A Grapevine service announcement LOOK BUSY! Growing Likelihood Of Eruption At Bárðarbunga

Child Leave Could Be Extended

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Published November 30, 2012

Child leave in Iceland could be extended, and the monthly payments currently made raised.
By Icelandic law, parents of a child are given nine months leave – three months for the mother, three months for the father, and another three months to be used however they see fit. This absence is paid by the state.
RÚV now reports that the Icelandic government approved a bill outlining some changes to child leave that will go into effect after a few years.
First of all, child leave will be extended from nine months to twelve, giving each parent four months leave and the remaining four months to be shared. Secondly, the total paid per month for the leave will be raised from 300,000 ISK to 350,000 ISK.
These changes, if approved, will go into effect in 2016. The Minister of Welfare will submit the bill to parliament today.



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Area North Of Bárðarbunga Volcano Evacuated

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An evacuation order went into effect yesterday in the area north of Vatnajökull glacier, in light of ongoing earthquake activity around the Bárðarbunga volcano, reports RÚV. According to Víðir Reynisson, department manager of Iceland’s Civil Protection and Emergency Management, the evacuation has been a success though he could not be sure that some had not been left behind.  “The evacuation has gone well so far,” Víðir told RÚV last night. “We don’t expect the evacuation to be finished until maybe 3 am… This sort of thing just takes time. There are bad roads and such. What will happen next is that the Icelandic Coast Guard will

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Government To Increase Reforestation

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Iceland’s government intends to increase funding to reforestation efforts around the country. RÚV reports that while recent years have seen government cuts to Iceland’s national reforestation efforts, Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson wants to reverse that trend. The minister points out that even as demand for timber is growing, successive cuts over the years have made many tree planters worried about the impact the demand will have on Iceland’s forests. “The government has a plan to increase reforestation and revegetation for, amongst other reasons, the trapping of carbon dioxide,” Sigurður told reporters. “I expect that

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Ministry Of Tourism?

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One of Iceland’s captains of the tourist industry has proposed that tourism be given its own ministerial jurisdiction. MBL reports that Ásbjörn Björg­vins­son, the director of the Icelandic Tourism Association, believes the time has come for the Icelandic government to devote at least part of a ministry to what is already a major revenue-generator for Iceland. “One of the things that the Icelandic Tourism Association has pushed for is that Ragn­heiður Elín Árna­dótt­ir be given the title Minister of Tourism, not just the Minister of Industry and Commerce,” the title she current holds, he told reporters. Ásbjörn believes the title

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Prime Minister Learns What “Transparency” Means

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Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson drew harsh criticism for remarks he made about an impending vote of no confidence against Interior Minister Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir. The Pirate Party announced earlier this week that they were considering submitting a vote of no confidence against Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir. They contend that her refusal to step down during police investigations of her ministry, amongst other things, has ruined the credibility of the ministry itself. Yesterday, Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson told MBL that he believes Hanna Birna has acted appropriately throughout the matter, adding that he questioned the premise

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News In Brief Early August

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A whole new angle on the ever-brewing Ministry of the Interior scandal came to light when it was reported that Interior Minister Hanna Birna had contacted then-Commissioner of the Capital Area Police Stefán Eiríksson, in person and by phone, in part to ask if police could be trusted with ministry files, and when their investigations would end. Cue media maelstrom, replete with Parliamentary Ombudsman Tryggvi Gunnarsson formally requesting the minister explain herself. At the time of writing, the Ombudsman is still waiting for a final answer from Hanna Birna, who had until August 15 to respond. Former Prime Minister Geir

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Growing Numbers Of Bats In Iceland

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New research shows an increasing number of bats in Iceland, most likely arriving via cargo ships. The research, published in the journal Acta Chiropterologica under the title “A Review of the Occurrence of Bats (Chiroptera) on Islands in the North East Atlantic and on North Sea Installations”, placed primary focus on newly discovered species of bats in Iceland, the Faroe Islands, the Shetland Islands, the Orkney Islands, and North Sea installations. Vísir reports that 40 separate bat sightings have been recorded in Iceland in 2012. Most of these bats were found in southwest Iceland, especially in the capital area. It

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