Page last updated at 15:11 GMT, Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Timeline: Faroe Islands

A chronology of key events:

circa 600 AD - Irish monks settle on the islands.

Fishing boat captain
Fishing is one of the main activities on the islands

circa 800 - Norwegian farmers arrive.

circa 1000 - Christianity introduced under the king of Norway's rule.

1035 - Islands become part of the Kingdom of Norway.

1380 - Along with Norway, the Faroe Islands become part of the Kingdom of Denmark.

1655 - Faroe Islands are presented to the von Gabel family. Their oppressive feudal rule ends in 1709 when the Faroes come under direct Danish rule.

1816 - Faroe Islands become a Danish county.

1849 - Under the Danish constitution the Faroes are given representation in both houses of the Danish parliament.

1856 - Danish trade monopoly ends.

1872 - Purchase of the first seafaring fishing vessel heralds the growth of the islands' main economic activity.

1906-09 - First political parties are formed, representing divisions over home-rule issue.

1940 - World War II: British forces occupy the Faroes while Denmark is under German occupation.

1946 - Narrow vote for secession from Denmark in referendum. Danish king dissolves Faroese parliament.

Marina at Torshavn
Marina at Torshavn, capital of the Faroe Islands

1948 - Home rule act is passed. The islands become an autonomous, self-governing region of the Kingdom of Denmark.

1973 - Territory opts not to join the European Community with Denmark.

early 1990s - Economic crisis, amid falling fish prices and depleted stocks. Unemployment and emigration rise.

2001 March - Planned referendum on independence is cancelled after Denmark says a pro-independence result would lead to a halt in annual subsidies.

2002 April - Election result reveals split over independence issue, with no clear mandate for separation from Denmark.

2003 December - Pro-independence party pulls out of coalition. After early elections in January 2004 a three-party coalition is formed.

2006 September - The islands start importing whalemeat from Iceland, despite a ban on the trade under the UN's Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

2008 January - Parliamentary elections. New governing coalition formed. Joannes Eidesgaard continues as premier.

2008 September - Kaj Leo Johannesen of the Union Party becomes prime minister and forms new coalition government after the collapse of the coalition led by Joannes Eidesgaard.

2011 October - Centre right Union and People's parties increase their share of the vote in parliamentary elections.

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