Over one thousand environmentalists gathered with green flags outside the Prime Minister’s office yesterday to submit a petition against government plans to review the Framework Programme for Hydro and Geothermal Energy Resources, Vísir reports. The demonstration was organised by the Icelandic Environmental Union, which collected public recommendations regarding the Framework Programme that various organisations, municipalities, lobby groups and individuals had sent to Alþingi and the Ministry of Environment. The demonstration was held in reaction to the government’s recent announcement of their plans to review the Framework Programme with the aim of increasing the number of power stations currently in operation as well as the Prime Minister’s desire to carry through plans for an aluminium smelter in Helguvík. It was also a reply to the Prime Minister’s belittlement of earlier public responses to the Framework Programme. The Chairperson of the Environmental Union, Guðmundur Hörður Guðmundsson, handed over the recommendations and signatures to the Prime Minister’s assistant. Guðmundur told RÚV that some eight power stations would need to be put into operation in order to generate enough power for the smelter in Helguvík and that it would bring 90% of all energy produced in Iceland into the service of manufacturing aluminium, which he did not consider economically sound. Responding to the frequently cited argument that Helguvík would bring much needed jobs to people of the Reykjanes peninsula, Guðmundur further stated that big industry was not the most viable way to create jobs and that even the leader of the the Youth Organisation of the Independence Party had recently written an article pointing to alternative ways for economic growth and job creation. Read related Grapevine story here.
Popular hot dog stand Bæjarins Beztu hired extra security last night in preparation for the arrival of the ninth Yule Lad, Bjúgnakrækir (Sausage Swiper). “We couldn’t afford losses like last year,” said the vendor on duty, Jói, when the Grapevine caught up with him last night. “He cleared us out, all the hot dogs, just gone. I’d only worked at Bæjarins Beztu a few months when Bjúgnakrækir hit us last year. One minute I’m selling a hot dog ‘with everything’ and the next I’m waking up on the floor and the whole place has been turned over. He ate it
There has been a sharp increase in the number of admissions at Landspítalinn, the National University Hospital of Iceland’s emergency room in the past few days after accidents caused by icy roads and pavements. The City of Reykjavík have been receiving about 700 phone calls each day to deal with the excessive snow, reports RÚV. Tens of vehicles and machines are used to plough the snow and clear the streets and pavements of ice. The snow ploughing begins at 4 am and continues through the evening. Regardless, a lot of the people admitted have been pedestrians who suffered injuries after slipping
Hotel Reykjavík Marina, owned by Icelandair, has apologised for the name of its “Apartheid” cocktail, after the online medium Africa Is A Country tweeted about it, submitting a photograph as evidence: The Apartheid cocktail, on sale at the Marina Hotel, Reykjavik (owner: @Icelandair) pic.twitter.com/IyrQkx60bU — AFRICA IS A COUNTRY (@AfricasaCountry) December 19, 2014 Icelandair’s first response was not an apology however. After @AfricasaCountry’s tweet, but before the apology, whoever handles Icelandair’s account tweeted back, apparently missing the point completely: “Simply scrumptious, enjoy!” Icelandair offered, adding: “Happy Holidays”: @AfricasaCountry Simply scrumptious, enjoy! Happy Holidays — Icelandair (@Icelandair) December 19, 2014 In
A container intended to accommodate doctors at Landspítalinn fell off a truck by Miklabraut, Reykjavík, Friday morning. This was reported by RÚV. Luckily, the container fell on a slip road and did thereby not seriously disturb traffic. Eighteen containers are currently being stacked on the hospital’s premises by Hringbraut, for doctors’ offices. Strike and negotiations Doctors at State hospitals started their first strike action ever late October. So far, negotiations between doctors and State have not produced results. On Friday morning, representatives of the Icelandic Medical Association met with representatives of the State to continue negotiations. Last week, Prime Minister
The 250 machine guns acquired from Norway, by the Coast Guard, to share with Iceland’s Police forces, have not been returned as intended. According to the Coast Guard’s public relations manager, they are waiting for an opportunity to ship the guns back without paying hefty shipping fees. This was reported by Vísir. This October, DV broke the news of the acquired weapons and plans within the Police to arm general patrol cars with the MP5 submachine guns. Traditionally, most Police officers have served unarmed, but are backed up, when needed, by special forces. A dispute then arose between authorities within
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