News from Iceland - Review Journal

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Icelandic (Íslenska):
Morgunblaðið á Netinu

German (Deutsch):
Island Reiseführer Iceland Guide

Polish (Polski):
ICELAND.PL :: Islandia

2006: 01 02
2005: 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

Recent news


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2005 December 31:
The fish catch by the Icelandic fishing fleet in 2005 was 1667000 tons, the lowest figure since 1995 when it was 1605000 tons. The cod catch in 2005 was 14000 tonnes less than in 2004, but the whiting and pollack catch was considerably more than the year before. More capelin and lobster were caught in 2005 compared to the previous year, while the catch of blue whiting decreased by 156000 tons in 2005. The prawn catch was only 9000 tons, and has not been less for a decade. No scallops were caught during the year. However, because of an increase in herring processing on board trawlers, the value of the 2005 catch was similar to that of 2004, despite the decrease in overall catch.

2005 December 30:
Icelanders are top of the league when it comes to babies born out of wedlock. In a survey of European nations, 64% of Icelandic babies in 2004 were born to cohabiting or single parents, compared to 31,6% in Europe as a whole. Estonia comes next, at 60%, followed by Sweden at 55% and Denmark at 45,4%. In southern Europe, though, the figures are lower: 3,3% in Cyprus, 4,9% in Greece.

2005 December 29:
According to the results of a Gallup poll, the majority of respondents – 42,7% - said that they support the Independence Party (Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn). The social democratic party Alliance (Samfylkingin) continues its decline to 25,4% while the Left Green Movement (Vinstri hreyfingin - grænt framboð) saw a modest boost to 17,6%. The Progressive Party (Framsóknarflokkurinn) support increased by less than 1%, to finish at 10,7% while support for the Liberal Party (Frjálslyndi flokkurinn) remained virtually unchanged, showing a small dip down to 3,5%.

2005 December 28:
The Ministry for the Environment (Umhverfisráðuneytið) has raised the total number of reindeer that can be hunted in 2006 to 909, up from 800 earlier this year. Reindeer hunting season will begin 1 August and continue until 15 September.

2005 December 27:
Due to weather conditions, all domestic flights have been canceled since yesterday. A warning was issued for icy and turbulent conditions at altitudes below 15000 feet at 7:00 am this morning, and it is in effect until 2:00 pm when conditions will be reevaluated, said a spokesperson for Flugfélag Íslands.

2005 December 26:
In 2005, 31 people died in accidents in Iceland according to the rescue organization Landsbjörg. Landsbjörg says this is the fewest fatalities since 1941 when comprehensive statistics were first compiled. As usual, most accidental deaths were traffic related, 19 people died in 16 accidents in 2005. Four fatalities were work related, which is unusually high. Landsbjörg and its predecessors have collected statistics on fatal accident since 1928, initially only drownings and accidents at sea. Since 1941, statistics have included accidents on land as well.

2005 December 25:
Hagstofa Íslands - Statistics Iceland Department, reports an unusually large increase in the population of Iceland last year, and if the trend continues Icelanders could hit the 300000 mark at the beginning of next year. On December 1, there were 299404 inhabitants in Iceland, compared to 293291 the preceding year, a 2,1% increase. According to Hagstofa Íslands, the population increase is higher than the past few years.

2005 December 24:
The year 2005 will go down as a record year for automobile imports. Never before have as many cars been imported into Iceland. Automobile imports increased 50% in 2005 from the year before. 26000 new and used private- and commercial vehicles were shipped to Iceland in 2005. Last year, there were 12000 new cars imported into Iceland but in 2005 over 18000 were imported to Iceland.

2005 December 23:
Sand is becoming one of Iceland´s fastest growing exports. Ómar Antonsson, a landowner in Horn, Hornafjördur, has sold 5,000 tons of perlumöl ("pearl-gravel") from the beach on his property. The first shipment, 1000 tons, will be shipped to the USA in January. According to Ómar the sand will be used in swimming pools, the customers are interested in the black color of the sand and its hardness. By the year 2007, 10000 tons of sand will be exported per year.

2005 December 22:
Minister of Education (Menntamálaráðuneytið) Þorgerður Katrín Gunnarsdóttir intends to create a special media committee that will help write a new media bill. The committee will be comprised of representatives from all five parties, Páll Hreinsson, the head of the law department at the University of Iceland (Háskóli Íslands), and Páll Þórhallsson, a legal expert from the Prime Minister´s office. The committee will be formed in January.

