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Anders Fogh Rasmussen

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Biography

Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Danish pronunciation: [ˈɑnɐs ˈfɔʊ̯ˀ ˈʁɑsmusn̩] ( listen); born 26 January 1953) is a Danish politician who served as the 12th and current Secretary General of NATO. Rasmussen served as Prime Minister of Denmark from 27 November 2001 to 5 April 2009.

Rasmussen was the leader of the Liberal Party (Venstre), and headed a center right-wing 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.

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, through the 1990s, his views moved towards the political centre. His government introduced tougher limits on non-EEA immigration and a freeze on tax rates (skattestoppet in Danish). Certain taxes were lowered, but the Conservative coalition partners 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 is of no relation to either his predecessor, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, or to his successor, Lars Løkke Rasmussen; their shared last name is common in Denmark.

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