What is all of this hoopla about America wanting to buy Greenland?

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In one of the most astonishing deals ever to be discussed, President Donald Trump said last week that he was considering buying Greenland! That’s right – the whole country along with all its citizens! 

Greenland is an autonomous area and governs itself while its sovereign owner, Denmark, takes care of only defence and foreign policy. Trump said that it would be “a large real estate deal” and that “a lot of things can be done.” 

Trump’s proposal was greeted equally with horror and hilarity by leaders across the world. Mette Frederiksen, the Danish Prime Minister, was quoted in a newspaper saying, “Greenland belongs to Greenland. I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously.” The Greenland government took a diplomatic but sharp line, maintaining that while they had a good relationship with the US, “Greenland is obviously not for sale.” Others were less kind. Søren Espersen, a member of the Danish People’s Party, said that if this idea was accurate, “it is definitive proof that [Trump] has gone crazy.” Even the US ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford, tweeted,  “Oh dear lord. As someone who loves Greenland….and loves the people, this is a complete and total catastrophe.” 

Why does Trump want Greenland anyway? There are a few reasons for this. America already has over 600 forces in Greenland at the Thule Air Base, which is part of a radar network for missile warnings. This deal could be an attempt to strengthen their military in the area. Greenland is also rich in various natural resources. Finally, the area is also opening up to new shipping routes, and so is very strategically located. 

What do the Greenlanders think? Greenlanders themselves have been utterly horrified by the idea,  comparing it to an age-old mindset, one of slavery and colonial conquest. Definitely not a 21st-century way of thinking! 

President Trump was supposed to visit Denmark this September but has called it off, apparently over the no-deal on Greenland.


Written by: Pereena Lamba. Pereena is a freelance writer, editor and creative consultant. She is also co-author of Totally Mumbai.

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