A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Eruption Pollution Likely To Hit Whole Country

Status Of National Church At Stake

Published October 11, 2012

The church and state have had a “long and happy relationship”, says Bishop of Iceland Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir, and that the church should be constitutionally protected.
Article 62 of the current constitution states “The Evangelical Lutheran Church shall be the State Church in Iceland and, as such, it shall be supported and protected by the State. This may be amended by law.” These two sentences are now the subject of much debate, as Icelanders prepare to vote for some changes to their constitution on October 20.
On that day, Icelanders will vote Yes or No to six different questions regarding the new constitution. One of these questions asks simply, “Do you want the new constitution to have an article on the national church?” Such an article in place, depending on its contents, could continue the constitutional protection that the Church of Iceland currently enjoys, as a national church which receives funding in part from tax revenues. Without such an article, the concept of a national church itself would cease to exist.
The question has been a contentious one in Iceland, although the tide appears to be turning towards separation – in 2010, 73% of Icelanders said they favoured separation of church and state.
RÚV now reports that the debate is still ongoing. At last night’s meeting of the Constitutional Society, a group formed in 2010 to support the drafting of a new Constitution to be put to a referendum, numerous Icelanders voiced their concerns both for and against a national church article being in the new constitution. Software specialist Valgarður Guðjónsson said that he believes the article should be removed, as the national church is “built on this article”, and that there is no need for the church to be a government office receiving billions of krónur in public support.
Bishop of Iceland Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir disagreed. She argued rather that “The church and state have had a long and happy relationship. In addition, the Christian faith has shaped our thinking, ethics and traditions. This is why I believe [the article] is very important.”



News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Poison Gas Cloud Heading Northeast

by

The Icelandic Met Office predicts sulphur dioxide (SO2) gas from the Holuhraun eruption will move north and east over the next 24 hours. As can be seen, the Met Office has two maps for predicted areas where significant levels of SO2 will be present. Egilsstaðir and Reyðarfjörður are expected to be hit the hardest by the gas, which continues to pour out of the Holuhraun eruption site. However, levels of SO2 will vary from region to region, and even from hour to hour. A more detailed map allows one to see the forecast movement of SO2 concentrations through Tuesday. Simply

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Special Prosecutor Accused Of Illegal Phone Taps

by

A former employee of the Office of the Special Prosecutor says the office tapped phones of suspects illegally. The Minister of Justice believes the matter needs to be investigated. In an interview with Fréttablaðið, former Special Prosecutor’s Office employee Jón Óttar Ólafsson said that the office listened in on illegal taps of phone conversations of clients and lawyers alike. Both the Special Prosecutor (shown above) and the State Prosecutor have dismissed the allegations as completely untrue. However, RÚV reports that Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson – serving in his capacity as acting Justice Minister – believes the matter warrants further

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Foreign Ministry Harshly Criticised

by

The Minister of Foreign Affairs has received some backlash over his decision to close the Icelandic International Development Agency. While the Agency will be absorbed by the Foreign Ministry, Vísir reports, the move is not without its critics. Minister of Foreign Affairs Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson told reporters for RÚV that when his office examined the best way to continue developmental aid, they came to the conclusion that the best strategy would be to bring the Agency into the Ministry. However, this contention is not supported by a report done on the subject for the Ministry in 2008, when Ingibjörg Sólrún

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Icelanders Use 200 Litres Of Water Per Day

by

The water consumption of Icelanders is so high, it corresponds to each Icelander using about 200 litres of water each day, reports RÚV. According to the UN Water, about 50-100 litres of water is needed per day for personal use, meaning that Icelanders are using two times more water per day than is necessary. Comparatively, the water resources available to each Icelander is roughly 530.000 cubic metres where are as Norwegians, for example, have 80.000 m3 and Danes only 3000 m3. Water usage in Iceland has increased considerably over the past few years. The UN states that 85% of the world population

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Icelander To Appear On Korean Stamp

by

An Icelandic stamp collector will appear on a Korean stamp after beating out 70 other contestants to win an international stamp competition in Seoul, South Korea, reports Vísir. Sigtryggur Rósmar Eyþórsson won for his comprehensive stamp collection “Icelandic Postal Stationary”, which includes Icelandic postal stationary cards varying in value and dating from 1879-1920. In the past, postal stationary cards were given out by the Icelandic Post Office and were categorised as stamps. In addition to the prize money from the Korean Postal Service, Sigtryggur’s face now graces a bona fide South Korean stamp. This is the first time an Icelander

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Civil Protection: Potentially Fatal To Ignore Closed Area Warnings

by

Civil Protection in Iceland would like to remind the general public that illegally entering the eruption area could be dangerous or even fatal. RÚV reports that the tracks of at least six separate interlopers were found entering the cordoned-off area surrounding the Holuhraun eruption. Víðir Reynisson of Civil Protection in Iceland wants to remind people that the area is closed off for a reason. “This is the most dangerous place in Iceland,” he told reporters. “We have to ask people to just think before they go out and do something [like this].” Víðir points out that poisonous SO2 gas emanating

Show Me More!