Hi there! I have begun populating the Events Calendar again, but I’ve changed strategies. Rather than writing each Thursday/Friday about the all the events that will take place during the coming weekend, which has simply become too overwhelming a task, I’ve started putting in events as they come to my attention. This allows me to chop up the work into smaller, more easily handled bits.
So there are only a handful of things for this weekend at the moment, but there are events sprinkled throughout it up until 14 February (only week 5, for some reason, has no events yet). One big advantage of this change in strategy is that there will be more listings for activities during the week – no more focus just on weekend events.
Please have a look. I will post events to the calendar whenever I have time to browse the listings in different places. Alternatively, if you know of an event that should be included, please let me know.
I’ll see if I can do quick synopses toward the end of each week based on what I’ve included until then. But I know better than to promise at this point…
We woke up today to a new landscape of local and regional government set ups in Denmark. Nationally the Social Democrats (A) gained 2.9% more support than they got in 2013, while Venstre (V) and Danish People’s Party (O) lost 3.5% and 1.3% of their voters, respectively. In terms of mayoral posts, Social Democrats won or maintained 38, Venstre 31, and Conservatives (C) 8 (see https://www.dr.dk/).
In Aalborg Mayor Thomas Kastrup-Larsen received 29,509 personal votes, a huge gain from the 16,671 he won in 2013. The Social Democrats won 48.7% of the votes, meaning an absolute majority in the city council – 17 seats (see nordjyske.dk).
Among the parties in Aalborg, the Social Democrats were the only established party to experience gains. Several new parties entered the ring this time, including Alternativet, Nye Borgerlige, Fjordlisten, Social Fælles List, and Nationalpartiet – which means that they received votes for the first time. The rest of the established parties, however, lost votes: Radikale Venstre (B), Conservatives, Socialist People’s Party (F), Liberal Alliance (I), Christian Democrats, Danish People’s Party, Venstre and Enhedslisten.
The percentage of eligible voters in Aalborg Kommune who voted fell very little – from 68.4% in 2013 to 67.63%.
You can see the numbers and percentages here: https://www.kmdvalg.dk/KV/2017/K84712851.htm
Narcis George Matache is a young Romanian Social Democratic candidate vying for a spot on Nordjylland’s regional council. Narcis has been living in Aalborg since 2009 and has been active in European Youth North Denmark as well as other student groups while a student at both UCN and AAU. His passion for politics and helping international residents compelled him to ‘throw his hat into the ring’ this time around, and he has been interviewed or featured in several media articles in the past couple of weeks leading up to the election. While I would have preferred to interview him in person, I couldn’t find the time – so here are his written answers to some questions I posed about him and his campaign.
UPDATE – 19 November: I voted at Aalborg Main Library last Friday (17 November), during the final hour one could do so before the actual election. Here is what I learned about the actual voting process:
You should bring with you your voting card (‘valgkort’), which you should have gotten in the mail, and some form of ID (yellow health card suffices). I think that just the ID will be enough, but don’t quote me on this.
You will be given two ballots – one yellow and one blue. I am kicking myself for not taking a photo of these (although, maybe that’s not legal), but I can tell you that one is for regional council and the other for municipal council.
You wait your turn in line until you get to the voting booth, and then you go in and see a sheaf of papers stapled together. On these papers are the names of the parties and the candidates running for election in each party. There are A LOT of them; A LOT more than it seems are on the posters hanging around town. But I’m sure that’s not true. This is where it pays to have done your homework ahead of time. On the ballot you must either:
- put the letter assigned to the party you prefer, e.g. Social Democrat = A, Liberal Alliance = I, Enhedslisten = Ø, etc., in the box in the top right-hand corner OR
- put the name of the party you prefer, e.g. ‘Danske Folkeparti’, ‘Radikale Venstre,’ Conservative OR
- put the name of the candidate you prefer, e.g. Thomas Kastrup-Larsen, Per Clausen, Mads Duedahl
I think you can put both the letter of the party and the party name OR the letter of the party and the candidate’s name, but not all three. If you are not sure (the directions are in Danish), please ask in English if you are not confident about your ability to understand. Again, I can’t believe I didn’t take a photo of these ballots. Anyway, once you are done, you put the ballots in the envelopes (please don’t mix up the colors), seal them, and you are done.
[This is a guest blog post by Alena Revendová, who offered to write some posts for the blog targeted at the international student population in Aalborg. Naturally I took her up on her offer. More information for internationals = great idea!]
Are you new in Aalborg and want to get some tips on how to start up your new life here? Then hopefully by reading these articles you will find some useful information about what to do in your free time, where to go to meet new people, eat out and also find out a bit about your volunteering opportunities.
Moving to a new city, and especially to Denmark, might be a bit financially demanding at the beginning, so first I would like to give you some tips on how to do both – have fun and save up some money at the same time.
When I look back two years ago – back to the time when I actually moved to Aalborg, I realize that it took me a while until I found out about all the places, organisations and events made for international students. And by writing this article, I hope to give you some tips on how to make your life in the capital of North Jutland even better. Today I would like to give you some ideas about where to go to eat out with your friends and what international events related to food you can find in the city. Read the rest of this entry »
Preliminary tax assessment available 14 November; tax seminar in English 30 November at International House North Denmark
Your preliminary income assessment (forskudsopgørelse) is available each year in November (this year on 14 November), and it shows SKAT’s estimate of your tax for the coming year. It is based on your expected income, deductions and allowances, and the tax rate used by your employer to withhold tax. If your financial situation differs from the expectations calculated by SKAT, you should change your assessment in order to ensure that you pay the right amount of tax throughout the following year.
When you make changes to your preliminary income assessment you also make changes to your tax card, which is automatically sent to whoever pays your salary, your student grant, or your pension. You can see and change your preliminary income assessment in E-tax (TastSelv). This will be available on 14 November this year.
If you want to see your actual earnings, your deductions and allowances and how much you paid in tax last year, you need to check your tax assessment notice (årsopgørelse), which will be available for 2017 in March 2018.
To help international residents in Aalborg better understand the SKAT system and what they should know about paying taxes in Denmark, International House North Denmark has organised a tax seminar on Thursday, 30 November from 16:00 to 18:00 at their premises. If you would like to join, you must register through this webpage. The seminar is free of charge.