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Danish report Danish report
by Euro Reporter
2012-01-08 11:20:31
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EU presidency program

Europe must implement EU-wide economic reforms to beat the debt crisis, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said Friday, while announcing priorities for Denmark's EU presidency. "There is no doubt we are taking over the presidency at a very difficult point in time. As with the Polish presidency, our presidency will be characterized by the crisis," Thorning-Schmidt said.

"We want to escape from the crisis, prevent new crises from occurring, and create new growth and jobs. To do that, we need EU member states to carry out the reforms that are required, in order to put public finances back on track," she told a Copenhagen news conference. In particular, Thorning-Schmidt said the Danish presidency supports a fiscal pact, approved by EU leaders in Brussels on Dec. 9, which will tighten budget discipline in EU member states. She said the pact would re-establish market confidence in the EU and euro, and bring benefits to Europe's citizens and businesses.

"The solutions that Europe will be working on and addressing over the next years and months will affect it for a long time," Thorning-Schmidt said. "We will be the presidency and will help take Europe forward out of crisis, and work to achieve specific results for the benefits of citizens and enterprises in Europe," she added. Denmark will hold the EU presidency from January to June 2012, and is part of the so-called 'trio-presidency' with Poland and Cyprus. Denmark's priorities for its presidency are a "responsible, dynamic, green and safe Europe," and are detailed in a policy document called "Europe at Work."


Denmark now seen as debt safe haven

Denmark has revealed that it saw a surge in demand for its debt from international investors last year, making it the latest non-Eurozone state to cash in on the hunt for a “safe haven”. The Danish central bank said that over a third of the country’s outstanding debt is now owned by foreign buyers, up from 27 per cent in 2010. The country paid negative interest rates to sell bonds for the first time last week.

The European Central Bank (ECB) will hope its efforts to flood banks with liquidity will lure some money back into Eurozone bonds. Euro bank debt costs fell sharply yesterday: the three-month European Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor), a key benchmark, fell 13 basis points to 1.343 per cent. And the ECB said that its deposits fell €30bn to €414bn on New Year’s Day.


Queen Margrethe II 40th jubilee commemorative coins

The Danmarks Nationalbank has launched a series of three coins to mark the 40th anniversary of the accession of Queen Margrethe II, who became the Danish head of State on the 14th January 1972. Queen Margrethe II was declared the Crown Princess of Denmark in 1953 when the laws of Danish succession were amended allowing for the accession of female heirs in the event that there was the absence of a male heir or if the Monarch had no sons. Princess Margrethe attained her majority in 1958 and married in 1967. Her first son, Crown Prince Frederik was born the following year with her second child, Prince Joachim following the year after. After a reign of almost 25 years, her father King Frederik IX died with the new Crown Princess becoming only the second woman to rule Denmark in its thousand year-old monarchy.

Struck at the Royal Danish Mint in Brondby, the new coins include a gold coin with a face value of 3000 Kroner (the first time for this denomination), a silver crown of 500 Kroner, and a circulation 20 Kroner coin. The design used for the obverse is the work of Sculptor Karin Lorentzen and depicts the Queen in formal dress with fur trim and wearing the collar of the order of the elephant along with the Pearl Poiré Tiara, a nineteenth-century family heirloom. The Queen has been depicted wearing this particular Tiara numerous times on both commemorative and circulation coinage. Around the portrait is the legend “MARGRETHE II DANMARKS DRONNING” with the traditional heart mintmark separating the Queen’s name and her title.

The reverse of the coin was created by Danish heraldic Ronny Andersen and shows an artistic interpretation of the Danish coat of arms which includes representations from Greenland (polar bear) and the Faeroe Islands (Ram) along with three lions passant and hearts. It was a specific request from the Queen that both Greenland and the Faeroe Islands are prominently included. The inscription reads “1972 14 JANUAR 2012” positioned above the primary design with the denomination below.

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