I could buy the United States

The US is buying Greenland? A market for countries would solve many tricky problems peacefully

Buying and selling territories is out of fashion. So it's no wonder that Donald Trump's idea that the US should buy Greenland meets with rejection and amusement. Nevertheless, there are good reasons for a market for countries.

The American President Donald Trump does not leave Greenland indifferent either. A purchase of the autonomous area, which belongs to Denmark, could be "strategically" interesting for the United States, said Trump recently and added: "Basically, it would be a large real estate business." The statement caused a stir in Greenland and Denmark.

Denmark sold Caribbean islands

The idea of ‚Äč‚ÄčTrump may be dismissed as a pipe dream of the former real estate tycoon, buying and selling territories may once have been commonplace. Such transactions, however, went out of fashion in the post-colonial and post-feudal times. In an interview with this newspaper, Hereditary Prince Alois of the Principality of Liechtenstein, whose ancestors had bought the small land, said: "It is no longer the case that a population and territory can be bought."

The last time an area was sold directly was more than a hundred years ago. Incidentally, Denmark, the United States, and Greenland were also involved. The Scandinavian state sold the Danish West Indies colony in the Caribbean to Washington in 1917. The Danish population approved the change of hands in a referendum. With the transaction, Copenhagen was also able to expand its sovereignty over the whole of Greenland.

Access to the sea

If you take the thought further, a modern market for countries could certainly help to solve some tricky problems: Territorial conflicts could be resolved in a peaceful manner. Japan would end the conflict with Russia over the southern Kuril Islands, which has been simmering since the Second World War, with a purchase; Georgia could sell South Ossetia to Russia. Bolivia or Switzerland might be thinking of getting access to the sea.

Typically, small, rich, densely populated countries are likely to be interested in buying more land. All of this may not sound nice, but it would definitely be better than military threats and diplomatic idle times.