Tuesday, November 18, 2008

THE ICELANDIC CRISIS

Hi my name is Sigga and I'm 26 years old mother of four children from the age 2 to 13 years old. We live in Iceland. Iceland is small nation, a beautiful country that many people dream about because they want to see our beautiful country. I think if people want to visit Iceland now is the time :-) because the currency is so cheap now, it has been falling down fast and I really don't think he is at the bottom yet. This is going to get worse. The currency is still falling and our nation is on good way to be bankruptcy. If our government would had joined ESS and changed our currency into Euro, then the Icelandic nation wouldn't have so much financial trouble.

Families are starting to lose their homes and their cars. Interest and loans have increased so much and still are. We have had enough!

The people that are responsible should shame themselves. Now they are taking loans, not one, not two, we don't know how many but we know that they are putting us the people here in more debt and we are losing everything because of them and they just smile. They don't even work together as an team. One wants this, someone wants something else, we don't know who of the people in our gowerment we can trust. My kids and their kids and so on are in debt when they get born. That's not right and it's not right of the government to do this to their nation

I don't trust my goverment any more. They are criminal maybe not all of them but they are.


Our car

Price on the car 7.2 million kr (Icelandic) when we bought it. We took a loan, 5.5 million kr. and we had to pay per month 74 thousand. Last time we checked our loan then it was about 10 million. Today it is more and we need to pay almost 200 thousand kr per per month.

Do you think we do it? No, we can't pay that much! Before it got that high we tried to talk to the bank and did everything they told us (almost.) The wanted us to take a new loan. What... another loan? NO WAY for us to do that. We need to live, pay the rent and buy food. We don't get our ends together any more because my boyfriend lost his job like thousands of other Icelanders and we just have my salary to live on.
We were financially stable with everything in good with our bank. They pushed us into the corner because we were just pawns of the society. Today my boyfriend is getting bankruptcy over one car like many other people here and companies.

I was answering a question here few minutes ago that sounded like that.
Would you like to live with another family, maybe 3 families in one house that you could rent together so you don't have to spend so much money? My answer was YES.
Here in our country or somewhere else in Europe I think we neet to start again and look at this like an adventure

I think of this every day, a few times a day, how it would be if we would move out to Denmark, Sweden or Norway. Would we have it better than here or similar?

This has been my dream for few years to move to another country to meet new people and start all over again with my family but I'm scared of that if we don't fit in the community or something. I don't know really, but if some other family would go with us I'm gone from Iceland, if we find work and house to live in :-)

In the year 2009 I think many Icelanders and foreigners here will run away from Iceland because we don't want to pay the government's bills (the loans)

Those countries and people that have helped us and stayed by our side in our crisis
I really want to say THANK YOU to ya all!

When you see an Icelandic family that is starting all over in your country please take them with open arms: that could be me and my family :-)

Thanks again
Love from Iceland
mustico@hotmail.com
Sigga Ros

Up and Downs on Iceland.

Most people on Iceland have had it really good for the last years. Other people have been having a hard time to live the rest of the month. Now on the other hand most people have lost all there life savings and are struggling like the other were but those people are struggling even more.

The last year the government had been working on rules so they have it good, but it isn't really good for the people who are struggling. Now some of them are struggling and first now they think about what they can do, because they need help. Other well off people have it fantastic because they knew what was coming so they got ready and made this ten times worse. Now they’re building really, really big summer houses when others can hardly pay for their house.

Then there is the food and other stuff. The food is getting a lot more expensive and there is not as much of it, because we are a tiny island that has to by a lot of stuff from other countries or make it for ourselves. People are coming to Iceland and buying a lot of stuff and taking to their countries. They come to Iceland to work and then send their money out to there families. Icelanders on the other hand can't go to others countries to buy a lot of stuff because we can only buy for certain amount of money to bring back home. The government has opened the country for people from other countries but are putting a stop on us.


So basically you are living great or you life was turned up side down.

by Igor =P

Monday, November 10, 2008

Why the Icelandic Economy is as it is.

To whom it may concern.

It is difficult to live in Iceland today. Even more so than in most places in the Western world.

Prices are going up, unemployment is rising and there is a real danger that people and families are going to lose their homes because of not being able to pay their mortgages. This is because of the collapse of the banks as you may know. This has been happening in the US and in Europe but the Icelandic economy is so small that it nearly collapsed.

The next few months will be very difficult and maybe years.
The IMF has been asked for a loan and it is under consideration. But the people of the Faeroe Islands are giving us a loan and the Icelandic people are very greatful for their friendship.

Yours
Sólon Pétur Einarsson

Monday, November 3, 2008

Map of Europe


europe-map, originally uploaded by Iceland Says.

Courtesy of geography.com

The Day After Tomorrow

For you people who don't know. Iceland is an island country in Northern Europe, located in the North Atlantic Ocean between mainland Europe and Greenland. It has a population of about 320,000 and a total area of 103,000 km². Its capital and largest city is Reykjavík.

Most of us are in peaceful, hard working good people, but lately something is about or is trying to turn our table around. That is really cruel and a bad news for us in Iceland. Our society is getting broke by the hand of a spoiled politicians and Bank officers. The Icelandic Króna is very unstable and weak and the income is getting out of hand. There is a global problem in the world so this is not helping at all.

And to British people I must say: what the hell is wrong with you people! We are not terrorists and if we were, we have probably already slapped you during tea drinking with your mother. Just like in old times during the Cod War. You should be a shame to yourselves. People in Iceland are just in the same footprints as you are in now. When the banks broke a lot of people here in Iceland lost their accounts and lots of money was lost. So we feel sorry for you people that have same difficulties with those banks in England. We also have some people away from home in Europe or somewhere else on the face on the Earth who are students or workers and they are stuck in the system because of this and cannot come home to Iceland.

