Denmark ready to accept EU competitiveness pact: PM

08:44, March 23, 2011      

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Denmark is ready to accept the European Union's proposed pact for competitiveness, the country's prime minister said on Tuesday.

Lars Lokke Rasmussen said that Denmark is already closely linked to Europe and will be part of the so-called Pact for the Euro.

"A great deal of our exports go to our near neighborhood, so naturally, we have a major interest in this competitiveness pact," Rasmussen said at a press conference at the Danish Parliament in Copenhagen on Tuesday.

"It is in our own interest," he stressed. "We need to raise our productivity, and raise our competitiveness."

The pact refers to a package of initiatives proposed by France and Germany in February, and is designed to boost competitiveness and growth in the European Union (EU) member states. It comes amid a sovereign debt crisis that has plagued the eurozone for the past year.

Among other things, the pact proposes a higher retirement age, a minimum corporate tax rate, a unified crisis-resolution mechanism for banks, abolition of wages that rise in keeping with rising cost of living, and that limits on debt levels be written into national laws.

For Denmark, the most contentious aspects of the pact are likely to hinge on policy regarding public pensions and wage matters.

Rasmussen will convey Denmark's decision at an EU summit scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday in Brussels.

He said that the majority of political parties in Denmark's parliament approve of accepting the pact, adding that "I am pleased at the broad support in parliament for the euro pact."

Denmark is a member of the 29-nation European Union, but not of the 17-country eurozone, which uses the euro as a common currency. Denmark uses its own currency, the Danish krone, which is pegged to the euro.

Source: Xinhua
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