Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Danish Industrialists Worried about new Cartoons Crisis?


Pia having the rant party of a life time

When will this lady, perhaps the most powerful politician in Denmark, be invited as the guest of honour to the Industrialists' annual conference?

The chairman of the Conferation of Danish Industry, Henning Dyremose, may have sent out an invitation. We don't know.

What we do know is that he commented upon the Jyllandsposten Mohammed cartoons at the annual conference of the organisation on Tuesday. No wonder, these cartoons are still a top topic at meetings in the chattering classes.

According to Dyremose the cartoons case demonstrates that "an eye is kept on what is happening in Denmark. But not all Danes seem to appreciate this".

"When you have freedom of speech, you also have the right to remain silent, - if that is the wise option", Dyremose says to press agency Ritzau. "What The Jyllandsposten did - within the confines of Danish law - has a number of consequences that the paper may not have predicted. My point is that what we're doing in Denmark may have a global effect".

The chairman emphasises that he does not want to criticize The Jyllandsposten. But in his opinion we have to start thinking in a "global way" in Denmark. What we consider all right in Denmark, may be interpreted in an entirely different way in the rest of the world.

It is really amusing to see this top representative of Danish capital interests go out of his way to warn the Danes about not doing something that may jeopardize important economic interests.

Why doesn't he warn against The Jyllandsposten, in the 1930's a paper supporting the views of Danish nazis, and warn against the rampant xenophobic tendencies in parts of the Danish public? This xenophobia is expressed by the politicians from the right populist Danish Peoples Party, for instance the leader of the party Pia Kjaersgaard, who is pouring verbal abuse on immigrants almost daily.

Instead of doing this most obvious thing, Dyremose is beating around the bush for fear of getting his tail trapped in the xenophobic lady's virulent word stream.

Dyremose is the man who has just scored 100 mio. kroners (17 mio$) in personal benefits from selling the Danish tele communications giant TDC to foreign capital interests for more than 12 billion$. A new cartoons crisis may lower the price of the crown jewels of Danish business, so such generous deals may be more seldom in future. Freedom of speech is a good thing - no doubt about that, but it may come at a price.

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