Our forefathers build this land with pride but for what? I can hardly believe it myself that everything is falling apart because of some idiots who claim to be very few. Like I said before there is only 320,000 of us and our pride has been crushed with the greed of few people that appear to have too much money for their own good. Living in Iceland will be difficult in the next months for the interest are getting higher every day and People who took loans and had payments left will probably get in trouble soon. So to my people I say: A wise thing would be taking good care of your money so we can live the day after tomorrow.

Mr Madhouse

We Will Survive!

What is going on in Iceland?

Hey I’m going to tell you something, what has being happening in Iceland for the past few weeks. In Iceland the banks are broke. And there are a lot of people who are losing a lot of money. But we are not on the street. We’ve still got our houses, cars and enough food and everything. This just means that we have to save our money, and stop spending the money on new things all the time.
The best things in life are for free, we should always remember that. This is not a competition about who has the biggest house and the most expensive cars. But I have not lost any money or not of anything that I own. And I’m still happy. So this thing with the banks does not really matter that much to me. I’m still working in my job in Thorlakshofn, and am in school in Reykjavik, I drive every day and the gas is really expensive now. So for one week we pay like 20.000kr. I think it’s a lot of money. But I’m going to continue with that and save money.
I have noticed one thing. That there are many people who are losing their jobs now. There are two girls in my work that was fired last week. Because the owner could not afford to have so many people in work. The politicians in Iceland are really lacking and terrible. But I’m not going to talk bad about them, that does not make things any better. They tried to do a good job but they failed. They are trying to explain it to the world. But it only makes it worse. They don’t tell the truth about the condition.
This is my point, and how I see the things in Iceland. I really don’t know what happened with the banks. And why this is happening now. My mom tried to explain it to me but I didn’t understand it. But we are all ok.

Ásta Björk

How is the Recession Affecting Me?

My experiences of these hard times are...

I've noticed how everything is so much more expensive, food, clothes, toiletry, cosmetics and just all the things a regular everyday person needs, so basically just living is much more expensive. I live with my boyfriend and we are really trying to make things work but now these days it's really hard making ends meet. I feel that I am getting less food for more money every week practically.

We can’t allow ourselves to do the things we were used to, like go to the movies maybe twice a week and go to a nice restaurant and have our quality time together. But that's okay, I can live with that and he can too but it gets me depressed hearing everyday on the radio how so many people have lost all their savings, their jobs and people that are actually taking their own lives because of this state of being.

I.e., two weeks ago I heard this story about an old man who had been working his entire life, and never called in sick. He had invested in some apartments some years ago and all of his savings he kept with a bank he has been doing business with for over 20 years, Landsbanka Íslands. Now he sold everything he owned and started renting an apartment earlier this year and all his saving, 36 million Icelandic krona, he kept with the bank. Now about 4 months ago he got a call from his bank and their financial adviser pressured him to change his deal of interests to money market funds and assured him it was 100% safe. Now he has lost everything! He cannot pay his bills, he doesn’t have money for food and he surely cannot go back to work, what's he to do now??...

This makes me very angry and very sad because this is just one case of many. So I am not even thinking about complaining over my circumstances because compared to what other people are worrying about I’m in heaven. I can't imagine being a single mother with three kids maybe and one has to go to football practise and one has to go to the ballet and the third one has piano class and so on and on ..So I pray that these people don't give up, and look to the brighter times that are coming, because they will.

God bless.

Íris Björk Jóhannesdóttir

Endless Freedom?

I just cannot imagine that this economy-crisis situation here in Iceland is surprising the people that live here. How is it possible for this little country, this tiny little nation, to do so well and live so well when there is no such mighty value product that we are producing and\or selling away to establish a lot of money, or just enough money to let us live so well?

My opinion is that the Icelandic nation is just living their lives in one big act. All these cars, houses, machines, products, companies that we think we have and own is all just financed with loans, money we don't have or own or will never be able to pay back. Me myself, I lived in Norway for seven years, from the age of ten and until seventeen when I moved back (home). It all felt different, I mean people\kids at my age, who just got their driving license and stuff, were driving around in brand new cars using credit cards to pay for the gasoline and the stuff that they were doing. Almost everybody had a kredit card at the age of 18-20!! Credit cards really carry the main stamp of using money you don't have.

Back in Norway the people from the age of 17-20 did not have any credit cards or new cars and some of them didn't even have a driving license. They were just traveling around, to and from school and job, with busses and trains to finish their studying. Some of the people in Iceland, with their brand new cars and a thick bill from the bank (because of their credit cards) didn't even have a job. You don't have to be Einstein to see that this system doesn't work!!

But me, at the age of 17, who wasn't even as smart as Einstein's dog, saw only the big brand new cars and all the spread of money and a well living lifestyle and just said to myself „hmh, here it must be nice to be“ hehe..

Well I laugh of it today, just at the age of 21 and I'm moving back to Norway. Escaping away from my original generation.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Marinó

Well....I haven’t noticed this Icelandic problem that much, maybe it’s because my family is middle class and we didn’t lose any money and we don’t pay more for our house or our cars. I still can go shopping and do all the things I used to before this money problem. But I know some people who are having a problem, like my friend lost his car because the monthly pay doubled and he could not afford it. And also my grandparents lost a million that they had been saving for many years...I think the people who came worst out of this was the people who had a lot of money invested in the stock market. Well that’s all I have to say

But one little joke in the end....

What do the Icelandic banks and an Icelandic nudist have in common?
Their most valuable things are frozen!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Credit Nation

In just a few days the Icelandic economy crashed with a bang. Why? There are probably many answers to that question and I am not an economist or an expert of any kind but this is how I see the things.

I got my first credit card when I was 16 years old and my credit limit was much higher than my monthly income, there is something so seriously wrong with that. The bank was always prepared to lend my more money and when I was 25 years old I was almost bankrupt. How could that be? I did not own anything, what happened to all that money? My payday came and I had to make a choice, I was no longer going to take part in this shopping circus, it was time to grow up.

