Denmark’s Minister of Climate and Energy and Public Utilities Dan Jørgensen and Denmark’s Ambassador to Singapore Sandra Jensen Landi drank wines worth DKK 2360 a bottle at the taxpayers’ expense during a dinner in Singapore – now they are paying it back themselves, Berlingske Tidende writes citing Frihedsbrevet.
In November last year, Minister Dan Jørgensen attended the business conference ‘2021 Bloomberg New Economy Forum’ in Singapore, and during his visit to the city-state, he attended a dinner with Ambassador Sandra Jensen Landi.
The dinner was arranged by the Danish Ambassador and in addition to the Minister and Ambassador Sandra Jensen Landi, three senior officials from the department also attended.
Media Frihedsbrevet, which has been given access to the dinner appendices, writes that nothing was spared during the dinner and it reportedly cost more than DKK 3000 per envelope.
The dinner was held at Butcher’s Block, which according to Frihedsbrevet makes an “avant-garde” menu with ingredients of “highest quality” and the menu consisted of an exclusive ten-course menu. Frihedsbrevet writes that the price for the five participants amounted to a total of DKK 15,200 and in addition, two bottles of wine were bought for a price of DKK 4720.
The overall price for the avant-garde dinner is being criticized by two experts, who point out that it is over what Ministries and authorities should spend on dinners when it is the public sector that covers the costs.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is responsible for Denmark’s Embassies, also acknowledges to Frihedsbrevet that the price is “somewhat above” what the local Embassy normally spends on a dinner, and the five participants have therefore chosen to bear the costs themselves, the Ministry states.
To Frihedsbrevet, Minister Dan Jørgensen regrets that the dinner was so expensive, but he had “of course” expected that the dinner, which the Embassy had invited to, would comply with current rules.
“That, I must now state, did not happen. The overall bill is at a too high level, which taxpayers obviously do not have to pay. I have only now heard of the excessively high bill and have immediately paid my share of the expense. The Ministry of Climate Affairs’ employees have chosen to do the same,” the Minister writes in an email response to Frihedsbrevet.