Greenland 2006

Yearbook 2006

Greenland. In the spring, two large pedophile armies were unveiled that shocked Greenland. More than 50 boys and girls had been victims of two men arrested by police. One of the men committed suicide in the detention center. At the same time, it turned out that about 30 convicted sex offenders go free pending the sentence of their sentences. The lack of prison places is so great that a total of 175 convicted Greenlanders have to wait to serve their sentences. A study conducted by the self-government showed that every third Greenlandic girl under the age of 15 has been subjected to sexual abuse by adults, physically or verbally.

Of the Greenlandic youth, 37% have thought about committing suicide, and of these, about one in four have tried.

Danish researchers warned during the year that the glaciers at Greenland will melt at an ever faster rate in the next few decades. Leading Republican Senator John McCain from the United States visited Greenland in August to study climate change, explaining that the United States must take action against greenhouse gas emissions.

Among the negative news on Greenland during the year was that Santa Claus went bankrupt. The company Santa Claus of Greenland Foundation A/S was forced to suspend the payments, as Tele Greenland withdrew its support for its operations.

In principle, IA strives for full independence, while Siumut is divided on the issue. Atassut and the Democrats want to maintain their connection with Denmark and give priority to the economy. According to opinion polls, the Greenlanders themselves would like to have independence, but not at the expense of poorer living standards.

After the election, IA’s party leader Kuupik Kleist formed a coalition with the Democrats and the Alliance for Independent candidates. After the formalization of self-government in 2009 (see History), the question of independence sometimes fell into the shadow of other pressing problems: fishing and hunting, the survival of the countryside, the poor quality of the school, major social problems. The hottest debate was about the management of the extensive assets of uranium, iron ore, oil, gas with several natural resources and the collaboration with giant international companies such as mining companies and the aluminum group Alcoa.

The IA government saw commodity exports as the path to economic and thus sometime in the future political independence from Denmark. But Siumut’s new leader Aleqa Hammond criticized IA’s plans to admit Chinese mining companies and thousands of Chinese workers. However, Siumut wanted to lift the ban on uranium mining. At the same time, Hammond warned of growing economic gaps between Nuuk and sparsely populated areas, and she demanded more social efforts for the unemployed and other vulnerable in the community. She also made tougher demands than IA on taxing the mining companies’ profits.

Hammond’s message went home, and the election to the county council in March 2013 became a clear victory for Siumut, who got 43 percent of the vote against 34 percent for IA. The charismatic Hammond received by far the most person votes. Three smaller parties joined the county council: Liberal Conservative Atassut, Liberal Democratite and the center-left party Partii Inuit, which among other things wants to limit the use of the Danish language in Greenland. Siumut received 14 seats, IA 11 and the others received 2 seats each.

Siumut negotiated a new government coalition with Atassut and Partii Inuit. New head of government became Siumut’s leader Aleqa Hammond. Siumut’s election promise to lift the ban on uranium mining was voted on by the county council by a barely majority in the fall of 2013 (see Finance). Thus, Greenland showed further independence towards Denmark, which considers that the issue of uranium mining belongs to the defense, foreign and security policy decided in Copenhagen. In 2013, the self-governing government signed new mining agreements with foreign companies, and a growing proportion of budget revenue was expected to come from the mining industry. Large-scale imports of labor seemed to be necessary, and the Greenlandic society was thus facing a historic change.