anna moldnúpur

Already suffering from nausea in anticipation of a long voyage at sea, a middle-aged, red-headed Icelandic country woman with a modest suitcase nervously climbed a narrow gangplank in Reykjavik harbour to board the Brúarfoss, an Icelandic passenger and cargo ship. It was a bright, calm evening in mid-July 1946 and Anna – a weaver by […]

This content is only visible under subscription. Subscribe here or log in.

Continue reading

Parliamentary Resolution Reignites EU Membership Debate

Alþingi Icelandic parliament

A parliamentary resolution that proposes a referendum be held to determine whether Iceland should continue membership negotiations with the European Union has the full support of every MP in the Social Democratic Alliance, Reform Party, and Pirate Party, but has been met with staunch opposition from members of the People’s Party, RÚV reports.

See Also: Foreign Minister: Iceland’s EU Membership Off the Table (March 2015)

On July 16, 2009, Alþingi passed a parliamentary resolution instructing the government to submit an application for Iceland’s membership in the EU, after which it was supposed to hold a referendum on the resulting membership agreement. In March 2015, however, then-Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson sent a letter to the European Union stating that Iceland was no longer interested in membership.

See Also: Icelandic Government’s Letter to EU Gets a Reply (April 2015)

Proponents of the current resolution say the 2009 resolution still stands and should be honoured. They submitted their resolution, proposing a referendum on continued EU membership negotiations, to Alþingi on Thursday. The undersigning MPs want a vote to be held on the issue before the end of 2023.

In the event of such a referendum, Icelandic voters would be asked to vote yes or no on the following question: “Do you want Iceland to pick up negotiations with the European Union with the goal of developing a membership agreement that would be submitted to the nation for approval or rejection?”

Says number of Icelanders opposed to EU membership has only grown since Brexit

People’s Party chair Guðmundur Ingi Kristinsson pushed back against the resolution immediately, saying that the majority of the nation does not want Iceland to join the EU. He said that Iceland’s anti-EU contingent has only grown in the wake of Brexit.

Within days of the new resolution’s submission, the People’s Party had submitted a resolution of their own, namely that Iceland should withdraw its application for membership to the EU entirely. The proponents of the counter-resolution are all People’s Party MPs. They have submitted the same resolution for the last three legislative sessions.

Play Flight Forced to Make Emergency Landing Due to Unruly Passenger

iceland budget airline play

A flight operated by the Icelandic airline PLAY was forced to land in Canada on the way to Baltimore, Maryland in the US to remove an unruly passenger, RÚV and report. This is the first time since beginning operations in 2019 that PLAY has had to make an emergency landing due to a passenger disturbance.

Icelandic flight crews are, luckily well-versed in dealing with flugdólgar, or ‘air hooligans,’ and no one was injured in the incident.

“This isn’t the first time that something has come up onboard [a PLAY flight],” confirmed Nadine Guðrún Yaghi, the PR officer for the airline. “But it is the first time that we’ve had to land somewhere because of it.” She continued by saying that the passenger had started by being belligerent and noisy. The flight crew followed all the correct procedures—passengers sitting near the man were relocated, for instance—but the situation escalated to a point where the only viable option was an emergency landing. The incident went as well as it could have, Nadine said, given the circumstances.

According to an announcement issued by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the flight landed in Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada shortly after 5:00 PM. The air hooligan in question, a 33-year-old American man, was removed from the flight and arrested. He will be charged with assaulting a crew member, as well as “Mischief over $5,000,” i.e., “interference of the flight causing the emergency landing.” He is also being charged under Canada’s Aeronautics Act “for engaging in behaviours that endangered the safety or security of an aircraft and its passengers while in flight.” PLAY is also expected to bring charges against him.