First hundred days in Denmark

Submitted by Matthew on 8 February, 2012 - 1:15

In January 2012 Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the Social-Democrat leader of the leftish coalition government which took office in Denmark after the general election of 15 September 2011, reported on her first 100 days in office; and Denmark took the presidency of the European Union.

The Danish government is unusual in Europe because it took office with promises to increase (some) social spending, to ease off immigration restrictions, and to reduce deportations. On that basis, the Red Green Alliance in Denmark, a coalition including most of Denmark's revolutionary left groups, declared “unconditional support to the new government” (bit.ly/xwUE7l). The government depends for its majority on RGA votes in Parliament.

The RGA has managed to change some government policies. Unemployed people whose benefits were due to run out after a time limit have received a temporary reprieve. A standing requirement for local authorities to privatise a minimum proportion of their services has been suspended.

But overall, Thorning-Schmidt said in her summary of her first 100 days: “Many will be asked to pull extra load. And yes, we will experience job cuts and scalebacks”. Denmark's public sector lost 36,000 jobs between autumn 2009 and the start of 2012 — equivalent to 360,000 job cuts in Britain — and the Copenhagen Post reports that the job loss will rise by another 4,000 (equivalent of 40,000) over 2012.

Meanwhile, the government continues to spend money to keep Danish troops in Afghanistan.

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