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2006: 01 02
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2006 April 30:
The operations of the Leifur Eiríksson Air Terminal yielded a profit of one billion ISK last year, which is about ISK 100 million up on 2004. 2005 was a year of growth in all fields, and most of the company’s figures were better than the year before. In the judgement of the Leifur Eiríksson Air Terminal board, it is important that the revenues of airport and terminal be used in the development of Keflavík Airport in the process of change that lies ahead.
2006 April 29:
Well-known newspaper cartoonists from Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Aland and the Faroe Islands opened an exhibition in Tórshavn on 22 April which provides an insight into the satirical world of caricature art. The Nordic Cultural Fund provided a grant of DKK 100,000 for the exhibtion.
2006 April 28:
It´s only two days until North Sailing scheduled whale watching tours start. The first tour will be on the 30th April at 13:30 and throughout May there will be one departure per day at this time.
The spring has arrived in Húsavík and gradually the snow is disappearing. We hope that this means that the coming summer will be warmer and calmer than the previous one.
Humpbacks have been spotted out on Skjálfandi Bay in the past few weeks, which is unusually early. It will therefore be exciting to see what creature North Sailing’s passengers will spot on the first tour of the season.
2006 April 27:
Iceland’s Tourism Pioneer of the year 2005 was elected recently. This time the pioneer is Johannes Vidar Bjarnason, owner of the Viking Village in Hafnarfjordur (Reykjavik Capital Area), which includes restaurants Fjaran and Fjorukrain and Hotel Viking. The Minister for Transport and Communications presented the award for the 3rd time.
2006 April 26:
Five Icelanders made The Sunday Times "Rich List 2006", published recently. The list is a survey of the 1,000 richest people living in Britain and Ireland. Bjorgolfur Thor Bjorgolfsson placed number 32 on the list. The paper estimates Bjorgólfur's net worth to be ISK 215 billion. The Bakkavor brothers, Agust and Lydur Gudmundsson, are number 103 on the list with assets estimated at 598 ISK 83.2 billion. Chelsea football player Eidur Smari Gudjohnsen and the captain of Iceland's national team, a newcomer on the list, placed number 74 in the "100 richest young people aged 30 or younger" category. Linda Bennett, born in Britain to an Icelandic mother, is number 78 on the 100 wealthiest women list.
2006 April 25:
KB Banki has made very interesting calculation recently. Its rezults show the total net “worth” of each Icelander! It is about 10 million ISK. This figure is calculated through the combination of income, stocks, homes, automobiles and other commodities. The total net worth has never been greater and has been continously rising since 2001.
2006 April 24:
For the first time, this year there will be no marching in Akureyri on the first of May. The organisation committee of May Day celebrations in Akureyri on behalf of a coalition of unions have released such statement. According to them, there is unconcernedess of march and workers’ problems in society, especially among young people. The usual program of outdoor speeches, light entertainment and refreshments will however still go forward.
2006 April 23:
The results of new Gallup poll show that nearly 30 percent of Icelanders is expected to consider voting for an anti-immigration party - eloquently demonstrate the need for multicultural education in Iceland.
2006 April 22:
Skaftá, one of the biggest rivers in the south of Iceland and which flow from Vantajökull glacier started flooding today. The Civil Protection Department warn that tourists should be aware that the sulfur level in the air in this region is dangerously high. You can smell the sulfur in the beginning but when the level is dangerously high the smell disappears as it is in case of all poison.
2006 April 21:
Large numbers of people of all ages came out into the sunny weather to enjoy the many activities on offer on Traveller's Day which was held yesterday, Thursday (as always), in Reykjavik. The purpose of Traveller's Day is to introduce local residents to the vast range of activities on offer for tourists in the city. Among the activities on offer were whale-watching trips, a sightseeing flight over Reykjavik and various themed walks. All activities were offered at a discount or for free.
