In brief

Greenland to replace Danish by English as “first foreign language” in schools

New Greenlandic government says plans to draft Constitution will go on

One of the first acts of the new Greenlandic government, this week.
One of the first acts of the new Greenlandic government, this week. Author: Frederik Lund, Tusagassiivik / Selvstyrets Informationskontor
The new Greenlandic government is seeking to replace Danish by English as the “first foreign language” in the country's schools, as reflected in the 2018-2022 term agreement that its four parties have inked. The decision has prompted the refusal from Danish prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, who has recalled that knowledge of Danish is a necessary condition so that Greenlanders can continue to benefit from educational opportunities offered in Denmark proper.

The new cabinet is led by Kim Kielsen, with four parties sharing power: three of them are pro-independence —Siumut, Partii Naleraq and Nunatta Qitornai— while the fourth one —Atassut— holds more ambiguous stances. The biggest one, Siumut, sees secession as a mid-term future scenario. The government has been formed this week.

In their deal, the four parties also undertake the commitment to continue drafting a Greenlandic Constitution, which could be the penultimate step before full independence. The agreement says that Greenland should “be leading” its own foreign and security policies. A new boost to mineral extraction policies —a controversial issue in Greenland— is also expected.