Global Market Data
Global News Journal
Pakistan: Now or Never?
Front Row Washington
The Great Debate
Personal Finance Video
Life & Culture
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Full Article
UBS trader weeps as charged with $2 billion fraud
Scarlett Johansson naked pictures leaked on Web
14 Sep 2011
RIM shares battered as questions swirl about future
London Police charge man over $2 billion UBS fraud
Nude Scarlett Johansson Photos Pop Up Online -- FBI's Hot on the Trail
14 Sep 2011
Al Gore in 24-hour broadcast to convert climate skeptics
Number of poor hit record 46 million in 2010
Egyptians demolish Israel embassy wall at protest
Scarlett's naked pics, Tyler Perry is highest paid
Wed, Sep 14 2011
Lessons with Lego: the EU crisis
Thu, Sep 15 2011
Buenos Aires Fashion week sizzles
Mon, Aug 22 2011
New Danish leader juggles far-left and center
Hurdles in path of new Danish coalition
Analysis & Opinion
BRICaid for Europe a busted flush
Tea Party has morphed culture wars into economic combat
Denmark elects first female PM
Social Democrat leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt celebrates after claiming victory in a parliamentary election at the party's election headquarters in Copenhagen September 15, 2011.
Credit: Reuters/Erik Refner/Scanpix Denmark
By Anna Ringstrom and Jeremy Gaunt
Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:18am EDT
COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark's prime minister-elect Helle Thorning-Schmidt, began piecing together a disparate center-left government on Friday after an election which ended 10 years of center-right rule in a voter backlash over the economy.
Financial markets generally took the election in their stride, having expected the result which could trigger extra public spending and higher taxes.
Danish newspapers, however, questioned how long a coalition led by the Social Democrat Thorning-Schmidt could last, noting sharp differences between parties in the "Red bloc" which range from mainstream centrists to the far-left.
These differences center on policies on pension reform, taxes and unemployment benefits plus immigration rules.
Thorning-Schmidt tapped voter anger about the state of the economy to take a relatively narrow victory on Thursday and eject Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen from power.
It was the latest in a series of defeats for incumbent European governments.
Rasmussen formally handed in his resignation to the Queen, opening the way for Thorning-Schmidt to try to form a government and become Denmark's first woman prime minister.
Thorning-Schmidt's Red bloc will have a slim majority of five seats in Denmark's 179-seat parliament. Turnout was a high 87.7 percent.
Commentators did not doubt her ability to forge a coalition government, but foresaw difficulties in making it work.
"With a parliamentary basis consisting of parties in deep mutual dispute over the most important questions in society, the election victory last night could turn out to be a short-lived triumph for Thorning-Schmidt," daily Berlingske said.
One major complication is the fact the two biggest winners of the night were the far-left Red-Green Alliance and the centrist Social Liberals.
Both back Thorning-Schmidt but agree on little else. Thorning-Schmidt's own Social Democrats actually lost ground and will be the second largest party after Rasmussen's Liberals.
Denmark's stock market was slightly lower, bucking the broader European trend, but traders said it was mainly due to specific stocks and not related to the election.
The crown remained strong, despite a cut in secondary interest rates on election day designed to soften the currency.
The economy will be the first task. Thorning-Schmidt's platform included increased government spending, raising taxes on the wealthy and an unusual plan to make everyone work 12 minutes more per day -- or an extra hour each week. Her group argues this would help to kick-start economic growth.
Denmark has been spared much of the trauma suffered by other west European countries because it remains outside the euro zone. This means it was not involved in bailing out debt-laden countries such as Greece, an issue that has stirred popular anger in neighboring Germany.
But the economic crisis has turned Denmark's healthy budget surplus into a deficit which is forecast to reach 4.6 percent of GDP next year.
Denmark is the latest European country where voters have thrown out incumbent leaders partly because of the economic crisis. Ireland, Britain, Portugal, Finland and The Netherlands have all had changes of government in the past year or so.
Spain's Socialist government also faces possible defeat in a November 20 general election and German Chancellor Angela Merkel has lost a series of state elections since May 2010.
Denmark's next prime minister is part of an extended European political family, married to the son of Neil and Glenys Kinnock. Neil was a European commissioner and British Labor Party leader, Glenys a European parliamentary deputy and Europe minister in the last Labour government in Britain.
(Additional reporting by Anna Ringstrom, Mette Fraende, Shida Chayesteh, Teis Jensen, Terje Solsvik, Ole Mikkelsen, Jakob Vesterager, Erik Matzen; Editing by Matthew Jones)
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Be the first to comment on reuters.com.
Add yours using the box above.
Social Stream (What's this?)
Back to top
New York Legal
Support & Contact
Advertise With Us
Connect with Reuters
Our Flagship financial information platform incorporating Reuters Insider
An ultra-low latency infrastructure for electronic trading and data distribution
A connected approach to governance, risk and compliance
Our next generation legal research platform
Our global tax workstation
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.