Greenland assumes self rule Sunday

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Greenland, population over 57,000, assumes the national right of self government today. The occasion will be honoured in the nation's capital, Nuuk, by the Danish monarch Queen Margrethe II, the current Head of State.

With the ceremony, Kalaallisut becomes the official language of the mainly Inuit island, and Greenland will become the only country in North America where an indigenous language has official status nationwide. Newly elected Prime Minister of Greenland Kuupik Kleist will embark on an agenda of tackling social and education challenges and increasing independence.

This step follows Greenland's November referendum concerning independence from Denmark and continues the development of self government in the country. Sunday marks when Greenland is internationally recognized as an independent country with control over its natural resources, police and judicial matters. Denmark will still maintain responsibility for Greenland's foreign affairs, finances and defense.

In 1985, Greenland withdrew from the European Union, of which Denmark remains a member.

The government has declared June 21 as Greenland's National Day, which is to be a national holiday. June 21 is also the Summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, the longest day of the year, a day when much of Greenland will receive continuous daylight for 24 hours.


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