One of the junior members of Denmark's coalition government has announced it will step down. The move comes in reaction to a business deal involving a state-owned energy group and Goldman Sachs.
The stability of Denmark's center-left coalition government was in question on Thursday after one of its junior coalition partners, the Socialist People's Party (SF), said it was resigning. The planned sale of the state-owned energy group DONG to US-investment bank Goldman Sachs had prompted the move.
"We have followed this…case to the end," SF leader Annette Vilhelmsen told reporters at a press conference.
Vilhelmsen resigned her post as partner leader and was to be followed by six SF members from the 23-member cabinet.
There was no immediate reaction available from Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who now heads a two-party minority government.
Bloomberg news reported on Tuesday that a pending 8-billion krone (1 billion euro, $1.5 billion) investment - which would translate to roughly an 18-percent stake - by Goldman Sachs in the Danish energy group had sparked an mass public and political backlash. A recent online petition against the sale had gathered some 160,000 signatures this week. Several Danish pension funds had also tried to counter-bid Goldman Sachs.
The same report went on to say that Danish lawmakers were to vote on the government's planned sale on Thursday.
Since October 2011, Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt has led a coalition government compromised of her Social Democrats party, the Social Liberals and the Socialist People's Party.
kms/ (AFP, Reuters, dpa)
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