Mag
Opinion
WHERE WILL THE INDEPENDENCE PARTY GO FROM HERE?

WHERE WILL THE INDEPENDENCE PARTY GO FROM HERE?

Published September 3, 2004

Halldór had then been Prime Minister in Davíð Oddsson’s government for eight years, and seems to have been loath to change partners. Oddsson, who still had the largest number of votes, had to outbid his rivals, as the Progressive Party were the only feasible partners. However, after 12 years of Premiership he could not look as if he had lost the election. So they came up with a compromise solution where Oddsson retained his chair for a year, before allowing Halldór to take his turn. This has led to a general cabinet reshuffling, which seemed to move Oddsson into foreign affairs, and has left minister of the environment Siv Friðleifsdóttir out in the cold, angering the party´s female constituents. What any of this has to do with democracy is anyone´s guess. But another question is: where does the Independence Party go from here?
Its core has always been big business:Eimskip shipping company and Icelandair, the two companies that controlled access to and from the country being the backbone, a conglomerate known as the Octopus. Now the Octopus has been broken up, and the major financial power players, Björgúlfur of Landsbankinn and Jón Ásgeir of Bónus, do not form part of the old ruling elite. Jón Ásgeir does not belong to the Independence Party and seems more disposed towards Samfylkingin.
So what does the party do when it not longer represents big business? Two courses of action seem open. It might, as it has done in the past, incorporate the nouveau riche into its ranks. But the animosity between it and them seems too deeply rooted to go away anytime soon, although there´s nothing as likely to bring old adversaries together as hope of financial gain.
The other possibility is more interesting. What if the party has lost its ties to the money men forever? What if the new króna billionaires opt for Samfylkingin instead, as they have been doing? The Independence Party was the party that upheld the old family monopolies over the economy. Now that new families have moved in, it may become the very party to go in for breaking monopolies up. They´ve already tried, and failed, to impose a media law. Who knows what’s next? Perhaps they’ll set laws in motion that allow us to see who is funding what party. When they had money on their side, they had no interest in that, but now that this has changed, so may their policy. The party might then be forced to become what they always said they were, the party of the people. Wouldn´t that be ironic?



Mag
Opinion
Reykjavík Forces Its Music Schools Into Bankruptcy

Reykjavík Forces Its Music Schools Into Bankruptcy

by

As you may have heard, Icelandic music teachers recently ended a five-week long strike. The music teachers’ strike was caused by a wage dispute. It was resolved when Icelandic authorities promised music teachers wages equal to those enjoyed by other teachers in Iceland. Now that these demands have been met—even if only to certain degree—we music teachers ought to be able to continue our work, educating Iceland’s future crop of musicians. But, are we? Not necessarily. For instance, my school, Söngskóli Sigurðar Demetz (“The Vocal Academy of Sigurður Demetz”), can now prepare students for the upcoming Christmas concerts. However, if

Mag
Opinion
Good Ol’ Traditions

Good Ol’ Traditions

by

One of last week’s loudest debates has to do with next year’s State Treasury budget, which Alþingi has been debating, as tradition has it, these last days before Christmas. Among the proposed changes in taxation is the lowering of VAT on electric appliances, and a corresponding raised VAT on food products. The What Since the proposal was first introduced, these two particular changes, seen as complimentary, have been disputed. The opposition’s reasoning seems obvious: food is an unavoidable expense, and expensive food will hit hardest those with already meager income. Electric appliances, however, remain a largely optional expense, and higher

Mag
Opinion
Spotify: The Market Sets The Price

Spotify: The Market Sets The Price

by

Recently, the independent news site Nútíminn, leader among independent news sites named Nútíminn, ran an Op-Ed by a terribly uninformed man who apparently believes he can run a record company without, it seems, having any sort of a business degree. In his screed, he insists that Supply and Demand break up, because their age old relationship no longer suits his specific needs. Furthermore, he seems to believe that record sales and online streaming are musicians’ sole source of revenue, and that free market capitalism should no longer require businesses to either adapt or perish. Should you be reading this, Haraldur Leví

Mag
Opinion
Iceland’s Economy Shrinks In Third Quarter

Iceland’s Economy Shrinks In Third Quarter

by

After years of growing at a respectable rate, the Icelandic economy seems to have stalled. According to the most recent measurements of Statistics Iceland the Icelandic, published on December 5, the Icelandic economy barely registered any growth over the first nine months of the year, and actually shrunk in the third quarter. These results stand in stark contrast to the extremely rosy projections of a couple of weeks ago, which promised a growth rate of 2.7% over the year. Analysts at the large banks were similarly projecting growth around 3% for the year. Now it seems more likely we will

Mag
Opinion
Be A Peaceful Infant Smiling In The Manger

Be A Peaceful Infant Smiling In The Manger

by

Feast of lights and love, the family days of Christmas; “what to dine and how to dress”— oh, don’t we all just thrill up on the quirky-looking sweaters and find it all so amusing? And don’t we, just this season, take the necessity of “having a good time” all too seriously concerning all the consumerism attached, as it is almost obligatory to accept February’s Visa bill without any grudge, the late-Christmas-hangover? At least, most of the time “doin’ what ya wanna cuz it’s Xmas” has been, in my context, stepping just a little bit over the line; knowing how much

Mag
Opinion
The Nature Pass: The Stupidest Tax In History

The Nature Pass: The Stupidest Tax In History

by

According to official estimates, the number of foreign tourists in Iceland will top the one million mark for the first time in history by the end of the year. Which means it will have more than tripled over the course of last decade: in 2003, some 300,000 foreigners visited Iceland. Trampling hordes But while the growing number of foreign visitors has helped fuel economic growth, the hordes of visitors pose problems of their own. Virtually every popular tourist destination in Iceland is under serious stress, as irreparable damage is being done by trampling tourists. The problem is that neither the Icelandic

Show Me More!