Today I still don’t really own anything but I have everything I need and I owe very little money. I want a lot of stuff like a car or a flat screen TV. I just don’t need it and that’s a guideline I have today, I totally recommend it.

My life has not really changed at all since economy circus began except my rent is a bit higher and for the first time in my life I’m actually quite satisfied with not owning anything.

I believe I’m one of the people here in Iceland who have been wondering for a few years about when this money/shopping madness would explode in our faces and now it has. Who is to blame? We all are. Why? Because we are greedy. There is a reason why GREED is one of the 7 deadly sins.

Iceland is a ridiculously expensive country with so many stores that you could go crazy just deciding where you are going to go when you need to shop and they are always packed with people. We buy things no matter what they cost just because we want them and usually it’s “paid” for with a credit card and if it costs very much you can just split the payments to as many months as you like. (Almost) every family has 1-3 cars, 1 computer each, TV, DVD, i-pod, cell phone and a wardrobe that could pay my rent for a whole year and it’s all credit.

About 320.000 people live in Iceland and about 180.000 of them live in the capital area. We don’t have enough people for this to add up, this was always going to explode, it was just a matter of time, sad but true.

Icelandic people were not always like this. As I remember it I think this began around the year 2000.

However there is another part of this story concerning the government and the business suit guys with a personality bypass who have been gambling with money like it’s a sport. The root of the problem is there. Their responsibility is bigger than I really want to know.

When the state sold the banks to private parties our whole attitude towards money totally changed and we lost the respect we had for money.

We have slided on our credit cards in to very hard times and hopefully it will teach us the value of money. The hardest thing about this all is the people who do know the value of money and have even been saving for their retirement and now have nothing. That makes me furious.

Perspective

Hi my name is Tihomir, I‘m a Serbian who lives in Iceland .

Things in Iceland are going very bad. But that‘s happened everywhere. Everyone who
does not live in Iceland thinks that we don‘t have anything to eat and they thing that we are dead.

I think that this is hard for someone who is rich because he has lost everything and needs to start from begining. For people who had a loan he/she are in the trouble. Iceland is a very expensive land.

We are going to make it, I thing so. But we can sell Keflavík and have more money, that is one thing that we can do.

About 3 months ago we were the richest land in Europe. But thing change. We bought many useless things that we do not need to keep or use. Now it is harder to live in Iceland than before. In the stores there are not many things you want to buy than before. I don‘t worry so much because I live with my parents and I do not need to pay anything but we live like we did before this thing. In Serbia we have gone through this all, and we know how to take this shot. This is very hard for everyone who lives in Iceland.

The banks are going down and that is very dangerous for us. So many people have lose they jobs. Here in Iceland the people are in a panic and that is not good. Some people have gone to another country and begun new lives. Now some people think that we are terrorists because the banks we own in the another country have gone bankrupt, and people are very mad who had money in our banks and they lost everything.

This is what I want to say: “ Do not panic!!!“ :-)

Looking Through the Eyes of an Optimist

Before I started school I was working in a high paid job. I couldn't do that job anymore when I started school so I got another job that doesn't pay that well. I got money problems but I don't blame the economy crash, I blame myself for spending all that money on things I don't even remember.

I have basically been living off my family and they are very helpful. The only thing that bothers me is the price of gas but that has been high for more than a year. The thing is... I wouldn't be so broke if I would change my lifestyle. Stop eating junk food and take the bus. And there is plenty of junk food to eat, no shortage on that!

I haven't met anyone who has been that much affected by the economy crash, maybe because I don't know that many rich people or people who took a loan to buy everything they own. I just get on with my life and nothing has changed me. I can still afford most things and all the luxury things that aren't a necessity, I can skip cause you don't have to spend huge amount of money just to have some fun.
Yes, the prices have gone up on movie tickets, restaurants and other entertainment places but do I really have to go pay to have some fun? We have our houses, our T.V. our stereo and our computers, and not to be much of a cliché, we have each other.

That's entertainment people!

Can't afford a book? Write a book. There is always something to do without spending money and that's pretty much how I live today, and it is even better than spending money.

When it comes to me, I have been affected by the prices going up but I can change my lifestyle and then it wouldn't be so much of a problem. Life goes on, Fun as ever.

Sýkillinn
www.sykillinn.is

Tálknafjörður


Hi I am from a little town in Iceland. 340 people live there, it's a very quiet and relaxed town.

It is a good town with good people and it's very good to raise children there.

I have lived there since I was born. I love this town, you don't even have to use your car because its so small, you just walk wherever you are going. The school there is a very good school with great teachers. At Christmas there's always something to do for the school kids, and its always fun to take part.

Outside of Talknafjörður is a natural hot spring where we go at night and lie ther with cold beers and watch the northern lights. We spend a lot of time there talking and enjoying ourselves. It's about 6 km from town. When we come the city this is the first place we go to relax.



And here we have a little swimming pool in Reykjafjordur that is built around a cliff. It was built when my grandfather was a kid and it is still the same today. When people are camping this a a very good place to go, it is very beautiful there.




There is another swimming pool which is in town and it is the biggest in the West Fjords (Vestfjörðum.) Behind it is a four star campsite.

There are two schools and the forest is in the backround. It's not dangerous to play there, so all the kids meet there sometimes and play. The biggest tree is the forest is called the Owl Tree.

I miss this place very much because I am in school in Reykjavik and I am working as a security guard with school as well.




A very good place to be.





















Gísli

!!!...This is the Solution to all of Iceland's Problems...!!!



I am a 20 year old guy from Hólmavík Iceland. I´m in school in Reykjavík, renting an apartment downtown Reykjavík with my younger brother and a friend of mine. The falling of the Icelandic currency hasn't really hit me YET, but I think it's a matter of months now. I'm running low on money, I just got a job though, working in a bar every other weekend, which is okay, but I would like to work some more because I am seriously going to need that extra cash.

