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Friday, March 31, 2006

Some Up to Date Facts on Denmark

Denmark finally reaches positive net assets - and ranges number one at the Press Freedom Index

Maybe an odd thing to blog here, but anyhow: for the first time since WW II Denmark has a positive net assets balance. It was announced today by the Central Bank in Copenhagen, and as you may notice, Denmark came from a debt position at almost 50% of GDP in 1988 to a plus at a few percent today.




In 1982 socialdemocrat PM Anker Jørgensen gave up and handed over power to the conservative Poul Schlüter who held office until 1993. His government founded the economic policy, later continued by socialdemocrat PM Poul Nyrup from 1993 till 2001 and present PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen, that wiped out the devastating debt resulting from the irresponsible build up of the welfare society from the beginning of the 1960'es.

And from another corner: Reporters Without Borders recently placed Denmark number one at their World Press Freedom Index - together with Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland.

What do these seven countries hold in common? Well, to mention a few: they are rich, well established democracies from Northern Europa and they are small countries. Execpt Ireland they are all protestant.

Three of them (Ireland, Iceland and Denmark) are at the top 10 of the Economic Freedom Index and all seven are among the countries labeled Free at the World Freedom Index.

Freedom is the key to economic progress, clearly demonstrated by all major indexes in the world. Apart from that, freedom is in fact quite nice!
Click Continue .. to go on with some details on Press Freedom in Denmark versus Saudi Arabia .!

To balance the # 1 position at the Press Freedom Index however, the contry report from House of Freedom on the same topic does have some remarks:

Denmark (2005)
Legal Environment: 2 Political Influences: 3 Economic Pressures: 5 Total Score: 10
Status: Free
Danish media enjoy strong constitutional protections and a long tradition of press freedom. Independent print and broadcast media reflect a wide variety of views and are often critical of the government. However, there are some tensions between the government and the media. In April, Jesper Larsen and Michael Bjerre, two journalists with the conservative daily Berlingske Tidende, faced criminal charges for publishing extracts of confidential military reports passed on by a former intelligence officer. The reports, used by the government when it made its decision to go to war against Iraq, allegedly cast doubt on the existence of weapons of mass destruction. The intelligence officer who leaked the reports was also charged. The government finances four of the five national television networks and several radio stations, though their editorial boards are independent. Several private cable and satellite television channels also exist, as do private radio stations, which are tightly regulated.

The same report for Saudi Arabia reads:

Saudi Arabia (2005)
Legal Environment: 29 Political Influences: 28 Economic Pressures: 23 Total Score: 80
Status: Not Free
Authorities do not permit criticism of Islam or the ruling family by domestic media, and a national security law prohibits criticism of the government. These prohibitions are echoed by a media policy statement that urges journalists to "uphold Islam, oppose atheism, promote Arab interests, and preserve cultural heritage." Newspapers are created by royal decree, and all journalists must register with the 2Ministry of Information, which also appoints all editors in chief. Saudi Arabia's first professional journalists association was granted a charter in 2003, though the Ministry of Information can veto any of its decisions.
The print media are privately owned but publicly subsidized and are often closely associated with members of the royal family. Authorities frequently ban or fire journalists and editors who publish articles deemed offensive to the country's powerful religious establishment or the ruling authorities. Official censorship is common, as is self-censorship. Nevertheless, recent years have seen newspapers report on previously taboo issues-such as crime, corruption, women's rights, religion, terrorism, and elections in neighboring states-without prior authorization. In 2004, newspapers featured extensive coverage of upcoming municipal elections. In addition, two London-based dailies, Al-Sharq al-Awsat and Al-Hayat, were available and read widely, though content was tempered to comply with government guidelines. In March, authorities banned Al-Sharq al-Awsat journalist Faris Hizam Al-Harbi for his reporting on terrorism and corruption. The following month, Al-Harbi was detained and then released after about two weeks in custody. In December, journalists from the domestic newspapers the Saudi Gazette and Al-Madina were detained (and later released) at the trial of arrested advocates of democratic reforms.
The state-owned Saudi Press Agency does not deviate from official government positions. The broadcast media are government owned and subject to rigorous government censors; private radio and television stations cannot broadcast from Saudi soil. However, satellite television-through which Saudi citizens have access to foreign news channels such as Al-Jazeera and CNN-is widespread, despite its illegal status. In January, the government launched an all-news satellite channel, Al-Ikhbariya, which featured a female presenter in its opening broadcast, a first for Saudi media. The channel was established as an alternative to Al-Jazeera, which has repeatedly drawn the ire of authorities and is barred from covering the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
The government continues to censor foreign publications before they enter the country, blacking out and banning some objectionable materials. Foreign broadcasts are similarly censored, and references to politics, pork or pigs, alcohol, sex, and religions other than Islam are removed. The entry of foreign journalists is tightly controlled through the granting of visas, though restrictions have eased significantly in recent years. In June, BBC cameraman Simon Cumbers was shot dead while filming the house belonging to an al-Qaeda terrorist killed in 2003 by Saudi police. A BBC security correspondent, Frank Gardner, was injured in the attack.
The Internet is widely available, but the government has employed a sophisticated filtering system to block access to Web sites deemed morally or politically inappropriate. Some users circumvent these controls by accessing servers based in the more liberal Gulf states. Government officials reportedly ordered mobile phones with cameras to be banned from the country.

