News from Iceland - Review Journal

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Archive
2006: 01 02
2005: 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12
2004


Recent news

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NEWS:

2006 January 31:
The most inhabitants of Siglufjörður and Ólafsfjörður decided on Saturday about the union of both municipalities. 86% inhabitants of Siglufjörður and 77% inhabitants of Ólafsfjörður said "Yes" in the vote. The attendance in Siglufjörður was 60%, and in Ólafsfjörður - 70%. The united commune will have 2300 inhabitants.


2006 January 30:
Ólafur Geir Jónsson, Mister of Iceland 2005, has been taken back the title of the most handsome Icelander. Such situation took place for the first time in the history of beauty contest in Iceland. Mister of Iceland signs contracts in which one of the conditions concerns the impeccable behaviour during his "rule". Meanwhile Ólafur Geir’s attitude in his controversial programme "Splash" in TV station Sirkus, is not such that should be. In this situation, new Mister of Iceland will become Jón Gunnlaugur Viggósson – the vice Mister of Iceland 2005.


2006 January 29:
Farmers from Ölkelda on Snæfellsnes peninsula very were surprised when they found last week, in the fence two new-born sheeps. It is very rare event, when sheep gives birth this time. But the sheep named Surtla is an exception from this rule.


2006 January 28:
Hafnarfjörður authorities distributed allotments situated from Krísuvíkurvegur along Reykjanesbraut. They have in sum 270 m² area, what corresponds to 38 football fields. On this ground supermarkets will be rised: Samkaup, Bónus, Europrís, Byko, car salons and other firms. The city mayor, Lúðvík Geirsson, announces that constructions will be driven for nearest years and in large speed.


2006 January 27:
One-third of Icelandic families has at home an animal. Cats live in 12% Icelandic homes. In 8% houses owners decided to have a dog and 5% Icelandic families breed a golden fish. Statistics shows that in an average household it is likely to meet a parrot than a horse. The number of horses is comparable to the number of hamsters.


2006 January 26:
University of Akureyri (Háskólinn á Akureyri) offers to their students new themes of curses concerning China. Several days ago first lectures began. Three curses has been started and all are full. First lectures refer to cultures of China, second to rules of the cooperation business and the third are the basics of Chinese language.


2006 January 25:
Number of tourists arrive to Iceland is still increasing. According to the statistics of Icelandic Tourist Board, in 2005 Iceland was visited by 370000 persons. In the last three years the tourist traffic has increased for 30%. The biggest increase of guests is from U.S.A. and Asiatic countries. However still the greatest group of tourists to Iceland is from Great Britain.


2006 January 24:
In 2005 the quantity of liquor sold on Iceland corresponds to 13 milliards ISK. This is the 8,6% increase in relation to the last year. Only in December liquor sold on Iceland cost 1,7 milliard ISK. All liquor sold on Iceland amounts 17 millions of litres. Instead of this, the sale of cigarettes and cigars decreased for 6,38%.


2006 January 23:
Association established by group of parents of preschool children from Reykjavík have released a statement about their concern about the shortage of preschool teachers. The lack of preschool teachers and disagreement about salary make many parents worried that the shortage will cause more preschools to close and have called for officials to do something about this situation.


2006 January 22:
Grétar Þórisson – manager off the Bláfjall ski slopes informed that the safety condition on the mountain are very good, despite two accident, that happened last night. One of them was resulting in broken bones. Grétar explained that both accidents happened in the evening when accidents are most likely to occur.


2006 January 21:
The protest camp of environmentalists protesting against the Kárahnjúkar dam project will begin this summer again. Last year the protest camp near the worksite of Kárahnjúkar attract many people from all around the world. The camp will reconvene this year on 21 July. Last summer’s efforts were disrupted by vandalism leading to the revocation of their camping permit.


2006 January 20:
Today the Þorri’s month begins and together with it the time of Þorrablót, connected mostly with traditional Icelandic dishes. The first day of this month, happening today, is Bóndadagur - the Day of Husband. The custom of bestowing of men with flowers by their wives became popular in 80’s and the thanks to advertisement it is still popular. A longer tradition is inviting of Þor to Icelandic houses. Men do this into the non-typical manner - to jump at the double round their own houses.


