The Danish People’s Party is threatening to veto the Danish tranche of the EU’s emergency fund, which was agreed at the weekend to stabilise markets, in protest against EU commission plans to require national budgets to pass through Brussels before presentation in national Parliaments.
Finance Minister Claus Hjorth Frederiksen is reported to have promised nine billion kroner as Denmark’s tranche of the fund, which was designed to stop speculation about the Greek economic crisis spreading to other EU countries. The tranche would only be paid out if necessary to rescue another EU country.
But the Chairman of the Parliamentary Finance Committee Kristian Thulesen Dahl of the Danish People’s Party, says that Frederiksen cannot commit Denmark without the consent of all parties to the Danish Budget Agreement. Thulesen’s view suggests that each party to the agreement thus has a veto.
Thulesen Dahl suggests that his party, which is the minority government’s safety net in Parliament, is prepared to use its veto to prevent Denmark from being embraced by the closer finance policy cooperation reportedly envisaged by the EU Commission.
“We will not accept a completely unreasonable monitor in the EU,” he says.
According to Politiken’s information, a central element of the Commission proposal to be announced today, is that draft budgets of individual member countries should be sent to the Commission for comment before being presented in national parliaments, in order to try to avoid situations like the current Greek crisis.
While Thulesen Dahl says that the measure could be acceptable for eurozone countries, Denmark is not a member of that zone.
“I fully accept that a prerequisite for success is that those countries that are part of the common currency follow a stringent economic policy so that they de facto approach a common economic policy. That is simple logic,” Thulesen Dahl says.
“But in Denmark, a majority decided in a referendum not to be part of the euro. As a result, we cannot accept a commission of civil servants meddling in our budget,” he adds.
On Sept. 28, 2000, the Danish electorate rejected the euro by 53.1 percent to 46.9 percent with a turnout of almost 88 percent.
Finance Minister Claus Hjorth Frederiksen has previously rejected the notion that the EU should determine Danish budgets.
“If it is censorship that he (Economy Commissioner Ollie Rehn) is looking for, the proposal is doomed to failure,” Frederiksen told Politiken last Friday.
According to Politiken’s information, the Commission will be trying to find the right balance in looking at central figures in budgets, not in the detail, and only presenting recommendations.
Edited by Julian Isherwood