A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: The Holuhraun eruption is at it again

Conservatives Back in Power?

Published September 22, 2010

Great divisiveness between the Social Democrats and the Leftist-Greens over whether or not former ministers should stand trial for negligence has brought up talk of new elections, or even a new coalition formed comprised of Social Democrats and the Independence Party – the same two parties who were driven from power in early 2009.
As reported, the parliamentary committee was originally assembled with the knowledge and approval of the prime minister and given the task to investigate which, if any, former ministers should stand trial in a national court for their part in the economic collapse. Their conclusion was that two conservatives – former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde and former Minister of Finance Árni M. Mathiesen – and two Social Democrats – former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir and former Minister of Business Björgvin G. Sigurðsson – should stand trial for negligence. A recent poll on the matter showed that a strong majority of Icelanders fully support the idea.
However, Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, also a Social Democrat, told parliament that she doubts that pressing charges against them would accomplish anything, and that they could not have prevented the economic collapse.
The remarks have sparked a catalyst of reactions that could lead to new elections, or even a new coalition.
Atli Gíslason, chairman of the parliamentary committee, told Vísir that if a parliamentary majority does not pass a measure calling for the four former minister to stand trial, that new elections should be held.
In fact, many Leftist-Greens, Progressives, and MPs for The Movement have expressed disappointment with the prime minister’s remarks, which they see as her protecting members of her own party, and many wondering why she has waited until now to say anything about the work the committee was assigned to do.
Birgitta Jónsdóttir, an MP for The Movement, called the Prime Minister’s remarks “predictable spin”, and said that she ought to apologize to parliament for it. Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, chairman of the Progressive Party, told RÚV that new elections were indeed discussed in parliament yesterday, as was the formation of a new coalition, comprised of the Social Democrats and the Independence Party: the same two parties that were driven from power in the wake of popular protests in early 2009.
The Leftist-Green Party officially disagrees with the prime minister, with Leftist-Green chairman Steingrímur J. Sigfússon telling reporters that he was pleased with the work that the committee has done.
A vote on the matter is expected today.



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Icelandic Drug Market On Facebook

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The Icelandic drug market has made a move to social media. “Really well cut and good coke for the weekend,” one Facebook ad boasts. “You’ll feel it on the first line and won’t need another bump after 15 minutes – 15.000 ISK. Don’t buy coke off any old person, make sure you taste it first.” According to Vísir, drugs, pharmaceuticals and steroids are readily available and advertised through Facebook and other online mediums. “Far more people have access to [drugs through social media],” said Detective Chief Superintendent Friðrik Smári Björgvinsson. “A sign of changing times and a new reality. The police

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What To Name The New Lava Field

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As the Holuhraun eruption has spead lava over a wide swath of the country, Icelanders now ask themselves: what should we name the new lava field? As reported, magma pouring from the kilometres-long fissure in Holuhraun has now spread over an area comprising some 4 km2. When all is said and done, a new lava field will be born, which raises the important question of what to call it. Numerous suggestions have been brought up in the Icelandic media lately. MBL reports a number of suggested new names for the lava field. On the more obvious end of the scale,

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Little Change In Party Support, High Voter Dissatisfaction

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Two separate polls show little change in party support, although large numbers of voters are either undecided or dissatisfied with any of their options. Two polls have recently measured levels of support for the different political parties in parliament; one from Gallup (G) and one from Fréttablaðið (F). Their results are comparable, and while they show little change in support for different parties since the last poll, they also show a significant level of voter dissatisfaction. The Independence Party is the party with the greatest level of support in the country, at 28% (G) and about 31% (F). Both polls

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Most Icelanders Not Happy With Summer Of 2014

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In terms of the weather alone, most Icelanders have been unhappy with this past summer, with one notable exception. According to a new poll from Market and Media Research, only 45.4% of Icelanders nationwide have been satisfied with the weather this past summer. This is up slightly from 44.9% for the summer of 2013, but way down from 96.3% for the summer of 2012. The trend can be attributed to what have been relatively cool, cloudy and rainy summer both this year and last, while the summer of 2012 was decidedly warmer and sunnier. Regionally, not all Icelanders were of

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Two Women Attacked In Downtown Reykjavík, Appeal For Witnesses

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Two women were first harassed and then assaulted in downtown Reykjavík in the early hours of Saturday 30th August. A man started accosting them in Hverfisgata, outside Bar 11, at about 4.45am, in both Icelandic and English. When his drunken advances failed, he started following and aggressively coming on to the two, resulting in him being slapped. He then attacked both women, hospitalizing one with facial cuts and two black eyes. One of the women was artist Rosalie Smith, who was on her last night in Iceland and has now returned to the United States. She has sent out a

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Holuhraun: 4 Square Kilometres Of Lava

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Lava exuding from the Holuhraun eruption stretches 3.5 kilometres from the centre of the fissure and measures approximately 1.6 kilometres at its widest point, reports Vísir. According to the Icelandic Met Office the Holuhraun fissure is 1.5 km long with continuous eruption taking place in a 600-800 m long central section. The area of the lava is roughly 4 square kilometres. Currently, none of the tributaries of the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum touches the lava edge. A white blueish cloud has been rising from the eruption but its white colour does not suggest that it is an ash cloud. The

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