• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Should Denmark sell its smallest islands?

The Local · 6 Aug 2015, 15:17

Published: 06 Aug 2015 15:17 GMT+02:00

Rather than spending money on providing services to Denmark’s smallest islands, some of which have fewer than ten inhabitant, they should be sold to private actors, Jørgen Møller, a professor of local planning at Aalborg University, told Politiken on Thursday. 
 
Møller said it is an unreasonable economic drain on society to keep providing ferry transport, schools and other public services to Denmark’s smallest islands. 
 
“We need to have an open debate on what we want to use these islands for, especially those which have just 15, 20 or residents. Because it is simply too expensive for the municipalities and our society to keep them alive,” Møller told Politiken. 
 
Denmark consists of over 1,400 islands larger than 100 sqm, 78 of which are inhabited. Of those, 36 had fewer than 100 residents as of 2013 and 18 had fewer than ten. 
 
Møller argues that Denmark has been foolishly wasting money trying to keep these small islands connected to larger society through ferry connections and public services. Rather than propping them up with public money, he argues that they should be turned over to public hands. 
 
“I think there is more common sense, better economics and more jobs in letting professional investors purchase and operate the islands as, for example, holiday areas or nature parks,” he said. 
 
“It could be some of those rich Russians who buy English football clubs, it could be Germans who appreciate the Danish nature or it could be Danish capital that could be set unleashed in this way,” Møller said. 
 
While there are no official statistics on how many of Denmark’s islands are already privately-owned, two wealthy businessman who own Danish islands said that there are other buyers out there. 
 
“If it was made possible to buy more Danish islands, I’m sure that you would find buyers in the market,” Kristian Kryger Sørensen, who owns the island of Tærø, told Politiken. 
Story continues below…
 
The Association of Danish Small Islands (Sammenslutningen af Danske Småøer), an association for the residents of 27 small islands that vary in population from ten to over 900, said it was “a crazy idea” to let wealthy individuals buy small chunks of Denmark. 
 
“In Denmark, we don’t go around pointing at one another and saying: ‘You cost too much, we should sell you to someone.’ Would we do the same with a street in Copenhagen, Korsør or Ringkøbing? It’s a real narrow-minded way of viewing things,” association member Dorthe Winther told broadcaster DR. 
 
The association’s 27 islands have a combined population of just over 5,500 people according to Statistics Denmark. 

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Danish politicians cleared on charge of housing migrants
Maria Sloth (right) and Anne Hegelund hug a supporter before their court appearance earlier this month. Photo: Axel Schutt/Scanpix

The women had been charged with violating immigration laws by giving two African men a place to stay for the night.

Top Danish tax official fired after scandals cost billions
Jesper Rønow Simonsen was at the helm as Skat was defrauded for billions and forced to scrap its debt collection system. Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Scanpix

The director general of Skat has been removed from his job with immediate effect as the agency tries to clean up at least a 12 billion kroner mess.

Danish city’s proposed burqa ban fails
The politician who proposed the ban said he had heard from many concerned residents. Photo: Iris/Scanpix

A proposal to bar public workers from wearing burqas and niqabs was dropped after a deadlocked vote.

Denmark offers help to earthquake-hit Italy
A firefighter works in the night at a collapsed house following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy. Photo: STEFANO RELLANDINI/Scanpix

The Danish government is willing to assist Italy in the rescue and reconstruction process as the country attempts to recover from Wednesday's deadly earthquake.

21-year-old man arrested for Copenhagen car fires
At least 22 cars and three mopeds were burnt. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Scanpix

Amager resident arrested after more than 20 cars were torched over the weekend.

Denmark aims for ‘first smoke-free generation'
Photo: Kyrre Lien/Scanpix

The Danish government on Wednesday released the details of what it called a “historic" plan to combat cancer.

Denmark takes small step towards medicinal cannabis
A cannabis plant. Photo: Coleen Whitfield/Flickr

A trial programme gets the okay in southern Denmark.

Danish police chase clues in motorway ‘stone murder’ case
Police technicians look for clues on the overpass. Photo: Kim Rune/Scanpix

Local residents and businesses have offered to put up rewards for information.

Danish MPs to visit Australia's Nauru migrant camp
Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen said she'd use the trip as a fact-finding mission on Australia's "grotesque" system. Photo: MARIE HALD/Scanpix

One lawmaker vows to "ask some of the questions that the Australian government is preventing journalists from asking."

Danish MP: EU a bigger threat than Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Crimean officials last week in a hand-out photo from the Kremlin. Photo: Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Nikolsk/Scanpix

Danish People’s Party MP Marie Krarup is under fire for saying that the EU is “without a doubt” a bigger threat to Denmark than Russia.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Per capita, Denmark is Europe’s Olympic champ
Sport
Denmark is Europe’s Olympic (per capita) champion
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
National
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
National
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Business & Money
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Society
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Sport
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
National
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Technology
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
National
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Culture
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
National
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Danes with foreign spouses to be hit by new restriction
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
International
After Brexit, Danish PM resists calls for similar EU referendum
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
Why Denmark won't try to follow the UK out of the EU
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
National
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
International
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
Society
Sex campaigns lead to Danish baby boom
National
Don't worry Denmark, the world still loves you
Culture
Danish diversity ad a massive social media hit – have you seen it?
2,221
jobs available