Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson recently signed a new regulation limiting the right of foreigners within the European Economic Area (EEA) to buy property in Iceland. Signed on April 17th, the regulation denies EEA citizens who are not registered residents of Iceland to buy land or property here unless such a purchase is shown to support their legal right to residence or employment in the country. Ögmundur says the regulation is in line with existing laws on property ownership and use rights, particularly with reference to law no. 19/1966. He told Vísir that the regulation clearly states that the freedom to move capital is not a self-evident or unrestricted right but only an interpretation of EEA citizens’ right to acquire property in connection with the EEA’s (and EU’s) so-called Four Freedoms , which guarantee the free movement of goods, capital, services, and people. Ögmundur adds that the regulation is designed to restrict EEA citizens who do not reside in Iceland from buying property which is not essential to their employment or residency. The new regulation only affects EEA citizens. Purchase of land or property by foreigners from outside the EEA still requires special authorisation by the Interior Ministry.
Sexual assaults in central Reykjavík have increased drastically over the past few years, reports Vísir. According to police statistics 22 sexual assaults were reported in 2010, 17 in 2011 and 36 in 2012, so an average of 25 cases a year. In 2013 however, a record 60 sexual assaults were reported in Reykjavík, roughly 140% more than the average between 2010 -2012. Guðrún Jónsdóttir, spokeswoman for Stígamót, the Education and Counseling Centre for Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Violence says the numbers fit with the developments she’s seen at the centre in recent years. “The number of cases we saw increased
In the first 6 months of 2014, 402.000 tourists came through Keflavík airport, 90.000 more than in the same period last year. While this is good news, the Director General of the Icelandic Tourist Board, Ólöf Ýrr Atladóttir, told RÚV yesterday that it there were reasons for cautious optimism. “I think that there has been too rapid an increase in tourists,” said Ólöf Ýrr. “I don’t think we’ve been able to meet the demands of this increase. I think it would be better for us to avoid our future guests being put off from visiting us and in order to avoid that and
Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir may have tried to influence police investigations of her ministry, prompting the previous police commissioner to quit. The Constitutional and Supervisory Committee has asked the Minister to explain herself. DV reports that, according to their sources, former Commissioner of the Capital Area Police Stefán Eiríksson was on one occasion called into Hanna Birna’s office where she expressed displeasure with the course of police investigations of the Ministry of the Interior. On another occasion, Hanna Birna allegedly phoned Stefán, saying she was unhappy with police conduct in the investigations. Stefán reportedly discussed this with
An Indonesian woman living in Iceland had some candid words to share about the experience many Asian women endure when they move here. RÚV reports that Cynthia Trililani, originally from Indonesia, has been living in Iceland for the past ten years now. She has two university degrees, and is working on two master’s degrees while working in a playschool. Despite her background, Cynthia told attendees at SlutWalk last Saturday, herself and Asian women in general are subjected to some ugly stereotypes from some of the locals. Cynthia said that many Asian women are regarded as “uneducated sex toys” who are
A group calling for asylum seeker policy reform wants a Palestinian asylum seeker who was deported to be allowed to return to Iceland. RÚV reports that the group, Ekki fleiri brottvísanir (“No more deportations”), handed over a petition of support for Ramez Rassas to the Ministry of the Interior and the Directorate of Immigration. Rassas originally fled Gaza in 2009, and has been seeking asylum since then. After repeated failures for asylum in Norway, he came to Iceland last November. He was deported back to Norway last February, and then sent back to Gaza the following month. There, he currently
The numbers are in for the 8th annual seal census. In all 706 seals were spotted in a 100 km stretch of beach in northwest Iceland, reports RÚV. “We counted 706 this year which is similar to last year,” said biologist Sandra Granquist. “We counted 705-707 last year so [the numbers have] been pretty much the same in the last 3 years.” The census was conducted by employees of The Icelandic Seal Centre as well as a number of volunteers who arrived in the early hours of Sunday morning to help count. The census helps scientists keep track of how many seals are in the