From Iceland — What Are Icelanders Talking About: Pizza, Whistleblowers And Cheap Coke

What Are Icelanders Talking About: Pizza, Whistleblowers And Cheap Coke

Published October 24, 2019

Sam O'Donnell Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by

In an effort to shore up losses, UK-based master franchise Domino’s Pizza Group will be pulling out of four markets, including Iceland. This should not, however, affect the presence of Domino’s pizza in Iceland. Back in 2016, Domino’s Pizza Group bought a 50% share in Pizza-Pizza ehf., the Icelandic company that operates Domino’s in Iceland. They bought a greater stake in 2017, with the completion of the sale happening this year. Domino’s Pizza Group will now sell that ownership, and finding an Icelandic buyer is highly likely. Therefore the pizza chain will likely remain in operation for the time being.

After shuttering their doors last August, Iceland’s first Michelin-starred restaurant Dill will open again. The restaurant will change location to the second floor of Laugavegur 59, just above the Bónus supermarket.

The location is an important point; part of the reason why Dill closed was due to its previous location on Hverfisgata. Heavy construction that is still ongoing on that street had a significant impact on the business.

Years in the making, the draft of a new bill from Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir would, if passed, finally provide the protections for whistleblowers that organisations such as Reporters Without Borders have urged Iceland to adopt, and which began with the adoption of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative in 2010.

According to the language of the bill, a whistleblower would be defined as “those who in good faith convey information or documentation regarding illegal or unethical practices of their employers, whether public or private.” Those who fit this definition would be legally protected from criminal prosecution or civil damages.

When this new bill will be submitted to Parliament is still undetermined, the Prime Minister hopes to complete the draft and introduce it to Parliament during the current parliamentary session.

The price of cocaine in Iceland has decreased from 2017, and quantities seized by police and admissions to drug rehabs for cocaine addiction have increased.

Inga Sæland, the chair of the People’s Party, contends that the cocaine arriving in Iceland is purer than it has ever been. She said, “Despite the fact that police have seized up to 40 kilos of cocaine, the street value has not gone up, which should tell us that there’s more than enough of a supply.”

Arnþór Jónsson, the chair of SÁÁ, is urging national and municipal cooperation in increasing housing for drug addicts in Iceland. A shortage of space has amplified the risk that many of these addicts will end up on the street, cut off from the services that could help them.

Icelanders demonstrated at Austurvöllur on October 19th in support of the Kurds, who are currently being assaulted by the Turkish military. The Turkish invasion of Rojava has drawn condemnation from Minister of Foreign Affairs Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson.

Kurds living in Iceland have also been vocal in their condemnation of the attacks. As Salah Karim told the Grapevine last week, “The Kurdish people of Rojava are left at the mercy of the most barbaric fascist state of the 21st century. Not only Rojava, but all Kurdish models of democracy are in serious danger.”

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