But that is besides the point. I've been thinking seriously about leaving the country this spring, and staying somewhere in Britain perhaps, and working for the summer, maybe even longer if I have to. 
But I'm not worried about my own status in this situation. My parents are taking a HUGE hit in these times of crisis. My dad is working all the overtime he can, my mom actually has three jobs. She takes out the mail in Hólmavík (a place of 400 people) and starts at 7:30 in the morning, she works in the bank from about 10:30 to 16:30 or until it closes. And then after that, she heads off to the prawn factory, where she cleans one of three sections there. And she isn't done until at least 20:00 in the evening. And that's about the time my dad gets home too, and he leaves the house at 8:00 in the morning. I have one brother and one sister, and we all live in Reykjavík and we are all in school. 
So my parents are only trying to work themselves out of the debts that they're in. 


And these politicians, I don't even want to start with that, I think that will only get me in trouble, using bad words and swearing at them. But I'm going to say one thing: they better pull up their act. It's not that I think I could do any better, not at all, we'd probably be screwed if I was to run the government in any way, BUT, we elect these people because they say they are going to make everything good, because they seem trustworthy, because, last but not least, they criticize the last government for screwing up and they say they can do much better. But then it turns out that they can't or maybe they just won't do any better. I don't know what other people think, but I think these guys are just full of it. Every single one, and then what, are we going to pick the ones that don't lie as much as the others? No, I say, we have to go back a few tens of years and start over from there.
 Maybe we could get Denmark to put us back under their wing of protection. Yeah, I think that's the right thing to do. Or maybe an another nation, since we've had the Danish before, perhaps Britain, or maybe just the United States. 
And on that bombshell my suggestion for a solution of Iceland's problem is out in the open. 
Think about this dear people, how can these things damage the nation more than it already is? 


Gordon Brown, can you please take us under your protection and keep us safe?

Jón Gústi

No Change

The state of Iceland right now hasn't affected me or my family at all.
We still rent movies on Saturdays and we still do all the same things as we did before Iceland’s economy broke down.
If it wasn't for the media I wouldn‘t notice anything different.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Girl

The state of Iceland is not so good now for everybody especially not for the stockowner! The banks were loaning people a lot of money and some people went crazy and bought two or three cars and two houses and are now having a hard time to paying them down.

Some people from other countries thinks we don‘t have any food left and our houses no longer have heat and the gas is over!! This is not like that!!! We live our normal life as we did..we go to school and work and we go shopping. Of course everything is over priced now! But come on, we have to eat too =)

Banks are falling down, people are losing their jobs, everything is over-priced but we still live our life. I am a happy girl, I have to say that =) I go to school and work, get my money every month and pay my bills. I don‘t know that much about it so I can‘t write that much!

ICELAND in a Nutshell

Well, so we are here in Iceland and we are not really poor, we are just in a little pickle. That’s all. And you Gordon Brown are really not making it better, so I say I am a proud Icelandic terrorist. The state of Iceland isn‘t all that bad it is just everybody else making it worse, all we hear here in Iceland in the news is: Kreppa...kreppa kreppa kreppa krepppa and guess what KREPPA!!“ (Kreppa means Recession)

Me, for example, I work in the smallest store in Vesturbærinn, it’s called Melabúðin and you would think that it would be doing horribly but no, it’s the big stores like Bónus and Krónan, they have shortage of food and stuff. People shop just like they did before, I think they’re even spending more money at a time and buying more fast food than they did before. Even my friend that doesn‘t have a job just bought jeans for 17,000 Icelandic krónur. So I really, really, really don‘t think we are in that of a bad situation. We have enough food, we have definitely enough water.

The thing is that we have to NOT send so many products to foreign countries. We are shipping out unworked fish to Britain which we shouldn‘t do. That fish could give people here in Iceland many jobs and we could then make more money for Iceland and the Icelandic nation.

The only Icelandic people I can‘t stand right now is the Icelandic government; they need to get off their asses and finally do something for Iceland. I think even our president is guilty here, the government spent most of our money going to Beijing, to see our boys play handball, which we played well. But they didn‘t have to go like 4 times, once is enough. I have nothing against getting some of that money in my pocket, I need it, they don‘t. They work maybe 2-6 hours a day and they are all so tired. When I was 16 I worked 26 hours of 48hours all on my feet and I did not complain. They are so upset that they have to sell off of their car or get a smaller house. They need to stop complaining and look and the “little” people. We are not doing ok, we manage, but some of us have lost up to 10 millions. I‘m just so pissed off at the government, they just act like jerks, and the politics are not better.

The “loan” from Russia will be the very fall of us, I think. If we take the loan we are basically taking the loan from the Russian mafia not the Russian government, it’s true, sorry to say, but it is. We will be then much more open for crimes and more drugs will come into the country (like it isn‘t enough) and younger and younger children will start to smuggle and use and sell.

So what we need the money, just print more and more. The government wouldn’t die from it. Well maybe they are getting so soft in their older years. They work for 8 months at a time and get a LOT of money for it, I know a person that has worked 20 years in bank and it’s not that long ago that she just got 200.000 Icelandic króna and that is not enough for somebody that has worked for 20 at the same place. It’s just ridiculous.

So I say to the Icelandic government do something for once and then you can go and chill out in you 60million kr. house.

From you own proud Icelandic terrorist

Arna Björg.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wrong Thinking

Well, I assume that everyone has heard about the problems that we are having here in Iceland at the moment. I can tell you right now 60% of that you have heard is most likely wrong or distorted.


