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2014

2014: My Year in Review

Dear everyone: it’s the end of the year and so time for a quick look back. This blog, as you likely know, has traditionally been devoted to Icelandic politics and society … and quite frankly I can’t really bring myself to review the past year with that particular focus. However, I have done a quick […] Full article

Payday!

As I have written about in this space before, the current government was elected pretty much on one promise: that they would relieve the debt burden of households whose mortgages had skyrocketed as a result of the economic meltdown. They have been dragging their feet with this debt write-off [while wasting no time with removing […] Full article

The list goes on

In a post I wrote last week I alluded to the growing anger in Icelandic society over the actions or non-actions of our current government. I also wondered whether the subservient mentality left over from our colonial days was causing Icelanders to simply take all the insults and injuries handed to them and shuffle on, serf-like, pretending nothing had happened. Well, […] Full article

With impunity

Recently I posted some musings on Facebook, wondering whether the Icelanders of today were much like the Icelanders of old under the oppressive heel of our former colonizers. It often seems to me that the people of this country choose blindness over sight, letting a certain segment of society [read: the elite] perform increasingly outrageous acts with complete impunity. And I’m […] Full article

A milestone

Today, October 20, it is ten years since I started this blog. I just realized this. So I thought I’d take a quick jog down memory lane. In October 2004 I was, um, ten years younger than today. I had written a novel that got picked up by an agent in London but which failed […] Full article

Over the last two evenings, current affairs programme Kastljós has run an excellent report exposing a long-term price-fixing scheme between the two main shipping companies in Iceland – Eimskip and Samskip. The findings came in the wake of a raid by the Competition Authority on the offices of the two companies several months ago. Iceland is a country that produces very […] Full article

Six years on: God bless Iceland

Today it is six years since then-Prime Minister Geir Haarde* appeared before the Icelandic nation and delivered his “God bless Iceland” speech, in which he told us, in very circumspect language, that this country was completely screwed. It was a terrifying day. Everyone had their own reaction to the speech: some people wept, some [like me] were […] Full article

Iceland, six years after the meltdown

Six years ago today, my bank, Glitnir, collapsed. It was a regular Monday. EPI and I had just returned from a holiday abroad the night before, he had gone to work, and I was at home unpacking the suitcases. At around 9 am he called me and told me that Glitnir had gone bankrupt. I was speechless. […] Full article

The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service [RÚV] recently had an excellent and easy to understand explanation of the forces at work in Bárðarbunga, the caldera beneath Vatnajökull glacier that has been repeatedly mentioned in connection with the current eruption in Holuhraun. I’ve taken the liberty of translating it for the edification of those who don’t speak Icelandic and perhaps […] Full article

As most people are aware, a free and independent media is one of the four cornerstones of democracy. Therefore when serious struggles for control of the media occur it is definitely a cause for alarm. When the economic meltdown took place in 2008, many of us were shocked to realize that much of the madness and corruption that had […] Full article