One School, 25 Nationalities

Golli. A Brim ship in Akranes, West Iceland

Iceland is host to people from all over the world, and in few places is that more evident than the primary school Grundaskóli, in Akranes, West Iceland.

Multicultural days

This school is comprised of 700 students and 160 employees. Vísir reports that the school celebrates that diverse nature of its student body, having recently held a Multicultural Festival over the course of April 16th through 18th.

“Among the activities, we were emphasizing the culture and peculiarities of each nation, but not least of all where we have something in common, we think that is important, too,” school department head Valgerður Jóna Oddsdóttir told reporters.

All around the world

Students were free to represent their countries in the manner of their choosing, whether it included dance, their home country’s flag, some words in their language or something similar.

By all accounts, the festivities were a success.

“It all went very well,” Valgerður Jóna said. “Everyone was very pleased, and it was especially fun to see older and younger students working together. You often see the stars in the eyes of the younger kids because they look up to the older ones, so it was really great.”

Hopeful that Ski Slopes Will Stay Open Longer

Skiing resort Bláfjöll, skiing in Iceland

Although warm temperatures and rain means no skiing at the Bláfjöll slopes this weekend, RÚV reports that the managing director is hopeful that they will be able to open them through the final days of April. If so, the ski season for the popular southwest Iceland ski spot will be open longer than it was last year.

Likely to open next week

“We will of course be open if the slopes are in order, on Monday and through next week, but the plan is to be open through the week and next weekend,” Magnús Árnason, the managing director of Bláfjöll, told reporters.

An especially chilly start to April has meant that snow has been able to stick to the mountains a bit longer than usual. This has been especially beneficial as new snow making machines were introduced to Bláfjöll last December.

A longer season

The combination of ski-friendly weather and these machines could hopefully mean a ski season lasting far longer than before, without having to rely on naturally occurring snow to cooperate. Typically, the ski season ends in the beginning of April; now, it may stay open nearly until May.

In fact, Magnús is planning for a small event for the slopes on the weekend of May 4th and 5th, telling reporters, “It’s good to end the season with a little fun.”

Inflation in Iceland Declining

Finances in Iceland

In news that will likely come as a relief to locals and visitors alike, RÚV reports that inflation has been declining in Iceland.

Still higher than the EEA

That said, inflation in Iceland is still comparatively high, at least within the context of the rest of the European Economic Area (EEA). Whereas inflation in the EEA last month was at 2.6%, in Iceland it was 5.1%

Iceland is not, however, the country with the highest inflation rate in Europe; that distinction goes to Turkey, with a January 2024 inflation rate of 64.9%.

Inflation decreasing

While 5.1% may not be ideal, inflation in Iceland has been trending downward. In February of last year, it was at 8.8%, and in October 2022, 11.5%.

All this being the case, the consumer price index is also trending downwards, boding especially well for Icelandic residents in the wake of recent collective bargaining negotiations.

Eruption Could Go Off Any Time

Reykjanes eruption, april 2024

Seismic activity in Reykjanes is giving every indication that an eruption could occur at any moment. Scientists believe it will go off at roughly the same location as before, Sundhnúksgígaröð.

Rising ground levels

Speaking to Stöð 2, Víðir Reynisson of Civic Protection told reporters that since the fourth eruption on March 16th, activity appeared to be calming. Although the eruption has been steady, there were no indications that activity was increasing.

That changed in early April, as the ground surface began to rise again. This is a typical sign of magma gathering beneath the surface of the earth. The rising has reached a level where now an eruption is predicted to occur at any moment.

Unlikely to erupt elsewhere

Benedikt Ófeigsson, a geophysicist at the Icelandic Met Office, told RÚV he considers it unlikely that the eruption will occur anywhere else but where it already is, Sundhnúksgígaröð. As such, it may erupt near Grindavík or Svartsengi.

As it stands now, scientists are monitoring the situation closely.