Greenland - government collapse
Pseudoscience causes government collapse!
Story filed: 11:57 Wednesday 15th January 2003 -

Greenland's government falls over use of healer to cleanse offices
The government of Greenland has collapsed amid political bickering sparked by the use of an Inuit healer to cleanse government offices.

Greenland premier Hans Enoksen, leader of the social democratic Siumut party, has dumped his left-wing coalition partner, the Inuit Ataqatigitt party.

The coalition's collapse was linked to last month's use of a healer by the territory's top civil servant, Jens Lyberth to chase away evil spirits from government offices.

Mr Lyberth - Mr Enoksen's interpreter and longtime friend - used the healer to "drive away the negative energy" from government headquarters in the capital Nuuk.

The episode sparked a dispute between Mr Enoksen and deputy premier Josef Motzfeldt, who accused him of cronyism over Mr Lyberth's appointment.

Most of the population of the semiautonomous Danish territory belong to Denmark's Lutheran church, but some maintain ancient Inuit traditions, like folk-oriented drum dances.

Mr Enoksen, who won a December 3 election, is to begin talks with the opposition liberal Atassut to form a new coalition.

Greenland has had a local parliament and government since 1979 that runs most of its affairs. However, Denmark handles its foreign and defence policies, as well as law and currency issues.