Yes we are having problems about money and jobs and lots of other things, but we are not starving and nothing is missing from the stores, everything is going just like it was except we are not buying our 4 -5 cars and not spending as much on stuff that we don’t really need. Rather we spent on food, clothes, gas and other stuff. Some families have lost everything and are now bankrupt. Many workers, like me, have lost their jobs, not because there is no work, only the people can’t pay because the banks are not loaning any money today. So the building industry is falling bits by bits, I can, though, say that we all are a bit afraid because the companies that people work for can go 6 feet under so no one is safe if he is going to have his job next week. What is happening to our country is just because of 20 men who got too greedy and bankrupted this country.

Despite these problems we are not panicking and buying tons of stuff and saving it like the squirrels or some other animals. A lot of people are thinking just like me, “Why worry about something you can’t control?“ So that is exactly what I am going to do and I hope you will too because life is way too short to worry about these things.

Thank You


Jakob Már Þorsteinsson

Depression in Iceland has an Influence on Sports


Because of financial problems in Iceland all the contracts of foreign football and basketball players has been torn up.

The reason for that is because the foreign players have higher wages than Icelandic players, and because of the depression in Iceland.
Now the wages of foreign players are getting higher than before. For example, the foreign player had 200,000 króna for the month And he is getting now 400,000 króna for the month. This example is for players who come from US. Like the US dollar was 60 Icelandic kronur like 3 month ago and now it‘s 125 Icelandic kronur. So because of that all of the Icelandic football and basketball clubs that have have foreign players had to tear up their contracts.

Denis

What do We do Now?

Now people's lifestyle has to change and people have to begin really thinking. For several years we have allowed ourselves so many things. It didn't matter what you worked with, you could get a new porche and apartment...you just take a loan. And as sad as it sounds many, many people did take advantage of it and now they basically are in deep s**t! People don't see anything but debt for now and the next years. People owe so much money that although they would sell the car and the apartment that wouldn’t be enough for debts. The Icelandic bankrupt are just a joke.

I agree to holding into traditions such as talking Icelandic but not English, having our þorrablót, or winter celebration, réttir, or fall sheep roundups and fireworks on New Year’s Eve, but I don't see why we can’t have euro as as we are bankrupt it's just much more safer. But the Icelandic government thinks more about letting the police walk with guns in the streets than thinking about what is best for Icelandic economy.

We just can't be surprised that it went like this because of course we could see this happening before it did but now we ask why did nobody do anything and can we let all this just happen without saying anything ? They have gambled with our money and they all just stand up and hold their heads high because they didn’t lose anything…just the people.

Should we just sit down and and let them or should anyone be found guilty?

Sólveig



Sólveig Björg Arnarsdóttir.

Andri Þór

I haven't been affected by these economical crises.

I have never taken a loan, I own my car, I do not have a credit card, I used to have 2 jobs, but now I have 1 job.

Sure, everything is getting more expensive in Iceland but the thing is, now I have just stopped buying un-nessecery stuff. For example, I bring my own food to school instead of buying over-priced crap food in the cafeteria. I don't go to junk food places in the lunch time like I used to do some of the time.

I have enough clothes I have piled up for the years, so now I'll maybe start wearing them, so I don't need to buy over priced clothes today.

This summer I went on a vacation to Spain for 3 week, so maybe I'll just stay at home this winter/next summer and work.

These are just few examples of what people could do to lower expenses, but the bottom line is that we have gotten too used to luxuries. The people of Iceland need to take care of their money.

All my thoughts go to those 20 year old Range Rover driving "elite" guys.
100% debt
100% crash

Financial Crash

The state of Iceland doesn’t affect me so much right now, maybe in January I will get laid off. But I have nothing to lose really. I don’t have a car and no loans.

In my work I sometimes can feel the stress from the customers of the “crisis” that we are facing. But still most of the people spend their money like nothing has happened.
When you go in to Bonus (one of the biggest food stores) most of the things have the same price as before the financial crash, with some exceptions. I think that we will see some big changes after new year´s.

The only effect of the crisis I’ve suffered is that you can’t change Icelandic currency into foreign currency, and that some flight tickets are getting much more expensive.



T.V

Seeing is Believing

Hi world :-)
My name is Fjóla and I am a 22 year old student in Iceland.
Let me tell you a little about my life here in Iceland.
The truth is that I haven’t really got any money, but still I live a really good life. I have great family and friends in my life.

I get paid every month, pay my bills and try to use what’s left wisely for the rest of the month.

I used all my savings to pay for my education. I rent an apartment with two other girls. But I spend most of time at my boyfriend’s house.

We both have cars and own them completely, we go to the movies if we want to and occasionally we go out to dinner.

I often meet up with my friends in cafés and restaurants. I eat whenever I want to, I’m never hungry. The only reason I get cold is if I go outside, which is pretty normal at this time of year, because its winter and we have snow. Everything is looking a lot like Christmas :-) And basically this is my life nowadays, and also what it was before.
My plans for Christmas are to go visit my family in Denmark. The only problem there is that my money won’t really do any good there. So, I decided to not take any with me.
I’m not saying that everything here is completely fine and dandy. I’m just saying that for most of us life is just the same. Things have always been more expensive in Iceland than elsewhere and of course they are getting more expensive now, but we are used to that and know how to manage around that fact.

Some people really are having a hard time. People who have loans in foreign currencies are having a hard time paying them down. That of course affects everything in their lives but Icelanders are very helpful people and we try to do anything we can to support each other in every way possible.

Many companies have had to lay off a lot of their employees, so many people have no jobs and almost nobody is hiring.

Icelandic students abroad are having a tough time, their money turns in to very little amounts and for some period of time all transfers from Icelandic banks to other countries were down, so they couldn’t get any money at all.

A lot of students that are graduating from places like Stockholm and Denmark are in doubt if they should come back to Iceland, they are wondering if they can get jobs here. But then again a lot of them are optimistic and want to come home and see if they can help and improve the situation. I think those are the typical Icelanders, always willing to try and dare to dive into the deep end.