14 Comments:

Blogger Ateist said...

> they are rich,
> Execpt Ireland they are all protestant.

I'm not an expert on economics, but didn't Ireland use to be dirt poor? That is, until they received a massive EU funding, which allowed them to cut taxes for companies, which in turn made it attractive for our companies to move to Ireland? So our tax-money has made it possible for Ireland to take over our own companies.

31 March, 2006 15:35  
Blogger ph said...

It's called development!

Ireland is now number 3 worldwide in GDP per capita, after Luxembourg and Norway but ahead of USA (# 4) and with Denmark # 5!
http://globalis.gvu.unu.edu/indicator.cfm?Country=IE&IndicatorID=19

From 1990 to 2001 Ireland had the fourth biggest growth rate in GPD per capita! USA # 28, Denmark # 29!
http://globalis.gvu.unu.edu/indicator.cfm?Country=IE&IndicatorID=45.

Long time since the days of famine, it seems, thank God and the EU ...

31 March, 2006 16:09  
Anonymous foreign devil said...

..AND they are ALL CHRISTIAN. Never underestimate the 'Christian work ethic'. Besides belief in the teachings of the Holy Bible and the death and in the case of Christians, resurrection of Jesus, the Christian religions (both Protestant AND Catholic) believe in the efficacy of having a job, working as best you can at it, helping others when you can and being civil to one another. The 'Golden Rule' taught at Sunday School and in regular schools was "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you." and these basics guided our every effort and dealing with others. It's why Christian societies do well economically. This overall is called 'civility'.

01 April, 2006 00:54  
Anonymous Peter Buch said...

http://www.polemiken.net/?p=3111#comments
In danish mr. Vig explains that there is still debt.
STATSGÆLDEN ER FORTSAT ENORM

- og der stavles om på den for at få det til at se pænere ud.

Det er noget uansavrligt at skrive helt blindt af fra aviserne i lige netop denne sag:

Udenlandsk statgæld var: 90,7 mia. ved udgangen
af 2005, og den steg i 2005 med 6,8 mia.
Og så “skulle den ude af billede” pr. 31. mart 2006. VRØVL!

Desuden forholder sig således, at det ikke længere har nogen reel mening at sondre mellem
indenrigsgæld (ca. 650 mia) og udenrigsgæld, den såkaldte statspapirgæld afsættes overalt i verden.

Sondingen bør ske mellem lånegæld der er mere forpligtende end statspapirgæld.

Men alt i alt statsgæld : ca. 740 mia.
(når Den Sociale Fond “bogført til” 133,2 mia korrekt medregnes i gælden).

I øvrigt har der været svære problemer med at få tingene til at stemme. I perioder har Finansministeriet, Nationabanken og EU lavet hver deres opgørelse.
Dette er sandheden

Ebbe Vig, cand. oecon.
**********************
Peter Buch

01 April, 2006 08:31  
Blogger ph said...

Though Ebbe Vig writes in Danish, I'll answer in English.

He blames me for writing on a "no debt" situation - which I never did.

Check the posting: I wrote on "net assets" and though I gladly copy from papers, I actually had it all straight from the mouth of the very horse: The Central Bank.

By the way: I used to be in that business some years back.

01 April, 2006 08:45  
Blogger ph said...

Foreign Devil: "Never underestimate the 'Christian work ethic'."

Couldn't agree more! Our Vietnameese café-owner (refugee after the fall of Saigon and some years in a "educational camp", now the hardworking proud citizen of this xehophobic and racist kingdom) put's it this way:

"All Muslim problems stem from the fact of not beeing busy with anything sensible!"

01 April, 2006 08:52  
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