Denmark. In February, Social Democratic Prime Minister
Poul Nyrup Rasmussen decided to announce new elections until
March 11. The government had then had opinion success thanks
to a prosperous economy, while the largest opposition
parties were plagued by internal conflicts. But the
government was having a hard time in the election campaign,
where the opposition pleaded for freedom of choice in
welfare and where the refugee issues came into focus. The
choice was very smooth. Only when the Greenlandic and
Faroese votes had been counted was it clear that the
government had saved itself with an overweight mandate in
the Parliament, 90–89. The decisive mandate in the Faroe
Islands was won by only 176 votes.
With its xenophobic program, the Danish People's Party
made a successful choice, received 7.4% of the vote and
entered the Folketing with 13 seats.
Countryaah, the election bourgeois prime ministerial candidate, Venstres Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, took the consequences of the
defeat and resigned after 13 years as party leader. He was
followed by his bourgeois colleague Per Stig Møller in the
Conservative People's Party. New party leaders became Anders
Fogh Rasmussen for the Left and Pia Christmas Møller for the
Conservative People's Party.
Nyrup Rasmussen's re-formed government became, as before,
a coalition between the Social Democrats Social Democracy
and the center party Radical Venstre, with support in the
Folketing from the Socialist People's Party and the
Enhedslisten on the left. In April, the Supreme Court set
the stage for a five-year legal battle over the legitimacy
of Danish EU membership. Then Prime Minister Nyrup Rasmussen
was acquitted of the accusation of having violated the
Danish constitution when he signed the former EU
constitution, the Maastricht Treaty.
In May, Denmark conducted a referendum on the new
constitution, the Amsterdam Treaty. The Yes side then won by
55.1% against 44.9%. After the election, Nyrup Rasmussen
promised the no-voters to work with heavy emphasis on
bureaucracy and arrogance in the EU system.
In the autumn, a survey showed that the Danes were ready
for the first time to accept a single European currency.
However, the timing of the referendum on Danish membership
in EMU is not yet determined.
About half a million LO employees went on strike in the
spring in protest of the holiday and pension regulations
offered by employers in a two-year pay agreement. Much of
the country's transport and distribution systems stopped,
and schools and a large part of the health care system
closed. Danmarks Nationalbank raised the interest rate to
defend a declining krone exchange rate, which forced the
government to intervene and, after ten days, end the
conflict through compulsory legislation.
Unemployment continued to decline during the year. But
the economic crisis in Norway, with its falling krone
exchange rate, also created Danish concerns as Denmark
exports for about SEK 20 billion annually. to Norway.
Political and Economic Crisis 1973-82
The vote split the Social Democracy, and the day after
the referendum, Jens Otto Krag surprisingly resigned as
prime minister and left the post to Anker Jørgensen, who had
been a staunch critic of the membership. Still, the party
was plunged into deep political crisis, which broke through
in the December 1973 election, with the party declining from
37.3 to 25.6% of voters.
However, the reaction to the development did not become a
left-wing, although DKP probably came in the Folketing for
the first time since 1960. Instead, a right reaction
took place. The Progress Party, which was formed in 1973 by
Mogens Glistrup and had the elimination of income tax as its
brand case, got the election 15.9%, and the newly formed
right-wing Social Democratic outburst party, the Center
Democrats, which appealed to the homeowners got 7.8%.
Studies show that a large part of these votes came from
the Social Democracy. After the election, a bourgeois
minority government was formed with the Left (12.3%) as the
ruling party under Poul Hartling. This government sought to
unite the bourgeoisie on a stronger bourgeois policy that
should not depend on the support of the Social Democracy and
the LO. In other words, it was a termination of the class
cooperation policy between the bourgeoisie and the social
democratic movement. However, the trial was stranded. Partly
because the divide in the bourgeois camp was too great, and
partly because the working class turned strongly to these
attempts to solve the problems at its expense. In May 1974,
extensive work cuts and demonstrations took place against
the government. In November, large parts of the working
class were again mobilized, and thereby contributed to the
decline of the government. A DKP-dominated group of trade
unionists, the "Chairman's Initiative", played some role in
this, but later showed its weakness and confusion over the
income policies of the subsequent Social Democratic
The Hartling government fell, and a new Social Democratic
government under Anker Jørgensen was formed, gaining
additional parliamentary strength in the February 1977.
Election policy was resumed, but under more difficult
conditions. The world crisis had already struck in 1972-73
and in Denmark had resulted in unemployment of 12-14% and
galloping inflation, which put real wages under severe
The Social Democratic governments tried hard to resolve
the crisis through income policy, which violated the trade
union's normal right to negotiate or act to the best
possible agreements. This was first and foremost the August
settlement in 1976, when the Folketing adopted a narrow wage
framework before the collective bargaining, poorer
price compensation, cuts in central government spending and
large tax increases. This was followed up by the so-called
stop settlement, which declared that wage increases achieved
through actions such as the Labor Courthad declared
unlawful, should be invalid. Unlike in the past, where
restrictions on workers' freedom of action or slowing down
wages were usually supplemented by compensation for the
broad strata of the population, the crisis policy in the
1970's was characterized by a lack of compensation and clear
attempts to pass the burdens on the crisis to the workers
and other employees. At the same time, the industry received
large direct and indirect subsidies from the state.
The government's cut and income policy was followed by
similar measures in the cultural and judicial field.
Hate-like campaigns were carried out against groups in the
education sector and children's institutions, against the
Danish Radio for alleged left-wing traffic, against the free
city of Christiania being allowed to exist, etc. At the
highest level, ideas were made to criminalize labor
struggles and blockades were issued. of striking companies.
It was also revealed that for a number of years the Defense
Intelligence Service had been actively cooperating with
semi-fascist groups on the far right, who had been used as
spies and provocateurs in leftist movements (including the
Hans Hetler case). Mexican Jaime Martinéz was expelled on
charges that were hidden from the public. Tightening laws
were made for use against certain lawyers in political
matters. The development reflected that society and the
political system were in crisis, not only economically, but
also culturally and legally.