Dear friends, I can no longer remain silent on the very pressing subject that is the selling off of Iceland’s nature. I hereby challenge the government of Iceland to do everything in its power to revoke the contracts with Magma Energy that entitle the Canadian firm complete ownership of HS Orka. These are abhorrable deals, and they create a dangerous precedent for the future. They directly go against necessary and oft-repeated attempts to create a new policy in the energy- and resource management of this nation. Warmly, Björk Guðmundsdóttir
In our third and final instalment of “Mexicans: They’re Everywhere,” we meet Libertad Venegas. Prior to her first visit to Iceland, the only thing she knew about the country was that it was home to a famous singer called Björk. For Libertad, that tiny speck of earth above Europe with the intimidating name was a land of total mystery. As fate would have it, Libertad wound up falling in love with an Icelander she met online. After a period of courtship, the two made plans to convene in person, and, as they say, the rest is history. “I was going
In the spring of 2007, when the Icelandic financial bubble was reaching its peak, the Ministry of Industry held a press conference to announce it intended to undertake an environmental impact assessment of oil exploration off the coast of Northeast Iceland, near the Jan-Mayen ridge. The press was quick to see what this meant: Untold riches! “Oil exploration might begin next summer,” the headlines read, and many Icelanders, who had already started to believe the country was on its way to becoming a North Atlantic Switzerland could now fantasize about living in an Arctic Saudi Arabia. Although there was no
On October 9, 2008, The Economist published an article called “Kreppanomics,” detailing Iceland’s then-recent financial meltdown. “One word on every tongue in Iceland these days is kreppa. Normally it means to be ‘in a pinch’ or ‘to get into a scrape’, but when it is applied to the economy, it becomes ‘financial crisis,’” the article began. “In time kreppa may become the word that conjures up the disastrous meltdown that is now taking place in the country’s economy.” Indeed, The Economist was right. This post-crash buzzword went on to appear in almost every single article and blog post about Iceland’s
Anyone with a favourite pet knows how hard it is to be apart when travelling. One man who tried to enter Iceland with three Madagascar hissing cockroaches can attest to this. Despite his professed love for the creatures, customs authorities informed him that Icelandic law prohibits bringing pets to Iceland— even pets as adorable as greasy, hissing, crawling cockroaches the size of your thumb. Speaking of pets, an Akureyri man recently found himself on the wrong end of the law for burying his beloved, deceased pet chihuahua, Prins, in his backyard. This is apparently illegal, as health authorities phoned him,
Something that always seems to be missing in reviews of restaurants, bars, cafés and whatnot, is the bathroom. And when you think about it, the flowery potpourri smell in the bathroom might make up for a semi-flat beer, and stumbling upon a clogged toilet could make you forget about all the great food you just got. What good is a good service if your experience is shadowed by a dirty bathroom? When writing these reviews, I went to some of Reykjavík’s most popular bars to check out their bathroom facilities: Did they have soap and toilet paper? Was the number
Allegedly, a dozen differently labelled sorts of Icelandic cheese all taste the same. People have been in doubt about how to express their frustration at this, but have since the start of the week found a focal point for their anger: that bureaucrat in the Ministry of Agriculture… what’s his name? We will get to that. The Icelandic milk market is a de facto monopoly, run in close cooperation between MS, the country’s dairy conglomerate, and state authorities. Retail prices of milk, as well as wholesale prices of raw milk, are, to this day, fixed by the Agricultural Pricing Committee.