Greenland wants to be like Denmark (but can’t)

39f88dad7e07de65a229662389730f2a - Greenland wants to be like Denmark (but can't)

The 55,000 Greenlanders were allowed yesterday to the ballot box. The campaign turned especially to full independence. The warming of the climate will cross a helping hand.

Is Greenland in 2021 is completely independent of Denmark? That question dominated the last weeks of the election campaign above the arctic circle. That Greenland’s politicians prefer the Danes at all …

Is Greenland in 2021 is completely independent of Denmark? That question dominated the last weeks of the election campaign above the arctic circle. That Greenland’s politicians prefer the Danes totally offside, this is really already a long time no doubt. Of the seven parties that the country is rich, there are six won full independence. The only party that there is no point, gets hardly any votes.

The only question is when the relationship with the old colonial power is completely cut. Reminder: in 1979 received the Greenlanders all autonomy and, since 2009, voted in Copenhagen, with a rolling self-government. Only Defense, Justice and Foreign Affairs are still in use by the Danish government determined.

The parties who most insist on independence, sheaves in their campaign the year 2021 forward. That is symbolically an important date, because it is the 300th anniversary commemorations of the Danish colonization. The Danish-Norwegian missionary Hans Egede put down in 1721 foot on land.


But in the polls it seemed that the Greenlanders still what back to scare. The two governing parties – the social democratic Siumut that the premier supplies and the green-left-wing Inuit Atagatigiit (IA) – lost votes. The winner is the democratic centrumpartij, which is just a much more moderate position in the onafhankelijkheidsdebat taking.

The idea that independence to any price soon, got so damaged. Also the political leaders of the two political parties names the past few days all that gas back. According to outgoing prime minister Kim Kielsen ‘transcends the desire for independence, the party politics, but we should be ready for it’.

Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, member of parliament for IA, came up with the same message. The island must have been financial homework ready for there actually a timeline for independence promulgated can be, ” she said to news agency AFP. ‘Foreign investments are crucial.’

Long live global warming

The question is indeed whether the Greenlanders financially on its own legs. At this time, Greenland is still very dependent on Danish money. Copenhagen collapses each year, 3.6 billion kroner (almost 500 million euro) in the treasury of Nuuk, the capital of Greenland. That is still accounted for 60 percent of Greenland’s budget.

In recent years, a growing optimism about financial independence. Greenland is one of the countries that economically take advantage of the climate change. Who goes there by the way twice as fast as elsewhere. The waters around the island are getting warmer so there are now more species of fish can be caught. The fishing did in the past years in business. But that positive effect would be of a temporary nature.

But especially the many raw materials in the Greenlandic soil – zinc, uranium, iron, gold and oil – it is easier to be operated. Over the past few years came at the invitation of the Greenland government foreign investors to the island. Especially the Chinese think there are good things to do. But mountains of gold it produced for a while yet.

The downside of the modern medal

There is still too little infrastructure and there are too few skilled workers. In addition, the prices of the raw materials has fallen again and is struggling Greenland also with social problems. The rapid modernization of the society, saddle the local population with keuzestress. Should they stick to their traditions or modernity in full embrace?

Suicide rates are high, there is a lot of incest and alcohol abuse. Therefore, most of the Greenland experts that not bad would be that full independence is not rushed. “It is not a project for the coming years, previously for the coming decades,” says political scientist Maria Ackrén, affiliated with the University of Greenland.

By the way, also on the faro islands seems to be the urge for independence from Denmark, a little less urgent. Intention was that Faroese today, a referendum would be held on a new constitution. That would be a stepping stone to independence. But the referendum is indefinitely postponed. The government, suddenly has other priorities, such as the reform of the fisheries.

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