IIIILt C .'AVr;
THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN DENMARK
CPPRnVlll FQH HULBSE
central intelligence agency
OFFICE OF CURRENT INTELLIGENCE
TOISLMATERIAL. CONTAINS INFORMATIONDEFENSE of THE UNITED STATESGTHE ESPIONAGE LAWS.. THESS$.LATI0NWHICHANY MANNER TO UNAUTHORIZED PERSON IS PROHIBITED BY LAW
This documen* MUST NOT BE RELEASED TO FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS. If marked with sXfic dissemination controls in occordonce with the provisions of, the document must be handled withinof the limitation so imposed.
THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN DENMARK
Oneptember nearly three million Danes are expected to go to the polls toew Folketing, Denmark's unicameral legislature. This will be the first national election andidates fromolitical parties will compete forolketing seate assigned to Denmarkmore seate arefor Greenland and the Faroe Islands.domestic problems such as housing, and pensions seem to be the major Issues of the campaign, foreign policy matters, especially Denmark's NATO and defense policies and theof possible EEC membership, have received none attention. The Social Democrats are favored to continue as Denmark's dominant political party.
Strengths and Positions
Seven of theanishnow have seats in thebecause of the complicated system of proportional The Social Democratic Party haseats, twice thatof Its closest rival, the Moderate Liberal The Social Democrats and theeats) inority coalition government. TheParty haseats and,
with the Moderate Liberals, Is usually thought of as the The Independentseats, the Communist-oriented Socialist People's Partyhe German Minorityeat, and the Faroe Islandseats each.
Compromise hasong and honored tradition in Danish politics, and often legislation is passod with broad support in the Folketing. In the caselose vote, however, theparties can usually rely on enough support from Greenland and the Faroe Islands toajority. Inajority of only one vote, the government defeated amotion Introduced by the opposition.
All major Danish political parties, except the Socialist People's Party, are "democratic" in their basic orientation. All generally agree that themust redress, to some extent, economic inequalities within the society. The principal areas of disagreement between theconcern the degree ofintervention in the economy and,maller extent, certain aspects of foreign policy, especially defense.
Kith respect to the amount of government intervention in the economy, politicalrangeolicy ofnationalization to lals-sez faire. Extensiveis favored by the Socialist
s Party and laissez fa ire by the Conservatives and Other parties espousef these extremes.
In foreign policy,the Folke-ting membership can be grouped loosely into three camps: thewho support, or at least accept, Danish membership in NATO and firm alignment with themallthe Radical Liberalprefer Denmark's prewar policy ofand neutralism;mall but vocal minority, representing the Socialist People's Party, which consistently favorspropounded by Moscow.
Foreign Minister Perocial Democrat, has said that the four pillars of Danish foreign policy are the ON, NATO, European integration and Nordic cooperation. All of the parties represented in the Folke-ting, except the SocialistParty, support Denmark's current defense and foreignalthough with varyingof emphasis*
Danish membership in the European Economic Community is another area of disagreement; Moderate Liberal Party chairman Erik Eriksen has said that his party, which receives most of it? support from the farmers, will not consider the country'sproblems solvedember of the EEC. He believes membership willDenmark to maintain high levels of production and He has criticized the long-standing governmentthat Danish membership must be contingent on Britishand has urged that Penmark, without giving up its tie to the
European Free Trade Area, la-prove its position byformal contact with SEC.
The view of the Socialsupported by most of the other parties, Is that the time is not yet opportune to discuss Isolated Danish accession to the EEC. Prime sinister Krag has stated that the governmentroad European solution to the market problem, with Denmark's two principal customers, the UK and West Germany, as well as the other Scandinavian countries as participants.
"New Look" In Foreign Affairs
The so-called "new look"greater vigor--In the conduct of Denmark'saffairs does not Involve any basic changes In foreign policy but is, instead, anto utilize Danish Influence In the international scene and to pursue Danish Interests more effectively. Foreign Minister Haekkerup, who is thought of as energetic and ambitious, yet idealistic,is primarilyfor the stepped-up activity. Re is highly regarded not only in his own Social Democratic Party but also In the opposition This acceptance isImportantolitical situation where the government coalition is at times reducedare one-vote majority, llaek-kerup has traveled extensively, especially in the lastonths, has attended meetings of theinternational organizations, and has generally made Denmark's views known by his frequent
speeches and writings. Prime Minister Krag has also beenIn projecting this new image of Denmark on the International scene. His recent trips toand Washington and his adept handling of Khrushchev on the premier's June visit tohave increased Krag's stat-oro In international circles.
Much of Denmark's Increased impact in foreign affairs Inyears has been in connection with UN activities. The concept of international cooperation through the UN Is widely supported by the Danish people and allparties. Specifically, the Danesen to the UN Force in Cyprus, and recently the Folketlng passed legislation establishing aan volunteer "peace force" which will be available to the UN for future operations.
The housing shortage seems to be the most hotly debatedof the campaign. There Is general agreement that thela serious, but there is deep concern within the government about the inflationary pressures
would be generated bybuilding. The Social Democrats are committed totheir policy of gradually easing building restrictions, beginning with less expensive housing, while simultaneously maintaining rent controls for the foreseeable future.
The center parties of the opposition, the Conservatives and Moderate Liberals, areless fearful of Inflationary pressures than the government. Theyore definitefor removing restrictions on all housing constructionroad relaxation of rent The parties of theright and left virtually Ignore the inflation danger and propose more drastic means to overcome the housing shortage.
The other important domestic Issues are taxation and pensions. The major parties seem to agree that the government should have flexible tax policies to help the national economy but theyover what policies would be most effective. Even though the opposition parties supported the government on six pension bills adopted Inof the Folketing, they go to great lengths to distinguish their positions on the details of the pension program, and each claims that it can administer it more effectively.
as election day nenrs. seem to be playing less of
oleampaign that is being reduced to personalities and slogans. The Moderateand Conservatives arethat "it is timehat the continuance of the Social Democrats in powerthreat to Danishhe opposition also> the possibility of Social Democratic cooperation with the Communist-oriented Socialist People's Party and tries to rouse fearssocialist majority" if these two parties should win more than half of the Folketing seats between them. On the other side, the Social Democrats emphasize their refusal to cooperate with the Socialist People's Party andthe voters of Denmark's high prosperity and the absence of any concrete alternative in the programs of any of the other
There Is no doubt that the Social Democrats will remain the dominant political party In Despite the housingeconomic conditions aregood. The party'swith its labor supporters are excellent. The government's foreign policy has broad public support and in Prime Minister Krag and Foreign Minister Haek-kerup the Social Democrats have two leaders of great prestige. The main question seems to be which other party, if any, will be in the government. The Liberals have said that they will negotiate with the Social Democrats only if the Radical Liberals gain more seats in the
Folketing man they havo now; and If the twogether control an absolute majority. Thisossibility since the popularity of the government is very high. On the other hand, if tbe Social Democrats do well in the elections and the Radical Liberals do not, therehance that the former willingle-party minority It Is difficult to see how tbe opposition parties couldovernment without the cooperation of the Social The Moderate Libera Is and Conservatives have not cooperated
fruitfully sinceeriod when they formed thecoalition. Even if they could rosolve their differences, these two parties won onlyeat* between tbem Inhorta-jority--aod their prospects for this election do not seem such better.
Prime Minister Krag has tiaid that he favorsadical Liberal coalition, and this sewmii to be the Boat likely prospect. |
rs (UIOriginal document.