COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Coalition talks between Denmark's centrer-right parties were deadlocked on Thursday, a week after an election pushed out the center-left government, with the euroskeptic Danish People's Party (DF) standing by its demands for more state spending.
The election result handed power to the centrer-right bloc, which is comprised of the Liberals, the DF and two smaller parties. One of them, the Conservatives, has ruled itself out of joining the government, guaranteeing a minority coalition.
In the negotiations led by the Liberals, DF has been firm in its demands for more spending, forcing the Liberals to consider ditching their own stance that spending should be frozen, in a bid to build a viable grouping.
"I still believe that the Danish People's Party will not get more influence by entering government (than by staying out)" DF's leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl told reporters.
"As long as we are still negotiating, we will be at more meetings. We are patient and we will keep our cool. But it remains that the foundation is not good enough for us to enter government," Dahl said after the latest talks on Thursday.
Although DF, which wants to curb immigration, gained more votes than the Liberals it has been coy about joining government, acutely aware of the experience of fringe parties in Denmark and abroad who, once in government, have bled support due to compromises with mainstream parties.
Staying on the sidelines may ultimately secure DF more influence as it could fight for higher healthcare spending at each year's budget talks, Dahl said earlier on Thursday.
For the Liberals, however, that would mean forming an even smaller minority government with their 47 seats or with 60 seats together with fellow centrer-right Liberal Alliance, out of 179 seats in parliament.
Reporting by Teis Jensen and Sabina Zawadzki; Editing by Alison Williams