June 22, 2009

TOO SMALL TO FAIL:

Fondly, Greenland Loosens Danish Rule (SARAH LYALL, 6/22/09, NY Times)

[G]reenland, with 58,000 people and only two traffic lights, both of them here in the capital, is now securing its place in the world. On Sunday, amid solemn ceremony and giddy celebration, it ushered in a new era of self-governance that sets the stage for eventual independence from Denmark, its ruler since 1721.

The move, which allows Greenland to gradually take responsibility over areas like criminal justice and oil exploration, follows a referendum last year in which 76 percent of voters said they wanted self-rule. Many of the changes are deeply symbolic. Kalaallisut, a traditional Inuit dialect, is now the country’s official language, and Greenlanders are now recognized under international law as a separate people from Danes.

Thrillingly, the Greenlandic government now gets to call itself by its Inuit name, Naalakkersuisut — the first time in history, officials said, that the word has been used in a Danish government document.

“It’s a new relationship based on equality,” said Greenland’s new, charismatic prime minister, Kuupik Kleist, speaking of the balance of power between Greenland and Denmark.


This is the future, not union.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 22, 2009 8:19 AM
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