In his TV live debate with Socialdemokratiet leader Mette Frederiksen last night, PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen was on a mission to expose Socialdemokratiet’s ‘red spectre’, according to DR’s political correspondent Uffe Tang.
With just three days until the election on June 5, Tang contends that Rasmussen was hell-bent on putting the frighteners up voters who might assume Frederiksen’s party is more centre-left than any of their predecessors.
Rasmussen attempted to trap Frederiksen on issues such as tax and immigration, hoping to prove to voters that her government would ultimately raise taxes and increase the number of foreigners coming to Denmark.
S: No daycare minimum requirement
In one of the major talking points of the debate, Frederiksen said she was committed to increasing the number of educators at the country’s daycare institutions, but refused to be drawn into outlining a minimum requirement.
Improving conditions at the nation’s “public schools, and for the elderly, disabled and people requiring psychiatric care” were also priorities, she said.
SF: Our way or the highway
Following the debate, Pia Olsen Dyhr, the leader of SF – which is S’s most likely government partner should it choose to not go it alone – has been quick to tell DR that a minimum requirement is very much one of its priorities.
Should S not include it in its first budget, “SF will not support it”, she said.
SF would like to not only limit the ratio of children to educator, but also the size of the daycare institutions themselves, so they never exceed 100 children.
LA: Time to raise private school subsidy
Meanwhile, both the leaders of Konservative and Liberal Alliance have said they were disappointed with Rasmussen’s stance on welfare and taxes.
LA has been particularly vocal recently about raising the subsidy paid out to friskoler to 80 percent – up from 76 percent.
The next televised debate, which is on DR1 tonight at 20:00, will feature all of the party leaders.
Thorning-Schmidt to keep her opinions to herself … looking forwards
Former PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt has revealed she intends to honour her ‘vow of silence’ and not express any strong opinions in the build-up to the 2019 General Election on Wednesday. Speaking to Radio24syv, she conceded she was tempted at times. “I probably could say there is something I would change, or do something that would create some controversy,” she said from her home in London. Nevertheless, the interview did contain some juicy content, as Thorning-Schmidt recalled how “mega-annoying” it was when Socialdemokratiet figures from the past, such as ex PM Poul Nyrup Rasmussen or former Copenhagen mayor Ritt Bjerregaard, commented on her government’s policy.
Socialdemokratiet determined to tackle affordable housing shortage
Socialdemokratiet has formulated a new policy, which roughly translates as ‘Cities with room for everyone’, in which it intends to make urban living affordable for families on average incomes – particularly municipal workers such as teachers and social workers, who are increasingly finding they can’t afford to live where they work, and also students unable to live close to their place of study. “It is a basic, important Danish value that our cities are for all of us,” contended S leader Mette Frederiksen. S intends to reduce public housing rents, guarantee more places to live for students, and to prevent foreign capital funds from purchasing cheap housing to renovate and rent out.
DF leader attacks win-at-all-costs Frederiksen
DF leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl has launched an attack at Socialdemokratiet leader Mette Frederiksen, contending that she is cynically “going after the prime minister’s post at all costs” – winning for the sake of taking power. However, DR correspondent Christine Cordsen believes most of it is sour grapes in light of S’s impressive performance in the polls, as it is commonly believed that DF has lost many of its voters to the party. Dahl is hopeful that an elected S party will be open to a “broad collaboration”, thus opening the door for DF to influence the government on priority issues such as immigration.
Venstre to reduce benefits of recipients who can’t speak operational Danish
Venstre has proposed cutting the unemployment benefits of non-western immigrants who cannot speak Danish to a satisfactory level by 1,600 kroner a month. PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen wants to give the 35,000 unemployed non-western immigrants an incentive to learn the language, which will in turn improve their chances of getting a job. The benefit would accordingly fall from 15,200 kroner before tax to 13,600 if the recipient cannot speak Danish “at an operational level”.
Skipper reveals embarrassing lack of knowledge of Danish exports
DR viewers were surprised last week when Enhedslisten’s chief spokesperson, Pernille Skipper, was unable to name Denmark’s largest export market. In a quiz on the DR1 program ‘Aftenshowet’, it was bad enough that she could not name the actor Viggo Mortensen from a description of his heritage and recent Oscar exploits, but she then answered that the UK is Denmark’s largest market. In truth, Denmark exports around 15 billion kroner’s worth of goods to Germany every year – nearly three times the amount to the Brits, and one and a half times the amount of the second largest recipient, Sweden.
Politicians not doing enough to tackle climate change
Heading into the election, a majority of Danes do not think politicians are doing enough to tackle climate change. Some 57 percent, according to the Epinion poll for DR, totally or partly agreed that politicians do not do enough to reduce Denmark’s CO2 emissions. Only 17 percent totally or partly disagreed.