Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Faroe Islands

Eighteen tiny islands in the Atlantic Ocean, due north of the United Kingdom, which is to say due north of Scotland, and even more pertinently due north-north-west of the Orkney Islands, and - now we’re getting even closer - due north-west, and only two hundred miles, from the Shetlands, so is it not perfectly obvious that the Faroes cannot be an autonomous region of Denmark, but must constitute an outpost of the United Kingdom, or part of the archipelago of an independent Scotland? Why has Britain not gone to war with Denmark to assert its natural right to the islands? Why are the Brits not boycotting Danish bacon in protest at their unjustified and imperialist presence on what is self-evidently British sovereign territory? And just how much oil and gas is there in the region?

The fifty thousand residents of the Faroes do not agree, but they do not wish to be part of Denmark either. They yearn for independence, that condition of grown-upness in which people take responsibility for their own lives and do not have to hand over the oil and gas wealth to someone else. They held a referendum on full independence as long ago as 1946, and planned another in 2001. The Danish government threatened to stop all aid to the islands if an open and fair democratic election ended with a Yes vote. No blackmail or bullying, just a statement of policy. At the same time, while joining the EU, Denmark itself signed a treaty by which the Faroe Islands are excluded from EU membership, and any Danes who live there are therefore denied EU citizenship, even though non-Danes living there are full citizens. No pressure, no squeezing of testicles, no water-boarding, just the current status of Danish government policy. So the Loegting, the islands’ Parliament, spends its time dealing with the big economic issues like the price of fish bait, and the big moral issues such as whether to use fish or soy as fish bait in the hunt for pilot whales, the main source of meat in the winter, the main source of complaint against the Faroe Islands.


Marks For: 2

Marks Against: 5

Copyright © 2015 David Prashker
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The Argaman Press

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