In Focus: Icelandic Football Association Accused of Silencing Violence and Sexual Assault

Recently, national coverage of high-pro.file sexual assault cases gave second wind to the #metoo movement in Iceland, renewing discussion of the power imbalance between celebrities accused of sexual violence and their accusers. A few of the cases mentioned on social media allegedly involved famous footballers and voices calling for justice grew louder, putting pressure on […]

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As a US citizen, can I bring my guns and cars over?

While the most difficult part of bringing a car over from the states is shipping, importing guns is more complicated. Icelandic legislation requires gun owners to hold a firearms permit, unless the weapon has been permanently deactivated by a gunsmith.
To own a gun in Iceland, you must be at least 20 years old with no criminal record. You must pass a mental and physical health check and get recommendations from two people to attend a course on guns, gun safety, and gun and hunting laws. After passing a written test, you’re issued a permit for smaller shotguns and rifles. For larger rifles (up to 30 calibres) and semi-automatic shotguns, you must wait an additional year.
It’s prohibitedto import automatic or semi-automatic handguns to Iceland; automatic or semi-automatic rifles; automatic shotguns; and semi-automatic or manually loaded multi-cartridge shotguns with chambers for more than two cartridges, unless the weapon has been modified to comply with these conditions. Importing firearms without a manufacturer’s serial number is prohibited, but this condition can be waived when a firearm has a collectible value. Collector permits can be issued for the possession of collectible firearms with historical value.
As for cars, all imported vehicles must be cleared through customs and examined in an accredited inspection facility, and finally registered with the Icelandic Transport Authority.

You may also find the more recent Ask Iceland Review on importing guns to Iceland to be useful!

Uncontested Election for Football Association’s New Chair

Vanda Sigurgeirsdóttir, a former member of the women’s national football team, is the only candidate in the running for the position of Chair of the Icelandic Football Association’s interim Board of Directors. As the deadline for candidacies expired last Saturday, Vanda is set to be appointed without election.

The board resigns

On August 30 – following criticism for its handling of revelations of sexual violence by members of the Icelandic football league – the Icelandic Football Association’s Board of Directors resigned. The resignation came just a few days after the Association’s Director, Guðni Bergsson, stepped aside. (Guðni stated in an interview with RÚV in August that the Association “had no knowledge” of accusations of sexual violence that were circulating online.)

In a press release announcing its resignation, the Board of Directors also stated that it would be holding an extraordinary meeting in four weeks’ time to elect an interim board. Given that aspirants were required to announce their candidacy no later than a week before the extraordinary meeting (to be held next Saturday, October 2), it is apparent that Vanda Sigurgeirsdóttir will be chosen without election.

Vanda Sigurgeirsdóttir (full name Halldóra Vanda Sigurgeirsdóttir) is a former multi-sport athlete who played both for the women’s national football team and the national basketball team. In 2001, Vanda became the first woman in Iceland to coach a men’s football team (Neisti from Hofsós).

Next annual meeting to be held in February

Besides Vanda, eight individuals have announced their candidacy for the eight available positions on the Association’s interim Board of Directors. Likewise, three individuals have announced their candidacy to the three available positions on the Football Association’s auxiliary board. As reported by Fréttablaðið, given the few candidacies, there will be little ado as far as elections are concerned.

The interim Board of Directors will be in office until the Association’s next annual meeting, which will be held in February of next year.

Parliamentary Election Results: Progressive Party Gains Five Seats

The results of the 2021 Parliamentary election was announced shortly after 9:00 AM on Sunday. The current three-party coalition government keeps their majority, with 37 MPs out of the total 63. 

The coalition to negotiate further cooperation

Voting booths for the Parliamentary elections closed at 10 pm on Saturday, and the results were announced shortly after 9 am on Sunday. Katrín Jakobsdóttir’s coalition – comprising the Left-Green Movement, the Independence Party, and the Progressive Party – will keep their majority. 

The Progressive Party enjoyed the greatest success relative to the 2017 election, gaining 13 seats in Parliament (five more than four years ago) and earning 17.3% of votes. The Independence party remains the largest party in Parliament, with 16 seats and 24.4% of the votes. The Left-green party had 12.6% of the votes and eight seats in Parliament. That’s three fewer than the last election; two MPs had, however, left the party during the last term.

Before the election, the leaders of the three parties stated that if the government kept its majority, their first choice would be to negotiate further cooperation. The leaders iterated this intention during a panel discussion on RÚV on Sunday. 

A win for the People’s Party

Besides the Progress Party, the People’s Party gained two more seats in Parliament, relative to the 2017 election. The party now holds six seats in Parliament. The Reform Party (Viðreisn) also gained an extra seat, now holding five seats compared to the previous four. The Pirates and the Social Democrats have six seats each.

The Centre Party, led by the former Chairman of the Progressive Party Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, suffered a heavy defeat on Saturday; the party lost four seats, now holding only three seats in parliament. Sigmundur Davíð was the only leader whose party has seats in Parliament who was absent from the RÚV panel on Sunday.

Polls had the socialist party taking a seat in Parliament, but they received only about 4% of the vote , which did not suffice to breach the 5% barrier to win a seat in Parliament. 

So close to a female majority

When the results of the elections were confirmed, news quickly spread around the world that Iceland had become the first European country to elect a female-majority Parliament. The celebrations were short-lived, however, as a recount on Sunday produced a result just short of historic.

The initial count had female candidates winning 33 seats, but the recount saw three seats ceded to men. As it stands, female candidates now occupy 30 seats of Parliament’s 63. This tally was previously reached during parliamentary elections in 2016. Nonetheless, with women constituting 48% of the total seats, this is the highest percentage for women lawmakers in Europe.