2018 will be a decisive year for the Faroe Islands under Danish sovereignty. Next 25 April, the Faroese will vote a new Constitution. If it is approved, the archipelago will gain national recognition, as well as self-determination right. From that moment on, the door is ajar for a binding referendum to achieve independence.
These islands ruled by Denmark and nestling between Scotland and Iceland enjoy a wide autonomy since 1948. Pro-independence forces hold today a majority in that parliament (a 52% wedge). Except for foreign office and defence, they enjoy a very wide sovereignty in the rest of domains.
It is a rich country, with fishing as their main industry. Its population hardly reaches 50,000 and, as its inhabitants often like to joke, there are more sheep in the island than people. However, the Faroese hang onto a strong collective identity, and the vast majority of its population speaks the native language, Faroese.
The Faroe Islands hold a special status as compared to Denmark, and are not members of the EU. It should be noted that they have their own national team, competing in international tournaments. We cannot help but feel envious!
Last years, the Danish premiers have often stated that the future of the Faroe Islands lies in the hands of the Faroese. At the same time, the Danish Parliament voted in support of a similar resolution. Our group NAZIOGINTZA hails the paradigmatic democratic attitude of the Danish politicians in favour of self-determination. This attitude lies at the antipodes of the intolerant stance we the Basques are suffering from France and Spain.
It should be noted that the pro-independence parties from the Faroe Islands are among others the driving force behind the visit recently paid by Catalan president Puigdemont to Denmark.
On balance, 2018 will be a decisive year for that archipelago located in the North Atlantic, setting a milestone in their history. We will follow close-up the news coming from the islands in upcoming months.