Faroe Islands. Power struggle in one of the bourgeois government parties in the Faroe Islands propelled new elections to the Lagting in April. The election was a success for the parties that demanded greater independence in relation to Denmark. The neoliberal independence party Fólkaflokkurin became the largest in the Lagtinget, while the Sambandspartiet, Sambandsflokkurrin, which wants to have close ties to Denmark, declined. The government coalition party easily resigned after the election.
People’s Party leader Anfinn Kallsberg became a new member of the national government, ie. “Prime minister” in the self-government. He formed a coalition with the People’s Party, the Liberation Party, the Republican Party, and the Social Liberal Party. The new government presented a bill on negotiations with Denmark for full sovereignty for the Faroe Islands. The opposition opposed the proposal, but in October it was voted on by 18 of the legislature’s 32 members. According to the plans, in the spring of 1999, the government will begin negotiations with Denmark that the Faroe Islands will become a sovereign nation with its own constitution. A referendum on the proposal for a new constitution is expected by 2000.
After a long conflict, Denmark and the Faroe Islands agreed in June to compensate the Faroe Islands for the billion losses suffered by the kingdom when it was forced to take over the Danish-owned bank Førøya Banki five years earlier. The case had created great dissatisfaction in the Faroe Islands and strengthened public opinion for increased self-government. In the same vein, the revelation at the end of the year seemed to indicate that during the Cold War, Denmark allowed the United States to have secret military communications facilities in the Faroe Islands. This contradicted the Danish government’s own declaration that it would not allow foreign troops on Danish territory during peacetime.