Siumut closes internal Greenlandic debate on US swap

Billede af Mikael Hertig

Mikael Hertig, maj 2017 GPL LICENS CC0

 

By Mikael Hertig *

 

 

 

 

In Greenland, two parties are open to discuss a possible US take over of the big Island. Beside Naleraq, the second political parties are the center – right party “Demokraterne”. The latter information will be seen as surprising, as Democrats among many people has been seen as a Pro-Danish party.   Even if “Democrats” won new mandates at the latest election.

ELECTIONS to Greenlands Parliament 2014 and 2018

Elections to parliament Inatsisartut 2014 and 2018 (source KNR)

At the latest parliament elections Siumut lost 7.1 %. Likewise the second most wellknown and big party Inuit Attaqatigiit lost 7.6 %. The winners were Democrats + 6 %, Nunnatta Qitornai +3,4 % and Naleraq +1.8 %. Thus, two of the winning parties claim for some kind of serious  discussion with developoment swop from Denmark as colonial power to USA instead.  Still, the two reduced dominant party clearly maintain the idea of movement towards full Greenlandic sovereignty as an ongoing process . The crucial point is to develop  of a self-sufficient economy.

 

This article refers to  KNR (Greenland’s Radio) website by Jens Betak

 

“Partii Naleraq and the Democrats would like the United States to take over Denmark’s role in this country, but critical voices do not believe that greater dependence on the United States brings Greenland closer to independence, “ KNR writes.

Nevertheless, Trumps buying offer has resulted in debate in Greenland. One of the most important persons in the original independence movement in Greenland is Aqqaluk Lynge, IA.

 

 

 

Portrait of IA's Nestor, Aqqaluk Lynge

Aqqaluk Lynge

However, Aqqaluk Lynge does not believe that relying on the US is the right way to go.

 

” This is something we should strongly reject. The United States is not looking to help us. They are looking to buy us, says Aqqaluk Lynge, who believes that Donald Trump’s wishes are a direct attack on Denmark’s sovereignty and Greenland’s desire for independence….- Politicians in Greenland will do well to be very cautious in their statements. Greenland and Denmark are only just now trying to understand what that (Trump’s offer, ed.) eans in a purely political way, ” Lynge said to KNR’s journalist Betak.

 

 

 

Partii Naleraq’s Pele Broberg introduced  the debate. He wants independence paid by USA instead of an OST-like postcolonial relationship  (OverSeas Territory) to Denmark.

Steen Lynge, leader of the 3rd biggest paty Democrat  believes that Greenland should  exmine the attention of the United States in an effort to become financially independent.

 

Danish diplomat and influential Bo Lidegaard reacts as expected

Portræt af Bo Lidegaard

Bo Lidegaard (wikipedia commons)

 

Bo Lidegaard is a historian, born in Nuuk.  He has worked  through years been formulated Denmark’s Greenland-policies.

He has through been the central figure explaining the views of The Danish Government.

” if a very small country joins a partnership with a very large country, the small will be dominated by  the big country”, Bo Lidegaard said to KNR.

His position is exactly the same as explained by IA, Siumut and Aqqaluk Lynge. Greenland has to develop a sustainable economy – this is the common understanding.  Even if this is expected, it is in a way surprising. As a matter of fact, this harmony is new.  In 2017, the mood was hostile. Read this article, first published in Aftenposten Innsikt in 2017.

He believes that the movement towards greater Greenlandic independence goes through organizing the Greenlandic society so that it can rest more in itself, rather than hoping that a “rich uncle” will come and pay for everything.

One may ask if the days of dichotomizing between the governments in Nuuk and Copenhagen is diminishing.  To me,it looks as if this is the case.

* Mikael Hertig is M of Pol Sci. He has lived four years in Greenland. He works socially for Greenlanders in Denmark  and is studying International Law and Security at University of Southern Denmark, Odense.

 

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