From peat to petroleum, post-war Falklands prosper

STANLEY, Falkland Islands (Reuters) - People on the Falkland Islands used to work only until 4 p.m. so they would have enough daylight left to cut the peat needed to heat their homes and cook supper. Few burn peat at home these days, but the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. workday still exists and comes in very handy for the many islanders working two or three jobs to cash in on a prosperous economy underpinned by fishing, tourism and farming.


The real turning point came four years after the war when the government began selling fishing licenses to operate in Falkland waters, rich in the squid craved by Japan and Spain. The squid boom filled up the Falklands' coffers and sowed the creation of a self-financed South Atlantic nanny state. Only the cost to maintain 2,000 troops, which stands at 110 million pounds annually, are picked up by the United Kingdom.