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Icesave Cited To Block Iceland EU Membership

Published March 16, 2012

A member of the European parliament has cited Iceland’s outstanding debt to the UK over Icesave as the reason why the country’s impending membership in the EU should be blocked.
Iceland is currently in accession talks with the EU, and while the EU has repeatedly assured the Icelandic government that Icesave would not be a determining factor one way or the other, The Independent now reports that at least one MEP is making Icesave an issue.
Marina Yannakoudakis, a London Tory MEP, refused to support a resolution calling for Iceland’s membership in the EU, saying, “As a London MEP I cannot support this resolution. Six London borough councils had a total £120 million invested with Icesave; Transport for London invested a further £40 million and the Metropolitan Police £30 million. These councils and organisations have not seen a penny of their money since Icesave’s collapse in October 2008. The Icelandic government is dodging its legal obligation to pay minimum compensation to these and other British depositors.”
Contrary to this statement, last December Landsbanki actually paid 266 billion ISK to the British depositor’s insurance fund as part of its plan to pay back the Icesave debt.
This was backed up by another Tory MEP, Charles Tannock, who expressed confidence that Iceland would honour its debt, saying, “I understand around one third of the recognised priority claims have now been repaid. Given Iceland’s successful completion of the International Monetary Fund’s economic recovery programme last year and its return to positive economic growth, we have no doubt that the other outstanding claims will be repaid.”



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Iceland Demanded Secrecy Over Weapons Purchase

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The Icelandic Coast Guard demanded that its purchase of 250 machine guns from the Norwegian army would not be made public, according to RÚV. The request for secrecy was made as early as December 2013. This was revealed when RÚV asked the Norwegian Army to see the contract between the two parties. The Army replied, on Wednesday, that the Icelandic Coast Guard requested that the contract, and all documents involved in the exchange, would be kept confidential and away from public scrutiny. The Coast Guard’s highest authority, Georg Lárusson, had already refused to disclose the contract. The reason he cited

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FM Belfast Cover Ghostbusters Theme Song

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GGG is the title of an art exhibition devoted to three films from the 1980s, whose titles, fittingly, start with G: Gremlins, Goonies and Ghostbusters. Thirty artists take part in the exhibition. Among those are members of FM Belfast, who made a cover of the Ghostbusters’ theme song for the occasion: The exhibition will open in Cinema Bíó Paradís on Halloween, October 31. The cinema will duly screen the three films, during the exhibition, all in a row.

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Of Horses And Men Awarded Nordic Council Film Prize

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Wednesday night, director Benedikt Erlingsson and producer Friðrik Þór Friðriksson, received the Nordic Council Film Prize for the 2013 comedy Of Horses and Men (Hross í oss). This is the first time an Icelandic film wins the award, established in 2002. The award committee said that the director “demonstrates a profound understanding of the primal side of both horses and humans” and that he “combines powerful visuals, editing and music in a way that makes the film itself stand out as a force of nature.” They describe the film as “strikingly original” and find its “roots in the laconic humour

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Icelandic “Kokteilsósa” Origin Called Into Question

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Iceland’s ubiquitous kokteilsósa (“cocktail sauce”) did not come from Iceland, as was recently asserted, but variations of the condiment can be found across continents. Master chef Úlfar Eysteinsson told listeners on Reykjavík siðdegis last Wednesday that the pink sauce found on countless Icelandic burgers and sandwiches was “completely Icelandic”, allegedly first concocted by Magnús Björnsson. The initial recipe, he said, consisted of ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. When asked if the sauce has been copied elsewhere in the world, Úlfar agreed. “Yeah, you can find it all over,” he said. “It quickly took form in salad dressings such as

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Norway Wants Their Gun Money From Iceland

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Despite the repeated claims of Icelandic officials to the contrary, the Norwegian government wants Iceland to pay actual money for the guns they sent us. DV reports that Bent-Ivan Myhre, a spokesperson for the Norwegian Ministry of Defence, does not share the opinion of the Icelandic Coast Guard that, despite their being a signed sales agreement for a cache of semi- and fully automatic weapons between Iceland and Norway, that the guns were a gift. “We are sending an invoice,” Bent-Ivan told the Norwegian paper Dagbladet. “We signed an agreement for the sale of 250 MP5 submachine guns for 625,000

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Sulphur Dioxide Back In The Capital

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It looks as though our long-term friend sulphur dioxide will be spending a couple days in the capital area – starting tonight. MBL reports that there were low levels of SO2 from the Holuhraun eruption in the capital area today. The highest levels were recorded in the east Reykjavík neighbourhood of Grafarvogur, where sulphur dioxide hit 480µg/m3 at about 15:30 today. People are advised to stay in doors when SO2 levels exceed 600µg/m3. While SO2 levels in Reykjavík are now very low, this is expected to change tomorrow. Sulphur dioxide levels could approach the 600µg/m3 mark around noon tomorrow. However,

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