Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Denmark's pro-US Coalition Poised to Retain Power

Fears of more immigration and higher taxes looked last night to have helped Denmark's centre-Right government to retain power in a snap election.

Witn more than half the votes counted, the Liberal-Conservative coalition was heading for a comfortable victory.

The prime minister and leader of the Liberal party, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, called the election three weeks ago, saying that "things are going pretty well in Denmark". He largely avoided extended debate over Denmark's support for the US-led invasion of Iraq.

About 500 Danish troops remain in Iraq and six out of 10 Danes now say they oppose the war. Mr Rasmussen said that, if he remained in office, "we might make some adjustments in the spring" to the troop presence. Europe, another divisive issue in the past, was overshadowed by domestic concerns.

Mr Rasmussen warned of higher taxes and more immigrants if the opposition Social Democrats won. The Social Democrats, led by Mogens Lykketoft, played on fears that the welfare state was in danger, and enjoyed a last-minute surge of support.

He attacked the government's close support for the United States, saying: "We don't want to be part of the US-led occupation force."

Posted by Texas Gal