Queen’s New Year’s speech strained patience

Her Majesty’s advice about job-hunting and sacrifice was not well-received by all

No-one – not even the Queen – was immune to worries about the economy and the EU this year. In her annual televised New YearÂ’s  Eve speech, Queen Margrethe mused about the tough times so many Danes and foreigners are facing in these days of renewed recession.

She encouraged listeners – an estimated 75 percent of the Danish public tune in each New Year’s Eve at 6pm to hear her annual speech – to “look at the problems straight on and do something about them”, “to pull oneself together”, and to be open-minded enough to consider changing careers or moving to a new town to pursue job opportunities.

“We cannot expect others or circumstances to carry us through the crisis. We ourselves must find that place from which we can act – both mentally and concretely,” the Queen said.

In addition to soldiers, police and professional caregivers, whom she traditionally thanks each year for their efforts and sacrifices, the Queen gave special praise to volunteers for the work they do and encouraged all citizens to volunteer in the coming year.

Volunteers provide “a help that counts for more than we often realize,” Queen Margrethe said. “I thank them and send them a New Year’s greeting.”

While the QueenÂ’s practical comments about the global economic crisis, unemployment and pitching in were praised by some, those very comments struck a sour note with several Jyllands-Posten readers, who remarked that she is the person least likely to understand the plight of the common man and woman.

“I think it’s lovely that we should stand shoulder to shoulder and work ourselves out of this crisis, but god knows what the Queen’s contribution actually is,” wrote Viktor Berg from Aarhus.

Rolf Larsen from Borup remarked on the irony that Queen Margrethe was telling unemployed people how to pull themselves up by the bootstraps.

“Easy for her to say. She has a job that she can’t be fired from at present, and it’s a little tiring to hear her go on about how we should pull ourselves together and sacrifice, when all of us must pay for her upkeep. Honestly!” he wrote.

Another reader, Børge Jensen from Copenhagen, took the opportunity to congratulate Queen Margrethe on the one million kroner pay raise she’s getting in the 2012 budget.

“It must be nice to get a pay raise, while the rest of us must ‘move to another town’ to be able to work for you and the rest of welfare-Denmark. Congratulations and Happy New Year!”