Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pro-monarchy press: Danish royals too expensive!

Daisy must be busy embroidering a Mary Boganson voodoo doll right about now.

"Life before 2001 was so much easier! Before then, my Freddle-dee-dum could be trusted to shake off that insufferable bogan he hooked up with on a drunken escape to Australia. No matter, you thought to yourself, Daisy, these young men have wild oats to sow, this too shall pass. Then the world's most unlikely arriviste landed in Europe to keep the black American Express card warm, and wouldn't go home! She lived in our Paris apartment! She then moved into the palace! When I caught wind of that, I ordered her out via my messaging Cayx press conferences, costing me millions more through Fred to pay for an expansive, luxury flat, a maid and weekly orchid deliveries. But that girl did keep her thin lips tightly closed. Something about her didn't quite seem right, but Derf needed to settle down and that greasy haired tranny had two things going for her: she wasn't Danish, and she played her discretion card very nicely. Oh, well, you thought, Dais, you could use a new bridge player in the family, let's do it!

So we get her a new tiara after she refused a family one, allowed her wear mother's wedding veil and paid for an ugly milkmaid's dress then sent her down the aisle toward our eldest, most troubled son, hoping against hope that such a strong, Pictish disposition would set him straight. Just like Mor Ingrid did with Far Frederik. Just like Nanny MacGillicuddy did with Freddums. But nearly as quickly as the Boganson family relations sluuuuuuuurrrrrrpppppped up the offerings at the wedding buffet, that crazy, freaky vulgarian has ushered in a new age of royal spending & bailouts. Too many shoes, not enough substance. The Danish media, otherwise trusted to remain in a fog of bemused adoration of the darling royal family, has started to question the financial underpinnings of the monarchy. Taswegian bitch. Tak for nothing!"

Leading conservative broadsheet Berlingske and its generally pro-monarchy affiliate BT both have articles on the excessive expenditures of the royal family - all of 'em! Berlingske writes about how the Liberal Alliance is starting to question the numbers:

The Liberal Alliance has no ambitions to dismantle the royal house. And the party's leader, Anders Samuelsen, watches over the royal house from the big cost cutting, according to the party's programme to cut 72 billion kroner of public expenditure.

The monarchy, which cost 342 million kroner in 2009, however, is not sacred to the party's political spokesman, Simon Emil Ammitzbøll. Many billions in public spending must be saved, but not in the royal house. Can we infer that it is worth the money? "We have said we have no current plans, but nothing is sacred," says Simon Emil Ammitzbøll.

How should it be understood? "We look at government spending as a whole, and we must take it up in the next budget," he said. As president of the Radical Youth, Simon Emil Ammitzbøll in his day was in favour of a special royal treasury, which could be rejected, like church.

Party leader Anders Samuelsen was very determined when at the party's press conference Tuesday, he was asked why the Liberal Party will spare the monarchy, when it will reduce the number of public employees by 40,000. "We have no ambitions to dismantle the royal house. And I have no further comment on that issue," he says. "I would like to discuss world economic political situation and the challenges the nation faces. And it should not be muddled in a discussion about the royal family," said party leader Anders Samuelsen.

According to this article published in BT, the Danish royals have exorbitent travel costs and the blame isn't just on MoreMore and Far Away Freddums. Citing Daisy's Defense Ministry, 300,000 kroner helicopter ride to Princess Nathalie's wedding in Berleburg (co-piloted by Prince Gustav), BT says this:

The cost to move the Queen, Prince Consort and the royal couple around the country and kingdom is more and more, now running up the cost of the entire 47million kroner annually.

This amount includes the royal yacht Dannebrog, flights with air defense and the Queen's adjudant staff and hunting captain.

And it is an amount that is annually paid entirely by the Defense Ministry and thus kept separate from the 97 million kroner in which royal family members are already in receipt via their apanage from the state.

Compared to 2002, when the cost was "just" 26 million DKK, there is talk about that figure having nearly doubled. BT has received access to Defense Ministry accounts of the royal house.

The documents, which BT has gone through, also show that the 80 year old royal yacht, Dannebrog, is clearly the main culprit in the budget lines. In 2010, the Dannebrog laid waste to the entire 35.6 million kroner in wages, fuel and maintenance. It is more than 10 million more expensive than just four years ago, in 2007, when the ship cost about 25 million kroner.

But also the cost of flights for weddings, state visits and other trips abroad has soared. Alone in a year between 2009 and 2010, increased cost of flights for the royal family with more than one million kroner: 3.16 to 4.24 million. The runaway travel budget is highly reprehensible, both the experts and defense rapporteurs who have spoken to BT.

"I think it is totally untenable that spending get out of hand just in recent years we have had a major economic crisis," says criticism from SF's defense spokesman, Jonas Dahl.

"Now that the defense must save 10 percent of its budget, then the royal family also should tighten their belts or even pay if it should have to carry out tasks," he says and continues, "and then you can also also consider the need for private flights to Berleburg. One must expect economic moderation of all after a financial crisis like the one we had."

Even the Socialists' defense spokesman John Paulsen Dyrby is dissatisfied with the steep rise in expenditure. "There is almost a doubling of spending on defense. And it's definitely more than the price increases generally. It should even be mentioned that recently the royal ship is actually cheaper than what it would cost, because of the use of conscripts in the herd," he tells BT.

"Right now it looks like more of a blank check from the Armed Forces of the Crown. I would not say that it is a blank check, but it has elements of one," says the criticism from John Dyrby Paulsen.

Royal Family expert Sørensen does believe the rising costs of court are worth every penny. "I do not know what is the reason why costs have risen. But you have to say that we live in a different time than just 20 years ago. You have to spend more money on security measures. There is much more security today. And on that basis we have seen a big increase in expenditure," says Sørensen, who is visiting professor at Copenhagen University.

"I think it is worth every penny. Monarchy is of great importance in many different ways - not least as a national focal point in a time where we no longer have so much else that we can all rally around, regardless of age, ethnic origin, religious affiliation, etc.," says Sørensen.

The 47 million kroner, which is annually spent on the royal family's travel, appear historically and exclusively on the Defense Ministry's budget line items, and it requires a peculiar manoeuvering to find out how expensive it is to move the royals around in Denmark and abroad.

The opaque system faces stiff criticism from several of the Parliamentary Defence rapporteurs. Petersen from the Radical Left calls it a strange construction.

"I think yes, it should be assembled in one place so we can get an overview of our economy. We could see the figures in context and in a transparent way," says Petersen.

Also at SF, Defense spokesman Jonas Dahl finds it strange that the royal budgets are split between several ministries. "We have previously said we will have a comprehensive inventory of the royal family's costs. Therefore, it is only fair that we collectively can see what it costs to perform tasks for the royal family. We will work on when we come into government," he says.

The Socialists want to change the current model. At the governing Liberal Party sees on the other hand no problem in the soaring costs.

Royal smokescreen
"There is a tendency in the defense of that you will find accomplices, now being saved in the budgets. The monarchy is probably been such an accomplice. But it is more about how the entries of the costs were more accurate than it is about who has spent more money on the royal family," says defense spokesman Karsten Nonbo.

Despite several attempts, it's because of the holidays that it has not been possible to get a comment from the royal house, CFO Søren W. Kruse or from the Defense Command.

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