Aland. Shipping, which accounts for about 40% of Å’s GDP, had financial setbacks during the year. Several large shipping companies related to Å reported losses. The increasing competition in passenger traffic on the Baltic Sea has caused the prices of cruises to be pushed to very low levels.
In an opinion poll in the autumn, independence-free Åland’s future was surprisingly the third largest party. Political analysts, however, felt that the party’s success was based more on dissatisfaction with the traditional parties than on increased support for Åland’s independence. A lively debate followed in the Lagting and in the press, when the other parties clearly distanced themselves from the idea of independence and when Governor Peter Lindbäck accused Åland’s future of “agitation and confrontation” with Finland. Lindbäck said that this could damage the development of the Åland autonomy that several parties want to see.