King Charles waiting to see 'how Denmark plays out' says Nikkhah

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Denmark goes to the polls on Tuesday in a vote, a ballot which on the surface appears to be heading in a business-as-usual direction. Mette Frederiksen, the Danish Prime Minister and leader of the Social Democrats, is expected to win. But it is unknown whether her party will stay in government. This is because former Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, leader of a surging centrist party, has refused to endorse either the left coalition or the group of right-leaning parties. It is likely his Moderate party will be the kingmaker in this vote.

Prime Minister Frederiksen was forced to call the election after losing the support of a leftist party which collapsed the coalition. The story of how her government lost the confidence of the political class and the Danish population is as dramatic as it is bizarre.

The catalyst for Ms Frederiksen’s polling slump in recent months has been attributed to a decision she made in 2020. Amid fears that COVID-19 could spread into the human population via minks, she ordered the culling of the 17 million mink population in the country.

Not only was the policy illegal, it destroyed Denmark’s fur industry. Danish farmers were seen on TV crying as they saw their livelihoods were torn apart. Ms Frederiksen apologised earlier this year and said she “regrets [the] mistakes” that were made.

But she maintained that the decision was the “only solution”, adding: “I would like to apologize to the mink farmers and their families. I know it has been hard. And the fact that there have been mistakes in the process has made it all the more painful.

“For the sake of the Danes’ health and our country’s reputation and responsibility to the rest of the world, the only solution was to cull the mink. Unfortunately.”

While the mink farming ban is set to end in 2023, this is not expected to lead to renewed investment in the industry.

As reported by Politico’s Brussels playbook, a mere 13 breeders’ licenses have been registered for next year. The Danish government will also have to fork out over £2million to compensate those whose businesses have collapsed due to the ban.

Minks are not the only thorn in the side of the Danish Prime Minister. A number of other scandals have also left Danes questioning the credibility of Ms Frederiksen — and crucially the country’s security.

In May last year, allegations were made claiming that Denmark’s military intelligence agency cooperated with the US to spy on European leaders, including former German Chancellor Angela Merkel

French Europe minister, Clément Beaune, summarised the concern amongst those in the EU, last year saying the allegations were “extremely serious”.

Then, in January this year, another scandal rocked Copenhagen when Denmark’s spy chief was imprisoned for allegedly leaking classified information. Later, in September, Lars Findsen was charged for the offence. He has denied any wrongdoing and is now awaiting his sentence.

Denmark’s security services were also caught off guard when the Nord Stream pipeline exploded in the Danish part of the Black Sea, an event that many suspect was an attack carried out by Russia. 


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With Ms Frederiksen’s reputation tarnished and Danes losing confidence in their leaders, the upcoming election will lay bare just how much damage has been done. The Danish Prime Minister seemed to be aggrieved having been forced to call the vote.

Announcing the election last month, she said it was “peculiar to have a general election in the middle of an international crisis” but conceded that it is “nevertheless what a majority in parliament wants.”

The global economic crisis will also beat the forefront of Danes’ minds as they fill out their ballots this week. Like many other countries, Denmark is suffering from inflation, labour shortages and low salaries.

Another key issue is immigration. The country has some of the strictest rules in Europe, and Ms Frederiksen has adopted the tougher approach to nullify the right-wing parties aiming to oust her from power. The verdict is out on whether this is enough to clinch the support of her country. 

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