Greenland’s 40,000 eligible voters delivered a bittersweet election victory for Prime Minister Kim Kielsen’s social-democratic Siumut party Tuesday, as it lost ground to centrist rivals. With only one international airport and no roads connecting the territory’s 17 towns, dog sleds were used to carry ballots to polling stations across the vast island. According to Greenland’s government, some fishermen travelled 93 miles to deliver ballot papers to a remote town. As Kielsen began coalition talks with left-wing parties Wednesday, Greenland’s politicians must tackle more problematic questions about the future of the sparsely populated Arctic nation.
A brittle economy and independence from Denmark were among the most pressing issues for Greenland’s 54,000 residents in the election. Greenland has been self-governing with its own parliament since 2009, 30 years after Denmark granted it autonomy.
Despite having abundant natural resources across its 811,000 mile squared land mass, Greenland relies on 3.6 billion Danish kroner ($591 million) of subsidies annually – some 60 percent of its annual budget.
Splitting from Denmark would relegate Greenland to the lowly status as one of the poorest European nations, with its $2.2 billion gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015 on a par with San Marino. By comparison, Liechtenstein’s $6.6 billion GDP outshines Greenland.
Full Article: Greenland eyes independence from Denmark after election vote.