2005 December 21:
The City Council of Reykjavík agreed yesterday that Reykjavík would take part in the fight against the death penalty by becoming a member of "Cities for Life - Cities Against the Death Penalty". The "Cities for Life" project is organized by the Community of Sant'Egidio and supported by human rights organizations around the world that are working together to abolish the death penalty.

2005 December 20:
Probability of the „white Christmas” increased yesterday. By the last two decades Reykjavík was accustomed to the temperatures close to 0° but sometimes it was even +8°! But this year weather stations forecasts falls of snow so Icelanders are preparing to real “white Christmas”.

2005 December 19:
Minister for Foreign Affairs Geir H. Haarde and Minister of Industry and Commerce started today a new hydrogen power station. It is situated close to the International Airport of Leifur Eiríksson in Keflavík. It is an experimental project, conduct in the cooperation with US Army Engineering Department.

2005 December 18:
Árvakur hf - the publishers of the daily paper Morgunblaðið - bought half of Ár og Dagur hf, the company that publishes another Icelandic daily paper Blaðið. Sigurður G. Guðjónsson, the chairman of Ár og Dagur, says that despite the purchase, Blaðið will continue to function as an independent newspaper.

2005 December 17:
More homes in Iceland have an Internet connection than in the other Nordic countries. According to a report from the Nordic Information Society, Statistics 2005, in 2005, 84% of Icelandic homes had an Internet connection, 75% in Denmark, 73% in Sweden, 64% in Norway, and 54% in Finland.

2005 December 16:
A German man was arrested last Friday for trying to smuggle 3 kilograms of hash into Iceland. This is the largest amount of hash confiscated this year. Customs officials at the Leifur Eiríksson Airport in Keflavík found the hash hidden in a suitcase. The Reykjavík District Court decided that the man should be held for one week for questioning.

2005 December 15:
During the winter, 80% of Icelandic elementary school children either walk or bike to school; 20% are driven or take a bus. Most of the children, 76%, walk and 19% are driven by car. The results surprised the Rekjavík City Environmental Department which had believed that the traffic jams in front schools each morning showed that most children were driven to school. IMG Gallup performed the research for the Reykjavík City Environmental Department.

2005 December 14:
According to a new report from the Nordic Competition Authorities food prices in Iceland are 42% higher in Iceland than in EU countries. At the same time there is a narrower range of food products available in Iceland and Norway. The Nordic Competition Authorities examined the food markets in the Nordic region. According to the report food prices tend to be higher in the Nordic countries compared to other European countries. According to the report Baugur Group hf. controls 47% of the retail market in Iceland. The Icelandic Competition Authorities pointed out that since the report was completed Baugur has added food stores in Iceland.

2005 December 13:
An Icelandic "health village" is about to be built in the mountain region of southeastern Spain. The village will include 200 apartments that people can either rent or buy. The village, located one hour from the Mediterranean, is the brainchild of four Icelandic companies and an Icelandic couple who already run a hotel in Spain. According to Gestur Ólafsson, architect, although Icelanders will be running, the village they will also seek advice from Indians and Chinese who base their health regimes on age old traditions. The Icelanders plan to offer a variety of health services.

2005 December 12:
Miss of Iceland Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir was crowned Miss World 2005. The competetition was held in the city of Sanya in China. Unnur Birna finished ahead of over 100 contestants. A new Miss World is a student of law and part-time police officer. As yet three Icelanders reached to the crown of the most beautiful women on the world. In 1963 Gudrún Bjarnadóttir was chosen Miss World, Hólmfrídur Karlsdóttir was Miss Univers in 1985 and in 1989 Linda Pétursdóttir was Miss World.

2005 December 11:
Iceland Post – Íslandspóstur reminds that the final, safe time limit for sending Christmas postcards from Iceland to the rest of Europe is 15 December. A receiver on Iceland will get the Christmas greetings even if they are send to 21 December. Letters sent outside Europe after 8 December may not to reach receiver before Christmas.

