Monday

25th Sep 2017

Denmark re-elects Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Denmark's liberal-conservative government has secured a third term in office following elections on Tuesday (13 November).

Supported by the right-wing Danish People's Party, prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen secured exactly the 90 seats in the Folketinget needed to continue his government, already in place since 2001.

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  • Anders Fogh Rasmussen - the longest serving liberal PM in Denmark (Photo: © Council of the European Union, 2000-2005)

It will be Mr Rasmussen's third term as prime minister and he will also become the longest ruling liberal prime minister of the country.

The result also confirmed him as one of the few political leaders to have supported the US-led war in Iraq without facing defeat in the next elections.

But the tight result was secured only because one of the four MPs from the Faroe Islands and Greenland - the Danish dependencies in the North Atlantic – supports the coalition.

The centrist New Alliance party formed in May by Naser Khader, a Palestinian immigrant born in Syria, secured five seats in the Folketinget.

The New Alliance was hoped to be an alternative to the right-wing Danish Peoples Party, but the government is able to continue without the support of the party. Mr Fogh Rasmussen said he would also include the party when forming the government's policies.

The Danish People's Party got 25 seats in the parliament, one more than in the 2005-elections.

The election campaign was mainly focussed on domestic welfare, tax reforms, immigration and climate change policies, all main concerns of the social democrat opposition.

But a booming economy and unemployment rates at historically low levels secured the government victory.

Social Democrat chairwoman Helle Thorning-Schmidt cemented her position as leader of the opposition in what was her first national election campaign. "I will beat Fogh next time", she declared.

European affairs never became an issue in the election campaign even though one of the first important tasks for the re-elected government will be to tackle the EU Reform Treaty.

The Danish Peoples Party demands a referendum on the issue, which could force prime minister Fogh Rasmussen to seek support from the left side in the parliament to have the treaty ratified.

Analysis

Merkel-Macron: An EU motor in the making

Merkel's re-election is expected to revive the Franco-German EU motor, but the German leader and France's new ruler are still searching for a common vision.

EU 'embarrassed' by Catalan 'taboo'

Faced with the growing tension between the Spanish and Catalan governments, the member states and EU institutions would prefer not to get involved.

Spain arrests Catalan officials

Armed Spanish police have arrested Catalan officials and seized ballots for an independence referendum, prompting appeals for EU help.

EU countries cool on Juncker's ideas

There was not much enthusiasm voiced in EU countries after Juncker unveiled his grand ideas about a single EU president and a larger eurozone. Dutch PM Rutte suggested seeing an eye doctor.

Juncker calls for united EU under one leader

The Commission president wants his position to be merged with the presidency of the European Council, and for all EU states to be in the eurozone and Schengen by 2019, post-Brexit.

Quiet showdown in Barcelona

Thousands of Catalans have taken to the streets, in protest against the Spanish government's efforts to prevent the independence referendum. Both sides know that violence would go against their cause.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel wins fourth term, exit polls say
  2. EU to hail 'aspirations' of former Soviet states
  3. UK says credit downgrade was wrong
  4. Dutch state appeals ban on taking air-polluting measures
  5. May proposes 2-year transition period after Brexit
  6. May to call on EU's 'sense of responsibility'
  7. Catalonia has 'contingency plans' for independence vote
  8. Last German polls confirm Merkel's lead

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