A Grapevine service announcement Be patient: That eruption is expected to last until 2015

Too Many Tourists, Says MP

Published October 11, 2012

A member of parliament has argued that there are already too many tourists in Iceland, preventing Icelanders from getting seats at cafés and “disturbing” the experience of visiting Gullfoss and Geysir.
Tourism is a growing industry in Iceland. Over 600,000 tourists visited the country last year, and that number is expected to rise. Páll Asgeir Ásgeirsson, the chairman of the Iceland Touring Association, told radio station Rás 2 last year that he believes the time has come to place surcharges or entrance fees on some of Iceland’s more popular settings of natural beauty, such places as Þingvellir, Landmannalaugar, and Vatnajökull. Such charges would help fund the maintenance and upkeep of these places as foot traffic grows.
Þór Saari, an MP for The Movement, spoke on the radio show Reykjavík Síðdegis yesterday, expressing his concerns over what he sees as an overabundance of tourists in Iceland already. Þór contends that the tourist industry’s plans to continuously increase the number of visitors to Iceland will not work, as the country is too small to accommodate them all.
“Icelanders who go downtown to their cafés, which they’ve maybe done for years, can’t get in because they’re all full of tourists,” he said. “Tourism robs us of the environment that we live in and grew up in. We can’t go to Þingvellir anymore and enjoy standing on a ridge looking at the scenery. We can’t go to Gullfoss and Geysir anymore and enjoy it because there are thousands of foreigners there, disturbing you in your own country.”
Þór compared today’s tourist industry to the way heavy industry was once handled in the past – Iceland putting all its economic hopes into one field, and overloading it. He added that other members of parliament agreed with him, although he did not mention who they were.
“There is the sentiment among members of parliament that there are too many tourists and we need to do something about it,” he said, but claimed many were afraid of going up against the tourist industry. Amongst themselves, he claims, MPs do believe there are too many tourists, but they do not know what, exactly, to do about it.



News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Electronic Ballots Could Increase Voter Turn-Out

by

New research shows that offering the option of electronic ballots could increase voter participation. RÚV reports that research conducted by the University of Iceland, the University of Akureyri and doctorate students at the University of Mannheim examined why municipal elections earlier this year saw the lowest voter turn-out since 1928. The most predominant reasons people cited for not voting were a lack of viable options and the belief that one individual can do little to change the status quo. When these non-voters were then asked what could change their minds about going to the polls, most respondents – 65% –

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Iceland’s Next Christmas Tree Found

by

October is barely over, but Norway has already picked the Christmas tree they will be sending to Iceland this year. MBL reports that Reykjavík mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson has received some good news from Oslo. “Oslo has picked the tree to send us this year and the mayor sent me this photo of it,” Dagur wrote in his newsletter. “I really like it, and you can’t help but get in the Christmas spirit just looking at it.” Dagur also confirmed that he will get to cut the tree down himself, and has promised a “chainsaw photo” in his next newsletter.

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Most Icelanders Against Legalising Casinos

by

The vast majority of Icelanders are against a recent proposal to legalise casinos, although that opposition has decreased slightly in the few past years. According to a poll from Market and Media Research, 68.6% of Icelanders are either very opposed or rather opposed to the idea of a casino in Iceland. Those very opposed decreased from 47.5% to 40.1% in July 2011, while at the same time, those rather opposed increased from 21.8% to 28.5%. This opposition was not universal across all demographics. Most men aged 18 to 29 or 30 to 49 were in favour of a casino. Apart

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Police Guns Detained By Toll Authorities Until Proven Gifts

by

The 250 machine guns, recently acquired from the Norwegian army, have been sealed off by toll authorities, who will not deliver them to the Coast Guard until the latter can prove that the weapons were a gift, as its representatives have publicly claimed. According to RÚV, toll authorities locked up and sealed the warehouse in which the weapons are kept, until the Coast Guard can provide such evidence. Whereas the Coast Guard has not provided any proof, toll authorities have a copy of the Norwegian Army’s invoice for the guns, supporting Norway’s claim that the Coast Guard purchased them. If

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Adam Ibrahim Pasha Ends Hunger Strike

by

Adam Ibrahim Pasha has ended his hunger strike. He announced the end of the strike on Thursday evening, his tenth day striking. Pasha took the action to protest against the Directorate of Immigration’s decision not to process his application for asylum in Iceland. In his announcement, Pasha explains that he respects Icelandic authorities and the Directorate of Immigration in particular. He says that he does not want them to feel as if he meant to force their decision, but explains that he took the action out of fear for his own life, if deported. He says that he now considers

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

“To Write A Saga, You Must Kill A Cow”

by

Last night, as reported, director Benedikt Erlingsson and producer Friðrik Þór Friðriksson received the Nordic Council Film Prize for the 2013 comedy “Of Horses and Men”. In his acceptance speech, Benedikt criticized the government for cutting the budget of the Icelandic Film Fund by, he said, 42 percent, this year. Describing the situation as a “catastrophe”, Benedikt announced the presence of Icelandic politicians at the ceremony, and encouraged other members of the audience to pick up the topic in conversations, during the succeeding party. “Talk to them about the Icelandic sagas,” Benedikt said, and continued: “Tell them that we who

Show Me More!