So, here I was, all ready to write a serious post about some gravely serious subject, until I remembered what day it was and realized that serious subjects are not allowed on April 1. Well, not on this blog, anyway.
Everyone totally gets into April Fool’s Day here in Iceland. The objective is to get someone to “hlaupa Apríl” – literally to “run April” – which in practice means that the hapless fool has to cross a threshold for the gag to be fully valid.
I’ve been checking out the local media to try to spot their April Fool’s gags and I must say that mbl.is has me slightly confounded. The first time I checked I was SURE the gag was this news item about the resolution committees of the banks [the committees responsible for settling accounts, debts, etc.] selling off the furnishings of the banks’ overseas offices. Supposedly there are all these designer items being sold at a specified location in Reykjavík [BT in Skeifan] and the sale started at 10 am this morning. First come, first served. [heheh]
HOWEVER, when I went back to check the site, I spotted something else: a report that an agreement had been reached between the government parties to allow for the election of individuals, as opposed to parties, in the upcoming elections. According to the report, the public can set up their own ballots through mbl.is and thereby influence the list of candidates. People are invited to register their email address to receive a ballot [which obviously I have not done, because I am not a fool].
Both look like gags, but as far as I know, the media has not until now been known for publishing more than one April Fool’s gag at a time. Incidentally, I really, really wish the second one were true, but very much doubt that it is. Sigh.
Meanwhile [heheheh] RÚV has just run a report on the midday news that the resolution committee of Glitnir has seized a number of expensive cars owned by [Baugur boss] Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson and [financial charlatan] Hannes Smárason. They will be auctioned off at a specified location later today [the cars, that is]. RÚV even had an [real] interview with the Minister of Commerce, who denied any suggestion that the resolution committees had gone too far in seizing the vehicles. The cars allegedly include a Hummer jeep, a Jaguar, [a bunch more that I can’t remember] and two electric two-wheeled scooters [a dead giveaway]. Plus the news reporter sounded like she was about to crack up at any moment.
Incidentally, I also really, really wish that news item were true, but alas … sigh.
A bit closer to home, EPI called me about an hour ago to announce that he had noticed something red on the headlight of my car this morning – perhaps I should go out and have a look? – Ah me. Silly, silly EPI. How many years will it take him to realize that I am his absolute superior when it comes to April Fool’s gags? Still, we give him props for trying.
All that aside, one news item I really, really wish wasn’t true is the main item in Fréttablaðið this morning, a report that the heads of Landsbanki sucked billions of kronur out of the bank just before it collapsed. This appears to echo the trend at the other three big banks, where loans in the hundreds of billions were given to the owners or related parties in the months or even days preceding the banks’ collapse. It is STAGGERING that these handful of “moguls” used the banks they had purchased here as their own private little wellsprings of capital – with the funds we, the little people of Iceland [and beyond] deposited in good faith. Eva Joly, we are setting our hopes on you!
The nasty subzero temps of the last few days have given way to something altogether more delightful – mild, rainy, refreshing weather. There is some wind, and it is wet out there, but who cares – spring is in the air! Right now 6°C [43F], the sun came up at 6.45 am and will set at 8.19 pm.