Denmark: row over compensation for mink farmers

The Danish Parliament has passed the groundwork for the compensation of mink farmers. The government ordered the culling of all mink in Denmark as part of the fight against the pandemic. Now the owners of the farms as well as indirectly affected businesses are to receive the equivalent of up to 2.5 billion euros. Is this the correct approach as a matter of principle, or unfair vis-à-vis other businesses?

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Berlingske (DK) /

Property is property

Berlingske welcomes the agreement on the grounds that it bolsters the principle of the inviolability of private property:

“A matter of principle lies at the heart of the debate about compensation for mink breeders. If the state violates property rights, it must pay dearly for it. Very dearly indeed. It must be neither easy nor cheap for the state to take over private property. Quite the contrary. The constitution and its spirit must be respected.”

Politiken (DK) /

The hotel industry must be green with envy

Politiken sees the compensation as far too generous:

“Certainly no other sector has been dispossessed to the same extent. But it will also take years for the travel, hotel and leisure industries to get back to the same level they were at before the crisis. Yes, these industries have received support, but it pales in comparison with the very generously calculated compensation the mink breeders will now receive. All other industries affected by the coronavirus bear their own economic risk. The mink breeders, on the other hand, won't lose a single krone. On the contrary, they'll receive the equivalent of ten years of revenue. The mink affair has been very costly for Denmark. Too costly.”