From Iceland — News in Brief: April Edition

News in Brief: April Edition

Published May 4, 2012

News in Brief: April Edition

Well, Hamborgarabúllan, one of Iceland’s most treasured hamburger shops, will soon be opening in London. Owner Tómas A. Tómasson told the Icelandic business paper Viðskiptablaðið that it will open parallel to Oxford Street. “But I guess it’s best to say that it’s close to Debenhams,” he added “because every Icelander knows where Debenhams is.
Apparently the UK isn’t satisfied with JUST our hamburgers. It wants our electricity too. UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry will be visiting Iceland later this month to explore those possibilities.
But this is dependent on constructing that underwater cable, which one Danish engineer says isn’t so simple. The cable would be about 1,000 to 1,500 kilometres long, making it the longest in the world. Furthermore, it would be 1,200 metres below the surface of the sea. Today only one cable is deeper than that.
In other news, a plastic cup that Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir drank from was auctioned off with proceeds going to a charity for chronically ill children. The Visual Arts Centre in Akureyri took it home for 105,000 ISK, which really pissed off some artists who feel cheated because the museum never buys their art.
The saga of the plastic cup didn’t end there. The Youth Organisation of the Independence Party of Iceland (SUS) offered to pay twice as much for it due to its historical importance. The word for “disposable cup” in Icelandic is “mál,” but “mál” also means “matter” or “issue,” SUS claimed that this was the only “mál” that the PM has finished.
 Meanwhile people are still pretty unhappy with the government. A poll conducted by daily newspaper Frétta-blaðið revealed that the it has a 24% approval rating, which is what the previous government enjoyed just before it was forced out of office in 2009.
Then the Chinese Premier paid us a visit. He brought an entourage of 100 people with him and left after signing six “willingness agreements” with our government. More about that on PAGE 22.
Now, to the BIG news. Landsdómur acquitted former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde on three of four charges of negligence and mismanagement leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. He received no punishment and the State will cover his expenses.
You’d think he’d be happy, but Geir was livid as he told reporters that the verdict was both “ridiculous” and “laughable.” He says he plans to take this matter to the European Court of Human Rights as soon as he can.
Then the church elected Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir, a parish priest from Bolungarvík, as the next bishop. She is Iceland’s first female bishop. HOORAY.
What else? A small newspaper in west Iceland reported that they have reliable evidence that Iceland will resume hunting fin whales this summer, despite the International Whaling Commission’s moratorium.
The majority of the Icelandic police, who are currently armed with pepper spray and batons, would like to have tazers or even handguns, as they believe their job is becoming more dangerous.
As Iceland continues in the EU negotiation process, the majority of Icelanders are still against joining the union. A new poll conducted by a professor of sociology shows that 54% of Icelanders are against joining the European Union, and the greatest opposition arises from distinct demographics.
Oh and then there’s Icesave…BORING, BORING. The European Free Trade Agreement’s Supervisory Authority (ESA) says that Iceland violated the basic principle of international banking that depositors should be allowed to withdraw the money they put into an account, and that ultimately the government of a country’s banks are responsible for making sure this happens. It asks the Icelandic government to admit it violated the treaty. Iceland has until May 11 to respond.
And finally seagulls have been terrorizing residents of Kópavogur ever since meat pellets—used as a cheap fertilizer—were strewn across the local football field. OOPS.

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