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Off to Brussels on important business

Tomorrow I’m heading to Brussels along with 12 other journos and bloggers to have a gander around the European Union headquarters.

As many of you will know, Iceland has made a bid to join the EU and accession talks are set to begin soon. I suppose this visit is standard procedure in such cases — they invite “stakeholders” over there for presentations and cocktail parties meetings about important topics concerning Iceland, such as the common fisheries policy, the Green Paper on CFP reform, and whether or not the consumption of putrid skate should be outlawed.*

This trip was originally scheduled in April but had to be cancelled at the last minute due to the ash cloud. No such danger this time around though [huzzah!] since Eyjafjallajökull has officially stopped erupting, no doubt much to the relief of air travellers and newscasters everywhere.

Meanwhile, it has been a GORGEOUS two days on this long holiday weekend up here in the Land of the Nice, with temps reaching 20 degrees Celsius at the poolside on Seltjarnarnes today. The same is forecast for tomorrow. Summer is here!

* not really

[PS – a couple of people have alerted me to the fact that they’re getting strange messages when accessing this site — spyware alerts, that kind of thing. Anyone else having that problem?]



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jeff Garland May 24, 2010, 9:23 pm

    have a safe trip and enjoyable cocktail parties, I mean meetings.
    Spyware alert may be due to java JW Image Rotator. It takes forever to load sometimes, and other times just spins. Perhaps the upgrade will fix it?
    Bon Voyage! May the unnamed volcano rest, at least until your safe return.
    P.S. My name for the volcano is Jekla 😉

  • Maria May 24, 2010, 9:46 pm

    I have not seen any spyware alerts, but of course, I don’t use IE.
    Have a nice trip!

  • sigga May 24, 2010, 11:17 pm

    all the email notifications are going into spam in my gmail… but I just need to change the setting there. Otherwise no – no such alerts.
    Have fun in Brussels… I loved it there strangely enough – if you have time visit the magdalen church (am not sure that is the official name but dedicated to Mary of Magdalen.)

  • Mike Richards May 24, 2010, 11:19 pm

    Have fun in the land of mussels and chips Alda!

    How is sentiment towards the EU in Iceland? Things seemed quite pro-Europe in the immediate wake of the collapse, but now things look like they’re improving and with the Euro in trouble, has opinion shifted?


  • kevin oconnor,waterford ireland May 25, 2010, 1:58 am

    The only strange messages I get are about Iceland Business/Politics not really up on my derivatives,credit default swaps etc just like the low hanging fruit.

    Kaupthing to Dave Hey dude we are in trouble the other 2 have gone and we are the last of the Icelandic banking community left and your duty as a noble viking warrior dude is to supply us wiv like 500 million euros dude (elp da nation out) we will pay you back when things get good bruvver Hmmmm
    Meanwhile the might of the Norwegian Wealth fund the the entire massed might of Carlsberg=ABBA=IKEA=and the king of denmark remain silent. Hmmm

    Those are the strange messages that I get from this blog Ha ha

  • kevin oconnor,waterford ireland May 25, 2010, 2:24 am

    @Alda stress the liquidity that the Irish need in the eurozone as our euro comes apart, Euro great currency Irish,Greeks and Spanish love it wish Angela Merkel did too.

  • goupil May 25, 2010, 7:24 am

    Do enjoy your trip.
    As you are aware, the old propaganda machine is trying to sway the opinion makers. (it is gratifying isn’t ?)
    A corrupt zone of free exchange when the only cement, it’s common currency, is under attack and it’s only pledge “Thou shall not print money” is forgotten.
    I use opera and there is no problem downloading.

  • Jónas Þór May 25, 2010, 7:29 am

    Hello Alda. Have a nice adventure but “BEWARE” I have lived in Malta for three years. EU membership and the Euro currency has ruined Malta and Gozo forever. It is a rich mans club and you will see how that is by the lavish affairs that they will present.

