Denmark. According to COUNTRYAAH, Denmark has a population of 5.806 million (2019). There was another year of conflict and hot debate around immigrants in general and Muslims in particular.
At the New Year, Muhammad cartoonist Kurt Westergaard was subjected to assault and attempted murder in his home in Aarhus. Westergaard escaped and the attacking immigrant was shot dead by police. Westergaard, who was behind some of the disputed Muhammad cartoons in the Jutland Post, was also hit by boycotts. Among other things, an auction house refused to sell his general drawings. Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen warned of stigmatization and of a society where Danes live in fear.
The prime minister also reacted to the daily Politiken, which apologized to abused Muslims for publishing the Muhammad cartoons. The newspaper reached a settlement with Muslim organizations, thus refraining from sentencing. The prime minister labeled Politika’s act as worrying, and other media criticized the newspaper for letting freedom of speech. The editor-in-chief of politics felt that the newspaper helped to reduce tensions between the Danish media and the Muslim world.
After a prolonged political debate, the government decided not to legislate against burka but to issue rules that public employees should not wear burka or niqab in the service. According to the prime minister, it was a signal that burka and niqab are unwanted women’s oppressive symbols.
In February, Prime Minister Løkke Rasmussen made a major government change, when seven ministers were replaced. Conservative leader Lene Espersen became Denmark’s first female foreign minister, and Gitte Lillelund Bech from Venstre became the first female defense minister. Nine out of nineteen ministers in the new government were women.
Although the economy turned after the downturn during the financial crisis, this year’s budget deficit was projected to be 5.4 percent of GDP. In June, the European Commission recommended Denmark to take new measures to reduce the deficit in the budget from 2011 and reach the EU’s regulated limit, ie below 3 percent, in 2013.
Ahead of the parliamentary elections in Sweden in September, politicians from the Venstre and Conservative government parties and from the Dansk Folkeparti support party declared that the Council of Europe should send election observers to Sweden. It was believed that freedom of speech was threatened, since the Swedish Democrats were not allowed to show an election film in TV4. The Danish People’s Party leader Pia Kjærsgaard, who described Sweden as the Nordic banana republic, participated in one of the Swedish Democrats’ elections in Skåne.
In the autumn, the government presented a plan to eliminate 29 so-called ghettos in Danish metropolitan cities. According to Prime Minister Løkke Rasmussen, there were immigrant-tight neighborhoods where Danish norms had ceased to apply. He felt that the worst-off neighborhoods should be demolished. The government’s plan included, among other things, major police efforts against crime, renovations, immigration stops for immigrants to so-called ghettos and daycare for children who know poor Danish. The Copenhagen Police Chief criticized the politicians, saying that they generalized and risked exacerbating exclusion and exclusion.
During the year there was an intense political debate on a controversial points system for immigrants proposed by the government and the Danish People’s Party. The critics considered it discriminatory and humiliating. Through permanent employment, good knowledge of Danish, associations and more, immigrants should be able to obtain points that give residence permits faster than normal. The government and the Danish People’s Party also wanted to tighten the rules for family reunification. In November, the government presented its proposal for a new Aliens Act, which included the points system. After intense internal debate, the left opposition presented its own proposal for a scoring system with less stringent requirements.
At the end of December, Danish police arrested four men suspected of planning a terrorist attack, when the Jyllands-Posten editorial in Copenhagen would be attacked with automatic weapons. Swedish police arrested a fifth suspect, and three of the arrested had been resident in Sweden. According to the Danish Minister of Justice, this was the most serious terror threat to date in Denmark.
2001-11 The 10 Black Years. Neoliberalism to power. From social state to minimal state and on to rogue state
Despite the Social Democracy’s increasingly powerful neoliberal orientation, there was room for an even more powerful right-wing turn. The parliamentary elections in November 2001 were won by the Left and Conservatives, who could subsequently form government with the Danish People’s Party as a support party. The election campaign was about refugee and immigrant politics, and adopted a distinctly racist streak. It culminated when the Left published an election ad that equated immigrants with mass rape. The left published articles in the major newspapers, which were subsequently revealed as pure fake. This included an article in the Jutland Post who on several sides accused Palestinian refugees in Denmark of being social scammers. After the election, it was revealed as a fake and was subsequently used in journalism education as the archetype of media manipulation. Another theme in the election campaign was hip surgery, where this type of media operation was made into an acute societal problem, which VK mercifully offered the solution to.
