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

Outgoing Minister Of Employment Takes Stock Of Recent Elections

Alda Kravec
Words by

Published May 15, 2013

Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, outgoing Minister of Employment, has caused a local stir by publishing an article in the Financial Times wherein he attempts to account for the upset in the recent Parliamentary elections.
The article, which appeared in the opinion section on the Financial Times website last night and is expected in print form tomorrow, is entitled “Iceland’s election is a signal to the rest of Europe.”
In the article, Steingrímur attempts to account for why Icelandic voters chose to reinstate the right wing parties that led them into the 2008 crisis in spite of the relative success of the outgoing centre-left coalition in stabilizing the economy and lowering unemployment. 
Steingrímur centres the article around what he calls a “fundamental question,” namely whether “any politician can meet the unrealistic expectations of Europe’s voters.” He criticizes the materialistic consumerism and insatiable demand for economic growth which he claims right-wing parties exploit in order to lure voters with extravagant promises about increasing consumer power.   
Steingrímur argues that such promises of increasing consumer power through tax cuts and de-regulation are short-sighted, opportunistic and do not take sustainable growth into account.
He ponders why the left-centre coalition suffered such an outstanding defeat after having managed to lead the country towards economic recovery whilst sparing low-income groups the austerity measures which have been increasingly implemented elsewhere in Europe.  
After considering the claims that the coalition’s defeat was due to a lack of boasting about their success or disunity within the coalition, he again suggests the role of unrealistic voter expectations: “the truth is that we were beaten by the enormity of the task and the importance of public expectations.”
In this way, Steingrímur not only challenges European politicians to weigh short-term profits against long-term stability and sustainability but he also urges European voters to re-evaluate their own expectations.  



News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Interior Minister: Call To Resign “Unbelievably Inappropriate”

by

Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir has dismissed a Left-Green proposal that she resign as “unbelievably inappropriate”. Her criticisms that the proposal contains falsehoods, however, appear to contradict the facts. Last weekend, the Left-Green Party held a party convention wherein a number of proposals were bundled into a general platform. Amongst these proposals is that Hanna Birna resign, in part because “the Minister did not speak truthfully to parliament and the Minister directly intervened in the investigation [of her ministry].” Speaking on radio station Bylgjan, Hanna Birna was dismissive of the proposal, telling listeners: “I find [the proposal] unbelievable

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Management Wrong On Icelanders’ Working Hours

by

A representative of management who contended that Icelanders do not need to work fewer hours has been corrected by the director of the Association for Sustainability and Democracy (ALDA). As reported, Þorsteinn Víglundsson, the director of Business Iceland (SA), recently dismissed a bill that was recently submitted to parliament on the subject of the definition of “full time work”. The bill proposes that the definition be changed from 40 hours per week to 35. Þorsteinn, in an interview with Stöð 2, told reporters that the concerns raised in the bill were unrealistic, saying that Icelanders work on average about 37

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

“Idiot” And Other Words Removed From Icelandic Penal Code

by

The Icelandic Penal Code was recently revamped to remove some of its more out-dated word choices, and replace them with more modern equivalents. RÚV reports that amongst these proposed changes is to remove the word “idiot” and replace it with the phrase “individual with a developmental disorder”. The out-dated “idiot” is currently used in Article 222 of the Icelandic Penal Code, which states, “Anyone who, intentionally or unwittingly, gives dangerous objects or substances to a child younger than 15 years old, a mentally ill person, an idiot or an intoxicated person will be fined or jailed”. Other changes in word

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

ISNIC Cites Business Reasons For Closing Islamic State’s Domain

by

RÚV reports that Isnic closed the domain of militant group ISIS/Islamic State for business reasons, according to Jens Pétur Jensen, ISNIC’s manager. The decision was made following a staff meeting. Jens Pétur says that around half of ISNIC’s ten staff members were opposed to the decision, and would either have preferred the company wait for a legitimate order from State authorities or not close the site down at all. This was heard at a meeting of Alþingi’s Enviroment and Transportation Committee. Jens Pétur told members of Alþingi that the business reasons behind the decision were concerns about the reputation of

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

STEF Demands All ISPs Block Torrent Sites

by

This morning, the collective rights management society STEF, demanded responses from ISPs Síminn, Tal and 365, as to whether the companies will block their users’ access to the sharing sites Piratebay and its now non-existing local counterpart, deildu.net. This was reported by RÚV. STEF has demanded a response before Wednesday, threatening legal action. As reported, earlier this month, the Reykjavík District court ruled in favor of STEF’s demands in the case of two other ISPs, which were ordered to block their customers’ access to the torrent sites. Within a day after the ruling, which specifies the URLs to be blocked,

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Board Rules Police Must Disclose Protest Report

by

Police must disclose a report on its organization during political demonstrations from 2008 to 2011, according to a ruling by the Information access complaint board. The report’s title is, aptly: “Summary of police organization at protests from 2008 to 2011″. Activist and author Eva Hauksdóttir has sought access to the report since 2012. She first applied to the Chief of Police, who refused the request. She then filed a complaint to the Information access complaint board, established through the 2012 Information act. The board ordered the Chief of Police to reconsider the request. He did and declined the request again,

Show Me More!