No Paper, No Meat at Left-Green Movement’s National Convention

Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir

Climate issues were at the forefront of Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir’s speech during the Left-Green Movement’s eleventh National Convention at Grand Hótel Reykjavík today, RÚV reports. In order to minimise the Convention’s carbon footprint, the gathering was entirely meat and paper-free.

Jakóbsdóttir, who has been the Chairperson of the Left-Green Movement since 2013, called for a climate-related “revolution,” arguing that despite the scale and complexity of the challenge – fear-induced paralysis was not an option. To do nothing would be to let future generations down.

“The first climate-related legislation was passed under the leadership of the Left-Green Movement in 2012. There was little interest among other parties. I know because I was there,” Jakóbsdóttir said, adding that an area equivalent to 63 football fields of wetlands was reclaimed last year. In 2022, an area equivalent to 700 football fields is slated to be reclaimed, according to Jakobsdóttir, with an even larger area being earmarked for soil reclamation and forestry.

Katrín Jakobsdóttir is Iceland’s 28th prime minister and Iceland’s second female prime minister. She is the leader of a three-party coalition (along with the Independence and Progressive parties) formed after the 2017 elections. The Left-Green Movement was founded in 1999 and is based around four basic principles: environmentalism, feminism, pacifism, and democratic socialism.

80% of Female MPs Have Experienced Psychological Violence

Alþingi Icelandic parliament

[vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1571412391572{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]80% percent of female Members of Parliament have experienced psychological violence according to a recent book from Dr. Haukur Arnþórsson. The study was conducted by asking females who work or have recently quit working in Alþingi, Iceland’s Parliament. 33 women answered the questionnaire in May of this year, with 76% of them answering, Fréttablaðið reports.

24% of the female MP’s had experienced sexual violence, 24% physical violence, and 20.8% had experience economical violence. Economical violence is defined as when a woman is denied wages or a job position which they have a right to, or if their property is damaged.

Haukur’s research also revealed that women stay for a shorter time in the Icelandic Parliament, as well as revealing that 63.5% of MP’s are considered upper class.

Violence against MP’s more prevalent in Icelandic Parliament

The results from the survey conducted with the Icelandic female MP’s was compared to a 2018 survey conducted on gender-based violence by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, in collaboration with the Council of Europe. The survey questions European MP’s and revealed that 14.8% of MP’s had experienced physical violence, which a rate of 9% less than for female MP’s in Iceland. The rate is also higher for economic violence when the rate for Iceland is compared to Europe, with 11.8% in Europe and 20.8% in Iceland.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Iceland Grey Listed for Inadequate Money Laundering Policies

Having failed to adequately comply with the recommendations of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) – concerning anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures – Iceland has been added to the FATF’s Grey List (along with Mongolia and Zimbabwe). The FATF met this week in Paris. Sri Lanka, Tunisia, and Ethiopia were removed from the list. Pakistan will remain on the Grey List until February 2020.

According to Vísir, the United States and the United Kingdom fought to put Iceland on the list owing to its lacklustre legislature concerning money laundering and its sluggishness in monetary reform. Iceland reportedly enjoys the full support of the EU, which is keen to keep any EFTA country off the dreaded Grey List.

It is unclear what exactly being Grey Listed means for Iceland. Besides undermining the country’s reputation, the categorisation may also make it more difficult for Icelandic companies to enter into business relations abroad, RÚV reports.

A Brief Recap

The FATF submitted its report on Iceland in 2018. In response, parliament adopted the European Union’s anti-money laundering directive and worked to address the FATF’s 40 recommendations. In a follow-up report submitted last year, the FATF encouraged parliament to take further action, seeing as not all of the FATF’s recommendations had been addressed.

As Iceland Review reported last week, parliament enacted two laws last Wednesday to ensure further compliance. The first of the two bills stipulates that organisations that are established for the purposes of distributing funds in the public’s interest and that operate across borders must be registered with the tax authorities (Directorate of Internal Revenue). The other law empowers parliament to sell assets that have been confiscated or frozen during a criminal investigation (on certain conditions, such actions may be taken before a ruling is reached in court).

Insiders have pointed out that the situation is a serious indictment of Icelandic governance, which has been slow to respond to FAFT’s demands for monetary reform.