  • Joerg May 25, 2010, 8:04 am

    I suppose, you might also get some ideas about how the EU works, its process of decision making and its institutions. It is more important than ever, that judgements about the EU are based on facts rather than on prejudice and partiality. So, I wish you all the best for this and all the cocktail parties.

    I don’t get any spyware alert using Firefox and McAfee.

  • PhilippeP May 25, 2010, 9:32 am

    Since you come in Brussels and specially in the European part of it , don’t forget to eat some (badly named) french fries @ Antoine (Place Jourdan near EUH)…
    If the weather’s good enjoy it with a belgian beer on one of the Place Jourdan terraces …

  • Michael Lewis May 25, 2010, 10:28 am

    “presentations and cocktail parties ” .. the EU junket. Glad to see the EU isn’t wasting money, instead of sending interested parties pdf documents or powerpoints to download, far better to invite people to a p–s up.

  • Sebastian May 25, 2010, 10:38 am

    Regarding the image rotator. There’s a minor syntax error in the flashvars parameter in the generated source code. There shouldn’t be a comma after the last variable.

    flashvars : {
    file : “…/rotator/imagerotator.xml”,
    width: “480”, (end of list, no comma here)

  • paperbagmarlys May 25, 2010, 10:46 am

    Hmmm, come to think of it, I think I saw a spyware alert or some other similar and just as annoying dialogue box, on a different browser, at the end of last week.

    Aw, come on, don’t join the EU. I can see the appeal but I’d guess you’ll end up with narrower fishing limits and more vacationers, among other things.

  • hildigunnur May 25, 2010, 10:57 am

    No spyware signs. Have a nice trip 🙂

  • Alexander E. May 25, 2010, 11:38 am

    Sounds like you are invited to the CP* headquarters to meet with party secretaries to get some instructions about how to build nice and happy future (just some recollections from my past…he-he)

    *CP – ComParty 😉

  • sylvia hikins May 25, 2010, 12:42 pm

    No but the computer goes into white screen/ won’t co-operate mode when I press the thumbs up like Facebook button. Enjoy Brussels- the fruit flavoured beers are great!
    sylvia from viking wirral

  • jo6pac May 26, 2010, 12:57 am

    Nope site works fine for me. Beware of the EU, I’m not to sure there much different than the IMF.
    I read your book to day while waiting to serve on jury duty in Calif. and it was worth every $$.

  • Dale Olafson May 26, 2010, 9:10 am

    No problems accessing your site. I did find out how much our local newspaper subscription was for daily papers delivered and I will e-mail that info to you FYI.

  • Tom Harper May 26, 2010, 1:41 pm

    I will be really curious to see how the EU tries to approach the fisheries problem. It really seems to me like the Icelandic and EU positions on the matter are completely incompatible.

    I do wonder, too, if Iceland can’t get a better deal elsewhere. I read a while ago about some Norwegian minister mentioning a monetary union with Norway. Anyone game? They certainly have their own resources that they want to keep to themselves…

  • alda May 26, 2010, 6:14 pm

    Thanks everyone! I’m running a bit ragged in this packed programme they have for us here in Brussels, and have had little time to go online. So far everything has been delightful — it’s amazing how Institutions somehow become more manageable when they have human faces.

  • Peter - London May 27, 2010, 6:31 pm

    “I will be really curious to see how the EU tries to approach the fisheries problem. It really seems to me like the Icelandic and EU positions on the matter are completely incompatible. ”

    The EU’ s plan its to remodel its fishing Policy around Iceland’s.

    All this talk of EU membership is getting ahead, the EFTA president, in a letter, is saying Iceland maybe chucked out of the EFTA with the process starting in two months if Iceland doesn’t respond ‘appropriately’. Its the return of the Blob, I’m afraid.

    There will be no EU membership for Iceland and major economic problems if EFTA acts. What will happen to Icelanders working within the EFTA? Deportation or special work permits?

  • Tom Harper May 28, 2010, 1:12 pm

    Chucking someone out of EFTA seems like an empty threat to me. I would guess it would happen right after they boot Greece out of the Eurozone.