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.
The general police forces need 70 pieces of MP5 submachine guns as soon as possible, 150 soon, and at least 260 such weapons in the long term, to have the upper hand against terrorism, says Jón Bjartmarz, Chief Superintendent at the High Commissioner of the Icelandic Police. Interviewed by RÚV, he explained the immediate goal as having “two machine guns at each station house, and there are 35 of those.” One of the threats that he cites as a reason for acquiring the artillery is the Islamic State (IS). Jón says that IS is not simply a threat from outside,
A new linguistic area has developed at the University of Iceland, where Icelandic and English are used equally, says a professor, as reported by RÚV. The professor adds that this causes problems for a large number of teachers and students, which remain largely unspoken. Even if the majority of courses at the University of Iceland is still taught in Icelandic, in most departments, most of the reading material is provided in English. Meanhile, teachers also face growing demands to publish their research in English. Professors Hafdís Ingvarsdóttir and Birna Arnbjörnsdóttir investigated the use of English at the university, interviewing both
On the 3rd anniversary of Iceland recognising the state of Palestine, the Palestinian ambassador to Iceland (who resides in Oslo, Norway) will be speaking at a special event arranged by the Iceland-Palestine Association. The event which coincides with the UN’s annual day of solidarity with the Palestinian people, will start at 14:00 and is open to all. The ambassador, Mufeed Shami, Iceland’s ambassador to Palestine, María Erla Marelsdóttir, will be speaking at the event and singer Ragnheiður Ólafsdóttir will be performing. As reported, immediately following the meeting at Iðnó, a launch party for Fyrir Gaza will start. Fyrir Gaza is a charity
The Bárðarbunga caldera has sunk by only 50 metres since the Holuhraun eruption began three months ago, indicating that it will not erupt, reports RÚV. Holuhraun on the other hand, continues to erupt and shows no signs of stopping. Scientists with the Institute of Earth Sciences flew over Bárðarbunga and Holuhraun yesterday to collect new data and investigate the likelihood of an eruption at Bárðarbunga caldera. Currently the Holuhraun eruption is fed by lava from underneath Bárðarbunga volcano. “Yes we believe that it’s likely [there will be no eruption in the Bárðarbunga caldera] and that the results we collected on our
On Wednesday, amendments to the Law on civil protection were proposed on Alþingi, defining a Minister’s powers to rule by decree in case of emergencies. This was reported by RÚV. The Minister involved would be any minister in charge of civil protection. Traditionally, this would mean the Minister of the Interior. Currently, however, Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson resides over such affairs. According to the proposed amendments, when the Police’ Civil Protection unit declares a state of emergency, the Minister can temporarily presume direct control of any business or institution considered vital to secure basic services. That is, to ensure
Popular hamburger joint, Hamborgarafabrikkan (The Hamburger Factory) has taken foie gras off their menu following a complaint on their Facebook page, reports RÚV. The complaint asked the restaurant if they weren’t willing to stop participating in and promoting “one of the most damaging animal abuse practices in the world by taking it off the menu.” “French duck liver is definitely a very controversial food and we knew that when we put it on our menu,” said restaurant owner Jóhannes Ásbjörnsson. “The pairing of beef and duck liver is popular and accessible in restaurants across the world. However, in light of this