Greenland Independence?

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryConsidered the largest island in the world, Greenland has been a part of Denmark for a couples of centuries (since 1814). Almost all of the people in Greenland are Inuit with some Danish living there. Denmark has allowed Greenland to have a high degree of autonomy, and this is where the political situation stands. However, there is a mine in Greenland called the Kuannersuit mine. This mine is significant because it possesses not only uranium but also rare earth metals that can be used in batteries, flat screen TV sets, computer components in cars, smartphones and yes weapons. The fact that rare earth metals can be used in weapons is significant, hence why a Chinese-owned company is interested in the mine. But it goes beyond just the economic riches that can be had in this one mine. It also is a question of who ultimately owns the mine and who gets the resources from Kuannersuit.

While Greenland has control over its own internal affairs, Denmark controls its external affairs, its defense, and its trade. Trade could also be the determining factor in who controls the mine. Who will ultimately get its resources, Greenland or Denmark? Or, rather, who will get the majority of this mine’s resources? While there is a sort-of independence movement in Greenland, most Inuit in Greenland have been happy with Danish rule, and Denmark provides a generous $368 million in annual subsidies to Greenland. If Greenland owned the Kuannersuit mine, the mine could off-set these subsidies and truly make Greenland rich. But that would be true if Greenland were an independent country. But is the determination for independence really there? After all, there is more to Danish rule than just the annual subsidies. Danish rule has kept Greenland stable for decades. It has also protected Greenland from threats and invasion from any foreign power. There is much for the people of Greenland to consider.

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