• Short Summary

    Denmark is one of the three new members of the European Economic Community from the first day of the new year.

  • Description

    Denmark is one of the three new members of the European Economic Community from the first day of the new year.

    Her decision to join followed a referendum which gave the Danish Parliament a clear mandate to go ahead.

    But Denmark has been struggling for years with a huge balance of payments problem, and although the entry vote staved off devaluation, it seems many economic problems still lie ahead. The shipbuilding industry is slowly pulling out of a recession, and a swing to diversified industries may bring problems as Denmark aces more experienced competition. Farming has dropped as the chief export money earner, and the Danes long-established lead in pig farming is being cut back as Britain, for example, modernises her pig farms.

    Denmark is also unhappy that her neighbour, and close economic relative, Norway, voted not to join.

    The fishing industry is also possibly facing hard times as the competition gets hotter for less fish.

    In all, although she had little option but to join Europe, Denmark may merely have exchanged one set of problems for a slightly lesser set of new ones.

    SYNOPSIS: Denmark is one of the three new members of the European Economic Community beginning January the first.

    And like the other two new members, Denmark's entry wasn't easy for the government. Opposition reached the streets and there were the usual demonstrations. In the end the Government decided to put the matter to the people in the form of a referendum, and the man who'd advocated joining, Prime Minister Jens Otto Krag, was given a healthy two-to-one mandate to go ahead. Heaving got the support, Mr Krag decided his job was done and he promptly resigned after a long period of service to his country.

    With membership assured, the new Prime Minister, Mr Anker Joergensen, may be able to lead Denmark into a new economic era...but he inherited some problems as well. The country has been struggling with a massive balance of payments situation and, without membership, could have faced devaluation of the kroner.

    Shipbuilding, for example, has just been through a serious crisis but is now on the way up...helped enormously by the manufacture of giant tankers.

    But for the smaller, less traditional industries, EEC entry could mean trouble...the Danes will find themselves in competition with similar manufactures...mostly with infinitely more experience. Nevertheless. Denmark stands at the European doorway and has elected to taken in industry as well as her traditional agricultural trade.

    Although industry in Denmark has recently overtaken agriculture as the biggest exports money earner, most observers feel that membership of the European community may yet return the land to its traditional place as the key to the Danish economy.

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    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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