ECONOMY: GENERAL INFORMATION
Despite being one of the countries of the European Union that best respected the Maastricht parameters, Denmark has decided not to join the final phase of the Economic and Monetary Union, not to participate in common defense, European citizenship, cooperation in business interior. The country’s economic situation has always remained at very appreciable levels of growth even in times of generalized crisis for the remaining European countries. The per capita income it has always been among the highest in the EU (62,626 US dollars in 2008) and, on the other hand, the values of inflation and unemployment are very low. Denmark maintains the characteristics of a clearly “Scandinavian” country: from a political-administrative point of view it combines an advanced system of social protection with a highly flexible labor market policy. From a geographical point of view it makes full use of its favorable natural requirements, in particular the happy location between two seas (North Sea and Baltic Sea) and the fertile land suitable for agricultural exploitation. Enterprising people, with strong mercantile traditions, the Danes have forged themselves in contact with north-western Europe, entrepreneurial and capitalist, exploiting the possibilities of their country in the agricultural and commercial sense, also developing, especially in recent decades, a specialized and profitable manufacturing industry, based on the processing of agricultural and livestock products, as well as the development of the sector metallurgical, mechanical and chemical-pharmaceutical. The chronic lack of energy resources on the territory historically pushes Denmark to import most of the raw materials for its industries. In the various economic sectors (including the financial one), the production structure, traditionally based on small and medium-sized enterprises, has experienced the spread of acquisitions and mergers in recent years, encouraged by a government policy that aims to reduce the penetration of large foreign companies connected to the creation of the Single European Market (1992). The development model is traditionally privatistic and liberal and the social democratic proposals to further socialize the economy have been rejected on several occasions, that is, passing from “social democracy” to “democratic socialism” based on the common ownership, between workers and entrepreneurs, of the means of production. The State still participates in the shareholding of numerous companies, and government interventions play a decisive role thanks to their function of controlling and supporting the various productive sectors through fiscal and credit maneuvers, even if the privatization process has been underway for years and strongly supported by current government. According to the Scandinavian model of the Welfare State the State also operates very extensive social interventions; by virtue of the contributions paid, the population enjoys considerable support both in the insurance and social security fields, and living conditions are decidedly high in cities as well as in the countryside. However, Denmark also appears to be feeling the effects of the period of economic difficulty felt internationally. After 2000, the growth of the gross national product has significantly slowed down and the percentage of unemployed citizens has risen. In 2008, the GDP was US $ 342,925 million. The Rasmussen government aims to improve the situation by reducing the tax burden on citizens, limiting the rights of the immigrant population and favoring the privatization of companies, without affecting the advanced welfare system that the Danish state traditionally makes available to citizens. In this climate of economic slowdown, the Danes, called in 2003 to decide to join the single currency, they once again refused the step.
ECONOMY: MINERAL RESOURCES AND INDUSTRY
Denmark, on the other hand, has a shortage of energy resources; modest quantities of lignite are extractedand, from the North Sea, oil (more than doubled in the last decade) and natural gas; a modest amount of iron comes from Greenland’s opencast mines. Rather high, considering the smallness of the territory and the population, is the production of electricity, which is almost all of thermal origin and is obtained with imported oil and coal, especially from Sweden. Note the presence of marine wind farms, which are able to cover 13% of the needs. As for industry, the traditional sectors are the food sector linked to agriculture and animal husbandry, for the production of milk and dairy products, canned meat and other preserved foods, sugar, animal fats; textiles, both wool and cotton, and shipbuilding. However, despite the almost absolute lack of raw materials, Denmark is also endowed with a good basic industry, in particular a steel industry that supplies large quantities of steel and cast iron and a metallurgy that refines aluminum, lead and zinc. As mentioned, the metalworking industry is essentially at the service of the naval sector, with main shipyards in Copenhagen, therefore in Helsingør, Ålborg etc., but also produces machinery and means of transport of various kinds (typical are, for example, bicycles). According to allcountrylist, the cement industry is also well represented, fueled by the vast presence on the territory of rocks used for its production. Still in the basic sectors, oil refineries have a rather high annual refining capacity. The food industry includes, in addition to the numerous dairies and canning complexes, sugar factories, an established production of beer, widely exported: in fact, the fame of the Danish brands Carlsberg, Tuborg, Ceres and Faxe is international. As a function of agriculture, among the chemical industries, that of fertilizers has developed particularly, but the country also produces sulfuric acid, caustic soda, plastics, resins, etc.national kaolin. The electronics industry has been in great expansion in recent decades, albeit strongly export-oriented.