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Yearbook 2009

2009 DenmarkDenmark. At the beginning of the year, Danish police arrested several people suspected of planning the murder of one of the Danish Muhammadan artists. At that time, about 20 Danish media as well as Sydsvenskan in Sweden chose to re-publish the cartoons. The publication led to new and partly violent protests in the Muslim world.

According to countryaah, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen resigned in April, after being appointed Secretary-General of NATO (taking office in August). Fogh Rasmussen was succeeded as head of government by his finance minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen. In May, the Left also elected Løkke Rasmussen as new party leader after Fogh Rasmussen. At that point, opinion polls showed that Venstre lost ground to the Social Democratic opposition.

2009 Denmark

In the elections to the European Parliament in June, the right and left had success at the expense of the center. The Danish People's Party and the Socialist People's Party received twice as many votes as in the previous EU elections. The Social Democrats made losses but still maintained their position as the largest party in the EU elections. During the year, the Social Democrats (S) changed partners from the left-liberal Radical Left to the Socialist People's Party (SF). S leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt and SF leader Villy Søvndal presented a joint proposal in August on tax increases for high-income earners and tax cuts for low-income earners. Both parties were aiming for a left-wing victory in the 2011 election according to the Norwegian model.

During the summer, a conflict arose around a group of asylum seekers who were rejected and sought to avoid rejection to Iraq. The Iraqis sought refuge in a church in Copenhagen, but police went in and retrieved them, leading to violence between police and hundreds of protesters. Later, about 12,000 people demonstrated for the arrested Iraqis, who were, however, rejected in September.

In the autumn, Danish Defense Chief Tim Sloth Jørgensen resigned following a conflict over a book about a Danish elite soldier's experiences from Iraq and Afghanistan. The defense considered that the book's revelations could threaten Danish security, but the attempts to stop the book in court failed. One of the defense's arguments against the spread of the book was that it had been translated into Arabic. However, the translation had been made on the Internet by the defense's own IT manager and then sent to journalists. The defense's IT manager and communications manager were indicted for gross misconduct and the defense manager filed his dismissal application.

In the wake of the international financial crisis, the Danish economy went back more than the government had expected. GDP fell by 5.4 percent during the first three quarters of the year. In August, unemployment was 3.7 percent, and the government expects it to increase by 2010.

The Copenhagen area was plagued during the year by violent gang war with, among other things, mc clubs involved. In March, thousands of Danes went out in a protest demonstration against the violence, but in the autumn there were again gunfire. It was then reported that six people had been killed and sixty injured in more than a hundred shootings in Denmark in 14 months.

In October, US police arrested two men suspected of terrorist plans against the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which in the autumn of 2005 published the controversial Mohammed cartoons. One of the arrested had reconnected at the Jyllands-Posten editorial offices in Aarhus and Copenhagen. The man had contact with people linked to terrorist groups in Pakistan. The intention of the terrorist plans was to take revenge on the newspaper which was believed to have ridiculed the Prophet Muhammad.

Prior to the UN's major climate summit in Copenhagen in December, the Danish police were given increased powers. This led to mass arrests of peaceful climate protesters, which drew criticism both in Denmark and abroad. When the climate meeting ended with a weak agreement on reduced greenhouse gas emissions, the Danish government was criticized for unsuccessful negotiations.

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