A conservative city councilperson for Reykjavík has called mayor Jón Gnarr’s recent remarks about making the city a military-free zone “irresponsible.” As reported, mayor Jón Gnarr has said that he wants all military sea vessels banned from the capital harbour, all military aircraft banned from the local airport (including CIA rendition planes) and furthermore, expressed the belief that Iceland should withdraw from NATO altogether. RÚV reports that Independence Party city councilperson Kjartan Magnússon took exception to these remarks, calling for a special discussion session on the matter in city hall today. Kjartan argued that in the past, these nations – usually Denmark and Norway – had been asked to bring their warships to Reykjavík in order to help out with rescue operations. He said that he considered it irresponsible to say that warships, from countries Iceland considers friends, are not welcome in the city’s harbour. The mayor’s office has not as yet responded to the remarks to the press.
Conductor and Music Director of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Ilan Volkov, will lead an ensemble of musicians at an anti-war protest today at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, reports Slipped Disc. The protest will call for peace talks and an end to the occupation. A number of other cultural personalities have pledged their support and will be participating. “We will do some improvised vocal and instrumental response to the situation. It is a small part of an evening with many other performances.” said Ilan. The group will gather in the square at 8pm. Their slogan reads: ‘We stand together against the silence of
A celebration is planned in Dalasýsla this weekend to mark 800 years since the birth of saga writer Sturla Þórðarson, reports Vísir. The guest of honour will be former president Vigdís Finnbogadóttir and guest speakers include; Speaker of the House Einar K. Guðfinnsson, Norwegian politician Olemic Thommessen, writer Einar Kárason and director of the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, Guðrún Nordal. Sturla Þórðarson, Snorri Sturluson’s nephew and pupil, was a chieftain as well as a saga and contemporary history writer active in the 13th century. His most famous work is Íslendinga saga, the longest saga within Sturlunga saga. In the wake of the dissolution of
Iceland’s Foreign Affairs Committee will meet to discuss the situation in Gaza, although the Foreign Minister has called it “pointless” to cut ties with Israel. RÚV reports that Birgir Ármannsson, the chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee, will call together the committee to discuss the situation in Gaza. “The events that we have been closely following are of course tragic, and they cause us a lot of worry,” he told reporters. “The news that is being reported, daily now, underlines the seriousness of the issue.” The committee’s meeting is in response to a request from Left-Green MP Svandís Svavarsdóttir to
As more Progressives leave the party, tensions continue to rise. Last week, former Reykjavík city council candidate Hreiðar Eiríksson announced he was leaving the Progressive Party over remarks Progressive city council candidate Sveinbjörg Birna Sveinbjörnsdóttir made during campaign season, as well as the party leadership’s silence on the matter. Sveinbjörg said she would revoke the granting of a plot of land for Iceland’s Muslims to build a mosque. Other remarks were made by her, and other Progressives, which also used Islam as a campaign point. This is the same reason former Progressive alternate MP Þorsteinn Magnússon gave the Grapevine for
Volunteers are requested to take part in an official counting of seals in northwest Iceland. MBL reports that people with a proclivity for nature in general and seals in particular are being asked to take part in the census this Sunday. The census is being conducted by The Icelandic Seal Centre in Hvammstangi, northwest Iceland. Not all of the seals of Iceland’s coast will be counted. Instead, researchers and volunteers will take a 100-kilometre stretch of beach in West Húnaþing and divide it up into smaller areas, which will then be portioned out to seal counters. While seals are an
Once a year, we like to take a step back and celebrate our little city. It’s not that Reykjavík is a city without problems, or that it’s a place that doesn’t have plenty of ways in which it could improve. This probably goes without saying. We at Grapevine spend a lot of time being critical, after all, and by and large we’re a bunch of cynics. But once a year we like to set all that aside and appreciate the things that make Reykjavík a pretty great place to live. As ever, our BEST OF REYKJAVÍK! issue is about big-upping