Denmark’s PM presents new plans for the country

19:23, February 25, 2010      

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Denmark’s Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Lene Espersen on Wednesday presented the government’s new plan including 10 concrete goals for Denmark up to 2020 following the cabinet reshuffle the previous day, according to reports reaching here from Copenhagen.

Dubbed ‘Wisdom, growth, wealth and welfare’ – the plan sets up 10 goals and 76 proposals that ministers will be working with.

The 10 goals include that Denmark is to be among the world’s 10 richest nations, Danish job opportunities are to be among the 10 best in the world, Danish schoolchildren are to be among the most clever in the world, Denmark is to be among the 10 countries in the world with the highest life expectancy and Denmark is to be a green, sustainable society and among the world’s three most energy efficient countries.

Other goals include the best to create equal opportunities, better integration, to be one of the world’s most trusting and safe nations and the public sector is to be among the most efficient and least bureaucratic in the world.

The proposals include a tight public spending, creating 5000 apprenticeships in 2011, reforming the early retirement scheme.

Schooling and research, a new cancer plan, improved psychiatry and increase the prices of tobacco and alcohol are all the concrete measures to be taken.

Electrical vehicles to be duty free until 2015 and pesticide levies will be increased.
In foreign policy, the government still wants to get rid of Denmark’s EU opt-outs, but unlike the 2007 government plan, the new one does not say when the first opt-out should be sent to referendum. And development aid to be more focused.

The new plan followed the reshuffle of the government which was said to have been delayed due to Copenhagen climate conference in December. The government faced a lot of criticism and the latest poll was record low.

Analysts hold that Prime Minister Rasmussen hopes the measures will help him not only survive this period but also continue to succeed in next election.

By Xuefei Chen, People’s Daily Online reporter in Stockholm
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