Denmark. At the New Year, Denmark took over the
Presidency of the EU as the euro crisis dominated European
countryaah, Denmark, which itself is outside the euro co-operation,
sought, among other things, to revitalize EU climate policy.
But the economic crisis hit hard on Denmark's own renewable
energy investment. Vestas, the world's largest producer of
wind turbines, notified several thousand employees during
the year and saw its share price halved. However, the
government's wind power plans were fixed with the goal of
getting Denmark's half energy supply from wind power 2020.
The Social Democrat-led government's proposal for
congestion charges in Copenhagen was delayed by disagreement
in the coalition. Criticism from the public and from the
bourgeois opposition was also harsh, and in February Prime
Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt declared that the idea was
abandoned. Instead, a commitment to cheaper and better
public transport was promised.
The controversial issue of car tariffs contributed to the
government's decline in opinion. In a survey in March, the
opposition party Venstre got 35.6%, which was more than the
three coalition parties Socialdemokraterne (S), Radical
Venstre and Socialist People's Party got together. Support
for Thorning-Schmidt (S) continued to decline, reaching a
record low of 16.8% in June.
But the opposition leader and former Prime Minister Lars
Løkke Rasmussen and his party Venstre were put under
pressure in the so-called tax deal. The question was about
how secret information in a sensitive tax case concerning
Thorning-Schmidt's husband leaked to the press before the
previous election. In August, the government's tax
commission launched an investigation into the deal, and
among the over 40 witnesses called were Løkke Rasmussen and
his former tax minister Troels Lund Poulsen. The latter was
suspected of trying to influence the tax authorities'
actions. The case was also reported to the police, and Lund
Poulsen's former media advisor was prosecuted for having
leaked the confidential information.
In September, Pia Kjaersgaard resigned as leader of the
Danish People's Party after 17 years at the post. For her
successor, the party chose Kristian Thulesen Dahl. Although
Kjaersgaard has been controversial, especially with her
immigration policy, at her departure she was also praised by
opponents as a colorful and committed politician. The
Socialist People's Party also changed its leader when
Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal was succeeded by the party
leader post by Annette Vilhelmsen after fierce factional
battles in the party.
In October, the Labor Movement's Business Council raised
an alarm that the proportion of poor people has increased
almost explosively in certain severely exposed residential
areas. With the OECD's definition, the proportion of poor
residents in three exposed housing areas had increased from
eight to four between 2002 and 2010. The government found
reason to extend its so-called ghetto list of socially
vulnerable housing areas from 28 to 33.