While the Akureyri town council is busy setting up a one-day women-only council, and Reykjavík city council is putting on a series of events to celebrate the centennial anniversary of women’s suffrage, the national government decided to put an end to the ongoing nurses’ wage dispute by banning their strike actions.
Predictably, nurses have responded by resigning en masse, with a whole shift of ICU nurses giving notice. Puzzlingly, our prime minister wasn’t at Parliament to discuss the controversial bill—instead he and our finance minister were spotted watching a game of football.
In their defence, it was a pretty spectacular game, where Iceland beat the Czech Republic 2-1 in the 2016 UEFA qualifier. If the men’s team continues doing as well in their four upcoming matches, they’ll get to compete in next year’s UEFA championship in France, which would be their first time in the actual competition. Iceland’s women’s team qualified and competed last in 2011.
As fascinating as football may be, it hasn’t distracted MPs from proposing a formal investigation into PM Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson’s ties to purchase of a local paper. Following the arrest of two sisters who purportedly threatened to blackmail the PM with sensitive information about his role in funding the purchase of the newspaper DV, MPs from both the ruling coalition and opposition have called for a closer examination into the matter. The PM has denied any wrongdoing.
In other news, Russian sailboat STS Kruzenshtern, which had been docked for several days in the Reykjavík Harbour, accidentally rammed into not one, but two of Iceland’s Coast Guard vessels. Although the Coast Guard is probably furious that the ships have been made unseaworthy, our money is on them also being impressed with an unarmed sailboat doing so much damage to two armoured ships.
The Coast Guard also made headlines when they announced that they will return the cache of guns they got from Norway. The 250 MP5 submachine guns have been stuck in customs since October, after a disagreement about whether the guns were being purchased or if they were gifts. Despite numerous attempts from the Coast Guard and police to convince the general public that they needed such a vast number of firearms, the populace remained firmly opposed to the idea, and now the guns are going home before the end of June. At last, a farewell to arms.
And in other good news, arthouse cinema Bíó Paradís successfully crowd-sourced 30,000 EUR to make the venue fully accessible to wheelchair users, hitting their target at the eleventh hour. The plans include installing multiple ramps, building a new toilet, and making numerous other smaller changes throughout the cinema.
To end things on a high note, Reykjavík’s petting zoo has seen an increase in its number of inhabitants, with a new foal, baby seal, and for the first time in seven years, a purebred reindeer calf. Although all three can be seen at the petting zoo, the staff has asked visitors to be respectful of its denizens, in particular its youngest members.