Holy crap, if this keeps up I’ll have to put my ‘Eurotrash’ label on hold.
Denmark’s centre-right government of Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a staunch supporter of President Bush and the War on Terrorhas won a snap election, securing a third consecutive term in office.
His Liberal-Conservative coalition and allies won 90 of the 179 seats in parliament, near complete results show.
The centre-left opposition led by the Social Democrats secured 84 seats.
Mr Rasmussen now faces tough talks on whether to expand the ruling bloc by including a new party led by a Syria-born Palestinian immigrant.
Turnout was higher than in the previous poll, held in 2005, at over 86%.
……The issues of welfare and tax reforms, immigration and the environment led to much campaign wrangling.
But all the main parties seem to agree on the core issues and campaigning has been more about who wields power than any policy change, correspondents say.
The internal threat posed by Islamic thugs has finally pushed the Danes to take a stand. Maybe they’ve finally tired of death threats against the government and cartoonists, and knives plunged into the chests of film makers.
In further news, Britain and France are vying for ‘America’s best friend’:
Not to be outdone by President Sarkozy’s amorous overture to President Bush in Washington, Prime Minister Brown of Britain has used the first major foreign policy speech of his premiership to insist that Britain is America’s closest ally.
After decades of Anglo-French rivalry, in which France has vehemently deplored the global influence America and Britain have attained and what every president of France since Charles de Gaulle has described as “Anglo-Saxon culture,” Mr. Sarkozy claimed during his visit to Washington last week that France, not Britain, is now America’s best friend and partner.
Mr. Brown, who has been portrayed on both sides of the Atlantic as having distanced himself from America to avoid the charge against his predecessor, Tony Blair, that he was Mr. Bush’s “poodle,” fought back last night, claiming in a speech at a banquet thrown by the lord mayor of the city of London that the French president’s bid to usurp Britain’s traditional place alongside America would not succeed.
“It is no secret that I am a lifelong admirer of America,” Mr. Brown said. And, in a thinly veiled reference to France’s traditional dislike of America and its culture, he added, “I have no truck with anti-Americanism in Britain or elsewhere in Europe, and I believe that our ties with America — founded on values we share — constitute our most important bilateral relationship.”
He welcomed France’s late conversion to the American cause and a similar newfound affection for America expressed by Chancellor Merkel of Germany in her visit to Mr. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, over the weekend.
Britain has been a steadfast ally of the United States for decades. Our friendship, inspite of occasional differences, has rarely been strained. France on the other hand, changes its mind as often as it changes governments. Since 1789, it’s had 11 constitutions. Its history is full of Monarchies, and socialist Parliaments flecked with the occasional right/center right influence.
This amusing one-upmanship will probably be short lived. After seeing the “We stand with you” sign on the German ship just after 9/11 , I remember thinking “that will last about two minutes”.
However, there was a bright spot on the German horizon in the form of Angela Merkel:
Tired of battling disgruntled government officials and voters, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder called for early elections last year. Big mistake. It bounced him out of his position and brought pro-market Merkel, the head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, to power. The first female chancellor in Germany’s history, and the first woman to lead Germany since it became a nation-state in 1871, Merkel is a favorite of German business. From humble beginnings as a Lutheran pastor’s daughter in Hamburg, she graduated with a doctorate of physics from the University of Leipzig. Unassuming and diplomatically astute, Merkel was later named secretary-general of the Christian Democratic Union, Germany’s largest conservative political party, after the Kohl government fell in 1998. Along with her pro-free-market reform agenda, Merkel advocates a strong German-American relationship, evidenced by her support of the proposals to bring Iran to the nuclear negotiating table. Merkel has been overhauling the government’s health care system and cumbersome corporate tax policies. She has also put her strict budgetary imprint on the sprawling European Union budget debates. With her conciliatory powers, Merkel has managed to maintain impressive approval ratings both home and abroad.
Britain, Germany, Denmark, and now France? This is certainly a good trend, we’ll see if it lasts longer than the proverbial two minutes.