- Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs and leader of the Social Democratic Alliance, which makes up the government coalition along with the Independence Party, says that the coalition will be terminated if the IP kills all notions of entering into talks with the European Union at its annual general meeting in January. The IP, which has ruled Iceland for the past 17 years and which has been notoriously opposed to the EU, brought its AGM forward to January so as to not delay the discussion, given the current circumstances here. Gísladóttir was a guest on RÚV’s weekly radio talk show Í Vikulokin this morning, where she dropped these minor bombshells. In other words, change is imminent and inevitable – it’s only a question of how and when.
- Bjarni Benediktsson and Illugi Gunnarsson, two prominent members of the Independence Party, write an article in Fréttablaðið today expressing their view that Iceland must begin talks with the EU and stating that a national referendum should be held on whether or not to join. Wery wery significant in light of the IP party line in the last few years.
- Remuneration to those who sit on the board of the Financial Supervisory Authority has been doubled in light of the “extreme pressure” they are under at this particular time. The remuneration of regular board members has gone from ISK 130,000 to ISK 260,000 [USD 2,316] per month, retroactive to 1 October, while the chairman of the board now receives ISK 520,000 [USD 4,600] per month. Such a relief to know that these people are being properly rewarded for all their excellent work on behalf of this nation.
- Novator, an investment company owned by Björgólfur Thór Björgólfsson [of Landsbanki fame] could stand to lose up to USD 20 million in an extensive scam that has arisen in the US, in which an American attorney sold falsified stakes in a real estate development company. [Divine justice, anyone?]
- The Yule Lads have begun their annual descent from the mountains and now appear one per day to deposit wee gifts into the shoes – strategically placed in a windowsill near an open window – of good Nicelandic children. The lads shall get no more than a passing nod on this site this year, seeing as how they’ve been written about extensively in years past [see e.g. here and here and here and especially here.]
And finally, seeing as how it’s D-day, an image from my favourite [and Morgunblaðið’s in-house] cartoonist, showing the side of the parliament building with the caption “New Iceland”:
STILL UTTERLY LOVELY OUT THERE
But cold. There is hardly a breeze and snow over everything, with the sky that lovely pastel blue and pink that is its prevailing colour on clear days throughout the Icelandic winter. Right now we have -5°C [23F], and the sun came up at 11.13, went down at 3.30. Winter solstice in just a few days!