Denmark's new PM unveils government

2011-10-03 13:39
Copenhagen - Denmark's first woman prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, on Monday unveiled a cabinet line-up that includes an Indian-born minister, a 26-year-old and no integration minister.

"This is a very strong team," Thorning-Schmidt said as she emerged from the Amalienborg royal palace after presenting her centre-left line-up to Queen Margrethe.

The new prime minister was flanked by the nine other women and 13 men drawn from her Social Democrats and the Social Liberal and Socialist People's parties who will make up her 23-member administration.

Among them is the country's first-ever minister of immigrant origin: Indian-born Social Liberal Manu Sareen, 44, who has been given the Ecclesiastical and Equality Ministry.

Thorning-Schmidt's cabinet includes five more ministries than that of her predecessor Lars Loekke Rasmussen's centre-right government, which heavily relied on the support of the populist, anti-immigration Danish People's Party (DPP).

A notable change was the scraping of the integration ministry, in the clearest indication yet that the right-wing DPP's decade-long grip on immigration policy has come to an end.

The foreign ministry was given to Thorning-Schmidt's main partner through the campaign, Socialist People's Party leader Villy Soevndal, and the economy and interior ministry went to the head of the Social Liberal Party Margrethe Vestager Hansen.

The key finance, justice and defence ministries meanwhile all went to Social Democrats, Bjarne Corydon, Morten Boedskov and Nick Haekkerup respectively.

Thorning-Schmidt also appointed the youngest ever minister in Denmark's history: Thor Moeger Pedersen, 26, of the Socialist People's Party, who will be taxation minister.

The new prime minister was scheduled to unveil her government programme at a news conference at 16:00.

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