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GREENLAND-DENMARK In brief

Greenland is the world’s largest island and an autonomous Danish dependent territory with limited self-government and its own parliament.

Denmark contributes two thirds of Greenland’s budget revenue, the rest coming mainly from fishing. Potential oil, gas and rare earth mineral reserves have attracted prospecting firms.

A former policeman and environment minister, Kim Kielsen took office as prime minister in December 2014 after a coalition deal struck in the wake of snap elections.

Greenland enjoys perpetual daylight for two months each year but over 80% of the island is covered by an ice cap 4km thick in places. Global warming is feared to be causing the ice cover to melt increasingly fast but has also increased access to Greenland’s mineral resources.

The USA has long seen Greenland as strategically important and established a radar base at Thule at the start of the Cold War.

The island’s population is only 57,000, and Greenlanders have long struggled with social problems – not least among them the impact of alcoholism and HIV/AIDS.
— BBC news