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Page last updated at 18:26 GMT, Friday, 18 April 2008 19:26 UK

Danish PM jogs with Facebook fans

Danish PM Rasmussen (centre) with joggers, 18 Apr 08
Mr Rasmussen (centre) slowed down so he could chat on the way

Denmark's Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has gone jogging with about 100 people he met through the social networking website Facebook.

The 7km (four-mile) jog took place on Friday at his summer residence, Marienborg, just north of Copenhagen.

One of his Danish Liberal Party aides, Soeren Lauridsen, said Mr Rasmussen was enthusiastic about Facebook as a way of connecting with ordinary Danes.

The PM is the site's 10th most popular person, Mr Lauridsen told the BBC.

"He has 12,000 supporters now on Facebook - he's only just behind [California Governor] Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he's the Europe Facebook champion," Mr Lauridsen said.

Slower pace

Mr Rasmussen organised the mass jog to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his leadership of the Danish Liberal Party - known as Venstre.

It is only the second time he has done so - the first was last November, during Denmark's election campaign.

He went at a slower pace than usual, so that people could chat on the way, Mr Lauridsen told the BBC News website.

Security officers joined the prime minister on the jog - but kept a low profile, he said.

About 85% of Mr Rasmussen's Facebook friends are in the 18-34 age group, and "for him it's a way to reach a lot of people who are not specifically political", Mr Lauridsen added.

The prime minister insists on responding in person to friends' comments on Facebook, the aide said. "I'm not doing this work for him," he added.




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