On November 25, 2008, a referendum was held on a new Self-Government Agreement, which will gradually transfer more resort areas to Greenland to ultimately lead to independence. The agreement was adopted with 75% of the Greenlandic vote, and the immediate consequence was that Greenland approached the UN to be recognized as a people. The only party that had recommended a no was the bourgeois Democrats. The vote revealed that the support for the proposal was unevenly distributed. In areas with greater affiliation with Denmark, support was smaller (for example, 63% in Nuuk and less than 50% in Thule), while in the areas that suffered the most during the Danish colonization. For example. 100% in Qaanaaq, to which the Thule prisoners were transferred in the 1950’s.
In Denmark, the only colonialist party that openly declared itself against the autonomy agreement was the Danish People’s Party.
The June 2009 general election was a landslide victory for IA, which doubled its mandate from 7 to 14, reaching 43.7% of the vote. The party thus became the country’s largest. Subsequently, the party’s chairman, Kuupik Kleist, could form a government. Siumut lost the election because of its inability to govern and a number of government housing scandals its senior members had been afforded cheaply. Following the defeat, the party’s chairman, Hans Enoksen, resigned and was replaced by Aleqa Hammond, who became the party’s first female leader.
The gigantic spill from a deep-water oil well in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 led to discussion in Greenland about whether the country should continue to focus on exploring its deep-water oil resources. A possible oil spill in the Arctic region has far more catastrophic consequences for the ecosystem than in warmer regions, because the ecosystem has a much harder time recovering. However, the Greenland government maintained its plans for exploration and extraction.
Greenland flag source: Countryaah.com
The March 2013 county election was a defeat for the IA government, declining from 43.7 to 34.4% of the vote. Siumut, on the other hand, rose from 26.5 to 42.8% and thus was able to form a new government. In the election, the new Partii Inuit also came to the County Council with 6.4% of the vote. The party were nationalist outbreakers from the IA who wanted to make borderland the only permitted language in the county council. The most important issue during the election campaign, however, was the so-called Large Scale Law, which was to open up for greater extraction of raw materials in Greenland. The law paved the way for greater Greenlandic economic independence, but thereby also on a collision course with the Danish colonial power. In fact, the law brought many Danish politicians into the red field, reflecting that the colonial power was not yet ready to give Greenland independence. Opinions on this were also shared in Greenland,Aleqa Hammond was able to take over the post of governor in April 2013. She entered into a coalition with the civilian Atassut and Partii Inuit.
Despite fierce Danish announcements, however, there was not much disagreement among experts that within 10-15 years Greenland will become independent and will orient itself more towards Canada and China than Europe. The colonial period under Denmark has generally been a black chapter in Greenland’s history.
Throughout most of 2013 and 14, the Siumut government was hit by a scandal that would not go away. In 2013, Aleqa Hammond had spent $ 18,000 of the state’s money on travel for herself and her family. The National Audit Office repeatedly called on her to repay the money, but it did not happen until September 2014, but then it was too late. Two of the party’s own ministers, Minister of Underground and Mining Affairs Jens-Erik Kirkegaard and Minister of Culture Nick Nielsen both withdrew from their posts, as did Atassut’s Minister of Infrastructure Steen Lynge. They all urged her to resign, but only after just surviving a distrust vote did she resign at the end of September 2014 while investigating the fraud case. The post of Prime Minister was now taken over by her party memberKim Kielsen. He was printing new elections held in late November. The election cost Siumut 3 seats, so it had to settle for 11. IA and Siumut were now equal. New party in the Government was Partii Naleraq, who came in with 3 seats. It was formed by Hans Enoksen when he broke out of Siumut in January 2014. The Democrats went ahead 2 terms, and Inuit, in turn, lost his 2 and quit. Siumut, Atassut and the Democrats then formed a new government with Kielsen as chairman of the government.
Nuuk hosted the Arctic Winter Games in March 2016.