Meet Reykjavík’s New Ruling Coalition

Meet Reykjavík’s New Ruling Coalition

Photos by
Natsha Nandabhiwat

Published June 12, 2014

Reykjavík City Council’s new ruling coalition was officially announced yesterday.

As predicted, the ruling coalition of Reykjavík City Council consists of four parties. This coalition is led by the Social Democrats with five of city council’s 15 seats, and supported by Bright Future with two seats, the Left-Greens with one seat and the Pirate Party with one seat as well. DV reports that Dagur B. Eggertsson is the new mayor, while Left-Green Sóley Tómasdóttir is the president of city council and Sigurður Björn Blöndal of Bright Future is the city council chairperson.

The joint platform (.pdf file) of this new coalition aims for a number of changes. Perhaps the largest of these promises is the building of 2,500 to 3,000 rental properties over the next three to five years. This was a major platform point of the Social Democrats during campaign season.

The Pirate Party’s emphasis on transparency and “residential democracy” is also reflected in the platform. Amongst other platform points, an emphasis will be placed on using free and open source software “in every level of municipal services” where possible, and to improve the Betri Reykjavík and Betri Hverfi websites, which enable residents to make proposals and support other proposals that could be taken up by city council.

The Left-Greens’ influence can also be seen in the joint platform. While one of their major campaign points – free playschool and free afterschool programmes – was not taken up, the joint platform does promise to invest an additional 100 million ISK in 2015 and an additional 200 million ISK in 2016 towards lowering playschool registration fees.

Reykjavík’s immigrant population might especially be pleased to learn that mother tongue classes for children of immigrants will be increased in Reykjavík primary schools, and the new coalition will also increase services to immigrants in general in order to help them better integrate into Icelandic society.


News
Happy Syriza, Greece!

Happy Syriza, Greece!

by

Syriza won! Meanwhile, in Iceland, nothing worth mentioning seems currently up for debates. If debates don’t exist, we have to invent them. Morgunblaðið and some other media seem to be seriously concerned about the existence of single parents, as a social hazard. I don’t believe anyone responsible for such writing is actually, him or herself, seriously concerned. Since former Prime Minister Davíð Oddsson became the paper’s editor-in-chief, making the once somewhat respectable medium into the most expensive, and most self-defensive, blog in Europe, its readership has steadily diminished. According to recent polls, the paper now has fewer readers than Bændablaðið

News
Pantless Cat Burglar Still On The Prowl

Pantless Cat Burglar Still On The Prowl

by

The pantless cat burglar who stole 3 Bengal cats from a cat breeder last week remains uncaught, reports RÚV. At first it was believed that 4 cats were stolen but one of the cats – a male by the name of Kiss Me – was found over the weekend. It seems that the frightened Kiss Me managed to hide while the other cats where taken. As reported, someone broke into the Nátthaga Bengalkettir cat enclosure and stole a cage and four cats. In the midst of the cat burglar’s escape however, the get-away car got stuck in a snowbank and

News
Last McDonald’s Burger Sold In Iceland Unchanged After 6 Years

Last McDonald’s Burger Sold In Iceland Unchanged After 6 Years

by

The last cheeseburger sold in Iceland in 2009 remains unchanged after 6 years, reports MBL.is. The only notable difference seems to be that the meat patty is a slightly lighter colour than before. A year after the economic meltdown in Iceland, McDonald’s announced it would be closing up shop and on the last day it was open Icelander Hjör­tur Smára­son bought the last Mc­Don­ald’s cheeseburger in the coun­try. Deciding he would preserve it, Hjörtur kept the burger and fries in a plas­tic bag for 3 years dur­ing which time it remained un­touched by time or decay. “I had heard some­thing

News
Fact: Doctor Who Loves Icelandic Beer

Fact: Doctor Who Loves Icelandic Beer

by

Former Doctor Who, Christopher Eccleston, has expressed his love for Icelandic beer in an interview with Breaking News. Eccleston, who appears in the moody new crime drama Fortitude which was shot in Iceland, said the cast harvested their own fortitude during filming with the help of a stiff drink. “I was a naughty elf in the bar on Fortitude, but I wasn’t a naughty elf [on set]” said Eccleston. “[The bar] had some great beers – Icelandic beers – and we all tried the local stuff. There are some serious drinkers in Iceland, and some serious drinkers in the cast

News
Storm Traps Over 200 People In Gas Station

Storm Traps Over 200 People In Gas Station

by

More than 200 people are stuck in Staðarskáli gas station in Northwest Iceland due to a large storm which closed Holtavörðuheiði road, reports Vísir. Around 80 people have been offered a place to sleep at the local school, Reykjaskóli, and some families have managed to get lodgings at a local hotel. Even so, more than 200 people will remain in the gas station overnight until snow ploughs can clear the road sufficiently to allow drivers to get behind the wheel again. Although the gas station grill closed at 11 pm last night, the station plans to stay open in case

News
Here’s What You Need to Know About Dropping Oil Prices and Drekasvæðið

Here’s What You Need to Know About Dropping Oil Prices and Drekasvæðið

by

Lately it seems that people are getting more and more concerned about the dropping price of oil. This is perhaps less obvious to those of us buying petrol in Iceland, but some Icelanders are questioning whether the search for oil in Drekasvæðið (the ‘Dreka’ or ‘Dragon’ region to the northeast of Iceland)  should continue with crude prices down 55% since June. It seems logical that if the price is dropping there is no reason to look for more resources, but as with most things, it is a little more complicated than that. In December, OPEC met to discuss what should

Show Me More!