Donald Trump’s interest in the Danish territory emerged last week, as he reportedly discussed it in a private meeting with advisors, and since then he has confirmed that he is interested in buying the world’s largest island.
When asked about the ongoing reports on the purchasing of Greenland from Denmark, the United States president simply said that he was “looking at it” because “strategically for the US it would be nice”.
Plenty of Danish politicians have not taken the matter seriously, with former prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen claiming that it is probably an “April Fool’s Day joke”.
Despite the comments made by Danish politicians, Trump has stood firm and told reporters in New Jersey that “It is something we talked about. Denmark essentially owns it, we are very good allies with Denmark, we protect Denmark like we protect large portions of the world.”
Whilst he expressed his interest in purchasing the 220 square kilometre island, he also added that “it is not number one on the burner at the minute”.
Mr Trump also added that “A lot of things could be done, essentially it is a large real estate deal. It’s hurting Denmark very badly because they are losing almost $700 million a year carrying it.”
On the other hand, the Danish prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, claimed that it is “an absurd discussion” and that “Greenland is not Danish. Greenland is Greenlandic.”
Whilst she hopes that this is not a serious discussion, the United States has had an air base in Greenland for several years, with it being a major part of its global network of missile radars and space surveillance.
Greenland’s foreign ministry, Ane Lone Bagger, took to Twitter to share her thoughts on the matter, saying that “#Greenland is rich in valuable resources such as minerals, the purest water and ice, fish stocks, seafood, renewable energy and is a new frontier for adventure tourism. We’re open for business, not for sale.”
Donald Trump is set to visit Denmark in September as part of a trip to Europe, yet any attempt at talking about the purchase of Greenland will be immediately shot down by Danish officials.
Prior to Trump’s confirmation of his interest, Soren Espersen, who is a foreign affairs spokesperson for the Danish People’s Party, said that “The thought of Denmark selling 50,000 citizens to the United States is completely ridiculous.”
Martin Lidegaard, who is a member of parliament for the Danish Social Liberal Party and is also a former foreign minister, said that “We are talking about real people and you can’t just sell Greenland like an old colonial power.”
This is not the first time that a United States president has expressed interest in purchasing the island, with Harry Truman offering to buy the island in 1946 for €90.05 million ($100 million).