Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Danish pronunciation: [anɐs ˈfɔʊ̯ˀ ˈʁasmusn̩] (listen); born 26 January 1953) is a Danish politician who was the 24th Prime Minister of Denmark from November 2001 to April 2009 and the 12th Secretary General of NATO from August 2009 to October 2014. He is now CEO of political consultancy Rasmussen Global and a senior advisor at The Boston Consulting Group’s Copenhagen office.Rasmussen was first elected to the Folketing in 1978 and served in various ministerial positions, including Minister of Tax (1987–1992) and Minister of Economic Affairs (1990–1992). In his early career, Rasmussen was a strident critic of the welfare state, writing the classical liberal book From Social State to Minimal State in 1993. However, his views moved towards the political centre through the 1990s. He was elected the leader of the conservative-liberal party Venstre in 1998 and headed a centre-right coalition with the Conservative People’s Party which took office in November 2001 and won its second and third terms in February 2005 and in November 2007. Rasmussen’s government relied on the Danish People’s Party for support, keeping with the Danish tradition of minority government.
His government introduced tougher limits on non-EEA immigration and a freeze on tax rates (skattestoppet in Danish). Certain taxes were lowered, but his coalition partners in the Conservative People’s Party repeatedly argued for more tax cuts and a flat tax rate at no higher than 50%. Rasmussen’s government implemented an administrative reform reducing the number of municipalities (kommuner) and replacing the thirteen counties (amter) with five regions which he referred to as “the biggest reform in thirty years”. He authored several books about taxation and government structure. He resigned as Prime Minister in April 2009 to become Secretary General of NATO. His term as Secretary General was to end in the summer of 2014, but the North Atlantic Council extended his term on 11 December 2013 until 30 September 2014 in order to ensure the organisation of the 2014 NATO summit in Newport, United Kingdom.