A large majority of the parliament of Greenland, which is part of Denmark, wants its own constitution and will officially ask the self-governing government to start writing it on 6 October.

The Danish National Radio (DR) reported this on Monday. Both supporters and opponents see the upcoming parliamentary elections as a step towards complete independence.

Most islanders regard their own constitution as a logical consequence of the 2009 self-government treaty signed by the Danish Queen Margrethe. It states that the Greenlanders are their own people, that the income from oil, gas and minerals in the area accrues to the people of Greenland and that the Greenlanders themselves determine whether they will remain part of the Danish kingdom in the future.

Because there has been less ice and snow on Greenland in recent years, more and more terrain is becoming accessible for the extraction of minerals and fossil energy sources such as oil. For years most of the profits of the soil riches went to Denmark, but many Greenlanders want full control themselves.

Greenland borders Canada, has approximately 56,500 inhabitants and is about 50 times bigger than Denmark. | © 2011 Marcel Burger for ANP News Agency (original published in Dutch on 26 September 2011)