Denmark

The Danish right wing two party coalition government and the Danish People's Party (an extreme right wing party that supports the government from outside), have decided that Denmark should participate in the US led attack on Iraq. Denmark has sent a submarine and a warship - an extremely modest contribution - but the point is that they want to show that "we support our most important ally", as the prime minister has said. This decision was taken in parliament with a very small majority, while all the other parties, except for the two in government and the Danish People's Party, voted against.

After a period of internal unrest in the Danish Social Democracy, this Tuesday, November 19, party leader and former prime minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen decided to resign from his position as chairman of the party. After the big defeat in the elections last year the leadership has desperately tried to "renew" the party, and at the same time various members of the leadership have tried to manoeuvre in order to advance themselves in the organisation. In the last period several leading Social Democrats have anonymously demanded that Nyrup should resign, and now he has decided, that "it will do no good to the Social Democracy to continue the present discussion about the leadership". Now

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When the new Danish government coalition of Liberals and Conservatives (with the backing of the right wing Danish People's Party) came to power last November, their slogan was "time for change". But since then increasing numbers of workers and youth have come to realise that this was only change for something worse. The last year in Denmark has seen growing protests against the cuts and broken promises of the government. At the same time this has highlighted the crisis in the leadership of the workers' movement because neither the unions nor the workers' parties have been willing to really give a lead to the protests.

The day before the May Day was the day when the result of the vote on the new wage agreement for public sector workers was announced. There had been negotiations for a long time, but the result of the negotiations was very bad, so the leaders of the unions feared that the members would vote No and in this way start a strike. The top leaders had presented the result as the best possible one, and they said that it was impossible to get a better one through strikes. But the dissatisfaction with the result was very big, and in some unions the leaders were forced by the members to recommend a No vote. The result included a 5.55% pay rise over three years, but then there is inflation, and

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If anybody is still having doubts about the Danish working class and youth, they must be both deaf and blind. The demonstrations on March 20 were a unique demonstration of the strength of the Danish workers' movement. There have been no similar demonstrations since 1985. There were more people in front of the parliament at Christiansborg Slotsplads than during the strikes in 1998. People came in busses from all parts of the country to protest against the state budget which was passed in parliament on the same day.

Until recently, the formal aim of the government's refugee policy was to help people have a decent life. The new right-wing government in Denmark has once and for all broken with this principle. The main purpose of the proposed "foreigners-law" is to accept as few refugees into the country as possible. This cynical aim is not just the dream of the extremely right-wing Danish People's Party. It is the main goal of three in the new law. The proposed law published on January 16 puts forward three goals for the new foreigners policy:

On Thursday, 7 February about 30,000 students from all kinds of schools and colleges participated in strikes and demonstrations all over Denmark. In Copenhagen 20,000 people gathered in the central square, and the other major cities also saw big demonstrations: more than 4,000 in Aarhus, 3,000 in Odense and 1,000 in Aalborg.

The elections in Denmark on November 11, 2001 were a historical defeat for the Social Democracy, which lost 11 seats in parliament and for the first time since 1924 is no longer the biggest party in the country. The Socialist People's Party (SF) and the Unity List (left coalition of the old communist party and different sects) also lost support, while the right wing parties gained a lot. The result of the elections was a big swing to the right, but that is not because the Danish population has suddenly become bourgeois-liberal and nationalist racists. It is most of all due to a big opposition to the bourgeois politics of the Social Democratic leadership in all fields and the lack of an

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On September 28, 2000 a majority of the Danish voters said no to the Euro - 53.1% voted No and 46.9% voted Yes. This was a surprisingly high No-vote, since almost all the different opinion polls and "experts" etc., had been predicting a very close, almost fifty-fifty situation. The participation in the referendum was very high - about 88%, which is the highest percentage in a Danish EU-referendum since the first one in 1972 where 90.4% voted.

On Monday, April 27th nearly 500,000 Danish private sector workers went on an all-out strike. The strike, which lasted for nearly eleven days was the biggest movement since 1985 when 1 million workers paralysed Denmark for ten days.