In Focus

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In Focus: The National Hospital’s Persistent Problem of Patient Flow

The Icelandic healthcare system is a popular topic of discussion. One of the biggest government expenditures, there’s one thing the Icelandic public agrees on, left and right : healthcare costs should be paid by the government. Government expenditure towards the healthcare system amounted to more than 8% of the country’s GDP in 2020. How the […]

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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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In Focus

In Focus: Iceland’s Dairy Industry

There is a famous cow in Norse mythology named Auðhumla. According to myth, she played a key role in the creation of the world – milk from her udders fed the first giants and she freed the first god, Búri, by licking on a salt block. Iceland’s first settlers not only drank milk, they used […]

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Photo by Golli
In Focus

In Focus: Upcoming Parliamentary Elections

Icelanders will head to the voting booths on September 25, where individuals from the country’s various parties will vie for 63 seats from the country’s six constituencies: the Northwest (8), Northeast (10), South (10), Southwest (13), Reykjavík South (11), and Reykjavík North (11). The elections could mark the first time that women gain a majority […]

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Central Bank
In Focus

Muddying the Waters—the Debate Over Special Interest in Iceland

“By and large controlled by special interest.” In a recent interview with Stundin, Ásgeir Jónsson, Governor of Iceland’s Central Bank, stated that Iceland was “by and large, controlled by special interest” and that “quarrelling with them was no laughing matter.” Ásgeir’s comments were in part inspired by an ongoing dispute between the Central Bank and […]

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In Focus

In Focus: The Geology Of the Reykjanes Peninsula

If you’re anywhere near Reykjavík, you’ve most definitely felt an earthquake or two in the past weeks. Since Wednesday, February 24, an earthquake swarm has been rocking the southwest corner of Iceland with thousands of small to mid-sized earthquakes, the largest one measuring M5.7. At the time of writing, geology experts are certain that there’s […]

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In Focus

In Focus: Iceland’s Housing Market

For many years, Iceland’s housing market has been characterised by sharply rising prices. Many may have expected the COVID-19 pandemic and associated recession to change that trend, but throughout 2020, real estate prices continued to rise. Perhaps even more unexpected, considering those rising prices and a worse economic outlook, a record number of sales took […]

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In Focus

In Focus: Iceland’s Cabinet

Iceland is currently governed by Katrín Jakobsdóttir’s cabinet, made up of six men and five women from three different parties – the Left-Green Movement, the Independence Party, and the Progressive Party. All of the cabinet members also serve as members of parliament except Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson.

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In Focus

In Focus: Where is Iceland’s Updated Constitution?

Between 2010 and 2012, Iceland “crowdsourced” a new constitution which was handed over to Parliament. A national referendum followed, where a majority voted for the document to be used as a foundation for constitutional reform. Yet it was never adopted. Fast forward nearly a decade: a group of activists is fighting for the “new constitution” […]

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COVID-19 Iceland
In Focus

In Focus: How Iceland’s Experts Are Tackling COVID-19

Iceland’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on February 28 in an Icelandic man in his 40s returning from Italy. The number of cases rose steadily until April 5, after which it started dropping as rapidly as it had shot up. In a matter of weeks, the country had managed to contain the SARS-CoV-2 virus, […]

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sale of state-owned Icelandic banks
Business

In Focus: Sale of State-Owned Banks

For years, Iceland’s government considered selling 25-50% of Íslandsbanki bank, currently fully owned by the State Treasury. Reducing state ownership of financial institutions was a turnaround in Iceland’s financial policy that had been in development for years. With memories of the banking collapse still strong in the minds of the public, many were opposed to […]

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