2006 January 19:
Iceland Express is going to start direct flights from Akureyri to Copenhagen. The first run within scheduled service will take place 29 May. These once a week flights lasts to the autumn and perhaps even longer. The travel between the capital of Northern Iceland and Copenhagen will cost as many as to other destinations of Iceland Express - 7995 ISK (one way ticket) and the sale will begin soon.


2006 January 18:
The Left-Green Movement (Vinstrihreyfingin - grænt framboð) chairman Steingrímur J. Sigfússon was seriously injured in a car accident near Húnaver in the north of Iceland. Steingrímur was taken to the University Hospital in Reykjavík. He broke some ribs and his shoulder but he is in stable condition.


2006 January 17:
Hótel Valhöll, well-known to all tourists who visited The Þingvellir National Park, has to be demolished and a new building is planned to become on this place. The special committee, appointed on application of the Prime Minister Halldór Ásgrímsson, recognised that the present state of the hotel is not good enough to live in it. The competition on the architectural design of the new hotel will be announced in the near future.


2006 January 16:
Linguist, Aðalsteinn Davíðsson, claims that the linguistic level of young Icelanders systematically falls down and it is necessary to reform the methods of teaching Icelandic from elementary schools. Young people on Iceland not only has more and more poorer vocabulary but also the grammar is more and more often incorrectly used. It is necessary to enlarge the quantity of language teaching hours and also to more differentiate them.

As a main problems of such situation Aðalsteinn mentions the disappearance of reading books tradition. For example Icelandic secondary-school pupils do not want to read sagas, because their the language is difficult to the understanding. In seventies Egils Saga was one of the favorite school readings. Aðalsteinn claims that it is necessary to resume editions of old, classical works to make a campaign inclining children and young people to reading and teachers should give pupils more written homework.


2006 January 15:
Group of founders of private secondary school in Borgarnes waits for the decision from Department of Education concerning creation of the school. Works over the school curriculum have been already finished. Rules of school financing have also settled. The minister of the education, Þorgerður Katrín Gunnarsdóttir, appointed 6-person committee which has to examine propositions of founders and to prepare the special fund on which 100 millions ISK for school financing will be delivered. The new school has to put pressure on mathematics teaching. The school is going to cooperate with High School of Business (Viðskiptaháskólinn Bifröst) in Bifröst (Borgarfjörður). First school students will be able to begin lessons in new school in Borgarnes on the autumn 2007.


2006 January 14:
New tunnel situated parallel to Hvalfjarðargöng must be ready within 3-4 years. It is the opinion of the owner of Spölur firm which is responsible for the construction and the management of the first tunnel. It is necessary to begin the building at the same time when the reconstruction of Sundbraut will be set up, otherwise the the traffic will be oversize and the tunnel will become a bottle-neck. The present tunnel was designed for 5000 cars daily and now already 4500 cars use it per day.


2006 January 13:
The Icelandic Automobile Association (Félag íslenskra bifreiðaeigenda) has criticized the latest increase in petrol prices in Iceland. FÍB rejects claims by the three big oil companies of Iceland, Skeljungur hf. - Shell, Esso, and Olís, that the increase was necessary because of a global price increase. The smaller Icelandic oil company Atlantsolía, which regularly offers the lowest petrol prices in the country, did not raise their prices yesterday. One liter of petrol at self-service stations in the Reykjavík at one of the big three companies is now almost 112 ISK.


2006 January 12:
According to Hagstofa Íslands, the number of people who immigrated to Iceland last year is more than it has been in any year previous. About 3500 people immigrated to Iceland, bringing the total number of foreigners in Iceland to about 14000. The largest group of new arrivals hail from Poland, with 2000 Poles in Iceland comprising one fifth of the foreign-born population. In 1981 there was only 25 people from Poland living on Iceland.


2006 January 11:
Special surveillance was conducted at Egilsstadir airport in the East of Iceland due to the arrival of several airplanes, mostly with workers from Poland. Two passengers were found with small quantities of drugs, most likely for personal use. Many tried to smuggle meat, cheese and cigarettes. Several of these individuals complained that the price of cigarettes in Iceland is prohibitively high.


2006 January 10:
Iceland´s population officially reached 300,000 yesterday morning with the birth of a boy, son to Erla María Andrésdóttir and Haraldur Arnarson in Landspitali hospital. One of the first person who visited the new Icelander was Prime Minister Halldór Ásgrímsson. According to Hagstofa Íslands, there is one Icelander born every two hours, while five Icelanders die every day. In 2005 about 3700 Icelanders emigrated from Iceland, which is the highest number to leave the country for many years.