The change of government was unique in the sense that Denmark was not particularly in economic crisis, and the Social Democracy, from a bourgeois point of view, had actually done a reasonable economic job – albeit it had run out of the early retirement guarantee. The fact that bourgeois Denmark succeeded in securing a crushing electoral victory was partly due to its total control over the mass media – the Social Democracy had closed News about a year before – and partly to the fact that the Liberals emerged as the welfare state’s incarnate defender. It was only 10 years after the party’s chairman, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, authored the book “From Social State to Minimal State”, which argued for the winding-up of the welfare state. Rasmussen had not changed ideology, but had acknowledged that he had to change rhetoric: say the opposite of what he meant to be elected.
With the civil election victory, Denmark gained the most reactionary government since Madsen Mygdal’s left government in 1926-29, and at that time the VKO government immediately attacked its opponents:
- The shooting was immediately targeted at refugees and immigrants. The possibility of family reunification was severely tightened with the so-called «24-year rule» and so were the rules for obtaining Danish citizenship. The austerity was so severe that the Left’s Swedish sister party in the liberalist international suggested that the Left be thrown out of the international because the party was more in line with Jörg Haider’s neo-Nazi party in Austria.
- Next, the weapons were aimed at the artists. The Conservative Minister of Culture reduced the arts support, removed the art threads and removed the library fee for those authors with the fewest books in the libraries.
- The VKO government then decided to privatize TV2. However, a project that ultimately had to be abandoned due to the channel’s hopeless financial situation.
- After just 1½ months it went beyond advice and boards. Acc. the prime minister was there to remove the “taste judges” from the public, but he later revealed that the real purpose of shutting down the 120 boards and councils was to remove the “supposed leftists” from the state administration. The most comprehensive example of Berufsverbot – political layoffs – in Denmark in recent times. Two years later, the scope of boards and councils was reestablished – now simply with a purely civil composition.
- Almost in the same vein, the weapons were targeted at the U-Aid, which was cut by $ 1 billion. The savings hit DANIDA directly, but in the next instance it affected the popular developing country and aid organizations. First and foremost MS, but also Ibis and DanChurchAid.
- Next, it went beyond the energy and environmental field. The energy area was already placed under Bendt Bendtsen’s “Ministry of Business”, and he now removed the support for renewable energy. It particularly affected the wind turbine industry. VKO denied the existence of global warming based on the known Left parole: “If it is facts, denies a fact”. In the area of the environment, drastic cuts were made and the prime minister placed his intimate friend Bjørn Lomborg as director of the newly created «Institute for Environmental Assessment» (IMV), which was not intended to assess the environment but legitimize the government’s abuse in the area. It was on the recommendation of the IMV that in the spring of 2003, the government chose to deviate from the targets set by the Kyoto Protocol on the reduction of CO 2the emissions – targets that Denmark has signed. Instead of limiting the pollution with CO 2, Denmark should instead buy emission quotas from, among other things. Russia. In the spring of 2003, the government launched the slogan «Green market economy – more environment for money», which aimed partly to privatize the area and partly to raise the limit values, so that the Danes did not discover where contaminated their drinking water, for example. was. Ifht. these extensive attacks on the environment and the removal of the sluices for massive pollution were a line in the bill that the Scientific Dishonesty (UVVU) in January 2003 stated that the state statistician – IMV director Bjørn Lomborg – had no idea what he wrote about when he wrote about the environment.
- Under the Madsen Mygdal government in 1926-29, the so-called chastity law was introduced, which was to limit the struggle of the working class. The new government was relatively long to concretize its direct attacks on the working class, even though it proclaimed just weeks after the election victory that it would legally remove the restrictions on part-time work – allowing employers to force part-time workers – and would eliminate the exclusive agreements requiring all employees in a workplace to be professionally organized. The threats of attacks on the working class created an unusually wide political fraternity in the trade union movement, which convened at conferences in which both the people of the social democracy and the left wing participated. Here, the professional collaboration was created Professional Responsibility, which has since played a key role in the fight against government abuse.
