Iceland & Ukraine: Justice Minister Slammed, Russian Vodka Off Shelves, Street May Change Name

Iceland & Ukraine: Justice Minister Slammed, Russian Vodka Off Shelves, Street May Change Name

Published March 2, 2022

Photo by
Timothée Lambrecq

As Iceland is still in the process of deciding how many Ukrainian refugees to accept and when, Minister of Justice Jón Gunnarsson faced fierce opposition in Parliament yesterday when he attempted to push through a bill proposing changes to the Law On Foreigners.

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The bill in question has been criticised by lawyers and doctors alike for directly contradicting Icelandic law, international human rights laws, and basic medical ethics. This is, in fact, the fourth attempt that has been made to get this bill through Parliament, and as RÚV report, Pirate Party MP Andrés Ingi Jónsson (above) accused the Minister of using the conflict in Ukraine as an excuse to drive the bill through and deport existing asylum seekers in Iceland sooner.

Other members of Parliament, including Social Democrat chair Logi Einarsson, had much the same to say about the bill. It has yet to pass Parliament.

In other news, ÁTVR has announced that they have taken some Russian vodka off their shelves.

ÁTVR says that they lack the unilateral power to remove all products from a particular country from the shelves, and instead contacted suppliers.

“Vínbúðin’s product portfolio contained five product numbers of Russian vodka,” the announcement states in part. “Four are from Russian Standard and one from Beluga Noble. Vínnes ehf. has now, in collaboration with ÁTVR, decided to withdraw Russian Standard product, and they will all be removed from the shelves of Vínbúðin until otherwise decided. As for now there is no approval from Beluga Noble suppliers to take that product off the market.”

In other news, Vísir reports that Eyþór Laxdal Arnalds, an Independence Party representative for Reykjavík City Council, has proposed changing the name of Garðastræti to Kænugarðsstræti. This is done to reflect the Icelandic name for Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, which in Icelandic is Kænugarður. No word on how likely that proposal is to pass.

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