From Iceland — RVK Newscast 177: Banking Scandals Are Back, And Finally Some Trees

Photo by
Art Bicnick

Welcome back to RVK Newscast. Editor-in-chief of the Reykjavík Grapevine, Valur Grettisson, and his trusty Chief Morale Officer, Pollý, are in Heiðmörk forest to talk about record numbers of trees in Iceland, banking scandal, and chess celebrations.

Not in Iceland for a while but still want to read our new issue? Get it sent from the Grapevine Store, and you’ll get the previous issue sent with it! Our latest cover story is on the war in Ukraine, while First Lady Eliza Reid graces the cover of the issue previous–plus culture, news and travel and more!

The Ministry of Finance has finally made public the list of 209 investors who recently purchased shares in Íslandsbanki, which has been owned by the Icelandic state since the 2008 financial crash. One of the buyers was the father of the Minister of Finance, Bjarni Benediktsson. Another, Þorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, is notorious as the previous chairman of Íslandsbanki’s predecessor, Glitnir. He is also the CEO of Samherji, a fishing company accused of bribery and corruption. Read our reporting on the Íslandsbanki sale here.

Icelandic companies are preparing for a busy tourist season. Budget airline, Play, have announced that they will be hiring 160 additional staff and adding two more planes to their fleet, meaning they will have 6 aeroplanes in total.

Chess aficionados have been awarded a grant from the government in order to fund an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the famous chess match between Spasskí and Fischer. The match took place in Iceland at the height of the Cold War. Magnús Carlsen, a chess Grandmaster, has confirmed that he will be attending the event.

It’s official! 2% of Iceland is covered in trees! In 1995 only 7.000 hectares were forested in Iceland, compared to 45.000 hectares now. Estimates suggest that the coverage will be up to almost 3% within two decades.

Listen to episode 5 of The Icelandic Roundup, where Josie Anne and Valur speak to Kyana Sue Powers, an American content creator who is facing deportation from Iceland.

To be part of our AMA (‘Ask Me Anything’) meeting, join our High Five Club (Secret handshake or Elbow plans), or our Youtube Membership before 12:00 April 8th (Icelandic time). You’ll be eligible to join Valur and Andie Sophia’s chat with members.

Answer the quiz by signing up to our newsletter! It will be sent out Friday April 8th at 5pm. Sign up here and you might win a DIY Lopapeysa knitting box.

The newscast is made possible with the help of our friends at Einstök Beer.

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