February 27, 2016 / 10:02 AM / 4 years ago

Denmark environment min to step down, bringing coalition crisis to a head

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish Environment and Food Minister Eva Kjer Hansen said on Saturday she will step down having lost support in parliament, potentially bringing to a head a crisis threatening the minority government after only eight months in office.

The Conservatives, one of the ruling Liberal party’s coalition partners, said they could no longer support Hansen, who has been accused of misleading parliament over the environmental impact of a set of agricultural reforms.

Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen must now replace Hansen or call fresh elections if he feels he no longer has the support of the Conservatives.

Rasmussen’s centre-right Liberals hold only 34 seats in the 179-seat parliament. They are supported by the Conservatives with six seats, the Danish People’s Party with 37 and the Liberal Alliance with 13 - giving them a majority of just one.

Rasmussen said on Wednesday that he would spend a couple of days with the leaders of the three supporting parties to discuss how to proceed.

Reporting by Ole Mikkelsen; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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