Thursday, November 03, 2005

PM enters mayoral race over terror apologia

The mayoral race in Copenhagen is heating up after Social Democratic candidate Ritt Bjerregaard on one hand tried to deny the Liberal candiate Søren Pind the security argument (rightwingers = more believable on security) while at the same time pandering to radical islamists by excusing terrorism. From Jyllands-Posten:

Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen entered the municipal election debate in Copenhagen on Wednesday, criticising Social Democratic top candidate Ritt Bjerregaard for her comments on terror and the war in Iraq.

Bjerregaard, who is .. the current favourite for Copenhagen's mayor post in the 15 November elections, wrote a debate article in daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende, where she chained together the looming threat of terror in Denmark and the nation's participation in the war in Iraq.

'The government has led Denmark into war - based on deceitful grounds - and we must unfortunately prepare to pay a high price for it. You reap what you sow,' Bjerregaard wrote The comment caused an uproar in the Liberal Party, where politicians demanded that Bjerregaard retract her statement.

Rasmussen said, however, that he did not see any reason for Bjerregaard to withdraw her statement, what was said was said, but he found her opinions strange.

'When you formulate yourself as she does, you risk defending terrorism, or at least excusing it,' he told Berlingske Tidende. 'I think that is unfortunate and inconsiderate.'

PM Fogh again stands on the side of freedom of speech. Other politicians from his party didnt express themselves in so soft tones, though (From Jyllands-Posten (my translation)):

Two Liberal politicians wednesday attacked Ritt Bjerregaard (Social Democrats) with accusations that she has both made excuses for islamic terror as a part of her electoral campaign, while at the same time expressing an oppinion, that terror shouldnt be a topic Copenhagen´s mayor should busy himself with to any big extent.

Foreign spokesman for the Liberals, Troels Lund Pulsen, reacted on the oppinion piece in Berlingske Tidende.

In it, Ritt Bjerregaard among other things writes: "The government has led Denmark into war - and based on lies, at that - and we unfortunately have to count on the horrific consequences. He who sows the wind, reaps the storm".

With those words, Ritt Bjerregaard is in line with the extreme islamists, Troels Lund thinks. He demands that she retract her statements.

City Councillor for Culture, Martin Geertsen (Liberals), attacks statements Ritt Bjerregaard made to the TV2 News (Denmarks 2nd-biggest television channels news show - Henrik).

- Of course terror is something the mayor of Copenhagen should busy himself with... It is scary, that Ritt Bjerregaard apologizes terror and flees reality, Martin Geertsen says.

Note, by the way, how Jyllands-Postens translation of Bjerregaards terrorist apologia is weaker than mine. If you know any Danish, go to the second link and satisfy yourself that my translation is truer to the original than Jyllands-Postens.

Anyway, this comes after a proposal by Ritt Bjerregaard to demand of private companies contracting with the Copenhagen City Council, that they have a certain number of immigrants as employees. She apparently didnt care that that meant firing Danes to have jobs for the immigrants to take. Legal experts were also quick in shooting the proposal down, judging it illegal (ie, unable to conform with current law).


For background on the political system in Denmark, go here.
If you just want a short run-down of what the Danish parties are about, go here.


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