What's the real deal with Trump's Greenland proposal?

US President Trump has announced that the US is interested in purchasing Greenland. The partially sovereign Arctic territory is still a constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark and is largely subsidised by it. Commenting on the announcement Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said: "I hope very much that this is not meant seriously." Commentators try to work out what Trump has in mind.

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Die Welt (DE) /

Greenlanders won't sell out

Die Welt doesn't believe anything will come of the offer:

“Trump is underestimating the 56,000 Greenlanders if he thinks he can turn them into Americans with a simple bank transfer. For decades they have been fighting for independence from Denmark and have succeeded in wresting ever more autonomy from Copenhagen. They themselves can take advantage of the development prospects lying dormant in the form of raw materials and tourism. And until now there's been no sign of a counter-offer, for example swapping Florida for Greenland. Instead the Greenland government has answered using Trump's favourite medium, Twitter: 'We're open for business, not for sale.' And that's no doubt how things will remain.”

Népszava (HU) /

Trump should go back to real estate

Donald Trump is and remains a real estate agent, comments Gábor Horváth, editor-in-chief of Népszava:

“Trump's offer not only demonstrates his complete ignorance of political and historical contexts. It also proves that even though he's now president he remains a real estate agent at heart. It's no wonder his sons never stop criss-crossing the world in search of business prospects: they have to hustle to make as much as they can while their daddy's still president because after that it'll be more difficult. The world would be a better place if Donald Trump said goodbye to politics and devoted his time to family projects. The 56,000 Greenlanders wouldn't be the only ones to heave a big sigh of relief.”

MBK media (RU) /

Mass manipulation at the highest level

The website MBK media, which belongs to the exiled former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, sees Trump's statements as a PR gag:

“Trump has launched the 2020 election campaign and responded to all his critics and doubters in an original way. Let them bleat about the unfair distribution of income or minority rights, make fun of his intellectual abilities and spread fear with their war and disaster scenarios - he doesn't talk about all that. There is just one question on the agenda now: Will we get Greenland or not? How can someone who deprives the average American of this big dream become a US president! Greenland's ice is turning into the tears of joy of the Republican voters. Trump's team has taken the political technology acrobatics and manipulation of the mass consciousness to a whole new level in the Western world.”

Polityka (PL) /

Not a stupid idea at all

In Polityka's opinion Trump's idea makes sense:

“Greenland still possesses vast natural resources: iron, zinc, gold, diamond, uranium and oil reserves. The layer of ice makes mining them difficult but it is melting as a result of global warming so soon it will become easier to do so. This is most likely what encouraged Trump to make the old proposal of buying Greenland from Denmark. This doesn't mean that geopolitical considerations played no role. Russia is increasingly penetrating the Arctic region and gaining full control of Greenland would allow the United States to send more troops there. That could prevent Russia and China from seizing control of the northern shipping routes.”

Ekho Moskvy (RU) /

Far more than just a joke

East Asia expert Vasily Golovin believes that with his initiative Trump is hoping to forestall China, which is trying to woo Greenland with cheap investments. In a Facebook post published by Echo of Moscow he writes:

“China has gradually increased its influence in a number of strategically important countries such as Myanmar and Sri Lanka through infrastructure projects. And in the same way it is gaining a foothold in the Mediterranean region, in Greece and even in Italy. Cautiously formulated, Greenland is of no lesser strategic significance: it shares borders with the US and Canada, has vast reserves of useful raw materials and offers access to the Arctic transport routes. In addition Denmark's financial resource clearly aren't sufficient for it to exploit these very attractive resources. Trump's idea of buying Greenland is therefore more than just a joke.”

Kathimerini (GR) /

A new Trump Tower perhaps

Kathimerini doubts whether Trump's calculations would pay off:

“There's no telling for sure whether the fantastic profits he anticipates from hydrocarbons, rare metals, uranium and other riches hidden under the mass of ice would ever materialise. Without them he would have to pay a fortune to support Greenland's deficit budget (more than 500 million dollars per year). The best he could hope for is a Trump Tower in the capital Nuuk. But it remains to be seen how he would get foreign delegations to undertake the journey there. Nevertheless there is a positive side to the story: next month Trump will make his first official visit to Copenhagen. This particular topic is perfect for breaking the ice.”