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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

COUNTRY #178: Greenland

Welcome, country #178:


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Greenland, the world's largest island, is about 81% ice-capped. Vikings reached the island in the 10th century from Iceland; Danish colonization began in the 18th century, and Greenland was made an integral part of Denmark in 1953. It joined the European Community (now the EU) with Denmark in 1973, but withdrew in 1985 over a dispute centered on stringent fishing quotas. Greenland was granted self-government in 1979 by the Danish parliament; the law went into effect the following year. Greenland voted in favor of increased self-rule in November 2008 and acquired greater responsibilty for internal affairs in June 2009. Denmark, however, continues to exercise control of Greenland's foreign affairs, security, and financial policy in consultation with Greenland's Home Rule Government.

Map data ©2011 Geocentre Consulting, Tele Atlas - Terms of Use

There are several unique features of Greenland;

1.  Largest island.

2.  Least dense population.

3.  Given self-governance by Denmark in 1979.

4.  Highest suicide rate (with  teens in particular vulnerable):  twice that of the next highest, Japan.  Why?  Guns are generally available (hunting mentality) and it really gets depressing in the winter.

5.  Richie Cunningham--that character from Happy Days-- spent two winters here.  No, not Ron Howard, he was smart enough not to be sent there.

6.  If all the Greenland ice melted, our seas would rise by around 24 feet.


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