Greenland forms new government

Greenland forms new government
Kim Kielsen (second left) and Greenland party leaders on Tuesday. Photo: Christian Klindt Sølbeck/Ritzau Scanpix
Greenland reached a coalition accord to form a new government on Tuesday, ending three weeks of political crisis in the autonomous Danish Arctic territory.

In early September, the left-wing pro-independence Naleraq quit the coalition led by the social democrat Siumut party, leaving the government without a majority in the local parliament.

The coalition collapsed over differences about the funding of a planned upgrade of Greenland's airports, with Naleraq opposed to Copenhagen's direct financial participation in the project.

After weeks of negotiations, Prime Minister Kim Kielsen on Tuesday declared that the new “coalition accord is tighter than the last time”.

He added that it addresses “the essential matters… like fishing and the mining of raw materials”.

The new government includes the liberal-conservatives and the separatist party, and will also count on the support of the democrat party in parliament.

In April legislative elections, Siumut narrowly beat the green-leftist Inuit Ataqatigiit.

But the two were unable to form a coalition over differences on fishing — which accounts for 90 percent of Greenland's exports.

Plagued by financial and social woes, Greenland with about 56,000 people receives an annual grant of around 3.6 billion Danish kroner (453 million euros) from Copenhagen.

In the airport dispute, Denmark's aim, in wanting to partly fund the infrastructure projects, was to prevent Greenland's government from having to turn to China's state-owned China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) as a possible partner and investor, said Mikaa Mered, professor for polar economics and geopolitics at the ILERI institute in Paris.

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