Dressed to kill

Faroe Islands coat of arms
Image credit

‘So I buy it. The most perfect little cardigan in the world. People will call me the Girl in the Grey Cardigan. I’ll be able to live in it. Really, it’s an investment’. (Sophie Kinsella, ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’)

I’ve just got back from a few days in Copenhagen and while I was there I invested in The Jumper.  I have coveted The Jumper since the first series of Forbrydelsen which featured Sarah Lund moodily wearing the original.

I didn’t go to Copenhagen Jumper shopping.  I went because, for my birthday, I had been given a reservation for lunch at Noma.  Noma had been ranked the best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine three years running, so reservations were hard to come by.  My theatre buddy Gary had the reservations hotline on auto-redial for hours until he snagged one for me.

Sadly, lunch was disappointing.  Everything was green and some bits of it wriggled but, as I’m a true foodie, that didn’t stop me eating them.  Foraged lichen is not really my thing (I certainly wouldn’t fight a starving reindeer for it) but the home-made apple juice was delicious.

Back to my more satisfying Danish investment: The Jumper.  Hand-made in the Faroe Islands, it has its own website.  How cool is that.

The Faroese economy is, I gather, based mainly on fish and sheep.  When Denmark joined the EEC (now the EU) in 1973 the Faroe Islands, part of Denmark but self-governing since 1948, opted to stay out.  Like the Norwegians and the Icelanders, the Faroese didn’t want to sign up to the Common Fisheries Policy.

Although the people of Greenland also voted against EEC membership in 1973, Greenland did not have a comparable degree of autonomy to that of the Faroe Islands. As a consequence, Greenland had to join the EEC as part of Denmark and it left in 1985 after the Greenlanders had achieved home rule and had held another referendum.  Both the Faroe Islands and Greenland are excluded from the application of EU VAT but the Faroes have their own version and charge the Danish rate of 25%.

In November 2013 Denmark, on behalf of the Faroe Islands, started proceedings under the World Trade Organization dispute settlement procedure against the EU in response to the use of ‘coercive economic measures’ by the EU in relation to Atlanto-Scandian herring and Northeast Atlantic mackerel.  This was, apparently, an EU first.

What is it with the Danes?  They have one of the highest income tax rates in the world but last year’s UN World Happiness Report ranked Denmark the happiest nation, with an average life satisfaction score of 7.69 out of 10.  And they invented Lego.

Go on, try knitting your own Killing Jumper.  You’ll need it in autumn when the nights start drawing in.

Very hygge.

Tax lawyer specialising in business tax, SDLT and VAT

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