The legislative and municipal elections which were held on Tuesday April 6 in Greenland were largely won, as expected, by Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA, “community of the people”), a leftist party which had campaigned against the mine project in particular. of rare earths and uranium from Kuannersuit, South Greenland. In what has been dubbed the “uranium election,” IA won 36.6% of the vote, ahead of Siumut (29.4%), the Social Democratic Party, which held power almost without discontinue since the first elections in 1979.
The president of IA and likely future Prime Minister of Greenland, Mute B. Egede, 34, is himself from Narsaq, a small town of 1,300 inhabitants only a few kilometers as the crow flies from the mountain of Kuannersuit. Mute B. Egede is a supporter of the Urani Naamik (“no to uranium”) association, whose initiator, Mariane Paviasen, was also elected Member of the IA list. Thanks to its activism and its mobilizations, it had ended, at the beginning of the year, by rallying elected representatives of the Prime Minister’s party, precipitating the fall of the coalition government.
IA has now started discussions with the various parties to form a majority coalition, as is the tradition in Greenland. “No one is excluding anyone, except AI won’t compromise with uranium, says Jensine Berthelsen, of the Greenlandic newspaper Sermitsiaq. If the other parties want to work together, they have to prepare for the Kuannersuit mine project to be scrapped. “
“A brake on easy money”
Some Greenlandic parties support the Kuannersuit mine project because they believe it could support the country, which today depends almost entirely on exports from the fishing industry and on the annual grant from Denmark. The Australian company Greenland Minerals, whose main shareholder is a Chinese state-owned company, obtained a license in 2007 to explore the possibility of extracting rare earths. The company claims to be able to create 300 local jobs and donate 200 million euros per year to Greenland, almost half of what Denmark pays each year to its autonomous territory.
For Greenland Minerals, the election result is very bad news. The announcement of the results had a drastic effect on its stock, which fell 44.38% on the Perth Stock Exchange. Until the day of the vote, the company bought advertising inserts in the Greenlandic media together with a photo showing a large green meadow where a few black cows graze at the foot of the mountain of Kuannersuit, with this slogan: “Greenland will become the world’s largest supplier of wind turbines and electric cars. “
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