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In Denmark, Goldman Sachs Deal Ignites Political Crisis

Protesters complain about the “vampire squid” buying a piece of a state-owned utility
In Denmark, Goldman Sachs Deal Ignites Political Crisis
Photograph by Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images

When Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt supported the sale of shares in a state-owned company to Goldman Sachs, she couldn’t have known how costly the deal would turn out to be. On Jan. 30, as a parliamentary committee gave final approval for the bank’s purchase of 18 percent of Dong Energy, the nation’s largest electric utility, for $1.5 billion, the Socialist People’s Party quit the governing coalition in protest, leading six cabinet ministers to resign. While Thorning-Schmidt, a Social Democrat, retains her post with the support of the Social Liberal Party, polls show the dispute has dented her popularity, adding to the challenges she faces, including a weak economy, ahead of next year’s national elections.

Data: Compiled by Bloomberg