2006 April 20:
Today is the first day of summer in Iceland – very important feast. It always falls upon a Thursday in the second half of April and since Icelanders are very fond of summer the day is an official holiday. Sometimes it snows on this first summer day but today has been calm so far; in Reykjavík the thermometer show up to 6°C. Children gather for parades not only in the capital in but in many towns around the country.
2006 April 19:
It is a possibility of creating a wireless Internet network for the entire city of Reykjavík. Such announcement has been issued by Independence Party candidates for city council.
The project would combine city workers and private companies.
2006 April 18:
There are Nine "pirate" fishing ships near the Icelandic fishing zone. They fish illegaly in the waters south of Reykjanes. 8 of the 9 ships are registered in Georgia and one in Honduras.
The area where the ships are located, is governed by the Northeastern-Atlantic Fishing Committee. Icelanders have to monitor the area under the terms of a multi-lateral international treaty. The ships will not be brought to any port in Iceland because they are outside Icelandic waters.
2006 April 17:
Nobody knows when the American soldiers at Keflavik and their families have to leave Iceland. The date is not precisely definited but the end of the school term at the military base has been moved up a week. It means that 150 high school students and 350 elementary students and their parents from the base will have facilitated departure. From the 15th of May the clubs in the base area will be closed and from 30th of June the Internet connections will be disconnected.
2006 April 16:
Many Icelanders spent their Easter holidays on skis. Bláfjöll (one of the two main ski area in the southwest of Iceland) was full of people yesterday. Conditions for skiing were very good. This year was the first time when Bláfjöll have been open during the Easter holidays because in previous years there was no snow this time.
2006 April 15:
The annual Reykjavik Arts Festival in 2006 will take place in May. This has been Iceland's premier cultural festival since 1970 bringing together the best in local and international theatre, dance, music and visual art. The festival program offers a variety of selected exhibitions, concerts, dance, theatre and opera performances. Along with its focus on Icelandic culture past and present, the festival hosts many outstanding international artists and performers.
2006 April 14:
Politicians and top management in private business in Iceland are now talking about membership of the EU and the introduction of the euro as currency as a way of creating order in the country’s economy and finances. The latest weakening of the Icelandic króna was provoked by salary statistics which show signs that inflation continues to rise.
2006 April 13:
The number of passengers passing to and from Iceland and go through the Leifur Eiríksson Air Terminal rose by nearly 1% in March over the same month last year. The number of transatlantic passengers stopping over in Iceland is however nearly 24% down. In total the number of passengers going through Leifur Eiríksson Air Terminal is down by just over 3%, from just over 124,000 in March 2005 to just over 121,000 this year. The reason is that eastern traffic has not started yet, it started in March last year but it is in April this year.
2006 April 12:
Men in Iceland drink three times as much alcohol as women. Consumption of beer has increased from 30 litres per man to 67 litres per man from 1993 to 2003, i.e. more than doubled over 10 years, writes 'Social & Health News in the Nordic countries’. Danes drink twice as much.
2006 April 11:
The police in Borgarnes found and confiscated 228 marijuana plants on a farm in Mýrar. It was on Saturday night. One man was arrested. Except the marijuana plants, dried marijuana leaves, plant stems and tools for growing marijuana (lamps, heating lamps and ventilation equipment) were confiscated. The crops were in various stages of growth so it was sure that the dealing had been ongoing for some time.
2006 April 10:
Iceland has raised its level of preparedness from Stage I to Stage II after the birdflu virus H5N1 was detected in a dead swan in Scotland earlier this week. The office of the State Veterinarian has given instructions to farmers to keep their birds indoors and take measures to prevent them from interacting with wild birds.
2006 April 09:
Men in Iceland drink three times as much alcohol as women. Consumption of beer has increased from 30 litres per man to 67 litres per man from 1993 to 2003, i.e. more than doubled over 10 years, writes 'Social & Health News in the Nordic countries’. Danes drink twice as much. Men are responsible for more than 70 per cent of alcohol consumption in Iceland and more than half of the consumption of beer. This is a slant of consumption away from strong spirits over to beer, since spirits represented more than half the consumption in 1989.
