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

Icelandic Economist On Haarde Trial: The Blame Game

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Published March 12, 2012

An Icelandic economist has pulled no punches in a column he wrote about the trial of former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde, saying that all the witnesses are denying having had any power to stop the crash, while blaming others for it happening.
Jón Daníelsson, an economist at the London School of Economics, shared his thoughts on the trial on his personal blog. There, he identifies three types of characters in the matter: government officials, bankers, and the Central Bank. He says that because foreign journalists do not understand the way things actually work here; that “what is being said publicly has very little to do with reality. This is why foreign observers usually get Iceland wrong.”

[The government ministers] claim they did not have the information, nor power to act. One might expect that since the parliament has that has power to pass laws, it could do something about it? … The bankers claim everything was fine, and it was somebody else’s fault that they collapsed (they being Lehman Brothers, the Icelandic government, foreign governments, foreign creditors or incompetent Icelandic bankers (in other banks), or some other boogyman). … The central bank alternates between two types of explanations. Sometimes it says that it understood what was going on but could not act because it would cause a collapse or it did not have the power to stop the excesses. It also likes to say that they got fooled by the banks, but hence couldn’t act.

Not that Jón lays the blame entirely at the feet of the past. He also believes the Social Democrats share in the blame, because “Many of the very same government ministers who presided over the crisis are now also ministers, one is even the prime minister.” He also adds that the Leftist-Green Party, who he calls “the latest incarnation of the Communist Party” of Iceland, “had nothing to do with the crisis, but finds it useful to use the recrimination process to demonstrate the wickedness of the right.”



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VIDEO: Holuhraun Best Place For An Eruption

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Holuhraun is the best possible location for an eruption, geophysicist Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson has told RÚV. Although the magma flow from Holuhraun is considerable and steady, Magnús Tumi does not feel it qualifies as a large eruption. New data indicates that approximately 250 cubic metres of magma is spewing out of the fissure each second. According to Magnús Tumi, the current Holuhraun eruption is completely different to the Eyjafjallajökull eruption of 2010. Given that the Holuhraun eruption is entirely above ground and a mainly basalt eruption it is producing no disruptive ash. The Eyjafjalljökull eruption on the other hand was

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Holuhraun Still Going Strong, Could Last All Year

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The Holuhraun eruption, which began again yesterday with magma plumes as high as 60 metres, is going strong and might see out the year, reports RÚV. “The eruption is comparable to the one we saw from Krafla [in 1975],” said volcanologist Ármann Höskuldsson. “At first there was just a tiny eruption then the eruptions got gradually larger as time passed. It’s possible that this event will last until the end of the year, possibly into some of next year as well.” Seismic activity continues at Vatnajökull though none topped 4.9 on the Richter scale yesterday, presumably because the eruption has alleviated some

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Fishing Minister Defends Faroese Snub, Other Icelanders Offer Cake

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The Faroese fishing vessel Næraberg may have been snubbed by authorities, but other Icelanders are helping the beleagured ship in any way they can. RÚV reports that Minister of Fisheries Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson has called the treatment of the Faroese mackerel fishing vessel Næraberg to be based on “a misunderstanding” on why the snub occurred. As reported, the ship, whose engine was badly in need of repair as it departed from Greenland for home, called upon Icelandic authorities to dock and conduct repairs. However, the crew were informed they could dock in Reykjavík Harbour, but would not be permitted to

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Holuhraun Volcano Erupts Again

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An eruption has commenced at Holuhraun again, replete with magma plumes some 60 metres tall. RÚV reports that an eruption has re-opened at Holuhraun, just north of Vatnjökull, which began in the early morning hours. As can be seen, this is a lava eruption, and plumes of magma are reportedly reaching heights of up to 60 metres. This eruption is at the same location as the one which began last Friday, and continued for a few hours, only this time the eruption is 10 to 20 times bigger, volcanologist Ármann Höskuldsson told reporters. The southernmost point of the eruption begins

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Poll Decidedly Grim For Interior Minister, Government

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A new poll from Fréttablaðið and Stöð 2 shows about two-thirds of respondents want Interior Minister Hanna Banna Kristjánsdóttir to resign, and trust in her – as well as the government in general – is remarkably low. According to the poll, Vísir reports, which asked respondents if they believe Hanna Birna should resign, 67% of those who had an opinion said they believe she should. When the answers are taken as a whole, 21% were undecided, 26% said she should not resign, and 53% said she should resign. Taken by party affiliation, 45% of Independence Party voters (the party from

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Faroese Receive Cold Welcome In Reykjavík Harbour

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A damaged Faroese fishing ship was intially refused service in Reykjavík Harbour. That situation changed after protests from Faroese and Icelanders alike. Vísir reports that the Faroese mackerel fishing boat Næraberg experienced severe engine trouble on their way from fishing stocks in Greenland waters last Thursday. This prompted the captain to put in a request to Reykjavík Harbour, the closest port of call, in order to conduct repairs. However, the answer they received was that they were welcome to dock in Reykjavík harbour, but the crew would not be permitted to disembark, nor would they receive food, drinking water or

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