Socialist-party won the election in Greenland


Imagine leading a country where the northernmost point is in Oslo and the southernmost somewhere down in Sahara.
Imagine leading such a large country where a total of 56,256 inhabitants lives.
It is the challenge for the socialist party, Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) in Greenland, which on April 6 had an avalanche election, and won no less than 12 of the Greenlandic parliament / Inatsisartut's 31 seats. The party's 34-year-old chaiperson Múte B. Egede is now Greenland's youngest head of government / leader of the Naalakkersuisut ever.
IA can not form a government alone, so they have formed it together with the social-liberal party Naleraq, and with the small liberal Atassut as supporting party.
IA and the Social Democratic Party, Siumut, in Greenland have historically had a strained relationship with each other, even though they have had a majority of votes in many elections. This is primarily due to Siumut's own sense of being almost formed to be in power. They have formed a government in Greenland almost continuously since the introduction of self-government.
IA has previously participated in government from 2002-2007 and again 2016-2018.
In 2009 to 2013, iIA was the leader in the government and the prime minister was Kuupik Kleist.
There were also elections to the municipal councils in Greenland's 5 municipalities on April 6. Here, IA secured a majority in another municipality, so they now have the mayoral post in 3 municipalities, of which the powerful mayoral post in the capital Nuuk.

Tight economy
Greenland has a tight economy, despite an annual block grant of almost DKK 4 billion from Denmark. Therefore, one of the most debated topics during the election campaign was economy. How can a new government secure money for welfare, for schools and for the expensive infrastructure of the country where there are no roads between the cities? The traffic takes place either by ship or by plane.
The main sources of income are fishing, tourism and mining. There are great opportunities in the development of the fishery, where very large parts are resold frozen and unprocessed.
Tourism can also form the basis for new income, because Greenland can offer quite unique natural and cultural offerings, but it is hampered by expensive travel costs.
Many attempts have been made at mining in Greenland, and in the past cryolite has been successfully mined in in Ivittuut in southern Greenland. Cryolite has had great political significance and was used in the US aviation industry during World War II. The mine closed in 1987.
On the north side of Disko Island off Ilulissat, coal has been mined in Qullissat for a number of years. The mine closed in 1972.
Many have been given permission to investigate the possibilities of mining in Greenland, but the plans have so far only been realized to a limited extent.

A flat tax and a very unequal development between people in the cities and the villages has led to a very large inequality. Inequality in Greenland is as great as in the United States.
Many of the companies in Greenland have been owned by the national government and many leading politicians have had financial interests in sitting on the boards of these companies. They have not felt compelled to change the tax situation.
In addition, in some areas there are many socially disadvantaged and children who live on the streets and who have been exposed to violence and sexual abuse.
Many of these abuses have been taboo, but books and television about the challenges have pressured politicians in both Denmark and Greenland to intervene. Last year, an agreement was made on a special children's package between the social ministers in Greenland and Denmark, as a first start of an effort.

One of the reasons for the good election result is, that IA has been the most consistent opponent of initiating mining in Kvanefjeldet in South Greenland, which contains a number of rare and strategic soils, but which also contains uranium.
Mining could mean major pollution in an area with both fishing and agriculture. Therefore, IA will pause mining as long as there are no sustainable opportunities for operation in Kvanefjeldet.
There have been strong popular movements for a number of years in Greenland, in line with the campaign against nuclear power in Danmark. The latest poll in Greenland shows that 71 percent of the population is against mining in Kvanefjeld.
Siumut, the socialdemocrat party, supports mining in Kvanefjeld. Other parties want a referendum before mining is launched here.
Greenland has not acceded to the Paris Agreements on Climate Change from 2015, but there is no doubt that this issue will be on the agenda under the new government.

