Denmark's PM Mette Frederiksen to unveil first left-right coalition in 40 years

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By Euronews  with Reuters
Mette Frederiksen chair of The Social Democrats and acting Prime Minister takes to the press during government negotiations at Marienborg in Copenhagen, Sunday Dec. 11, 2022.
Mette Frederiksen chair of The Social Democrats and acting Prime Minister takes to the press during government negotiations at Marienborg in Copenhagen, Sunday Dec. 11, 2022.   -   Copyright  Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix via AP, File

Denmark looks ready to launch into an experiment with its first left-right coalition government in more than 40 years, after six weeks of intense negotiations following November's parliamentary election.

The country's Social Democratic leader Mette Frederiksen -- who dropped negotiations with traditional left-wing allies -- is due to present the main outlines on Wednesday of an agreement struck the previous day with the main opposition centre-right Venstre party, as well as the new centrist Moderates party.

Frederiksen will stay as prime minister for a second term, with the new government due to be formally announced on Thursday.

"We have set high ambitions, both in terms of ensuring higher employment, more people getting work, high climate ambitions and a fairly comprehensive reform programme," she said.

The three party leaders -- Frederiksen, Jacob Elleman-Jensen of Venstre and Lars Løkke Rasmussen of the Moderates -- are scheduled to host a news briefing at midday on Wednesday, to give more details.

The Moderates -- a new party established in June -- is led by Rasmussen, the previous prime minister. It became Denmark's third-biggest party after a trailblazing election campaign.

The November 1 election left the three parties with a combined 89 seats in the 179-seat parliament, which also includes four seats to lawmakers from Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

This means the new government will in practice have a majority as the North Atlantic mandates traditionally don't intervene in Danish domestic politics.

Frederiksen's Social Democratic Party won more than a quarter of the votes, making it the biggest in parliament. The 45-year-old leader argued during her campaign that a broad government across the left-right divide was needed at a time of international uncertainty.

The new government will begin work as high energy prices and the highest inflation in four decades eat into household economies, and only two months after the sabotage of two pipelines carrying gas from Russia to Germany through Danish waters.

Some pundits have warned that forming a coalition of the traditional mainstream parties might backfire, because it could eventually strengthen the more radical parties as seen in other European countries, including France.

Additional sources • AFP