I can honestly tell you that I am happy. But of course there are things that make me angry sometimes, especially the things being said about is in the world press. And I notice that with my fellow compatriots, the anger and their hurt. Our politicians have failed us and are doing a crappy job, or perhaps no job at all, and have been doing for quite some time. We have been led to this shipwreck but still we get no answers from them and really don’t know shit about what is going to be done. We look like idiots, Icelandic people shopping in other countries are being denied service and the worst of all we have been said to be terrorists!!! That statement made me cry. I know my people, we are loving, caring and peaceful people and we have never approved of the awful things some nations are doing to each others.
We are such a small nation and nobody has really noticed us before, but now we seem to the world as really bad people. In my opinion, since we are so few, we have no army and have never associated with terrorist, putting us on that list is nothing but a human rights violation!

But somehow life here seems to go by as normal. People go shopping for clothes, go out to dinner, go clubbing and live a normal life.

To end this I have a wish to the world.
Remember that we are normal people and we wish the best for everybody. Wish us well and send us happy thoughts, we will get through this, we are tough little fuckers, it will just go better with your support.

As the title says, seeing is believing, so here are some pictures I took today that can show you a glimpse of our life here.:-)



Monday, October 27, 2008

Cultural Exchanges

Driving
(The Icelandic way)

The Icelandic people are geniuses at how to do things fast and well, for example if they are having a holiday the husband packs his wife and children in to the car and quickly speeds up the car. Usually the trip goes just fine because most of the drivers use the same tactic on the shoestring country roads, but sometimes it happens that tourists are on the road enjoying the nature driving at legal speed or are on a bycycle. What foolishness.

Music and fashion

Most Icelanders are dressed up to the latest fashion, new car and a new big camper at the back of the car. The family is wearing new sports clothes from Cintamani or 66° North. To secure that no one has to talk, everybody has an ipod in his ears that is filled with music from youtube.com before the trip started.

Working hard

Now the vacation is over, the camper is in storage, fashion clothes in locker and the pocket is empty so it is time to go for work again and that is what Icelanders know how to do. Working daytime, overtime and maybe nightshift, then comes the weekend works, it is so good to be a hard working man so we can have a vacation next year. Maybe in a new car.

Ólafur S.

WHAT IS GOING ON IN ICELAND

The Country
Iceland is an island of 103,000 km2 (39,756 sq.miles), about one-third larger than Scotland or Ireland. Its highest peak, Hvannadalshnjúkur, rises to 2,119 m and over 11 per cent of the country is covered by glaciers, including Vatnajökull, the largest in Europe

People
Out of a population numbering more than 300,000, half live in the capital Reykjavík and its neighbouring towns in the southwest. Keflavík International Airport is located about 50 km from the capital. The highland interior is uninhabited (and uninhabitable), and most centres of population are situated on the coast.

Iceland has some of the world's highest levels of economic and civil freedoms. In 2007, Iceland was ranked as the most developed country in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index. It is also the fourth most productive country per capita, and one of the most egalitarian, as rated by the Gini coefficient. Icelanders have a rich culture and heritage, such as cuisine and poetry, and the medieval Icelandic Sagas are internationally renowned. Iceland is a member of the UN, NATO, EFTA, EEA and OECD, but not of the European Union.

'What can we do? Its difficult times watching the news getting worse and worse. We had to go out and be with friends. Maybe it's like the party at the end of the world,

Iceland is on the brink of collapse. Inflation and interest rates are raging upwards. The krona, Iceland's currency, is in freefall and is rated just above those of Zimbabwe and Turkmenistan. One of the country's three independent banks has been nationalised, another is asking customers for money, and the discredited government and officials from the central bank have been huddled behind closed doors for three days with still no sign of a plan. International banks won't send any more money and supplies of foreign currency are running out.

People talk about whether a new emergency unity government is needed and if the EU would fast-track the country to membership. On Friday the queues at the banks were huge, as people moved savings into the most secure accounts. Yesterday people were buying up supplies of olive oil and pasta after a supermarket spokesman announced on Friday night that they had no means of paying the foreign currency advances needed to import more foodstuffs.

Foreign currency loans are a problem for homeowners, too. 'Loans have been very cheap, house prices rose and there was a lot of good-quality housebuilding. But the building has halted, nothing is being finished, nothing is selling. The interest rates are staggering. What people are doing now is swapping houses if they want to go bigger or smaller. That is what is keeping us afloat.'

Ashagre

The Icelandic Thinkers

Hello my name is Benedikt Guðmundsson and I’m going to tell you a little bit about Icelanders and our skills.

Icelanders are proud people and often not afraid to show it (until recently). Though we are a tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean we have accomplished much and everything we do we do it well.

It’s a small country with population of 300,000, so there is no heavy traffic here. It’s easy to travel cross country, except for snow in the wintertime, if you stay on the interstate 1 coz it goes around the country and enters or passes most of the main towns. Icelandic drivers are for most part good drivers. But it can be easy for some to forget themselves out in traffic and that’s when most accidents start to happen.

Icelandic people are hard working people and always have been. We have all kinds of jobs here and there always getting better and more interesting. Our nation has been thru harsh times but we have always worked thru them to find better times and better living situation.

Icelandic musicians are really creative and our music is as good as other world music, all from easy listening music to heavy metal or even death metal. Icelandic musicians are being recognized, for example: Björk, Sigurrós, Ólafur Arnalds, Sign, Mugison and Lights on the Highway. But the Icelandic music market is really small so really few musicians can live of their music alone

My View About Iceland

To be perfectly honest then I must say that my life hasn’t changed that much over the money problem since I never had any money. But don’t get me wrong, I live a pretty normal life. I go to school, I work my ass off to get money but when I get the money I usually spend it all on the day after.