2006 January 09:
The President of Iceland visited 14 countries last year. On the whole year Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson was 66 days outside Iceland. The President visited this year USA, China, India, Norway, Russia, United Kingdom and Monaco. Presidents mostly travel through the Keflavík International Airport on Icelandair in Saga Class. During the state visits President is traveling with Chairman of Supreme Court and/or chairman of Alþingi.


2006 January 08:
The giant goldfish was caught in Húsavík. Gaukur Hjartarson found a large goldfish in the lake next to the power station. The fish was 34 cm long and 850 grams.


2006 January 07:
Just before Christmas North Sailing – whale watching tour operator - acquired yet another old house in need of refinement and new roles. The house, 50 sqm. timber house built in 1920, was to be demolished but on eleventh hour it was found a possible place and a function. The house will be rebuilt and fitted on the company’s site and will most likely house a new Konditori/Café, run by the local bakery "Heimabakarí". For years, North Sailing has been in close partnership with the local bakery, as they bake the famous cinnamon rolls served on board the whale watching boats.


2006 January 06:
After examining existing plans and new research consultants from the Scandinavian engineering company NCC and the Norwegian engineering firm Multiconsult have concluded that a tunnel between mainland Iceland and the Westman Islands is a realistic option in both financial and geological terms for greatly improving transportation between the two areas. The consultants say there is no reason why a tunnel cannot be built for ISK 16 billion. The project was carried out for a campaigning group for the tunnel, who say that a tunnel is by far the best option for transportation between the two places. The group says that tunnel construction would cost the same as 30 years of running the boat Herjólfur between Þórlakshöfn and the Heimaey, but a tunnel is permanent whereas a ferry service is very expensive when considered over a long time period. The other option under consideration is the construction and operation of a new ferry terminal at Bakkafjörður, which would cost ISK 15 billion over a 30 year period, but the group says that not many Heimaey residents are in favor of that option.


2006 January 05:
Landsvirkjun plans to drill 9-10 boreholes for hot water in Northeast Iceland over the next three years. The initial areas to be drilled are the high-temperature areas on the north side of Lake Mývatn. The drilling process takes a long time and is expensive, each borehole costing from 200 to 250 million ISK. All told, the whole research process will probably cost in the region of ISK 2 billion. Landsvirkjun hopes that it will be feasible to build a geothermal plant with an output of 300-400 MW in the area. Admittedly there is currently no demand for further energy from this area, but the locals are working with the Ministry of Industry (Iðnaðar- og viðskiptaráðuneytið) and Alcoa about the possibility of building an aluminum plant in the north of Iceland.


2006 January 04:
For the second year running, Chelsea football player Eidur Smári Gudjohnsen has been elected Icelandic Sportsman of the Year by the Association of Sports Correspondents. He overtake handball player Gudjón Valur Sigurdsson and women’s football player Ásthildur Helgadóttir. Besides receiving a trophy, Gudhohnsen was handed a check that he intends to hand over to an association of children with rare diseases. The award has been presented annually for the last 50 years.


2006 January 03:
The Herjólfur ferry, serving the rout on Vestmannaeyjar, sailed out into its first cruise this year with the new schedule. With a beginning of 2006 Eimskip became a new ferry manager. Number of cruise by day was doubled. Only on holidays Herjólfur will sail once a day. There will be a 720 cruises there and back yearly. On the new ferry website there is a possibility to book and pay for the tickets. There will be also a price discount system in use.


2006 January 02:
Icelanders sended 800000 sms text messages on New Year’s Eve and on monday morning. Síminn i Og Vodafone counted sms text messages send from 9:00 pm on Saturday to 9:00 am in Sunday. Statistically average Icelander send for this 12 hours 3 sms text messages. By the year average Icelander sends about 2000 sms’s. A sms text messages cost on Iceland about 10 ISK, so Icelanders spend for New Years greetings about 8 millions ISK.


2006 January 01:
January 1 saw a price increase for Reykjavík buses - Strætó. The single fare for adults is now ISK 250, an increase of ISK 30, whereas children now have to pay ISK 75 instead of ISK 60. A set of 10 tickets now costs ISK 2000. A yellow card, valid for 2 weeks, costs ISK 3000, up from ISK 2500 and a green card, valid for a month, now costs ISK 5000, an increase of ISK 500.





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