An amicable affair
Firstly the CO-Industri, the central organisation of industrial employees in Denmark, and Dansk Industri, the confederation of Danish industry, kissed and made up and agreed a new three-year deal that will affect 230,000 employees working at 6,000 companies in the industrial sector.
There was no drama and everybody seemed to be happy. The country currently has a very high employment rate and higher productivity than expected, while GDP growth is also exceeding expectations. However, the parties still need to agree on a minimum wage and a pay rise, which is expected to be the equivalent of 1.5 to 2 percent a year.
Oh my Dahling
More surprising, however, was seeing the chair of Socialdemokratiet, the largest party and leader of the red opposition parties, sitting on a sofa together with Kristian Thulesen Dahl, the head of Dansk Folkeparti, flirting as if it was Valentine’s Day.
It brought to mind former PM Nyrup Rasmussen’s observation that DF would probably never be house-trained enough for intimate dating.
In an interview, which also involved the leader of the 3F trade union, the two leaders agreed on what they did not want to do, but not necessarily on what they wanted to do.
DF in recovery mode
The parties do not want to bring the minority government down even if they could. DF is still trying to recover from the EU funds scandal, which has cost it dearly in the pockets and is still far from over.
It also has right-wing newcomer Nye Danske to consider, although the immigrant and refugee question is less prominent now fewer are seeking asylum and integration efforts are yielding a degree of success. You could say that along with the debate of stern austerity it has ended in a draw, so no election bells are ringing.
DF has no real agenda but to irritate the PM and make his day-to-day life difficult. Its questioning of the location of a new police academy was pure parody and a frightening example of the level of tripping and pushing they intend to do, instead of actually contributing to reform.
Enjoy it while you can
The taxi ‘liberalisation’ was another low when real liberalisation, digitalisation and pension reform would be more relevant to clear the way for the effects of disruption. Indeed, we must enjoy this peace while we can – while we continue to assess and digest the repercussions of the election of President Trump.
We expect the legislation process to come to a halt and continue in circles not dissimilar to the new Metro, going nowhere until we are finally allowed to disembark at the next general election in a couple of years.
Pink is a fine choice for a Valentine Day’s romantic date, but it isn’t a good match for this country’s future. For now, though, it doesn’t really matter; as the kingdom is in good shape.