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Grapevine Airwaves Sunday

Grapevine Airwaves Sunday

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Published October 19, 2008

Read our Iceland Airwaves coverage by downloading today’s Grapevine Airwaves festival paper here.
Download the pdf.



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Welcome To The Dark Side

Welcome To The Dark Side

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Winter is upon us. It’s here, enshrouding your very being in short, frosty days with only a few hours of sunlight, followed by long, frozen, windy nights. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Some handle it just fine, getting cosy at home as the weather settles in. But the less fortunate ones will suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. They will struggle to get out of bed until spring arrives. Not being able to wake up in the morning becomes standard for many people; their lives become a bleak, sunless pit of frozen darkness. It’s hard. If winter is your least favourite

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Tourist of the Year 2014

Tourist of the Year 2014

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Wow, tourism really did dominate the landscape of debate here in 2014, didn’t it? We here at Grapevine have spent more time experiencing, arguing, analysing and pondering the effects of tourism on Iceland than maybe anything else. And there was some serious food for thought amongst it all. Are the tourists trampling our puffins and eating all our shark? Are we all going to wake up with a bulldozer outside the house about to raze the building to the ground to build new hotels? Is Gullfoss going to LITERALLY EXPLODE FROM ALL THIS FOOTFALL? Amidst the much-needed and overdue conservation

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Squeezing Blood From A Turnip: Iceland’s Universal Healthcare At Risk

Squeezing Blood From A Turnip: Iceland’s Universal Healthcare At Risk

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In a small and private ceremony in a chapel in Fossvogur, around 30 friends and family members are present to pay their respects to 50-year-old Rósa Mikaelsdóttir, a single mother of three who passed away on November 17. Rósa had struggled with mental disorders for most of her life—in particular severe anxiety and depression—and, following the 2008 banking crisis, had a hard time making ends meet on her disability allowance. After the ceremony, I speak with her family. They tell me that Rósa barely managed to keep a roof over her head in recent years, and that she often couldn’t

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May Day Mayday: Iceland’s Ongoing Doctor Strike

May Day Mayday: Iceland’s Ongoing Doctor Strike

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Following a round of unsuccessful negotiations, doctors in Iceland commenced their first ever strike in late October. In the wake of the banking crisis, so as to share the burden, doctors not only accepted a 5% wage cut, but also ceased seeking pay raises with as much fervour as before. As a result, their wages now lag far behind other public sector professions and the consumer price index. Compensation in the Icelandic healthcare sector is no longer competitive with those in our neighbouring countries, both in terms of salaries and holiday allowances. Now that the economy is purportedly in better

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Iceland’s University Hospital: The Director Speaks

Iceland’s University Hospital: The Director Speaks

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Throughout the whole healthcare debacle, one man has consistently remained focused on the big picture:the National University Hospital of Iceland (LSH) director Dr. Páll Matthíasson, PhD. Educated as a psychiatrist, Páll worked in London, England, from 1997-2007 before returning to Iceland, where he served as a senior physician before becoming the Chief Psychiatry Executive at LSH in 2009—and director at the end of 2013. Despite the tremendous pressure he faces with the ongoing strike, Páll still finds time to sit down with me in his office to discuss LSH and the future of medicine in Iceland. “Off the cliff” Up

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Down To The Bone: The Healthcare System, Post-Austerity

Down To The Bone: The Healthcare System, Post-Austerity

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Following the economic collapse of 2008, the Icelandic State’s debts skyrocketed, reaching 126% of the country’s GDP in 2011. At the same time, State revenue sources ground to a halt, and property devalued. The consumer price index shows price levels on consumer goods increased by a whopping 18.6% from 2008 to 2009, and strict capital controls were put in place to stop funds from funnelling out of the country. In a desperate attempt to avoid national bankruptcy, the State underwent hefty austerity measures, and called in the IMF. Although these facts are readily available, a myth persists to this day

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