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Socialists pull out of government – leader quits

DANISH NEWS - The controversy about the sale of energy company DONG leads to the Socialist People's Party pulling out of the government coalition

The Socialist People’s Party (SPP) dramatically pulled out of the government coalition, Thursday, after public anger to the DONG sale split the party and forced leader Annette Vihelmsen to step down, reports and other media.

Ms Vihelmsen succeeded Villy Søvndal as leader just 15 months ago with a mandate to ‘heal the party’ but acknowledged yesterday she had failed. She said:

”It proved to be an impossible task. But even though people seem to believe that we’re in a deep crisis and fighting for our survival I’d like to stress that there was an SPP before me, under me, and there will continue to be an SPP after me.”

Prime Minister expects no fundamental changes

At a hastily convened press conference, Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, faced with the immediate problem of finding six new cabinet ministers, dismissed speculation about a general election. She said the Social Democrats and Social Liberals have enjoyed a ‘strong, productive’ alliance with the left-wing party which she expected to continue under the new, two-party coalition.

”It’s important to stress that was the SPP’s decision alone,” said the PM. ”I’ve had had a close and trusting relationship with Annette Vilhelmsen, a very courageous politician who works incredibly hard for her party.”

She added that while it was sad to see the SPP, ‘a party that’s far better than its reputation’, leave government, the decision has to be respected. ”We were three diverse parties in the coalition but we shared some common values and I expect that to continue,” said the PM.

See article in Danish here..

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