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Tough times ahead, warns Danish Prime Minister

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Prime Minster of Denmark, predicts cutbacks, crisis and a need for more solidarity in her maiden New Year speech to the nation

Danes have to get used to cuts and rising unemployment in the year to come, Helle Thorning-Schmidt said New Year’s Day, Seven59.dk and Berlingske.dk reports.

Emphasising ‘solidarity’ as the key word for Danish society, Thorning began the annual Prime Minister’s New Year speech by promising that her government will review every part of the economy to see how things can be improved.

»Everybody has to ask themselves ‘what can I do’ instead of ‘what can I get’. People are offended when they see others who aren’t making an effort, or even cheating the system. Everybody has to contribute. There’s no free ride,« the Prime Minister stated.

All talk no action

Political commentator and former Conservative leader Hans Engell dismissed the Prime Minister’s speech as »completely void of any political vision«.

»Instead of presenting any concrete solutions to Denmark’s problems she was content to paint a picture of a country in crisis. But what’s she going to do about it?« Engell questioned.

In her speech Helle Thorning-Schmidt briefly mentioned that social benefits, pensions for invalids, and the tax structure will be reformed in a major effort to get more people into the labour market and make the economy more robust.

anna.m.gaonkar@adm.ku.dk

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