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Hospital Director Receives Controversial Pay Rise

Published September 7, 2012

The director of the National Hospital has recently been granted a pay rise of nearly half a million ISK. The Minister of Welfare says the rise was in keeping with the growing demands of his job, while others argue it sends the wrong message.
Vísir reports that Minister of Welfare Guðbjartur Hannesson has raised National Hospital director Björn Zoega’s salary by 450,000 ISK. He now makes 2.3 million ISK each month.
While the rise has sparked controversy in the public discourse, Guðbjartur has defended the decision by saying that Björn is not only the hospital director; he is also a specialised surgeon, and the number of operations he has had to perform has been increasing significantly. The added work pressure, he says, led to the conclusion that a rise was in order.
However, Björn was also being courted by a large hospital in Sweden, RÚV reports, who wanted to hire him as the director there. The position would come with a higher salary than what Björn was getting, and this in turn prompted Guðbjartur to match the offer with a pay rise.
Progressive MP Eygló Harðardóttir, who is also on the parliamentary welfare committee, told reporters she felt this sent the wrong message. “If a minister believes there is a reason to raise the salaries of his subordinates, it would naturally be most important to look towards those who are providing service directly,” she said, meaning doctors and nurses, many of whom have themselves received lucrative job offers from abroad in the health care field.



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Bomb Squad’s 2003 Find Possibly Western Chemical Weapons

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A team of Icelandic bomb squad technicians may have found US-produced mustard gas in Iraq, during the 2003-invasion. This was reported by RÚV’s Kastljós, following last week’s coverage in the New York Times, of chemical weapons actually found during the invasion, but treated as classified due to their origins on the one hand, and relative harmlessness, compared with the hypothetical weapons declared to be in the hands of dictator Saddam Hussein in the advent of the invasion. “Old chemical munitions” In 2003, the Icelandic bomb squad’s discovery of potential chemical weapon warheads was covered on the front page of newspaper

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Pirate MP Defies ISNIC By Opening Blasphemy.is

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Pirate MP Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson registered the domain Guðlast.is, translatable as blasphemy.is, to point out what he claims is mistaken reasoning behind ISNIC’s closure of the Islamic State’s .is domain. Vísir quotes Helgi Hrafn as saying: “I wanted to show that if people wanted to refer to the country’s legislation as grounds for banning certain domains, they must realize that incredible things are forbidden in this country, for example blasphemy.” In its current form the website merely quotes the penalty law article on blasphemy: “Whoever publicly mocks or derides articles of faith or divine worship of a religious group legally

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Interior Minister: Call To Resign “Unbelievably Inappropriate”

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Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir has dismissed a Left-Green proposal that she resign as “unbelievably inappropriate”. Her criticisms that the proposal contains falsehoods, however, appear to contradict the facts. Last weekend, the Left-Green Party held a party convention wherein a number of proposals were bundled into a general platform. Amongst these proposals is that Hanna Birna resign, in part because “the Minister did not speak truthfully to parliament and the Minister directly intervened in the investigation [of her ministry].” Speaking on radio station Bylgjan, Hanna Birna was dismissive of the proposal, telling listeners: “I find [the proposal] unbelievable

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Management Wrong On Icelanders’ Working Hours

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A representative of management who contended that Icelanders do not need to work fewer hours has been corrected by the director of the Association for Sustainability and Democracy (ALDA). As reported, Þorsteinn Víglundsson, the director of Business Iceland (SA), recently dismissed a bill that was recently submitted to parliament on the subject of the definition of “full time work”. The bill proposes that the definition be changed from 40 hours per week to 35. Þorsteinn, in an interview with Stöð 2, told reporters that the concerns raised in the bill were unrealistic, saying that Icelanders work on average about 37

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“Idiot” And Other Words Removed From Icelandic Penal Code

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The Icelandic Penal Code was recently revamped to remove some of its more out-dated word choices, and replace them with more modern equivalents. RÚV reports that amongst these proposed changes is to remove the word “idiot” and replace it with the phrase “individual with a developmental disorder”. The out-dated “idiot” is currently used in Article 222 of the Icelandic Penal Code, which states, “Anyone who, intentionally or unwittingly, gives dangerous objects or substances to a child younger than 15 years old, a mentally ill person, an idiot or an intoxicated person will be fined or jailed”. Other changes in word

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ISNIC Cites Business Reasons For Closing Islamic State’s Domain

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RÚV reports that Isnic closed the domain of militant group ISIS/Islamic State for business reasons, according to Jens Pétur Jensen, ISNIC’s manager. The decision was made following a staff meeting. Jens Pétur says that around half of ISNIC’s ten staff members were opposed to the decision, and would either have preferred the company wait for a legitimate order from State authorities or not close the site down at all. This was heard at a meeting of Alþingi’s Enviroment and Transportation Committee. Jens Pétur told members of Alþingi that the business reasons behind the decision were concerns about the reputation of

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