On the occasion of the opening of the Harpa concert hall

May 13, 2011

This evening will see the official opening of Harpa, Iceland’s new concert hall. The story of Harpa is the stuff of legend – somewhere during the boom years its construction was usurped by one Björgólfur Guðmundsson, former owner and Chairman of the Board of Landsbanki [also former owner of West Ham FC], who planned to […]

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The natives are getting restless

October 2, 2010

So for those of you who haven’t heard, there were around 3,000 people protesting in Austurvöllur square yesterday [Friday]. By comparison, there were around 5,000 in the Kitchenware Revolution that brought down the government almost two years ago. Parliament was being officially set for the winter, and there’s a tradition where the MPs and president […]

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Björgólfur Thor’s PR machine kicks into gear

August 31, 2010

So, my little post yesterday evidently hit a nerve with a few people. After Eyjan and Pressan picked up on it, I was quite literally bombarded with phone calls and emails from one Ragnhildur Sverrisdóttir, Björgólfur Thor’s PR representative, who was most zealous in her denial of all the “old innuendos” made in the post. […]

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Just don’t mention the Russians

August 30, 2010

A couple of days ago I met up with a documentary filmmaker who is looking to make a film about the Icelandic crisis. We had a very interesting chat, and during the course of our conversation he told me he’d been speaking to what he called “the Viking contingent” in London — i.e. the oligarchs […]

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Raise the alarm: Iceland’s dreaded Water Act

June 13, 2010

For those of us who care about our country and its future, by far the most pressing current issue is the implementation of the Water Act from 2006, due to take effect on 1 July — in just over two weeks. The Act, the implementation of which has been postponed twice, would allow the owners […]

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Verifying the validity of the Black Report

April 22, 2010

One of the more interesting aspects of the Black Report is that it is such an easy read. Many people here feared that it would be filled with jargon and legalese, but that’s not the case at all. It’s written in language clearly aimed at the man in the street, and peppered with lots of […]

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Landsbanki for Eurovision!

March 5, 2010

This video has featured prominently on Icelandic blogs this week. It’s a motivational video for Landsbanki staff in which the singer belts out a tune about gildin okkar — “our values” — RESPECT, HONESTY, ENTHUSIASM and PROFESSIONALISM. Motivational? Ehhh … you decide. Personally I think we should send Landsbanki to represent Iceland in the Eurovision […]

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The über-simple Icesave solution

February 17, 2010

So, members of the Icelandic negotiating committee sent over to London for talks on THE BLOB Icesave seem a bit more cheerful than they were two days ago. Apparently the Icelandic negotiators are pushing the argument that the Icelandic nation will likely reject the Icesave bill in the upcoming referendum on March 6 [and that’s […]

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Who lied?

February 8, 2010

There is much talk in the Icelandic media these days over remarks made last week by two high ranking Dutch officials during a hearing by an investigative committee. One is the head of the Dutch National Bank [their central bank], and the other an official with the Dutch Financial Supervisory Authority. During the hearing, both […]

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Maybe I Should Have, aka Follow the Money

January 23, 2010

A couple of nights ago we went to the premiere of a new Icelandic film about the collapse called Maybe I Should Have. The title is a throwback to a remark that then-PM Geir H. Haarde made on the programme Hard Talk last year. The host asked why he had not called Gordon Brown when […]

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