Three blocks of apartments owned by the Housing Financial Fund (HFF) stand empty in Selfoss despite there being a great need for housing in the town, RÚV reports. A town council meeting discussed the apartments last July, deciding that they would be put on the market, however eight months have passed without any action being taken. Eyþór Arnalds, chairman of the Árborb city council says that he is very surprised by how slowly HFF is moving on this matter and said that the lack of available housing in the area has led to young people moving away. “Apartments that have been advertised for rent in Selfoss are often gone within an hour,” he said.
For centuries, each Christmas, I have indulged in Iceland’s greatest culinary innovation, Skyr. Now, this beloved strained yoghurt continues to gain popularity across continents. Earlier this year MS Iceland Dairies (Mjólkursamsalan) predicted that 60 million pots of skyr would be sold internationally and 8 million pots domestically. I’ve posted a number of my personal skyr recipes on my food blog, Skyrgámur’s Scrumptious Skyr Secrets, but in honour of the upcoming season I’m guest blogging here on the Grapevine to share my Ultimate Christmas Skyr Cake – Enjoy! Skyrgámur’s Ultimate Christmas Skyr Cake Ingredients Base 200 g (7 ounces) Dates, pitted
The Central Bank of Iceland has decided to prepay 50 billion ISK (ca. €320 mi) to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). According to the bank’s statement, this was decided in the light of the bank’s “relatively abundant liquidity position”. Following Iceland’s 2008 economic crash, the country received financing from the IMF, totalling at around €1,6 billion. After the currently announced payment, authorities will, according to the Central Bank, have repaid 83% of the loan.
Only a third of Icelanders will be buying a real live Christmas tree this holiday season, report RÚV. According to a survey from MMR, artificial Christmas trees have been slowly but surely taking over the holiday tree market in Iceland. Roughly 32% of people will be buying a living Christmas tree this year compared to 40% two years ago. Meanwhile 56% of Icelanders plan to buy or put up an artificial Christmas tree this year. Taking their survey a bit further MMR discovered that those who vote for the Social Democratic Alliance or Bright Future are more likely to buy
An aerial image of the Holuhraun eruption and the surrounding lava field was the inspiration for the Earth Sciences Institute’s (ESI) annual Christmas card this year, reports RÚV. The eruption site and lava field have – through the wonders of Windows Paint – been transformed into a lovely red Santa hat with the following seasonal greeting from ESI staff: We’ll keep an eye on the lava, but… Merry Christmas! Post by Jarðvísindastofnun Háskólans. Yesterday was a fairly calm day on at the eruption site according to the Meteorological office. Only two earthquakes with a magnitude over 4 were measured. As
“The Poor Give The Rich Second Hand Domestic Appliances” is the title of an announced event, scheduled on December 23, the last business day before Christmas, locally known as Þorláksmessa. The event was announced on Facebook last Monday. —Thursday afternoon, over 800 people had RSVP’d. The event is occasioned by utterances made by Vilhjálmur Bjarnason, member of Alþingi on behalf of the Independence Party, during recent discussions about next years State Treasury budget. Vilhjálmur said that lowering the VAT on domestic appliances would benefit those economically worse off, even as the VAT on food is raised, since the poor can
The Seventh Yule Lad, Hurðaskellir (Door Slammer), will be launching his new experimental electro-punk album “Door Sounds” at Kex Hostel tonight. The album, co-produced by the energetic Ghostigital duo Einar Örn Benediktsson and Curver, features loops of doors slamming, hinges creaking, keys jingling and knobs turning over synths and a mix of dub and hip hop beats. The album marks Hurðaskellir’s musical debut and has been met with generally positive reviews, the Grapevine’s music contributor Bob Cluness even went as far as saying that he “didn’t hate it.” “I have been naturally attracted to rhythm for centuries,” said Hurðaskellir. “Last