Danish PM-elect seals coalition deal

Helle Thorning-Schmidt announces agreement with coalition partners to form new centre-left alliance.

    Helle Thorning-Schmidt, 45, will be Denmark's first female prime minister [Reuters]

    Denmark's prime minister-elect is all set to form a three-party coalition government after winning an election two weeks ago.

    Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the leader of the Social Democrats, on Sunday said she had struck an agreement on policies with her allies for the new "Red bloc" centre-left alliance.

    "It is a government programme that will bring Denmark out on the other side of the [economic] crisis," she said on TV2 News as she arrived at Christiansborg, the parliament house, on Sunday to brief her parliamentary group.

    "With this programme we can modernise Denmark."

    Thorning-Schmidt, 45, who will be the country's first female prime minister, has plans to kickstart economic growth by investing in education and infrastructure to create more jobs.

    Denmark's state media reported that the new government also plans to cut income taxes and reduce CO2 emissions by 40 per cent by 2020.

    After a decade of centre-right rule, the new coalition will consist of Thorning-Schmidt's Social Democrats, the Socialist People's Party and the Social Liberals.

    The alliance unseated Lars Lokke Rasmussen, the liberal prime minister, in the September 15 election.

    Thorning-Schmidt said she would inform Queen Margrethe later on Sunday that she was ready to form a government  and she would unveil policies and new ministers on Monday.

    'Concessions'

    The government will rely for parliamentary support on the far-left Red-Green Alliance party, which made strong gains in the election but was not included in the coalition.

    With the Red-Green Alliance, the coalition government will have a majority of 92 seats in the 179-seat parliament.

    The Social Democrats are expected to get 11 ministerial portfolios, the Socialist People's Party six and the Social Liberals six, Danish media reported.

    Margrethe Vestager, the Social Liberal leader, tipped to be deputy prime minister, was said by local media to have won many concessions in talks to form the coalition, including blocking a plan to introduce a "millionaire tax" on the rich.

    Commentators say the new coalition could be prone to instability if it proves impossible to balance the interests of the Social Liberals and Red-Green Alliance.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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