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

Fishermen Support Sanctions Against Iceland

Published January 10, 2013

Sanctions levied against Iceland by the European Union over a long-standing mackerel dispute has received the support of Scottish fishermen.
As reported, mackerel fishing has been a contentious subject between Iceland and the EU. While Iceland maintains a quota that they believe is sustainable, EU leaders have said Iceland is overfishing the stocks, and have repeatedly threatened to issue punitive measures if Iceland does not reverse its policy.
Last September, the EU parliament approved a measure that includes a number of sanctions against Iceland and the Faeroe Islands, to be enforced at the discretion of the directorship of the EU.
The Guardian now reports that the measure has received the support of Scottish fishermen.

The sanctions threat is being supported by Scottish skippers who fear the amount of mackerel they can catch could be slashed if Iceland, and also the Faroe Islands, continue to award themselves huge quotas. Mackerel is Scotland’s most valuable fish, with £164m-worth landed in 2011 out of a total UK landed catch of £205m.

Ian Gatt, of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said the EU and Norway had made “improved offers” but there had been “no response or counter offer” from Iceland and Faroe. “The point we have come to is that simple negotiation doesn’t work. It needs another tool, and for us that tool would be implementing sanction measures, because the level of quotas Iceland and Faroe have set themselves is absolutely crazy.”

Steve Norton, chief executive of the Grimsby Fish Merchants Association, takes the long view of the disagreement, telling reporters, “I am not scaremongering, and I personally believe the sanctions threat is just a blunt instrument to get people back to the table. But potentially we are at risk, if this was to go wrong and sanctions were imposed. It’s a crazy situation we find ourselves in, not of our making.”
However, Iceland’s UK ambassador, Benedikt Jónsson, told reporters that threats were not going to accomplish much.
“Fish is the backbone of our economy,” he said. “It is to Iceland what oil is to Norway, wine to France and the City to the UK. The best thing to block any agreement in mackerel is to propose sanctions. No nation will yield to threats of this nature.”



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

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Bishop Blames Immigration For People Leaving The Church

by

Bishop of Iceland Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir believes people leaving Iceland and foreigners coming in contribute to the high numbers of people deregistering from the National Church. Addressing attendees at an ecumenical council last Saturday, RÚV reports, the bishop offered a number of explanations for why more people are leaving than joining the National Church. “One explanation I mentioned earlier is that when people move out of the country, they are automatically de-registered from the church,” she said. “So one explanation [for the decrease] are the number of people leaving the country.” However, recent data from Statistics Iceland shows that only

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Most Consider Themselves Unsafe Downtown

by

Over half of those who responded to a poll done for the police said they feel unsafe downtown after dark or after midnight on weekends. MBL reports that, according to a poll conducted by the Social Sciences Department of the University of Iceland (at the behest of the police), 55% of respondents said they considered downtown a very or rather unsafe place to be either after midnight on weekends, or after dark on any day of the week. Only 8% said they believed they were very safe downtown during these hours. Women were 71% more likely than men to consider

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Labour Leaders Prepare For Hard Road Ahead

by

Leaders of several trade unions say they are getting ready to take a harder stance against management this year, with the need for solidarity amongst workers especially emphasised. The temporary collective bargaining agreement that was agreed upon earlier this year is soon reaching a close, and many professions – such as music teachers and doctors – are already striking, or considering doing so. Vísir spoke with several trade union leaders about the negotiations to come, and what their position on the current labour situation is. Kristján Þórður Snæbjarnarson, chairperson of the Icelandic Electricians Union, said solidarity amongst workers is the

Show Me More!