Left-Green Movement Polls Historically Low

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir’s Left-Green Movement would have trouble winning any seats in Parliament if an election were held today, according to the latest poll from Gallup. The party’s support has never measured as low in Gallup’s national pulse since it first entered Parliament in 1999. RÚV reported first.

Support for government dropping

The poll measured support fro the Left-Green movement at 5.1%, a drop from 6% one month ago. A party needs at least 5% of the votes to get a seat in Parliament. The other parties in the governing coalition saw minor changes, with the Independence Party dropping from 20.5% to 19.8% support and the Progressive Party’s support rising slightly from 7.4% to 8.6%. Support for the government dropped by one percentage point overall over the past month, now standing at 33 percent.

Political analysts have commented on an apparent rift between the three governing parties, revealed in the Icelandic government’s handling of a UN vote on Gaza, among other issues. The government has also faced criticism recently for new legislation that leads to the eviction of asylum seekers from state housing and the handling of the sale of Íslandsbanki, a state-owned bank.

The Social-Democratic Alliance maintained its lead in the poll, though its support dropped from 29.1% to 28.1%.

Icelander Extradited to Norway in Controversial Custody Dispute

An Icelandic woman was extradited to Norway last week in a case that has caused broad controversy, RÚV reports. The woman, Edda Björk Arnardóttir, was accused of taking her children from Norway to Iceland without permission last year. The boys’ father has legal custody of the children.

Last year Edda Björk flew to Norway on a private jet, picked up her three sons, and brought them back to Iceland without their father’s permission. Norwegian courts had previously ruled that the boys’ father would have custody over them. Their father is Icelandic but lives in Norway, where the boys are also legal residents.

Supporters try to stop extradition

Four months ago, Norwegian authorities demanded that Edda Björk be extradited so she can attend trial in Norway. She was arrested last Tuesday and held in Hólmsheiði prison, where a group of her friends, family, and other supporters gathered and aimed, unsuccessfully, to prevent her extradition. She is now in a high security prison in Norway.

Edda Björk denies that any attempt was made to issue her a summons, and says no one asked if she would attend the trial or not. Others have criticised Edda Björk’s treatment in the case, including lawyer and former MP Helga Vala Helgadóttir, who has asserted that Icelandic authorities need to consider the well-being of her children in their decisions.

A violation of rights, says lawyer

Edda Björk’s lawyer Hildur Sólveig Pétursdóttir called the extradition a gross violation of Edda Björk’s rights. She pointed out that Edda Björk had already submitted to a travel ban and had relinquished her passport to authorities and that it would have been possible to ensure her presence at the trial via other, less extreme, means.

Norwegian Child Welfare Services have faced heavy criticism in recent years due to its decisions. In 2019, the European Court of Human Rights ruled against the institution in a child welfare case.

Hussein Left Iceland with Family

directorate of immigration iceland

Hussein Hussein, an asylum seeker from Iraq who uses a wheelchair, decided to accompany his family back to Greece, Vísir reports. 

They left voluntarily for Greece on Saturday, December 2.

Hussein’s Stay in Iceland Extended, Family to be Deported Tomorrow

The European Court of Human Rights had previously ruled that his family may be deported from Iceland, but not Hussein.

Hussein has stated previously that he would not be able to live without his family in Iceland, as he relies on them for support and essential care. Upon the European Court of Human Rights ruling, he stated that he faced an impossible choice, as conditions in Greece are unfit for asylum seekers with disabilities.

Gerður Helgadóttir, a friend of the family, stated to Vísir: “He doesn’t speak anything except Arabic, so he needs to have Arabic speaking people around him. His situation here was just too unclear when he considered staying. His family is everything to him. They care for him, and he needs assistance all day long. It’s a horrible situation the family was placed in, and terrible to send his family away from him. I don’t know what kind of treatment this is for disabled people.”

Gerður reportedly spoke with the family since their arrival in Greece. She stated to Vísir that they are currently looking for accomodation there.

Gerður continued: “It sounds terrible […] They are short on money and this is a very bad situation for them. We are talking about people who were working in Iceland and could have easily taken care of themselves. It’s just so cruel, one really just doesn’t have the words.”