2006 April 08:
Low-cost airline Iceland Express has licensed and launched a customized version of the dohop.com flight planner for its website. The flight planner helps travelers find connecting flights to hundreds of destinations in addition to the ten destinations already served by Iceland Express. The flight planner includes information for more than 660 airlines worldwide and delivers results in seconds.
2006 April 07:
Icelandair launches its first flight to Iceland from Manchester today, 7th April.
Starting from today, Icelandair will operate a year round service with twice weekly flights from Manchester to Reykjavik on both Friday and Monday evenings. Icelandair will operate one of their modern Boeing 757-200 aircraft on this route in a two class arrangement with 22 Business Class seats and 167 Economy class seats.
2006 April 06:
Restaurant The Pearl, in Reykjavik, is among the five best rooftop restaurants in the world, according to British newspaper The Independent. The Pearl is not only for fine dining, though. Visitors to this other-wordly structure can enjoy panoramic views from the viewing platform (free of charge).
2006 April 05:
Icelandic investment outfit FL Group is selling its 16.7pc stake in low cost airline Easyjet, it emerged, as the financial crisis in the Nordic economy took another turn for the worse. The news came as the Icelandic stock market suffered its biggest fall for 13 years, with the ICEX index falling 4,7%.
2006 April 04:
Price of residential housing in the Reykjavík area appreciated by 33% in 2005. Prices rose twice as fast as in the northeast region where prices rose only about 18%. Prices of residential property in Reykjavík have more the tripled over the past fifteen years. In the west and south regions, prices have appreciated by a similar factor, but in the northwest, prices only rose by 57% over the last 15 years.
2006 April 03:
A man was killed in an accident at the site of the Kárahnjúkar dam project, late last night. The man was working in a quarry when his machine loader rolled over.
This is the second fatal accident that takes place in Kárahnjúkar recently. Last week a man was killed in an explosion at the same site.
2006 April 02:
Ticket sales have started for the Reykjavik Blues Festival, held 11th-14th April. This is the third time the festival takes place. All concerts will be held at the Nordica Hotel. Headline artists are the three Chicago divas Zora Young, Grana Louise and Deitra Farr, and Mississippi blues star Fruteland Jackson. In addition, various reknowned Icelandic artists will perform at the festival.
2006 April 01:
Icelandair bought up all the ad space in edition of daily Morgunblaðið. It is also paying for Morgunblaðið to be distributed for free to 120,000 households. Jón Karl Ólafsson - Icelandair CEO - said that the move is the first step in an ad campaign that would last for the next months.
2006 March 31:
The Board of Governors of the Central Bank of Iceland (Seðlabanki Íslands) has decided to raise the Bank’s policy interest rate by 0.75 percentage points to 11.5% as of April 4, 2006. Other Central Bank interest rates will be raised by 0.75 percentage points as well, effective as of April 1, 2006. The depreciation of the Icelandic króna is reason for that decision and the fact that GDP over the past 2 years had been considerably greater than expected.
2006 March 30:
Thursday 30 March, Bjarni Ármannsson, the CEO of Glitnir, was on Bloomberg TV, discussing the Central Bank of Iceland's decision to raise the Bank's policy interest rate and its implications. The Central Bank of Iceland announced that as of 1 April, interest rates would be raised by 0.75% to 11.5%.
2006 March 29:
Icelandic women are living four years longer than Icelandic males, according to Hagstofa Íslands - Statistics Iceland. The mean life expectancy for Icelandic women is 82.8 years and 78.9 years for men. Over the 30 years, the difference in the average age for women and men has decreased from six years to less than four.
2006 March 28:
A worker from Icelandic contractor Arnarfell was killed last Monday in a blast. The accident occurred around five in the morning when blasting preparations were being made in Adit 4 in Desjarárdalur valley. The man was born in the year 1979. He was loading the explosives into specially drilled holes when a tube of explosives went off close to him. The man was buried under the ensuing rubble of rock and is thought to have died instantly.
