Greenland introduces self-rule

Arctic island moves towards independence, but Denmark to retain say in security matters.

    Greenland decided in a November vote to reduce Denmark's say in governance matters [AFP]

    It will now keep a greater share of revenue from its natural resources, although much of the oil, gas, gold and diamonds that it holds has been inaccessible because of the Arctic ice that covers most of the land mass.

    US scientists believe Greenland's northern tip is especially rich in oil and gas and they say global warming could actually help unlock the untapped wealth and provide a solid foundation for an independent economy.

    Home to the US Thule radar base, Greenland depends on Danish subsidies, which account for two-thirds of the its economy.

    Policy matters

    Greenland became a colony of Denmark in 1775, and was a Danish province from 1953-1979.

    Even after the adoption of self-rule, however, Denmark will still have the final say in defence and foreign-policy matters.

    Margrethe described the handover of the self-rule documents 'a big moment for me' [AFP]
    Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Lars Loekke Rasmussen, the Danish prime minister, attended Sunday's celebrations in the capital, Nuuk, dressed in Greenlandic national costumes.

    "This is a big moment also for me to hand over these self-rule documents to you and therefore to the Greenlandic people," Margrethe told Josef Motzfeldt, the speaker of Greenland's parliament.

    Kuupik Kleist, Greenland's prime minister, who formed a coalition cabinet earlier this month, has promised to focus on social problems.

    His party, the Inuit Ataqatigiit, won 44 per cent of the vote in the elections of June 2, taking 14 of the 31 seats in the parliament.

    Kleist's party ousted the Social Democratic Siumut party, which had been in power in Greenland since 1979.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.