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OK, Own up. We all thought it was a joke.

However, apparently (and we should hardly be surprised about this) Trump was deadly serious when he said that he wanted to buy Greenland.

He is, after all, a real estate man, and Greenland is a very rich piece of real estate. Not only is it crammed with all manner of minerals that could make him a fortune, with the changes in climate, the country, or at least its southern areas, are becoming more and more hospitable and economically viable.

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In short, Greenland is not just the snowy wasteland you might imagine.

Shrub consisting of Gray-leaf willow (Salix glauca) and fireweed (Chamaenerion latifolium), The Qingua valley.

It seems unlikely to me that Trump had the remotest notion of the relationship between Greenland and Denmark. Let’s be honest, his knowledge of most things is, to put it mildly, superficial. He makes Sarah Palin look mildly bright!

And, as far as I can make out, the whole affair was carried out on Twitter, probably without any reference to anyone who might have had an inkling.

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Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, not a possession that the Danes can put on the market. It has devolution that would make Scots’ eyes water. The absurdity of the proposal that Denmark cold sell it, which I imagine most people thought was a joke, was treated with disdain in Denmark and in Greenland.

“Greenland is not for sale, but Greenland is open for trade and co-operation with other countries, including the USA,” said the country’s premier, Kim Kielsen.

Lars Lokke Rasmussen, the former Danish prime minister, tweeted: “It must be an April Fool’s Day joke.”

Soren Espersen, the foreign affairs spokesman for the populist Danish People’s Party, told national broadcaster DR: “If he is truly contemplating this, then this is final proof that he has gone mad.”

(Quotes from the BBC site)


However, it appears that his proposal was serious and, as a result of the Danish and Greenlandic governments’ reactions,  Trump clearly felt that he had been snubbed and cancelled a state visit to Denmark scheduled for early September.

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He had been invited to visit by Queen Margrethe II and was due to spend two days in the country on September 2 and 3.

Can you imagine the amount of time and money spent both by American officials and the Danish government and royal household arranging something as complex as a state visit? And particularly a state visit for the president of the United States.

And he cancelled all that because of a Twitter storm?

It’s high time we had an adult in the White House.



This is a fascinating piece about the Faroe Islands, one of Scotland’s nearest neighbours by Lesley Riddoch.

With 65,000 people, it is a fraction of the size of Scotland, but its devolution from Denmark’s government is far deeper than Scotland’s. It is not in the EU, for example (nor is its sister country, Greenland). (Remember when we were promised the most powerful devolved government in the world… We really are suckers!)

I seriously suggest that this is worth half an hour of anyone’s time, and a donation, no matter how little, to help make further films about our nearby Nordic neighbours.

Iceland is next…