2006 March 27:
The record amount of new buildings of houses and flats were started in Reykjavík in the year 2005. It has been started a 1257 new project and 782 were finish. A half of that were flats, 16% was a stores and garages, 13% - new office buildings and 6% - industry buildings.
2006 March 26:
Hinsegin Bíódagar 2006 - Gay and Lesbian Film Festival has ended in Reykjavík.
The best documentary film was "Hann sjálfur. Peter Berlin" (That man. Peter Berlin), the best feature film - "Dularfull snerting" (Mysterious skin) and the Danish "Hver sem þú ert" was awarded for the best short film. Organizers are very happy because a big attendance.
2006 March 25:
Geir H. Haarde, Minister for Foreign Affairs, met with Sergei Lavrov - Foreign Minister of Russia, in Moscow yesterday. Lavrov and Haarde also discussed European defense issues, the fight against terrorism, and the relations with the European Union. Russians are also very interested in Icelandic fisheries and use of hydrogen.
2006 March 24:
Einar Rúnar Sigurðsson, a tourist guide from Hofsnes in Öræfasveit, performed last Saturday his 199-th trip to the highest peak of Iceland - Hvannadalshnjúkur. He took six tourists in exceptionally fair weather. Nobody else did not visit the crown of Iceland as many times as Einar did. For the first time, Einar climbed up Hvannadalshnjúkur in 1989, and in the year 1994 began the job as a guide of excursions on this top. Einar tells that March and April is the best time for this expedition. His 199-th climbing on Hvannadalshnjúkur was a first one this spring.
2006 March 23:
As yet there was no control over buying and usage of marked fuel destinated for builder's and agricultural machines, etc. Only in Reykjavík there are 18 stations sale marked fuel. Such fuel is of course a lot cheaper (about 43%) because there is no road tax in its price. Right away however, the police and National Road Administration begin the inspection of vehicles and check fuel used. Three persons which illegally drove on this cheaper fuel were already stopped. These matters were directed to tax police and thieves are waited for penalty.
2006 March 22:
Local authorities of Suðurnesja is unanimous in the matter which appeared in the relationship with the liquidation of the NATO base in Keflavík and with the loss of jobs by many people. Authorities of Grindavík have an idea how to give the possibility of assurance of new workplaces. The building of the new hotel at Blue Lagoon was proposed. In the hotel it would find jobs for over 100 persons.
2006 March 21:
The embassy of Iceland in Brussels was robbed yesterday. Thieves carried out content of the safe where money and passports were kept. What interested, the embassy is placed on the seventh floor of the well guarded building. The matter was delivered to Interpol which reserved already numbers of stolen documents in the international police system.
2006 March 20:
Doctor of chemistry, Örn Aðalsteinsson, is working over the technology allowing to create the vaccine against the bird′s flu from the vegetable mass and not from eggs albumens, as in the case of other vaccines on this disease. Vaccines are in most cases produced from eggs, and if the virus undergoes and global epidemic came, it is possible that will be lack of the raw material due mass killing of birds and with the waste of their products. The technology is in the first step but hopes are great because would be possible to product a lot of medicine in a short time.
2006 March 19:
The ship crew of Sigurður Ólafsson SF-44 from Hornafjörður caught in last days, during its routine fishings, the handsome shark. The giant emmeshed itself and behaved very nervous. First, a long hook was thrown to him and afterwards fishermen drew in him aboard by means ropes. The shark was transported to framing in the factory in Breiðdalsvík and most likely he will be eaten during next þorrablót.
2006 March 18:
As always during the winter, roads are more or less destroyed. Freezing water destroys road surface and when ice melts holes appear in a road. On Iceland, between winter and spring, conditions of roads change and always appear numerous restriction signs concerning the entrance for heavy cars and speed restrictive signs. Right now, along all road no. 1 and on secondary roads, the National Roads Administration placed a lot of such signs. Trucks with trailers with a loading capacity of 18-22 tones, will have to reduce now their loads about 4-5 tones.
