Politics and Church Can Mix

Having a minister speaking in a church is only natural. However, it was something different at the Café evening at the Seamen’s Church in Singapore on the 24th of October, as this evening’s speaker was not a minister of the kind often seen in churches, but former minister for foreign affairs and economic affairs, Niels Helveg Petersen.
Niels Helveg Petersen talked about Danish economy and politics, mainly Danish foreign policy, Ambassador Klavs A. Holm, who is also a member of the Church Counsel, tells from Singapore.
One of the subjects was the situation in Iraq, which has the attention of the world. Particularly in those countries, like Denmark, with troops in Iraq.
“Niels Helveg Petersen talked about different exit strategies and ways of ending the conflict. Furthermore he described the pros and cons of the different possible solutions, but said there was no easy solution and that he could not at the time tell which model to prefer,” Klavs A. Holm explains.
Niels Helveg Petersen also gave a briefing on Danish domestic politics and economy and the discussions taking place in Denmark. The Danish economy is in very good shape, but opinions vary on how to spend the money.“
Niels Helveg Petersen explained that heated discussions take place in Denmark regarding kindergartens, hospitals etc. Should some of the state surplus be used on improving the level of welfare or on tax relief. One of the most discussed issues in Denmark today,” Klavs A. Holm informs.
After Niels Helveg Petersen’s orientation, the 70 people in the audience could ask questions to one of the most experienced Danish politicians.
“The audience asked many qualified questions concerning a lot of different topics like the EU, Iraq and immigration, which Niels Helveg Petersen was happy to answer,” Klavs A. Holm explains.
After the evening at the church, the audience had learned at least one thing about Danish politics and the next election for the Danish Parliament, which is not due till 2009.Niels Helveg Petersen made it very clear that his party, Radikale Venstre will not help the present prime minister in Denmark, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, to a new term in office.
“Niels Helveg Petersen explained that the politics of Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s right wing party, Venstre, and that of Radikale Venstre was too different to make it possible for Radikale Venstre to support Anders Fogh Rasmussen as Prime Minister,” Klavs A. Holm explains.

Facts about Niels Helveg Petersen:
– 67 years old Today he is member of the Danish Parliament, Folketinget, for Radikale Venstre.
– Since February 2005 he has been a member of the Presidium of the Folketing.
– Minister for Economic Affairs, June 1988 – December 1990
– Minister for Foreign Affairs, January 1993 – December 2000


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