Morning Briefing – Monday, October 21

The Copenhagen Post’s daily round-up of the front pages and other major Danish news stories

“Like nothing we’ve seen before”
Two of parliament’s most experienced reporters say Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s marathon press conference yesterday was a unique moment in Danish politics. In terms of length, the press conference was by far the longest Henning Olsson and Kaare R Skou had experienced, but it was also remarkable for the fact that a former PM apologised for his actions as head of a non-political organisation. Olsson, however, said there had been previous cases of lawmakers apologising for something and then later being cleared of any wrongdoing. “Suddenly you see these situations becoming a matter of morality,” Olssson said. Rasmussen was also criticised in 2008 for his official expenses. The situations were similiar, according to Skou, but he said the press conference would be something that went down in Danish political history. As for Rasmussen’s political future: they expected him to be able to shrug off any long-term political fallout. – DR Nyheder

SEE RELATED: A first-class scandal for ‘Luxury Lars’

Getting away with what he can
(Editorial) It’s far too early to write off Lars Løkke [Rasmussen], who once again used yesterday’s press conference to show his formidable political prowess. But, this isn’t a matter that Rasmussen can just put behind him. And that confirms the popular image of a leading politician who lives by the motto, “get away with what you can”. The question is: is that good enough for Venstre, and is that good enough for Denmark? – Politiken

Løkke earned himself another chance
(Editorial) After his exceedingly long press conference yesterday where he discussed air travel and hotel stays, Venstre leader and former prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen should get a new chance as opposition leader and candidate for prime minister. […] If Rasmussen remains genuinely regretful [of the expenses], and if he is able to meet voters and supporters in the same open, patient manner he displayed with the media today, then he has a future as the leader of the centre-left. Lars Løkke Rasmussen fought his way back on his feet yesterday. – Berlingske

DOCUMENTATION: Read documentation for Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s travel expenses (in English)

Attention to detail
(Editorial) [Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s travel expenses] amount to less than a million kroner, but politically it may have cost him the Prime Minister’s Office. What it reveals about him is that he doesn’t pay attention to detail. He wasn’t thorough enough when he agreed to take the chairmanship of climate organisation GGGI. A former prime minister from Denmark should have been able to find a more influential, less controversial organisation from which to gain international experience, contacts and prestige. […] Rasmussen probably isn’t doing anything wrong on purpose. But he lacks a sense of respect for the fact that money he is spending doesn’t belong to him – either because he doesn’t care or because he’s too busy. – Børsen

Løkke’s defence
(Editorial) Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s casual record-keeping of his expenses has damaged himself and his party completely unnecessarily. Now, he needs to start regaining voters’ confidence. But he deserves praise for taking the bull by the horns and for – once again – cleaning up one of his messes. Now that this is behind us, can we please ask that politics once again deals with politics. – Jyllands-Posten

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