a public holiday. The proceeds of this measure would be used to increase defense spending.

The Danish executive has now acted on this announcement, tabling a bill to abolish Store Bededag as a general public holiday. This Christian holiday – introduced in 1686 – is celebrated on the fourth Friday after Easter. From 2024, this day will be considered a working day. As compensation, workers with a fixed contract will see their wages increase by 0.45%.

The Ministry of Finance had already announced on Wednesday that this abolition of a public holiday would increase the gross domestic product (GDP) by 9.4 billion crowns (1.3 billion euros) and would bail out the state coffers by 3 .2 billion Danish crowns (430 million euros) per year.

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