Yearbook 2003

Greenland. At the end of 2002, the United States requested Denmark to use the Thule base on Greenland in its planned new robot defense. The Greenlandic self-government, the government, demanded to participate in future negotiations with the US on Thule’s future.

In May, therefore, Denmark and Greenland signed a principle agreement on Greenlandic co-influence in all foreign and security policy issues affecting the kingdom. Negotiations with the US on Thule are expected in 2004.

Domestic politics was a dramatic year. In January, the national government, which was in place for just a few weeks, split. The Left Party Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) accused the head of government Hans Enoksen for brother-in-law since employing party friends in the government office.

The Enox formed a new national government with its social-democratic party Siumut and the liberal Atassut. But the collaboration became unstable and broke in September. The triggering factor was a calculation error which forced the government to pay 97 million Danish kroner too much in a salary settlement with the public employees. The finance minister from Atassut refused to resign and Enoksen chose to dissolve the coalition and form a new national government with the IA.

The new coalition decided to work for future Greenlandic independence and set up a special ministerial post for this. A commission that investigated the issue of independence presented a report during the year, stressing that Greenland must make himself financially independent. Denmark’s annual financial contribution amounts to DKK 3.6 billion.

In July, after seven years of drilling, scientists managed to reach the bottom of the 3-km-thick ice layer at central Greenland. It is hoped that the ice core will provide valuable information about the history of climate change.

Environmental reports during the year showed that the Greenlanders’ diet with, among other things, seals and whales contain high levels of toxic substances, which reach Greenland via the sea and the air. It was also clear that the American base in Thule contaminated nature with PCBs, copper, lead and mercury. Marriages have settled in fish and mussels.

At the end of the year, Denmark’s highest court rejected a group of Greenlanders’ request to return to the lands at Thulebase Greenland which were forcibly removed from 1953.

Economy

Inflation rate 0.30%
Unemployment rate 9.1%
Gross domestic product (GDP) $ 2,413,000,000
GDP growth rate 7.70%
GDP per capita $ 41,800
GDP by sector
Agriculture 15.90%
Industry 10.10%
Service 73.90%
State budget
Revenue 1.36 billion
Expenditure 1.27 billion; including capital expenditures of 83 million
Proportion of the population below the national poverty line 9.2%
National debt 13.00% of GDP