A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Holuhraun reaches river, steam plumes reported

Young Leftist-Green Proposes State Food Programme

Published March 8, 2011

A member of the youth branch of the Leftist-Green Party has proposed that the state enact a monopoly on the sale of food in Iceland.
Sindri Geir Óskarsson, chairman of the Young Leftist-Greens in Akureyri, put forward the idea in an article he wrote for the group’s website. Entitled “One nation – one government – one grocery store”, he proposes that the Icelandic government enact a “food monopoly”. Similar in principal to the sale of alcohol in Iceland, the government would be the owners of the country’s grocery stores. But the idea goes farther than that.
Sindri Geir proposes that a seven-person “shop committee” be established with the sole purpose of accepting suggestions from the general public, becoming themselves consumer representatives. The members of this committee would be voted into office every other year, and a quota system would be in place with regards to the sex of the committee members, as well as where in the country they live.
He goes on to say that with a government monopoly of grocery stores, the state will be able to have even greater influence on the eating habits of Icelanders, which Sindri Geir describes as “rather unhealthy”, pointing out the cheap availability of candy and energy drinks.
However, he also believes the result will be cheaper food for Icelanders, as it will be possible to lower import tariffs on foodstuffs and, with no middle-man, drastically reduce the mark-up on goods sold in stores. In particular, he proposes, the government could arrange prices to lower the costs of healthy foods at the level of or even below junk food.
For the moment there is no legislation submitted to parliament which bears this proposal.



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Progressive Wrong About Peace Tower

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A Progressive city councilperson has questioned the cost of maintaining Yoko Ono’s Peace Tower, and was apparently misinformed about how the Peace Fund is used. RÚV reports that Progressive city councilperson Sveinbjörg Birna Sveinbjörnsdóttir has submitted a formal request to City Hall to know how much money it costs the city to maintain the Peace Tower. Speaking to reporters, Sveinbjörg said she had nothing against the Peace Tower itself; she simply wanted to know the operational costs for a work of art. Furthermore, she added that she found it strange that former Mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr should receive money

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Text Messages Insufficient As Eruption Alerts

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It has come to light that using text messaging to alert towns and villages of poisonous SO2 levels does not work as well as intended. RÚV reports that some 750kg of SO2 are spewing out of the Holuhraun eruption every second. This has caused SO2 levels in many parts of northeast Iceland to reach alarming levels. In order to alert residents in the area of these dangerous levels of SO2, mass text messages were sent Friday evening to people living in Eskifjörður, Reyðarfjörður, Fáskrúðsfjörður and Neskaupstaður. However, many text messages arrived late, if at all, depending in large part on

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Resignations At DV Stack Up After Editor Is Ousted

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DV’s managing director, assistant editor, and at least 4 other employees have resigned in light of recent events which saw chief editor Reynir Traustason ousted from his position, reports RÚV. As reported, ‘World Class’ gym chain owner, Björn Leifsson, filed a libel suit against tabloid DV –  known for its critical investigative journalism – earlier this year. At the end of August, Björn announced that he had bought a minor share in the paper, with the declared intention of getting rid of its editor, Reynir Traustason (pictured). Björn then sold the shares to owners who proceeded to form a new board. Subsequently

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Eruption Pollution At All Time High

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The residents of Reyðarfjörður have been advised to stay indoors as fumes from the Holuhraun eruption cause pollution to spike to record levels, reports RÚV. Reyðarfjörður, located on Iceland’s east coast saw levels of sulfur dioxide reach 4,000 µg/​cubic metres last night. Residents of Reyðarfjörður have been advised to stay inside and monitor pollution readings. In addition to staying inside and closing all windows and doors, residents are recommended to turn on their radiators to increase air pressure inside their homes. These pollution levels are the highest readings in Iceland since the Icelandic Meterological Office began recording sulfur dioxide pollution

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Alcohol Bill Submitted

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A bill that would permit the sale of alcohol in private shops has been submitted to parliament, and it is uncertain whether it will fail or become law. Currently, alcoholic beverages may only be bought from any of the The State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland (ÁTVR) stores in the country. One man, Independence Party MP Vilhjálmur Árnason, hopes to change that. Vísir reports that Vilhjálmur’s bill, which would make alcohol legal for sale in supermarkets, has been submitted to parliament. However, even he admits that support for the bill is on a knife’s edge. “I expect that there

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Twin Solar Storms = Northern Lights Galore!

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While the planet is bombarded with charged solar particles, this translates into some fantastic Northern Lights displays for Iceland. The Guardian reports today that two coronal mass ejection (CME) bursts from the Sun sent charged solar particles hurtling towards Earth yesterday and today, “raising concerns that GPS signals, radio communications and power transmissions” could be scrambled. On the brighter side, the Guardian also speculates that the “storms might also trigger beautiful auroral displays along northern latitudes as electrically charged solar particles hit the atmosphere.” As it turns out, they are absolutely right. As can be seen on the Icelandic Met

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