The Week That Was, May 13th – May 16th 2019

Posted on 19. May, 2019 in: TWTW

Politics: Election 2019

The opposition’s lead in the polls is turning into a landslide – if an election was held right now the ‘red bloc’ parties would win by 57%-43% merging giving them a 101-74 seat majority. The ruling Liberals are facing their worst election result for nearly 30 years with no more than 16.5% of the vote.

Danish People’s Party MPs blamed the party’s dramatic fall in voter support on leadership who’ve been too eager to fall in line with the government on too many issues. The Alternatives, who won nearly 5% of the vote at the 2015 election, have fallen to 2.9%, dangerously close to the 2% needed for parliamentary representation

The ruling Liberals vowed to freeze all taxes and duties in a re-run of ex-party leader Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s 20012 campaign playbook that swept him to a surprising election victory - in a pep-talk to the party’s parliamentary candidates, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said the aim is to remove uncertainty for families’ household budgets but at the same stressed he wasn’t promising any tax relief. The proposal was dismissed by Denmark’s most far-left parties -  Socialist People’s Party whip Jacob Mark said it’s fairly obvious to most people that the major investment in welfare that’s needed won’t happen if there’s  a freeze on taxes.

The Conservatives warned they won’t continue in government if Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s campaign promise to increase welfare spending by DKK69bn is part of the political platform - Liberal Alliance leader Anders Samuelsen accused the PM of ‘failing conservative Denmark’ by constantly trying to outbid the Social Democrats on welfare.

In the battle with the Liberals about who’ll spend most on welfare, Social Democrat leader Mette Frederiksen promised to ‘throw billions’ at the social sector if she becomes prime minister.

The Danish People’s Party (DPP) and Socialist People’s Party (SPP) joined together to demand stricter rules for foreign nationals claiming student grants in this country after it was revealed that 7,047 citizens of other EU countries received education support last year costing the state DKK500m (€36m).

The libertarian Alternatives’ leader, Uffe Elbæk, said the next government needs to declare a climate emergency, in line with Ireland and the UK.

International news organsiations covered the ‘Danish politician’s porn ad’ story - the New York Times reported how Joachim B. Olsen, a former Olympic shot-putter and current member of the Danish Parliament, paid $450 to have his face and a lowbrow slogan plastered across Pornhub, a Canadian website.

The Liberal Alliance’s child affairs spokeswoman Laura Lindahl was hit by a 'shitstorm’ on social media after claiming that lower income tax would make ‘boob jobs’ for young mothers more affordable.

The three government coalition parties dismissed any possibility of working alongside the ‘Stram Kurs’ (Hard Line) party after the election - the police have spent DKK41m ($6.2m) so far this year protecting anti-Islamist Rasmus Paludan at demonstrations and rallies throughout the country.

Election expert Kasper Møller Hansen of Copenhagen University said immigration isn’t the major factor in the election campaign as it was in previous years - he told Politiken it would have been advantageous for the prime minister if there were refugees walking along Danish motorways as we saw four years ago but the asylum numbers are at a record low.

Vandalising party campaign posters has become a trend in Copenhagen - young activists are posting images on social media of posters being ripped down, torn up, and even urinated on.

The Faroe Islands has two MPs at the Danish parliament and, according to analysis institute Spyr.fo they will support the centre-right ‘blue bloc’ after the election.

Arctic Today reported that Greenland’s second-largest party, Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA), is looking for a cabinet role after the general election.

EU/Foreign Affairs:

If Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen wins re-election he will push for a referendum on Denmark’s EU defence opt-out that excludes the country from pan-European military cooperation, echoing his defence minister, Claus Hjorth Frederiksen, who said earlier in the week that Denmark needs to be at the ‘centre of things’ to have any influence on the EU’s decision-making process.

Denmark’s European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager finally declared she wants to be President of the European Commission - in a televised debate broadcast between candidates broadcast across the EU she said it would be difficult to keep denying she’s a candidate.

To read all articles in full see: http://seven59.dk/archive (subscription required)

Social Affairs:

The Danish People’s Party (DPP) expressed concern the government could be considering reopening the doors to UN quota refugees.

Denmark was ranked as one of the least feminist countries in the western world following a global poll of 23 countries.

The Danish Council on Climate Change (Klimarådet) called for a carbon tax on airline tickets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Business:

Inflation fell to 1.0% year on year in April, down from 1.2% last month, slightly lower than expected (1.1%).

Danske Bank has appointed  ChrisVogelzang, the former boss of ABN Amro, the Netherland’s largest bank, as its new chief executive to deal with the repercussions of the money laundering scandal.

Partially state-owned wind giant Ørsted won a legal battle over the use of its own name after a court battle with descendants of the Danish scientist who inspired its identity change.

Vestas, the world’s biggest maker of wind turbines, reported its lowest quarterly profit in five years, blaming trade tariffs in the US for lowering margins in its turbine manufacturing business.

And That The Week That Was, May 13th – May 16th 2019: To read all the above articles in full see: http://seven59.dk/archive (subscription required).

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