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The population of the Faroe Islands is largely descended from Viking settlers who arrived in the 9th century. The islands have been connected politically to Denmark since the 14th century. A high degree of self government was granted the Faroese in 1948, who have autonomy over most internal affairs while Denmark is responsible for justice, defense, and foreign affairs. The Faroe Islands are not part of the European Union.


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Country name
Conventional long form None
Conventional short form Faroe Islands
Local long form None
Local short form Foroyar

Dependency status
Part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark since 1948

Government type

Name Torshavn
Geographic coordinates 62 00 N, 6 46 W
Time difference
UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time
+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions
None (part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 34 municipalities

None (part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)

National holiday
Olaifest (Olavsoka), 29 July

5 June 1953 (Danish Constitution)

Legal system
The laws of Denmark, where applicable, apply

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
Queen MARGRETHE II of Denmark (since 14 January 1972), represented by High Commissioner Dan Michael KNUDSEN, chief administrative officer (since 2008)
Head of government
Prime Minister Kaj Leo JOHANNESSEN (since 26 September 2008)
Landsstyri appointed by the prime minister
The monarchy is hereditary; high commissioner appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by the Faroese Parliament; election last held on 14 November 2011 (next to be held no later than November 2015)
Election results
Kaj Leo JOHANNESSEN re-elected prime minister in 2011

Legislative branch
Unicameral Faroese Parliament or Logting (33 seats; members elected by popular vote on a proportional basis from the seven constituencies to serve four-year terms)
Last held on 29 October 2011 (next to be held no later than October 2015)
Election results
Percent of vote by party - Union Party 24.7%, People's Party 22.5%, Republican Party 18.3%, Social Democratic Party 17.7%, Progressive Party 6.3%, Center Party 6.2%, Independence Party 4.2%, other 0.1%; seats by party - Union Party 8, People's Party 8, Republican Party 6, Social Democratic Party 6, Progressive Party 2, Center Party 2, Independence Party 1
Election of two seats to the Danish Parliament was last held on 15 September 2011 (next to be held no later than September 2015); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Social Democratic Party 1, Union Party 1

Judicial branch
The Faroese Court or Raett (Rett (Danish)) decides both civil and criminal cases; the Court is part of the Danish legal system

Political parties and leaders
Center Party (Midflokkurin) [Jenis av RANA]; Independence Party (Sjalvstyrisflokkurin) [Kari P. HOJGAARD]; People's Party (Folkaflokkurin) [Jorgen NICLASEN]; Republican Party (Tjodveldisflokkurin) [Hogni HOYDAL]; Social Democratic Party (Javnadarflokkurin) [Aksel JOHANNESEN]; Union Party (Sambandsflokkurin) [Kaj Leo JOHANNESEN]

Political pressure groups and leaders

International organization participation
Arctic Council, IMO (associate), NC, NIB, UNESCO (associate), UPU

Diplomatic representation in the us
None (self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)

Diplomatic representation from the us
None (self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)

Flag description
White with a red cross outlined in blue extending to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted toward the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag); referred to as Merkid, meaning "the banner" or "the mark," the flag resembles those of neighboring Iceland and Norway, and uses the same three colors - but in a different sequence; white represents the clear Faroese sky as well as the foam of the waves; red and blue are traditional Faroese colors

National symbol(s)

National anthem
"Mitt alfagra land" (My Fairest Land)
Lyrics/music Simun av SKAROI/Peter ALBERG
Adopted 1948; the anthem is also known as "Tu alfagra land mitt" (Thou Fairest Land of Mine); as an autonomous overseas division of Denmark, the Faroe Islands are permitted their own national anthem


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  Faroe Islands [ Denmark ] (Denmark):

  GPS points from Faroe Islands [ Denmark ] (Denmark)

Hovsholmur Faroe Islands (general)

Gjogvin Stora Faroe Islands (general)

Kollgjogv Faroe Islands (general)

Grislatindur Faroe Islands (general)

Kaldbaksnes Faroe Islands (general)

Haldorsvig Faroe Islands (general)

Nesvatn Eysturoy

Oknadalsskardh Faroe Islands (general)
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