A spontaneous general strike by more than 200,000 workers protesting at higher taxes on electrical appliances, cars, liquor and cigarettes paralysed industry in Denmark on Thursday (16 May).
GV PAN demonstrators outside Christiansborg Palace
GV red flags among demonstrators
GV PAN from demonstrators to Palace
GV Demonstrators applaud as more arrive with red flags (2 shots)
SV People carrying platform with mockup of hangman's noose.
SV's of demonstrators (3 shots)
TGV PAN demonstrators
Initials AE/2.47 AE/3.02
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Background: A spontaneous general strike by more than 200,000 workers protesting at higher taxes on electrical appliances, cars, liquor and cigarettes paralysed industry in Denmark on Thursday (16 May).
The mass stoppages were the worst in recent Danish political history. They came only hours after Parliament approved several higher tax rates, ending a week-long threat to the minority Liberal government of Prime Minister Poul Hartling.
In Copenhagen, more than 50,000 workers and other demonstrators marched on the Christiansborg Palace following the decision, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Hartling. Many carried flags nd signs identifying the firms they worked for. One group arrived with a mock-up platform -- complete with hangman's noose. Nearly two-thirds of Denmark's workforce were estimated to have joined the strike against the new taxes.
The controversial tax increases threatened to bring down the government until intensive negotiations with the opposition parties brought a compromise and parliament passed the measures on Wednesday (15 May). A defeat would have forced the Danish Prime Minister to call new elections next month. Both the Trade Union Confederation and the Employers' Association have called on the strikers to return to work. However, with a newspaper blackout, it's not known how effective the call with be.