Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kingdom of Denmark

The Kingdom of Denmark is a constitutional monarchy and it has two autonomous provinces – the Faroe Islands and Greenland.  Denmark is the smallest country in Scandinavia.  It is a little bigger than Maryland and has a population of 5.5 million people.  It borders Germany and is connected to Sweden by a bridgeCopenhagen is the capital city.

Denmark is known for high taxes, its strong welfare state, a low poverty rate, almost no corruption and it is one of the most egalitarian societies in the world.  Even way back in 1989, it became the first country in the world to recognize same-sex marriage.

The country is a member of the EU, NATO and it is part of the Schengen zone.  However, it is not part of the Eurozone.  Any country that joins the EU has to eventually adopt the Euro.  As an original EU member, Denmark (along with the United Kingdom) is able to opt-out of the Euro.  So even though the country meets all of the fiscal requirements to join, it is still holding on to its national currency – the Danish Crown.  One Krone is made up of 100 øre.

The Danish flag is considered the oldest flag in the world.
Denmark has some of the highest taxes in the world but that's what funds the system.  To start with there is a 25% VAT (sales tax) on just about everything.  There is also a progressive income tax model where the more money you earn the more you are taxed.  The tax rate runs from 43% to 63%.  Then there are other random taxes.  For example, a car comes with the normal 25% VAT but then there is an extra 180% registration tax.  WOW!!  But then again, there are benefits to paying such high taxes.  The state provides health care, unemployment benefits, child care, elderly care, job retraining, and all university education is free.  This all sounds like a pretty good deal to me.  It's probably why Denmark has the strictest immigration and asylum laws in Europe.

Denmark is regularly voted the happiest country in the world.  Here's a video I found out on YouTube.

1 comment:

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