A Grapevine service announcement Be patient: That eruption is expected to last until 2015
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
<?php the_title(); ?>

WHAT THE FLIPPING HELL?

by

Alright. So this surveillance video from the Höfðatorg parking garage in Reykjavík has been making the rounds in Iceland and across the greater internet today, after the garage’s custodian, Albert Guðbrandsson, uploaded it to YouTube (having resisted the urge for an entire three years – now that’s some willpower!). In the video, we can see… um… well. Yeah. No idea what’s going on there. The video was caught at around midnight in July of 2011. RÚV notes that the driver was made to pay for the damages he caused to the garage’s gate, and that police were involved in the

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Icelanders Object To More Machine Guns For Cops

by

Many Icelandic citizens are voicing their opposition to the recent police acquisition of MP5 submachine guns, manifesting in protest and petition alike. Icelanders have long prided themselves as belonging to a peaceful, army-free country. This is being cited by many Icelanders on social media as amongst the reason why they object to recent news that the Icelandic police have received and bought a cache of 150 MP5 submachine guns and untold numbers of Glock-17 semiautomatics from Norway. At the time of this writing, over 400 Icelanders have said they will be attending a demonstration to be held this Friday in

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Iceland Gets Closer To 330,000 Mark

by

Iceland’s population reached 328,170 at the end of the third quarter of the year, increasing by over a thousand in just three months. Statistics Iceland reports that there are more men than women in Iceland, at 164,710 and 163,460 respectively, and over two-thirds of the total population – or 210,660 people – live in the capital area alone. 23,840 people living in Iceland are foreign citizens, with 860 more foreigners entering the country than leaving it, and 400 more Icelandic citizens leaving the country than moving to it. The vast majority of Icelanders who left the country went to somewhere

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Icelander To Take Virtual Trip To Mars

by

An electric car salesman will soon be the first Icelander to take a virtual trip to the only planet inhabited entirely by robots: Mars. Nútíminn reports that Gísli Gíslason, the managing director of Icelandic electric car company Even, has received a special invitation from NASA to take a virtual trip to Mars. “Yeah, you have to try everything,” Gísli said. “I think they’re inviting people who are already on their way into space. But I’m not [in reality] going to Mars, it’s just a one way ticket there.” Gísli is already in training to take a round trip into space.

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Wages Rise 6.2% Last 12 Months

by

The wage index rose 6.2% in the last twelve months according to new, September-based, figures from Statistics Iceland. The real wage index, measuring purchasing power, rose 4.3% at the same time. In terms of wages, according to the figures, this year’s September seems to have been 0.7% less cruel than its August.

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Jewish Iraqi Citizen On Hunger Strike

by

On Tuesday, a Jewish citizen of Iraq, first names Adam Ibrahim, declared a hungerstrike “until death”, to protest the Directorate of Immigration’s (UTL’s) negative ruling on his application for asylum in Iceland. In a phone conversation, the man, whose last name will be held back for now, said that he came to Iceland in July this year. He received a negative decision from UTL on Friday last week, which would eventually lead to deportation. The man’s lawyer says that the verdict will be appealed to the Interior Ministry. In a letter supposedly sent to the Directorate of Immigration, the Icelandic

Show Me More!