Week 25

After some very exciting weeks in Danish politics, Lars Løkke Rasmussen has now chosen to resign as chairman of GGGI. Aarhus Council is disappointed about the amount of money the state will provide to the capitol of culture project. And last, Helle Thorning-Schmidt has just had another prominent meeting, now with the retiring President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barosso.  

By Morten Scriver Andersen

 

Capitol of culture project forced to make cutbacks

On Wednesday, the government announced that the financial support to Aarhus as capitol of culture amounts to only 145 million kroner. That is 55 million less than expected, and according to several members of the Aarhus council it will have serious consequences for the 2017 ambitions, writes Jyllands-Posten.

But the government seems to be determined not to give in to the local politicians’ demands.

“The state is in no way committed to the budget of a capitol of culture. And it is not the budget that is crucial, it is the idea,” says minister of culture, Marianne Jelved to Jyllands-Posten.

In 2017 Aarhus is together with the Cyprus city Pafos announced as the European capitol of culture and has a total budget of 500 million kroner provided that the state will contribute with 200 million kroner. Private companies and the local municipalities in eastern Jutland raise the rest of the money.

 

Lars Løkke Rasmussen leaves GGGI

It has been some dramatic days in Danish politics while Jutland Station has been gone. Many political commentators had already announced Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s resignation as party leader of Venstre because of yet another unfortunate personal matter in which the opposition leader has forgotten to pay his taxes. But Lars Løkke Rasmussen stayed as party leader although several party members has criticised him for not managing his role as party leader properly.

On Thursday, Lars Løkke Rasmussen chose, probably as a direct consequence of the critic, to resign from his post as chairman of the heavily criticised climate organisation GGGI.

“We have a parliamentary election coming up and I will now focus all my energy on the Danish political agenda,” says Lars Løkke Rasmussen to Berlingske

This decision has been much appreciated by several party members.

“It is a sound decision of Lars Løkke Rasmussen to resign, so there will be more focus on Danish politics in the future,” says member of Venstre in Solrød council to TV2, Bo Nygaard Larsen.

 

Helle Thorning-Schmidt as President of the European Council?

There has been much talk about whether the Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt is to take over the job as President of the European Council after Herman Van Rompuy. After last week’s meeting with Angela Merkel and the other European social democrat leaders the speculations increases after yet another prominent visit. On Sunday the retiring President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barosso, was in Denmark officially because of a science conference.

Barosso did not refuse the idea of Thorning-Schmidt as the new Presiden of the European Council but did not confirmed it either.

“It is my personal opinion that Thorning-Schmidt is and has been a good Prime Minister in Denmark. And from the discussions we have just had it is my impression that she wants to continue being a good Prime Minister in Denmark,” said Barosso in Politiken.