Page 3 Profile: Aleqa Hammond, Greenland’s prospective new leader


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The Independent Online

Greenland’s first female prime minister?

It looks that way. Aleqa Hammond’s Siumut party won 14 seats in the 31-seat parliament, and she will now seek to form a coalition.

How did she win? And why does it matter?

Greenland has a population of just 57,000 people but it has become a geopolitical battleground of late. It is thought to have huge mineral resources, including uranium and the rare earth metals used to make smartphones. On one hand, it needs money from foreign investors and industry to help the country become independent from Denmark, which currently pays more than half its budget. Ms Hammond, 47, was firmly pro-industry, supporting the lift of a ban on mining radioactive materials, but insisted foreign miners must be subject to heavier taxation.

Can Hammond afford to refuse international business?

She certainly wants businesses to come to Greenland on her terms. Her predecessor was in favour of a $2.3bn mining project by British-based London Mining Plc. The proposals would have seen 2,000 Chinese workers flown in to mine iron ore. But Hammond will revise laws allowing use of cheap labour.

You can’t resist globalisation...

While politicians talk about immigrant labour and natural resources, some of the people they represent feel their voices aren’t being heard. One voter said he was concerned about fish quotas, poor market access for seal skins and restrictions on whaling harpoons. As time goes on, those concerns are ever more likely to go unresolved.