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Friday, August 01, 2008

FAROE FRIDAY: TUNNEL TO NOWHERE

Bridges and tunnels can be tricky things in politics. Take, for instance, the famed "bridge to nowhere" in Alaska. Senator Ted Stevens was a big proponent of this bridge, which would link Ketchikan (population 8,900) with Gravina Island (population 50). Congress had earmarked more than 300 million dollars for the project before it got derailed. Stevens was indicted on corruption charges this week, so the bridge project is not likely to be revived.

"A fine story," you say, "but what does this have to do with the Faroe Islands?" Now just calm down and I'll tell you.

A member of the Faroese parliament just left the ruling coalition this week because of a tunnel project. This tunnel would link the island of Sandoy (population 1,400) with Streymoy (where a lot of people live). Sandoy is known for having one of the only sandy beaches on the Faroes.

The tunnel had a cost of around 200 million dollars (US) and the government decided to abandon the project in favor of other priorities.

In protest, the MP from Sandoy left the ruling coalition, which means the ruling coalition no longer has a majority. And if you know anything about parliamentary politics (and I'm guessing you do) then you know that minority governments rarely last long. If they need another member to gain a majority, perhaps they'd like to draft Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. He may have a lot of free time pretty soon.

This week's Faroe photo comes from the village of Skarvanes (population 4). It's located on the island of Sandoy... which still must be reached by ferry for the foreseeable future. It's still a beautiful little place.

The photo is from a collection by Erik Christensen, he's a Danish man living in the Faroes and he's got an extensive and beautiful collection of photos that he kindly allows people to post to their own site, provided they give him a tip of the hat. Do check out his other photos here. If you're a nut for the Faroe Islands (and I'm pretty sure you are) then these pictures are like taking a mini-vacation to the place. More of his photos are likely to show up in this space in the coming weeks. Thanks, Erik!

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1 Comments:

At 4:23 am, Blogger Arne said...

I know Erik Christensen well. I visited Faroe in May and also met him there. :-)

Regarding the Sandoy Tunnel, it is a pity. It would have been the longest subsea road tunnel of the world. However, I hope, they will build it later.

You know, they have to build another subsea tunnel, the Skalafjord Tunnel, which is more urgent, because it will improve traffic for much more people.

When I was in Faroe recently, I was not only impressed by the great subsea tunnels Vagar Tunnel (Vágatunnilin) and Northern Isles Tunnel (Norðoyatunnilin), and by the new ferry "Smyril" which sails to Suðuroy. And I really understand, that the logical next step is the connection with a tunnel from the capital Torshavn (18,000 inhabitants) to the island of Eysturoy with its 10,000 inhabitants and further main road to the Northern Isles. This will shorten the transport considerably and would benefit the entire nation.

I hope, this will also raise funds to the tremendous Sandoy tunnel.

Greetings from Germany
Arne List

 

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