Greenlanders say island cannot be bought and sold, as independence dreams grow


When the people of Greenland voted with a 75 percent majority for self-rule back in 2008, the island’s then prime minister Hans Enoksen said he dreamt of full independence by 2021, “in time for my 65th birthday”.

More than a decade later Mr Enoksen is still dreaming. While his newly formed Partii Naleraq campaigned for a quick break during last year’s Greenlandic general election campaign, others believe it will take generations.  

The annual block grant from Denmark of close to £500m represents more than a third of the country’s budget, and while Greenland’s mining industry is taking off, the revenues it brings in still lag far behind what the country needs to wean itself away from its former colonial masters. 

Maja Chemnitz Larsen, an MP for the Inuit Ataqatigiit party, said that it would be “very difficult” for the islanders without Danish subsidies. 

“I’m pro independence for Greenland, but I’m not pro making it a short process, because I think the economy of Greenland is very dependent on the block grant and I don’t want to have welfare decline dramatically,” she said.  

She said the notion that the island could be purchased from Denmark, as reportedly floated by US President Donald Trump, was an offensive one, telling the Telegraph it was not a commodity to be bought and sold. 


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