Voters in one of the world’s most northerly democracies have been taking taking a big decision today, as Greenland weighs up the pros and cons of independence. Nearly 40,000 voters must decide whether to demand self-governance from Denmark, in the face of a struggling economy and rising social problems.
The island has had home rule for 30 years, but new laws would give it control of its mineral and oil reserves, and in time, justice and legal affairs. The ‘Yes’ camp hopes to bring full independence a step closer, although Greenland will remain part of the Kingdom of Denmark for the time being. Polls show a majority in favour of more autonomy, but people are wary. Greenland is dependent on annual subsidies from Denmark just to survive.