Strategic significance
Greenland has had a military strategic significance for many years.
During World War II, the United States took control of Greenland. The Danish ambassador played a controversial role during the German occupation of Denmark. This specialy part of history is described currently in a book and film about.
Not least during the Cold War, Greenland was an important bridgehead for the United States vis-à-vis the then Soviet Union due to possible air and rocket routes over the Arctic. Officially, the United States was not allowed to fly over Greenland with nuclear weapons, but it has later turned out that changing Danish governments had a double decision with the United States in this regard.
The USA has had up to 30 bases in Greenland. Many of them have been left without clean-up, among others. Camp Century, where Americans have left many thousands of barrels of low-level radioactive waste under the ice sheet, is one ogf the most well-known.
The United States still has the big radar in Pittuffik / Thule.
And the Folketing has recently, at the request of the United States, expanded military activity in and around Greenland and the Faroe Islands for DKK 1.5 billion. kr.
In addition, the US offensive against Greenland, where Trump proposed to buy Greenland! The Greenland government answered: "We are not for sale, we are for buissiness". Of course,Trumps plan did not come to anything, but the United States is extremely active in their charm campaign towards the University of Nuuk and not least towards young people and the business community, after they now have established a representation in Greenland.
Formally, the foreign policy of Greenland (and the Faroe Islands) falls under the Danish Foreign Minister, but Greenland has taken several initiatives to make bilateral agreements, not only with the United States.
It will be a task in itself to act in this field of foreign policy tension, not least when in recent years one sees the fierce rivalry between the United States, Russia and China about power in the Arctic.

New airports
A hotly debated topic has been that the Greenlanders believe that there is a need for 3 new airports where larger aircraft can land and take off, in Ilulissat, in Nuuk and in Qaqortoq.
In 2018, the chinese offered to build, finance and operate the airports for the Greenlanders. It immediately created panic in first Washington and later in Copenhagen. Airports belong to critical infrastructure that may have security policy implications. Therefore, the Chinese involvement in the airport project would be unacceptable to the United States.
Lars Lykke Rasmussen (the former Danish prime-minister) immediately went to Nuuk and promised that Denmark would secure a large amount of money, both as a subsidy, as a loan and a deficit guarantee for the 2 of the airports.
The project was launched in 2019, but already now there are reports that the budget will be significantly exceeded.

Greenland is one of Denmarks former colonies. Today the kingdom of Denmark is the unity of the Self-ruling Greenland, The self-ruling Faroe Islands and Denmark.
IA is a supporter of Greenland's independence, but believes that there is a need for the Greenlanders to get a better education and that the country's economy is improved so that they, as an independent country, do not become economically dependent on another country or great powers.
The first Home-ruling Act from 1978 gave the Greenlanders right to act as a region inside Denmark, to speak their own language and to form a local parliament.
The Self-Government Act of 2008 gave Greenland the opportunity to take over policy areas to the extent that they believe they can. The decision lies with the national Greenland government. The act from 2008 gives the Greenlanders the right to independence, when they want after a referendum.
Greenland, unlike the Faroe Islands, has not taken advantage of this opportunity. And it is a recurring debate in the Greenlandic national government, which tasks should be taken home first and when it should happen.
The right to the underground is one of the few areas taken home.
The debate about independence and about taking home policy areas flared up several times during the election campaign.
For years, work has been done on a new constitution for Greenland, which, among other things will contain sections on the transition to independence. The work is expected to be completed in the coming parliamentary term.

Nordic parties
NGLA, Nordic Green Left Alliance, is a cooperation of socialist parties in the Nordic countries. It was formed in Reykjavik in 2004. The members are:
Left Party, Sweden
Socialist Left, Norway
Left Alliance, Finland
Left-Green, Island
IA, Greenland
Toveldi, Faroe Islands
Socialist Peoples Party and Red-Green Alliance, Denmark
The common parliamentarian group in Nordic Council is called NGV, Nordic Green Left. They have 10 out of 87 seats. All red-green parties are having seats in Nordic Council.

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