- In the education sector, the government announced that democracy should be abolished at the universities. The century-old self-government of the universities had to be removed, the governing law that gave the students and the technical-administrative staff an influence on operations, teaching and research had to be abolished in favor of direct corporate governance. The day colleges, which were especially offered to unemployed women, were abolished.
- The VKO government intensified the offensive against public transport. The line of savings that the Social Democratic Government had already established was further tightened. At the start of 2003, the Ikast-Struer-Aarhus track was outsourced to the British company Arriva, which had already penetrated the Danish market within bus operation. In Britain, it was notorious for dismantling otherwise well-functioning railway lines and having them replaced by bus operation. This was apparently also the strategy in Denmark, where Arriva’s operations were characterized by constant train cancellations and the replacement of replacement buses. The situation was made even more baroque by the fact that it was DSB who had made the lowest bid for the operation of the route, but it had been rejected by the conservative shoe dealer and traffic minister Flemming Hansen. The situation worsened further in 2004, when the VKO government reduced the subsidy to the Capital Development Council (HUR), whose main task was the Capital Transport Company (HT). Tariff increases of 17% on public transport were implemented in 2004.
- At the beginning of 2003, the shooting was directed at Christiania. The sanctuary had since its inception been a thorn in the eye of bourgeois Denmark, although the Danish Tourist Board has long acknowledged that the sanctuary draws many tourists to Denmark – it is a tourist attraction. But with the rapidly rising housing prices, enterprising businessmen could score billions of dollars on building homes in Christiania. The attacks were therefore intensified and VKO used the police as spearhead in this fight.
- Finally, the shooting was directed at Operation Dagsværk (OD), which over the past 20 years had collected many millions of dollars for the building of schools in the third world, and together with the aid organizations had been responsible for the development of some of the best educational material in Denmark on the conditions in the developing countries.. In the spring of 2003, the VKO government decided to deprive the OD of its operating subsidy of ½ million. At the same time, the OD and colleges were informed that in the future no time could be set aside for neither the OD’s collection day nor the teaching activities. It was the preliminary culmination of 20 years of civilian hatred for the OD, and its support for third world education projects.
The VKO government did not go for open attack on the welfare state. That would have cost votes. Instead, the attack assumed a long-term nature and consisted of several elements:
- Upon its accession, the government decreed a so-called “tax break”. This also applied to municipalities and counties. The aim was to slowly erode the public economy – a gradual erosion of the welfare state. The government even laid before and fired several thousand employees of the state. It contributed to the rapidly rising unemployment. The result was 10 years of deterioration in the public school, social and health field.
- The government also implemented a comprehensive municipal reform, abolished municipal self-government, and intervened far more in control of the municipalities. The VKO government’s democracy ideal pointed to the fact that quite a few VK ministers should control down to the smallest retail level in what were once municipalities with extensive self-government. In reality, there was not much liberalism about it, and despite the fact that a majority of the municipalities were led by the Left, a communal rebellion against the centralist VKO government nevertheless ensued. The most cash consequence was that former left mayor Kristian Philipsen in 2005 resigned from the party. After the closure of the counties and intervention in the municipalities, the government was given far greater opportunities to directly cut welfare state benefits.
Social democracy and other parties were only able, to a very limited extent, to mark an opposition to the politics of the country. This helped to change the Social Democracy in December 2002. Mogens Lykketoft who in 1992 himself had helped bring Nyrup Ramussen to power took over the post at an extraordinary congress, but without changing it particularly in the party’s opposition profile. In other countries where there is an opposition and an opposition press, the government’s abuses would trigger fierce discussions and opposition, but this was only to a very limited extent in Denmark. Despite a number of serious scandals that Social Democratic ministers would have been crucified in the bourgeois media, there were cases that have very quickly died in the media. The exception was the Farum case, where, a few months after the VKO victory, left mayor Peter Brixtofte was revealed in fraud with the municipality’s funds. The worst was the illegal raising of a loan outside the municipal council of DKK 150 million. DKK for the purchase of the Farum boxes. The case was interesting because, until the reveal, Farum was highlighted by the Left as a pattern municipality, where taxes could be reduced and services provided. This should have paved the way for Brixtofte’s access to the chairmanship of the Left, but this was conquered in 1998 by Fogh Rasmussen instead, and since then the relationship between the two was icy. That it remained at zero was confirmed by the fact that during the 2001 election campaign, Brixtofte dispensed with his party’s xenophobic immigrant policy. It cannot be ruled out that the central party organization of the Left contributed to the revelations in Farum – as a “thank you for the last”. that during the 2001 election campaign, Brixtofte undoing his party’s xenophobic immigrant policy. It cannot be ruled out that the central party organization of the Left contributed to the revelations in Farum – as a “thank you for the last”. that during the 2001 election campaign, Brixtofte undoing his party’s xenophobic immigrant policy. It cannot be ruled out that the left-wing central party organization contributed to the revelations in Farum – as a “thank you for the last”.
