In Focus

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indexed mortgage iceland
Business

In Focus: Indexed Mortgages

Iceland’s housing market has undergone rapid changes over the past two years, with prices shooting upward. The market has begun to gradually cool, as a result of rising interest rates, with prices stalling or even slightly lowering in some cases. While there are multiple factors that affect housing prices – including availability and a pandemic-inspired […]

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hotel workers strike Reykjavík
In Focus

In Focus: Wage Negotiations

Power vacuum When Drífa Snædal resigned from her position as chairperson of ASÍ (The Icelandic Confederation of Labour) this summer, she left a power vacuum at the heart of Iceland’s largest organisation of trade unions. The Icelandic Confederation of Labour consists of 47 trade unions and represents some 2/3 of Icelandic organised labour, around 133,000 […]

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iceland preschools
In Focus

In Focus: The Preschool System

A rocky start An announcement on the City of Reykjavík website advertises employment at the city’s many preschools. In addition to the rewarding work of childcare, benefits such as free lunch, a shortened work week, a swim pass, and prioritised placement for one’s own children on preschool waitlists are all enumerated. On paper, this sounds […]

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Reykjavík City Airport flugvöllur
In Focus

In Focus: Relocating Reykjavík Airport

Background The dispute over the location of the Reykjavík City Airport is nearly as old as the airport itself. An agreement has now been made to move it from its current location in Vatnsmýri and build a residential development in its place – but a new location for the airport is yet to be determined. […]

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Íslandsbanki headquarters in Reykjavík
Business

In Focus: Íslandsbanki Private Stock Offering

The Icelandic government’s sale of 22.5% of Íslandsbanki bank in a private stock offering last March has resulted in allegations of corruption, investigations by two state institutions, weekly public protests, and calls for Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson to resign. What went wrong? Background After the 2008 banking collapse, a restructuring of Iceland’s financial system took […]

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guns
In Focus

In Focus: Does Iceland Have a Gun Problem?

Two recent shootings in Reykjavík have put gun ownership in the spotlight, sparking conversations about how many semiautomatic weapons there are in Iceland, if they are too easy to obtain, and the ideology of those carrying and using these firearms. Iceland is renowned for its safety: it has topped the Global Peace Index for the […]

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eider duck Iceland
In Focus

In Focus: Oil Spill in Suðureyri

“I still smell like diesel oil” Over 9,000 litres of diesel oil spilt into Suðureyri harbour in the Westfjords on Thursday, March 3. The leak, which originated from a reserve tank* owned by the power company Orkubú Vestfjarða, was discovered by residents the following morning. They could smell it. “I still smell like diesel oil, […]

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Icelandic horses are a unique breed, bred in isolation in Iceland since settlement times.
Business

“Blood Farms” Documentary Shocks the Nation

Since the 1980s, horse farmers in Iceland have been able to gain extra income by extracting the hormone Equine Chorionic Gonadotropin (eCG) from their pregnant mares. This hormone exists in pregnant mares’ blood and can be removed and sold for hefty sums. To begin with, blood farming was a secondary practice on horse farms, but […]

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In Focus

In Focus: A String of House-Fire Deaths Has Sparked Calls For Fire Safety Reforms

Fatalities from house fires have been rare in Iceland, but over the past couple of years, there appears to be an uptick in fire-related deaths. After a shocking arson case in June last year, which resulted in three deaths, a national conversation commenced. Does Iceland have a fire prevention problem? What can be done to […]

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In Focus

In Focus: Iceland Named Top Global Pension System

Iceland regularly receives accolades for its breathtaking nature and peaceful society, but the country received a new title in 2021 – having the best pension system in the world. Global consulting firm Mercer compares the pension systems of 43 countries in its annual pension index, and Iceland came out on top. Iceland has the most […]

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