| Jens Krag |
|Born||15 September 1914|
|Died||22 June 1978 (Age 63)|
|Alma mater||University of Copenhagen|
|Spouse|| • Birgit Tengroth|
• Helle Virkner
|Party||Social Democrats (Denmark)|
Danish politician who attended 3 Bilderberg conferences, 2 of them as Prime Minster of Denmark. Supporter of Danish membership of NATO in 1949, then went to "see more of the world" at the Danish embassy in the United States. Brought the country into the EEC (later European Union) in 1972.
Jens Otto Krag was a Danish politician who was prime minister of Denmark from 1962 to 1968 and from 1971 to 1972, and leader of the Social Democrats from 1962 to 1972. He was president of the Nordic Council in 1971.
He attended 3 Bilderberg conferences, the first one in October 1957, just before his career took off, then Bilderberg/1966 and Bilderberg/1969 as Prime Minster of Denmark.
Early life and career
Krag was born in Randers, Jutland, on 15 September 1914, into the poor family of a tobacconist. He studied at the local gymnasium, and as a teenager joined the Social Democratic Youth of Denmark, the youth wing of the Social Democratic Party. In 1933, Krag began studying economics at the University of Copenhagen. During this period he emerged as an active journalist and teacher in the labour movement, and became acquainted with the leadership of the Social Democrats and the trade unions.
He received his degree in 1940, the same year that Denmark was invaded by Nazi Germany. During the German occupation, Krag worked as a civil servant in a Danish government agency and became a leading advisor to the labour movement on economic matters, as well as a protégé of prominent social democrat and future prime minister Hans Hedtoft.
In 1944, Krag began his political career as the secretary of a program committee set up by the Social Democratic Party, as it prepared itself for politics in the postwar period. Under his leadership, the committee developed the new party program "Denmark of the Future", which presented proposals for nationalisation and notions of Keynesian economics and economic democracy. Despite the party's poor performance in the first postwar election in 1945, Krag and the new party program of the Social Democrats achieved notoriety in Danish politics.
Member of Folketing
He was elected to Parliament (Folketinget) in 1947 and became Commerce Minister. He supported the strengthening of the Danish military and Danish membership of NATO in 1949.
In 1950 Krag resigned from Parliament partially due to a conflict with Vilhelm Buhl and H. C. Hansen and, in order to become more fluent in the English language and see more of the world, requested a position at the Danish embassy in the United States. He received the position, and was in America until 1953 when he was re-elected to parliament and became a minister without portfolio. He was minister of the new department of foreign economic affairs from 1953 until 1958 and Foreign Minister from 1958 until 1962.
In September 1962 he succeeded Viggo Kampmann as Prime Minister and leader of the Danish Social Democratic Party. He was Prime Minister until February 1968 when the Social Democrats lost power. He became Prime Minister again in 1971 when his party returned to power. Less than a year into his first term as prime minister, the opposition held a referendum which rejected a set of land laws already passed by Krag's government.
During his second term as Prime Minister, Krag campaigned particularly for European cooperation and unity. He sponsored a referendum for Denmark to join the European Economic Community. In 1972 the referendum passed, but the nation was divided over the issue, and Krag resigned, claiming that he had become tired of politics. His last role in public life was as the European Common Market representative to the United States from 1974 until 1975.
In social policy, a number of progressive reforms were implemented during Krag's time as Prime Minister. Under the New Care of Children and Juveniles Act of May 1964, local child and juvenile welfare committees were authorized to grant cash benefits to certain families with children, to avoid placing children in the care of the Municipal Social Welfare Offices. New criteria for day-care institutions stressing social, educational, and therapeutic aspects were also introduced, and municipalities were obliged to provide facilities for day-care and other related services. Under the Employment Service and Unemployment Insurance Act of February 1967, unemployment benefits were raised and indexed to the official wage index and waiting times were abolished. In addition, an accident insurance act of December 1964 indexed benefits. The Basic Education Act of April 1972 extended compulsory basic education from 7 to 9 years. while A law passed in June 1972 introduced a new scheme for daily cash benefits in cases of sickness and maternity. In 1964, a supplementary pension scheme was established, together with universal child allowances in 1967.
Krag was at one and the same time one of the most charismatic and withdrawn Danish politicians ever. He never enjoyed the attention to which he had to subject himself, and many people found him rather arrogant. According to his most thorough (and quite sympathetic) biographer (Bo Lidegaard, Krag I-II, 2001/2002) he never truly settled into the role as a politician, always considering himself on the way 'to somewhere else'. He had always dreamed of holding the position of governor of the National Bank of Denmark. Only when he had definitively quit politics in 1972 did he realise that he would not be able to achieve this goal.
Krag had a difficult private life. He was married twice and had a son (Jens Christian born 1960) and a daughter, Astrid Helene "Søsser" (1962–2014), by his second wife, the famous actress Helle Virkner, but also another child outside of wedlock. Both his marriages ended in divorce, largely due to his own infidelity. During his time in politics, he already struggled with alcoholism, an addiction that became more pronounced after his retirement. He died of heart failure in Skiveren, Denmark at the age of 63.
He was an atheist.
Events Participated in
|Bilderberg/1957 October||4 October 1957||6 October 1957||Italy|
|The 6th Bilderberg meeting, the latest ever in the year and the first one in Italy.|
|Bilderberg/1966||25 March 1966||27 March 1966||Germany|
Hotel Nassauer Hof
|Top of the agenda of the 15th Bilderberg in Wiesbaden, Germany, was the restructuring of NATO. Since this discussion was held, all permanent holders of the position of NATO Secretary General have attended at least one Bilderberg conference prior to their appointment.|
|Bilderberg/1969||9 May 1969||11 May 1969||Denmark|
|The 18th Bilderberg meeting, with 85 participants|
- ↑ a b c d e f g h https://books.google.com/books?id=B8iJNlWcdIUC
- ↑ a b Skou, Kaare R. (2005). Dansk politik A-Å. Aschehoug, pp. 404-405. ISBN 87-11-11652-8.
- ↑ Growth to Limits: The Western European Welfare States Since World War II, Volume 4 edited by Peter Flora
- ↑ https://books.google.com/books?id=F16VaIYewIEC&pg=PA203
- ↑ https://books.google.com/books?id=sDS1oA553pcC&pg=PA97
- ↑ https://books.google.com/books?id=bTwFGEqfK-IC&pg=PA106
- ↑ Lidegaard, Bo (2001). Jens Otto Krag - 1914–1961 . Gyldendal. ISBN 978-87-02-02203-2.
- ↑ Politiken, "Folkekirken har brug for frisind", August 19, 2012. "De socialdemokratiske statsministre Stauning, Hedtoft, H.C. Hansen og J. O. Krag var ateister og ikke medlemmer af folkekirken". "The Danish prime ministers Stauning, Hedtoft, H.C. Hansen and J.O. Krag were atheists and not members of the Church of Denmark".
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