I live in Reykjavík (the capital of iceland) and I find nothing special about iceland since I have lived here for 17 years so its pretty normal, I don’t see what you other people are seeing about us. But no matter how you look at it, we always seem to manage out of it and just keep on surviving. Some people here in iceland think this is acctually good for the people here but since I never listen to them then I cant give you the answer to “Why they think that way” but I think its funny and many people that don’t even live here are making too much of a deal out of it. Even the British made a terrorist threat against us and I can't see the point in that since us normal people have done nothing wrong and you shouldn’t just put people in the category for something the government did. I think that people should just come here and see for themselves how life in iceland really is…

We are not in a good situation. I admit that. But we are not dying because of the money problem. When I hear the word “Iceland” I think about a beautiful land that looks like the first day of creation, while other people that don’t even live here think about Iceland they think about people that live in little igloos and have no fire and have seals as pets or something and that is just the completely the wrong image for the nation since its not like us at all. I mean SUUURE we do have snow alot but that doesn't mean that we are any better at resisting it or making snowballs than other people do. There is nothing more special about us than you are, so stop labeling us as terrorist or little snowmen that eat seals with sporks and butterknifes.


Well this is my view about iceland and I think that people are just making to big of a deal about the stuff that is going on here. But things haven’t changed a bit here…my dad is going to England in November (if the terrorist laws are taken back) and he was even planning to buy me a car at the end of the month and my mom is always talking about how “poor” we are but she always exaggerating.

But things here are still pretty normal and the only bad thing that is going on is that the prices are going up but our paychecks are going up also so things are not that bad but people are making big things out of little nibblets.
Just come over here and see for yourselves how things are going, you might be surprised.

Best Regards from the Icelanders and our nifty little snowmen.

(Writen by: Óli Karló Steinsson)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ellen, Country Girl

Living in Iceland is wonderful. It has as a beautiful nature. I grew up in a farm in the north-west corner.
I was born in reykjavík the 14th of March 1991. I got home few days after I was born and lived there in a safe and protected environment for 15 years but then I had to go away to school. There was no 10th grade in my old school.

Now my old school in the country is the smallest school in Iceland, only two girls ! Now I am in Kvennó and live with my brother in Hafnarfjörður. Every chance I get I go home and spend time with my friends and family. We have about 400 sheep and one dog.

My countryside is called Strandir. It is known for a beautiful nature, In the old days (1000-1300) there were magic and two men were burned to death! Also we have a museum with all kind of interresting things. Our swimming pool is also very known and popular. It is in the Icelandair airplane brochure. It‘s special for the its distance from the sea, only 20-30 meters.

Hófí

I have lived in Iceland since I was born. Sometimes I love it, other times I nearly hate it.

The things I love are for example the music, the good food, the water and sometimes it can be nice how small and safe the country is.

The winter can be hard here in Iceland, specially in January, February and March.
When it‘s about February/March you just want to get away and go to some warmer country in the south.
Actually I love being here in the summertime.
I think people in Iceland are often scared of what other people think of them, more than people in other countries.
Icelanders think alot about their looks, and spend lots of money in it.

I think there are lots of opputunities to make your self known in Iceland. Icelanders are often very ambitious people. If we want to do something, we go all the way and do it!

Iceland Cries Out

Many people don’t even know that Iceland exists. So if you don’t know where Iceland is, it is a little island is the Atlantic Ocean.

You may think we live in snow houses and have a polar bears for pets, but it’s not like that. We have all the things you have, and probably more. We have the most beautiful woman in the entire world, also we have untouched and breathtaking nature. I work in a hotel reception so I get a lot of people who interested in Iceland and Icelandic nature, but also I get a lot of perverts who are just looking for Icelandic woman for a one night stand. Many foreign guys have told their friend that Icelandic girls are sluts, but I would like to correct that misunderstanding. Icelandic woman are no more of a slut than the next girl.

In the hotel I work in there is amazing how many foreigners I get who would like to go whale watching and see the Nordic lights. Icelanders are very proud, we are very proud of our country, language and our heritage. We have created many great things such as Sigur Rós, Björk, Eidur Smári, Garðar Thor Cortes and many of the richest guys in Europe.

So Iceland is a great country both to live in and to visit, we have a very interesting history, nature, nightlife and probably the cleanest and best water you have and would ever taste.

Hannibal !

-Óttar Hrafn

The Endless Nothingness Isn‘t So Bad, At Least We have Some Good Tunes Too Listen Too.

By Ari Freyr Ísfeld Óskarsson

When you grow up here in Iceland the outside world either thinks that you are an Eskimo and that you live in an igloo or that you are an art freak who does nothing but spend his days listening to the crazy rantings of Björk or the peculiar music of Iceland’s most famous band SigurRós. The weird thing is that there is not a lot of Icelanders who actually listen to their music.

In Iceland there are a lot of good bands who are looked past because they are not as "different and eerie“ as Björk and SigurRós. Bands like Ampop, Jeff Who?, Eberg, Dikta, Hölt Hóra, Mugison, Dr.Spock, Changer, I Adapt and last but not least Mínus are not as famous as they should be because their sound is too "mainstream“ for the people of the world.

Two of these bands have been showing up more and more in Britain in the last years. Radio 1‘s Zane Lowe started playing Ampop a few years ago and Mínus have been on tour there to follow up on their latest album "The Great Northern Whalekill.“ Eberg has also been showing up in the US with his single "Inside Your Head" being used in an iPhone commercial and it has been used in the shows Veronica Mars and the OC. I also urge you all to listen to all of the bands that I pointed out earlier in this blog.

Last but not least I would like to point out the band Evil Banana from Outer Space who I predict will be the next big band. They are brand new but their electro-punk sound is really something.

