What Are Icelanders Talking About? - The Reykjavik Grapevine

What Are Icelanders Talking About?

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Adobe Stock

Probably the weather, but what else?

Way up in the Westfjörds, someone stole a yacht and attempted to sail it out of national waters. The yacht was reported missing to the police, who in turn contacted the Icelandic Coast Guard. A deployed helicopter intercepted the yacht in Breiðafjörður and directed it to the nearest port, which was Rif in Snæfellsnes. The suspect is currently in police custody, but it is still unknown what the motivation behind this crime was. The only certainty is that a brand-new yacht was probably not the best choice of boats to steal.

What is the minimum wage in Iceland? Well it might soon be a bit higher than it is at the moment. With the minimum wage currently sitting at 300,000 ISK, the Federation of General and Special Workers in Iceland other labour unions have expressed support for the fight to raise the minimum wage to 425,000 ISK. The managing director of the Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise , Halldór Benjamín Þorbergsson, generally agrees with the demands. Nevertheless, he also stated that the situation needs to be investigated before making any promises. Anyway, it seems that there could be a possible agreement between labour and management eventually, raising the wages.

One of Iceland’s main economic sectors, fishing, has undergone a major change recently. Two salmon farming companies in the Westfjords, which were granted licenses under the Aquaculture Act for a 17,500-ton sea farm were granted in December 2017, had their ‘exclusivity’ revoked just ten months later. The main reasons given by the Environmental and Natural Resources Board of Appeal for taking such an action is to prevent issues concerning biodiversity. However, the possession of a permanent license is still not out of reach. Companies receive a temporary permit, which can transition into a permanent licences when all the necessary requirements have been met, according to Kristján Þór Júlíusson, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture.

The accusations of sexual assault made against Sigúr Ros drummer Orri Páll Dýrason by artist Megan Boyd managed to flare up again. The musician’s lawyer went public with a letter to Stundin, an Icelandic bi-weekly newspaper, trying to get an interview with Boyd banned. However, this attempt did the opposite of the intended. Not only did Stundin agree to not publish the interview, but Orri’s spin on the news cycle picked up speed. It remains to be seen what happens next. Surely the public is highly interested.

Finally, a cat named Pál Dánielsdóttir living in Fosshotel Hellnar, located on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, is gaining internet fame. Being responsible for mousekeeping, Pál warms the hearts of both guests and staff. Her Hungarian owners know about the immense cuteness they offer to whoever visits the hotel and therefore it seemed inevitable to give little Pál her own staff card.


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