Denmark Scraps Public Holiday to Boost Defense Budget

    Photo: AFP/Getty Images [via BBC]

    The Facts

    • On Tuesday, Denmark's parliament voted 95-68 to abolish "Great Prayer Day" — a springtime religious holiday observed since the 17th century — to boost military spending.

    • Canceling the public holiday would give the government an additional 3B Danish Crowns ($427M) to state coffers thanks to an extra 7.4 hours of labor per worker.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Scrapping a holiday associated with important Danish traditions to increase productivity is unacceptable. It's unfair to make hardworking Danes cover the cost of corporation tax cuts and fill the coffers of high-net-worth individuals with their well-earned holiday. Moreover, the decision interferes with many young people's long-standing plans to attend Church of Denmark confirmation ceremonies around the Great Prayer Day.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    There is war in Europe, and as Denmark braces for uncertain geopolitical and economic times, the nation needs to strengthen its defenses. It is not only ordinary Danes paying for the challenging situation — the coalition is also advancing a plan to impose tax hikes on the upper class to boost finances so that the country can meet NATO's military spending target by 2030.

    Nerd narrative

    There's an 85% chance that the Social Democrats will hold a position in government after the next Danish general election, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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