Trust in former PM plummets following ‘Luxury Lars’ scandal

Venstre leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen still has questions to answer about his salary at climate organisation GGGI and how it ‘accidentally’ ended up paying for his daughter’s flights

The relentless stream of bad press directed at Venstre leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen has greatly damaged his reputation.

Rasmussen has gone from being viewed as the most trustworthy party leader to the least trustworthy in under a year, according to a new study carried out by Wilke for Jyllands-Posten newspaper. 

But the bad news isn't just limited to 'Luxury Lars'; Venstre too has taken a beating in the wake of the scandal. The party has lost almost all of the ground it gained following the 2011 election. Venstre is now polling at around 26 percent after peaking at around 34 percent last year.

READ MORE: Problems won't go away for 'Luxury Lars'

Fallout of a scandal
The ‘Luxury Lars’ saga started when Ekstra Bladet tabloid revealed that Rasmussen spent 770,000 kroner on first-class flights as the chairman of climate organisation GGGI, which is funded with 90 million kroner of Danish taxpayer funds.

Rasmussen has been on damage control ever since and despite a four-hour press conference in which he apologised for his wrongdoings and laid out his costs as GGGI chairman, the story simply won’t die.

Censored GGGI fee
In an attempt to find out what Rasmussen earned as GGGI chairman, Berlingske newspaper submitted a freedom of information request to the agency for modernising public administrations, Moderniseringstyrelsen. The newspaper was subsequently given an email from Rasmussen, in which he outlined the salaries he has received as a member of various boards since losing the post of prime minister in 2011.

But while the email revealed that Rasmussen received an annual 30,000 kroner salary as chairman of the LøkkeFonden and 22,231.82 kroner as a board member for Nationalbanken, Moderniseringstyrelsen censored the sum he received from GGGI.

The agency said it censored the salary because private economic matters are exempt from freedom of information requests. As a result, the public remains in the dark about how much Rasmussen earned while flying first class around the world.

Mysterious flights for daughter
Rasmussen also remains under scrutiny for his explanation for how GGGI came to pay 27,000 kroner for his daughter’s flights from Chicago to Copenhagen via Rio de Janeiro.

Rasmussen has maintained that it was a mistake that GGGI paid for the flights and he paid the organisation back as soon as it was revealed.

But according to Ekstra Bladet tabloid, GGGI has admitted to finding an email correspondence in which the flights for Rasmussen’s daughter are discussed, though neither GGGI nor Rasmussen have yet released any documentation on how the flights were paid for.

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