Katrín Jakobsdóttir to Campaign for Presidency, Leaving PM Post

Katrín Jakobsdóttir has announced her bid for President of Iceland

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has declared her intention to run for President of Iceland. She plans to request release from her prime ministerial duties to campaign and discuss the nation’s future with its citizens.

Requesting relief from her duties

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has announced her candidacy for the office of the President of Iceland. As noted by Vísir, Katrín said she will request to be released from her duties as Prime Minister on Sunday in order to campaign for the office. She will also resign as the Chairperson of the Left-Green Movement. Over the next few weeks, she plans to travel around the country and speak with citizens about the future.

In a video posted on social media today, Katrín stated the president needed to “understand the workings of politics and society, show leadership and humility, protect Iceland’s interests on the international stage, make difficult decisions independent of momentary popularity, and speak to the entire nation.”

After all, Katrín observed, the president was elected by the nation. Katrín also pointed out that we live in complicated times.

“Conflicts have increased worldwide. We face enormous challenges in climate and environmental issues. The pace of technological development is unprecedented, and it has never been more important to foster and protect humanity.”

In such times, it was important to focus on the basics: education, and culture.

“We need to ensure the Icelandic language, our anchor, while simultaneously guarding the diversity that characterises Icelandic society. In all these issues, the President has a role to play in clearly advocating the fundamental values upon which Icelandic society is built: democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Both at home and internationally.”

Running for a president not a given

In the video, Katrín noted that it was not a given that she, having engaged in politics for twenty years, would run for president. Although the experience would serve her well: “The experience I have in politics, the experience of bringing together different groups, and the understanding I have gained during this time, make me well-suited for this office,” Katrín noted.

Katrín also revealed that she had privately decided some time ago not to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections. She believes, however, that she can continue to be of service to the country and its people, hence her decision to run for president.

This article will be updated.

Agreement on Long-Awaited New Research Vessel Signed

Research Vessel

The Marine & Freshwater Research Institute (MFRI) will receive a new research vessel in 2024. Yesterday, the institute’s director signed an agreement with government ministers and the Spanish contractor Astilleros Armón.

Plans approved in June 2018

In June 2018, on the centenary of Iceland’s sovereignty, Parliament approved a bill granting the Minister of Fisheries the authority to initiate preparations for the construction of a new research vessel for the Marine & Freshwater Research Institute (MFRI). The new vessel would replace Bjarni Sæmundsson HF-030, which was constructed in 1970. The MFRI would continue to use Árni Friðriksson, a much younger vessel, built in 2000.

Yesterday, Þorsteinn Sigurðsson, the Director of the MFRI, signed an agreement with Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktsson; Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries Svandís Svavarsdóttir; and an unnamed representative from the Spanish shipbuilding company Astilleros Armón for the construction of the new research vessel.

“This is a milestone in the history of marine research in Iceland,” Þorsteinn stated in an interview with Mbl.is yesterday. According to the director, discussions regarding the construction of a new research vessel began around the turn of the century. At the time, a decision was made to refit Bjarni Sæmundsson, with the repairs expected to last until 2012.

Yesterday, the MFRI signed an agreement for the long-awaited new vessel. Construction is expected to take 30 months. If all goes according to plan, the vessel will arrive in Iceland in the fall of 2024.

ISK 4.8 billion tender

As noted by Mbl.is, an emphasis will be placed on fuel efficiency and environmentally friendliness in the construction of the new vessel. It will be 70 metres long and 12 metres wide. Skipasýn has spent the past three years designing the ship. It also oversaw the tendering process. The ship will be built by Astilleros Armón, which made the lowest offer of three Spanish yards that tendered for the build, or ISK 4.8 billion ($37 million / €33.5 million).