Since then, Left has revealed itself as the scandal’s party – without the media being particularly interested in uncovering their scope:
- The then Finance Minister Thor Pedersen was involved in the Farum case. As director of Jydsk Rengøring he had in 1998-99 provided sponsorship support for Brixtofte’s football club – Farum Boldklub – in return for getting contracts for cleaning in the municipality. It belongs to the category of corruption. In 2002, Pedersen was also revealed in fraud with EU funds – land subsidies for land he still did not cultivate. Finally, there was the problem of the duty of residence. Pedersen reportedly runs an agricultural farm at Rørvig, but most days of the year he lives in his “cottage” in North Zealand.
- Interior Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen gave $ 100,000 in 1988 to support Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan. In addition, he was personally present in Afghanistan to hand over the funds, and at the same time had the opportunity to test the terrorists’ weapons. Actions that are in stark contrast to the government’s alleged participation in the fight against international terrorism.
- In 1989, Fogh Rasmussen was fired as Minister of Taxation after fraud with the Ministry’s funds. Before then, he had managed to fire half of the employees in the tax equation – first and foremost the corporate equation. In doing so, he came to bear the main responsibility for making corporate tax cases possible in the 1990’s. The corporate tax cases lined the Treasury for about $ 1½ billion. In 1992, a commission court ruled that Rasmussen was responsible for the ministry’s creative accounting, and had provided “unclear, incomplete and incorrect answers to committees and the Folketing.”
- Anders Møller, MF for the Left, was charged with sexual harassment against his secretary in the Danish Parliament, and subsequently it emerged that, as a municipal politician in Køge, he had hidden video footage of naked women in Køge swimming pool. The left tried to close the case through financial compensation of DKK 50,000 to the secretary, but unsuccessfully.
Finally, most ministers were revealed in violating the speed limits on the highways. Offenses, however, remained unpunished.
That they did not have consequences confirmed the impression that Denmark is increasingly legally evolving into a banana republic: increasingly punishment is being used without judgment – one of the important political issues that human rights organizations like Amnesty International focus on in their work. In Denmark, this form of punishment is called “custody” and used e.g. to punish the two activists who in February 2003 overpowered the prime ministers and foreign ministers with red paint after Denmark joined the US attack war on Iraq. It has since been used for up to 15 months against Christiania arrests.
The criminal age was reduced to 14 years – in violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – and VKO was completely considering abolishing the low age.
The terrorist legislation of 2002 has unprecedentedly tightened surveillance of the Danes. In the future, ISPs were required to register and store all users’ net traffic for a 2-year period. This means that all emails and browsing are recorded. This would be equivalent to the post offices being required to open all letters, copy them and put them in safe for a 2 year period.
Terrorism legislation has also criminalized support for the work of democracy and human rights abroad through a ban on support for liberation movements. With this legislation, it would have been prohibited to support the ANC in South Africa, the FNL in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War or the fight against fascism in Spain under the Franco dictatorship. The Justice Department started with Greenpeace convicted under the Terrorism Act for a demonstration against the Agriculture Council. Next came a series of political trials that ensured a continued flow of political prisoners to the Danish prisons – convicted of «terror».
The impression of the banana republic was further reinforced by the close command relationship established between the US government and the Danish. This was the reason for the Danish government’s positive attitude towards the use of the Thule radar for the US offensive Star Wars project. And that was the backdrop for the VKO government’s acceptance of participating in the US attack war on Iraq in March 2003 – without the backing of the UN or the UN Security Council, and across international law. In 1990, Fogh Rasmussen wrote the book “From Social State to Minimal State” as its ideological basis. After taking over the post of prime minister for over 10 years, he was developing the neoliberal concept from “minimal state to rogue state”.