Denmark History Between 1975 and 1982

By | December 18, 2021

Between 1975 and 1982 the Denmark was characterized by a strong political instability which caused continuous early elections. The reason for this instability is probably to be found in the economic difficulties that the country has had to face, in a period of international oil crisis, with constantly increasing inflation and unemployment and a progressive increase in foreign debt.

The elections of January 9, 1975 led, in February, to the establishment of a single-party Social Democrat, led by A. Jorgensen, who, however, could not count on a full majority, despite the external support of radicals, socialists, communists, left socialists, and two of the four deputies from Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Jorgensen was forced to resign on January 22, 1977 for failing to secure a parliamentary majority to the government’s plan to freeze prices and wages for two years. Early political elections took place in February 1977.

The Social Democrats, who had conducted the electoral campaign presenting themselves as a responsible party forced to take unpopular decisions to restore the country’s economy, went from 53 to 65 seats, but the Conservatives (from 10 to 15 seats) and the Democrats of center (from 4 to 11 seats). Furthermore, the indifference of Glistrup (Progress Party) became, with 26 seats, the second Danish party. Once again, a minority Social Democrat monocolor was launched, but Jorgensen was forced, on 30 August 1978, to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats (Venstre), for the implementation of a rigorous economic program.

The elections for the European Parliament, held in June 1979, recorded a very low turnout and highlighted a certain hostility of a substantial part of the Danish population towards the European Community. In the meantime, the coalition between the Social Democrats and Venstre was in crisis due to a disagreement on income policy. Jorgensen resigned and the elections, held in October 1979, did not significantly change the balance of forces between the various parties of the coalition. For Denmark political system, please check

Jorgensen launched a social democratic minority government which in May 1980, with the support of three central parties (the radicals, the center democrats, the Christian Democrats), implemented some measures aimed at healing the economic situation through an increase in taxes and significant cuts in public spending. In November 1981, however, Jorgensen was forced once again to resign, having failed to obtain the support of the allies, and in particular of the center Democrats, on an economic project that provided for a financing of industry and agriculture to be obtained at the expense. of pension funds and insurance. Early elections were held in December 1981. The Social Democrats lost 9 seats, while the Conservatives registered a further increase.

This time there were no early elections and the task of forming the new government was given to a conservative, P. Schlüter, who became the first Conservative cabinet chief since 1894. Schlüter formed a center-right government comprising, in addition to conservatives, the liberals, the Christian Democrats and the democratic center. The government also had the external support of the radicals. The latter voted in favor of the government in all domestic and economic matters, while siding with the opposition, putting the government in the minority, in matters of foreign and military policy.

The conservative governments, which followed one another from 1982 to 1989, were characterized by a severe economic policy, aimed at reducing inflation and unemployment by acting on both wages and taxation. By 1986, the inflation rate had fallen to 2.9% and unemployment to 7.8%. The government, on the other hand, was beaten several times during the 1980s on issues related to foreign policy. In March 1985, Parliament voted against the installation of nuclear power plants in the country, and in May it passed a motion against Denmark’s participation in research related to the US government’s ‘Strategic Defense Initiative’. In January 1986, the left parties blocked the EEC reform program aimed at speeding up the decision-making process of the Council of Ministers. Schlüter called a national referendum, seeing in the Danish refusal the first step for the withdrawal of the Denmark from the Community. The result of the referendum was favorable (56.2%) to the reforms that were formally approved by the Folketing in May 1986. On April 14, 1988 the government fell upon a request from the opposition, which demanded that NATO warships, at anchor in Danish territorial waters, it was reiterated that the Denmark did not allow the presence of nuclear weapons on its territory.

Schlüter called new elections which, held on May 10, 1988, did not change the political situation. The new cabinet excluded the Democratic Center and the Christian Democrats, but included the radicals and liberals (Venstre).

In a circular distributed in the same month of June to all diplomatic missions in Copenhagen it was recalled that all warships present in the territorial waters of the Denmark should have respected Danish law. In the circular no specific reference was made to nuclear weapons. Both Great Britain and the United States were satisfied with this solution. Early parliamentary elections were once again held on 12 December 1990 as Schlüter had failed to win a majority on the budget forecast for 1991 and on a reform project for indirect taxation. The elections, which saw a success in percentage and in seats of the Social Democratic opposition, however, did not change the balance of power between the Right and the Left.

Denmark History Between 1975 and 1982