Faroe Islands. The January election did not result in any
major changes in the Lagting. But the left-leaning
opposition party Republicans came forward with a mandate and
demanded a seat in the self-government. Negotiations led to
the bourgeois Union Party and the People's Party in
opposition, while the Social Democrats instead formed a new
coalition with the Republicans and the Center Party. Social
Democrats leader Joannes Eidesgaard continued as head of
government. The majority of the new coalition was scarce, 17
out of 33 seats.
The government program included a plan for continued
takeover of political responsibility from Denmark, an annual
reduction of Denmark's financial contribution and a 2010
referendum on a constitution for an independent Faroe
During the summer, the Faroe Islands' unemployment was
reported to be 1.1 percent, a historic bottom record.
The self-government government lost its majority in July
when the coalition could not agree on a timetable for the
Faroe Islands' largest tunnel construction to date. A Social
Democratic Lagtings member who fought for the tunnel to his
home island Sandoy withdrew his support for the coalition.
After the International Council for the Exploration of
the Sea (ICES) warned of fishing, the government proposed
halving the number of fishing days for certain vessels. The
coalition disagreed and a government crisis was imminent.
After vigorous protests from the fishermen of the island,
the coalition was satisfied with a 20 percent reduction.
In September, however, the coalition broke out after a
bitter dispute between lawmaker Joannes Eidesgaard and
Republican leader Høgni Hoydal over the use of the premises
in the government office. A new self-government government
was formed by Liberal Union Party leader Kaj Leo Johannsen
with ministers from his own party and from the Social
Democrats and the Conservative People's Party.
When Iceland got into a severe financial crisis during
the autumn, the Faroe Islands offered a loan of DKK 300
million. The self-government government justified the
decision with the special ties between the Faroe Islands and