2006 March 17:
Baugur Group CEO Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, together with his father, Jóhannes Jónsson, and his sister, Kristín Jóhannesdóttir, have donated ISK 300 million to Hringur Children's Hospital for use in fortifying the critical care services rendered by the hospital. The endowment will be paid over the next 5 years in the amount of ISK 60 million annually.
Minister of Health and Social Security Siv Fridleifsdóttir was present when the endowment was announced at Hringur Children's Hospital today. Critical care services at the Children's Hospital will be operated in close collaboration with the Landspítali University Hospital's intensive care unit. The children who are most ill will continue, however, to require inpatient services in the hospital's intensive care ward.
2006 March 16:
The project "Artistic Exchange between Iceland and Denmark" organised by the Nordic information offices in Flensburg and Akureyri draws to a close next week. The purpose of the project is to present Icelandic literature, art and music in Denmark and Danish authors and musicians in Iceland. The project has been co-funded by the Nordic Cultural Fund, the Letterstedt Society and the Foundation for Danish-Icelandic Co-operation.
2006 March 15:
The exposition Construct North 2006 (Verk og vit 2006) will be held at the new Laugardalur Sports and Exposition Arena in Reykjavík on March 16-19, 2006. The Expo will be open to pre-invited guests and industry professionals on Thursday, March 16, and Friday, March 17. It will also be open to the general public on Saturday, March 18, and Sunday, March 19. Construct North 2006 is for Icelandic manufacturers and importers and for those involved in construction and public works at various levels, i.e. municipalities, contractors, industrial and service companies, architects, consultants, etc.
2006 March 14:
Firma Sæferðir ehf. in Stykkishólmur decided to buy a new ferry to transport of persons and cars. It will sail to the port in Stykkishólmur at the beginning of April. Present ferry Baldur which sailed by Breiðafjörður in the last 16 years, hs been sold to Finland. The new ferry will be greater and quicker from Baldur. It will be able to take aboard 50 cars and 350 passengers. On Baldur entered 19 cars and 200 persons. The chief of Sæferðir tells that the traffic through the gulf considerably grew larger, especially in summer months and it was necessary to exchange the ferry on more capacious.
2006 March 13:
Íslandsbanki has changed its brand name to Glitnir, at the same time adopting a new logo and appearance. The bank's subsidiaries and offices in five countries will also operate under the Glitnir brand. The new name comes from Norse mythology: Glitnir was the home of Forseti, son of the divine pair Baldur and Nanna. The Bank defines Iceland and Norway as its domestic market; at the same time, it has operations in London, Luxembourg and Copenhagen, and later this year it will be opening offices in Halifax in Canada and Shanghai in China.
2006 March 12:
Reykjavík Park & Zoo has received its third cow. The cow arrived from South Iceland and her name is Skræpa - "mottled". The new resident is 3 years old and joins the zoo's two already resident cows, Blókk and Branda, and the resident bull, Týr. Visitors to the zoo can see the cows being milked every day at 4.30pm.
2006 March 11:
Helicopters will not land on Kolbeinsey any more. It became evident after the last control flight of coastguard over territorial waters of Iceland, north of the main land. It appeared that almost a half of the heliport which became laid with concrete in 1989 to strengthen the islet, became destroyed by the separation a large piece of rock from the rest of the island. From this small islet all the time break away pieces of rocks and disappear in the sea. Probably in the first half of the present age Kolbeinsey completely will stop to exist.
2006 March 10:
Iceland's first billionaire is on 350 position on the Forbes list of the reachest people of the world. He jumped up 138 places form the last year. According to the Forbes, Bjorgolfur Thor fortune is worth USD 2.2 billion. Bjorgolfur Thor residence is listed in London and Russia.
