Danish Prime Minister discusses tough times in new year speech

Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt asked the nation to be prepared for tougher times in her New Year speech at the weekend.

The comments come as opinion polls reflect plummeting approval ratings for the Danish premier and as global economic woes continue to affect the nation and Thorning-Schmidt’s political policies.

The Prime Minister said in her statement, “Our goal is to bring Denmark safely through the crisis and out on the other side with our wealth, decency and solicitude intact,” the Copenhagen Post reports. She went on: “It won’t be easy. But we can if we will. The New Year – 2012 – will not be the year, when we free ourselves from our problems. We must admit that now”.

But she went on to say that the current adversity could indeed be overcome, citing the history of her own family and previous difficult periods in the nation’s past: “From generation to generation – my grandmother’s, my mother’s, my own – Denmark has become a better country to live in,” she said.

Meanwhile, many critics have since responded by saying that the Prime Minister’s speech lacked specific concrete solutions.

Political analyst Jens Ringberg of the DR broadcaster said, “When Helle-Thorning Schmidt doesn’t use her new year’s speech debut to present concrete suggestions for political initiatives, it was clearly a conscious decision”. He added, “This [was] a speech where she paints a picture of the crisis-agenda, gives expectations in relation to Danes’ behaviour – that we shouldn’t expect good times – and then just points a moral finger. It’s a gamble.”