2005 December 10:
Dr Linda Buck was employed to the board of management of De Code Institute of Genetic Research in Reykjavík. Linda get the Nobel Prize in medicine in 2004 for her research on human smell sense. She works in Fred Hutchinson’s Oncological Center in Seattle, in Medical Institute of Howard Hughes. She is also a professor at Washington University.

2005 December 09:
A tax has been proposed for special winter tires with small nails for better grip. The tax is to serve as both a deterrent and to help pay for the damage to city streets the tires make. It is estimated that a great deal of the dust that can be seen hanging in a cloud over Reykjavík on a clear day is attributed to the use of such tires when there is no significant amount of ice on the roads, or no ice at all.

2005 December 08:
According to a bill put into parliament by Minister of Finance (Fjármálaráðuneytið) Árni Mathiessen, the application fee for applying for Icelandic citizenship will be raised by 1350 ISK to 10000 ISK while the fee for announcing citizenship will be raised by 1350 ISK to 5000 ISK. According to the bill the cost for applying for permanent work and residence status will also raise. In addition, a 2000 ISK fee for applying a child´s name to the Name Committee, which has the power to either approve or reject a child´s name as legal is also proposed. This power does not apply to foreign-born parents.

2005 December 07:
The farmer in the county of Eyjar and Miklaholt notified police authorities last night about a mysterious red light in the sky. The police are certain that the red light was not an emergency flare. The police believe that the farmer saw a shooting star. They do not think they are qualified to judge if it was caused by extraterrestrials.

2005 December 06:
Producer Friðrik Þór Friðriksson plans to film the Icelandic Sagas but says due to the state of the Icelandic movie industry they will all be made in English.The movie “Bjólfskvida” - Beowolf based on the heroic epic English poem will have a premiere in Iceland in January. Filming for another movie based on Icelandic Saga, “Encounter with the Enemy” - Óvinafagnaður, is going to begin early next year. Friðrik Þór who produced “Bjólfskvida” with Anna María Karlsdóttir and Sturla Gunnarsson told that the movie had received rave reviews when shown to 1400 people in Toronto, Canada recently.

2005 December 05:
Geologists predict that Hekla, Iceland´s most active volcano, will probably erupt within the next four years. The last eruption was in 1999 and was very mild. Recent research of the area shows increasing pressure in the volcano. How great the eruption will be is not yet known.

2005 December 04:
50% of Reykjavík inhabitants wants the capital airport to stay in Vatnsmýri. From the people, who wants to move the airport, 55% says that the best place for it would be Keflavík and 14% thinks about near Löngusker. A Gallup poll was conducted on 1200 people, age 16 – 75.

2005 December 03:
Christmas Village in Hafnarfjörður has been opened. It is situated at the heart of the city and everyone can enjoy it during the holiday season. Hafnarfjörður lies near the capital, in the middle of the lava fields. The Christmas Village will be open in every weekend until holidays to offer the large choice of presents, Christmas decorations and tasty food. There will be performances of artists on weekend. In the In the Village it is possible to meet 13 Juletide Lads (the only Icelandic custom) who bring presents to children through 13 nights before Christmas. The Village is open on Saturdays and Sundays till Christmas from 12:00 to 18:00 and in 23 December to 22:00.

2005 December 02:
Since this fall, employees of the Fjarðaál Project have been in cooperation with students and teachers in the Reyðarfjörður Elementary School. The cooperation involved a Polish theme week in October as well as discussions and learning about, safety, environment and health since November. The cooperation ended with a tour around the Fjarðaál Project construction site as well as a Christmas party in the FTV. At the FTV the children danced around the Christmas tree, sang Christmas carols and received a presentation of different Christmas traditions of the nations represented on site. We thank the students and teachers of the Reyðarfjörður Elementary School for an especially enjoyable and beneficial cooperation.

2005 December 01:
Since this fall, employees of the Fjarðaál Project have been in cooperation with students and teachers in the Reyðarfjörður Elementary School. The cooperation involved a Polish theme week in October as well as discussions and learning about, safety, environment and health since November. The cooperation ended with a tour around the Fjarðaál Project construction site as well as a Christmas party in the FTV. At the FTV the children danced around the Christmas tree, sang Christmas carols and received a presentation of different Christmas traditions of the nations represented on site. We thank the students and teachers of the Reyðarfjörður Elementary School for an especially enjoyable and beneficial cooperation.

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