2006 March 09:
During the first 2 moths of 2006, 24 kg of drugs have been confiscated in Iceland. It's about 17 kilograms more than at the same time last year. Regular patrolling of the police in Reykjavík reveals ample evidence of consumption of cocaine and amphetamines. Cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy and marijuana are the main drugs on the Icelandic market.
2006 March 08:
Prime Minister Halldór Ásgrímsson announced changes in the government. Árni Magnússon, Minister of Social Affairs has been hired at Íslandsbanki so he decided to leave politics. Minister of Health and Social Security, Jón Kristjánsson, will take his place. Siv Fridleifsdóttir - ex Minister of the Environment from 1999 - 2004 will be a new Minister of Health and Social Security. Support for Prime Minister Halldór Ásgrímsson's Progressive Party (Framsóknarflokkurinn) is very low - 7.1%. In the elections two years ago, the Framsóknarflokkurinn received 18% of the votes.
2006 March 07:
On Friday first from three new planes MD-90 which Iceland Express introduces to use came to Iceland. First, the plane flew over the capital a couple of times and then lent on the airfield in Keflavík. In the last week 3 years from the time of the first flight of new, cheap Icelandic airways Iceland Express passed. At the beginning, flights took place only to London and Copenhagen and in the nearest season IE will fly to 8 destinations in Europe. In the relationship with the arrival of the plane, the competition on photos of MD-90 flying over Reykjavík was announced. The best photos will receive a prize: 2 tickets for IE flights.
2006 March 06:
The international exhibition of dogs organized by the Icelandic Cynological Association took place the last weekend in Reykjavík. In the exhibition took part 620 dogs. This was the greatest, as yet, the exhibition of dogs on Iceland. The jury was from Sweden, Finland and Portugal. In the competition participated various dogs: small and large, long- and short-haired, young and old. Among them was of course Icelandic Spitz.
2006 March 05:
On the meeting of Icelandic Maritime Administration representatives with 200 inhabitants of Vestmannaeyjar, the idea of ferry sailing between Vestmannaeyjar and Bakki was introduced. There are no technical contraindications of scheduled ferry cruises on this rout. As usual, the only problem are costs. The construction of the port and dock in Bakki would amount 4,2 mld ISK.
2006 March 04:
Last February was the warmest month in Reykjavík since 1965. The average temperature in the capital was about 3.3°C. It's 2.9°C above average February temperatures. According to the Veðurstofa Íslands (Icelandic Meteorological Office), it was the fourth warmest February since 1866 when meteorological measurements started. The sun shone for 58 hours in Reykjavík last month, six hours above average. The lowest temperatures on February this year were at the glacier Brúarjökull -25.8°C, while in Seyðisfjörður was the highest temperature -16.2°C.
2006 March 03:
In the relationship with the event on Hofsjökull, Icelanders think how to increase the safety of travellers on glaciers. The chief of the tourist club 4x4 said that Hofsjökull is known as glacier having more crevices than other glaciers. Thereby owners of cars which are planning to go on the expedition on this glacier should have the obligation of supplying their own cars in special safety cages. The proposal of the chief is supported by Birgir Brynjólfsson one of experienced mountain travellers who lost his son 20 years ago in the event in Icelandic highlands.
2006 March 02:
Icelandic exporters of fish prepare themselves to a big market on fish connected to increasing threat of the bird′s flu on the world. The increasing amount of orders is already significant from countries in which bird′s flu has been detected and from neighbouring countries. The similar situation is in Norway and in spite of the fact that Russia closed its market on salmons from Norway.
2006 March 01:
New car park at Laugavegur 86 – 94, opened in November, has been given a name
Stjörnuport (Star Gate; stjarna = a star; port = a gate). The name became brought to light as a result of the competition and chosen from among 1800 proposals. About a half of proposed names was descended from words stjarna, referred to Stjörnubíó - the cinema near the parking place. Heimir Bergmann Hauksson from Grafarholt won the competition and received 50000 ISK from the city as a prize.