Valgeir

RAWR <(`;..;´)>

John desvires to be published as well

Hrafnhildur

I am a sixteen year old girl and I live in the city of Reykjavík. I have dark brown hair, I am pretty tall and I have a mix of grey and blue eyes. I was born on the great day 16th of November which is also the day of the Icelandic language. I am very happy to be an Icelander and I have always thought it was strange that I live here and not somewhere else in the world because the world is so big but I am on this small Island.

I absolutely love my family. I live in our house along with my mom, dad and my older brother. My brother won the Battle of the Bands 2008 and I am very proud of him. We don’t have any animals, I would love to get a dog, but my mother doesn’t let me.
My day to day life is that I wake up at 06:45 and I get my self ready for school, then I take the bus to school witch takes about 15 minutes. After school I take the bus home and study, and then if there is any time I hang out with my friends.

(NOT DONE)

Oddur

My name is Oddur and i live in Iceland. I go to school in Kvennó, but I live in Cubinlet (LOL!) I mean Kópavogur.

One of my main hobbies is the computer, where I both play games and communicate with other people, either through msn or the games I am playing. At the moment I, like most of Icelandic kids my age, am praticing for the drivers test that we can take as soon as we turn 17 years old, though that’s about to change since some smart senator thought of changing the drivers licence age to 18, though personally I think that’s not really a good idea because of the fact they’re using. They say that by making the age 18 that people will be more responsible and drive more safely than 17 years old...

(didn't get to finish...)

Rock

Here's Ásta Lóvisa on the day of the earthquake. If you haven't already read her post, it's here, and it's worth reading.

Harpa Rán

My life here in Iceland is quite ordinary I think. My parents were both born in the country side, but we live now in the town. I live with my both parents, one big sister and two cute dogs. I’m on my first year in Kvennaskóli and I’m doing fine.

When I was eight years old I started playing the violin in music school and I still do. My violin is a big part of my live and I love to play beautiful songs. Every Saturday I go and play in an orchestra with lots of girls in my own age. I’m going to London on the 18th of April to see my big sister playing in concerts with Bjork. She plays on horn and is in Bjork’s band and they have been going all over the world to play. I’m going to sea the Madam Tussauds, the London Eye, Big Ben and shop my ass off. But I’m very frustrated because the Icelandic krona is very high so it’s very expensive to shop.


After school I like to hang with my friends and be on msn and Myspace.

Hi Guys

I'm Esra and I come from the most awesome country in the world....ICELAND!!

Yes you heard me. I am an real viking that only eats skyr and drinks brennivín...no just kidding.

We in Iceland live pretty much the same life as you do in you do in your country so you don't have to be shocked to see us using computers and living in real houses.

But anywho, I am 17 year old guy and I study in Kvennaskólinn í Reykjavík which is really fun and I just got my drivers license which is awesome because now I can drive anywhere I want to:D.

There are many activities in Iceland for example, cinemas, ice skating, Laugarvegur which is the number one shopping street and Smáralind and Kringlan which are the biggest and only malls in Iceland. Also where all tourist go is Gullfoss and Geysir which is the most popular place to go to in Iceland.

If there is anything more you need to know more about me or Iceland you can always send me an e-mail to esrathor@hotmail.com

Hlynur

My name is Hlynur Helgason and I live in Central Kópavogur. I am in Kvennaskólinn í Reykjavík on the first year. I practise handball with HK which is the greatest team in Iceland.

When I go to school I always take the bus and the bus system here in Iceland is terrible and the bus drives are also boring and grumpy. I like very much to play golf and here in Iceland we have plenty of golf courses even though the golf season is rather short. I have two sisters and parents. When I am not learning or in handball practise I usually go with my friends and we play football. Now I am learning to drive a car and I hope that I will get my driving license soon so I can go and drive in the crazy traffic in Iceland. Even though we are only 300.000 there is a lot of traffic because almost everyone in this country owns a car. I like also very much to travel and I have a lot of interest in geography.

Iceland is with out a doubt the best country in the world even though it is a bit expensive.

Anja Rún

My name is Anja Rún and I live in Iceland. I have got an Icelandic mother and a Norwegian father. I go to Norway every summer to visit my family there. 
I train and coach gymnastics in Gerpla almost every day and I love it. I coach girls in the age of six and eleven. 
The group I’m in is called P2 and sometimes we go on training camps to other countries. I‘ve been to England, Hungary and a few times to Denmark on training camps. We last time went to Denmark in the middle March this year to Silkeborg, where one of my coaches is from, and we’re going to Norway on the 17th of April to compete on the Nordic European for juniors. We have been winning a lot of competition this year so I’ve got my hopes up.
In my free time I hang out with my friends but I also spent a lot of time on MSN and Myspace.

(Anja had wanted to add photos but unfortunately they didn't appear in her original document)

Our Lives in the Snowhouses

My name is Thelma and I have lived here in Iceland my entire life, only twice I’ve gone abroad. I like it very much here and I will always love my country although I will probably go abroad to study, there are more opportunities and I really don’t like the cold weather here. The winter is beautiful though and the summers are amazing! In the summers it’s never dark outside, the June nights are one of those you will never forget. I am very happy that I grew up here because there aren’t a lot of dangers here. As a kid you could be outside in games and feel completely safe. I think everyone should come here to visit at least once in their lifetime, because believe me, it will be worth it.

Katrín and Erna Rós

We are going to write about our live in Iceland and facts about it.

It's great to live in Iceland. But there are plusses and minuses. For example everything is very expensive because we are such a small and isolated island in the Atlantic. The weather is very special and changeable, for example it's sunny and suddenly it begins to rain… but that is what makes it so special.

There are many fun and exiting things you can do in Iceland…. you can go horse riding, downtown, river rafting, to a glacier, etc.

The Icelandic nature

The most incredible thing about Iceland is the water. It is so special because it is so clear that you can drink it where ever you are (and the great thing about that is that you don't have to spend money to buy water) and use it to heat up houses, you can go for long shower and water will still be there. There are many swimming pools in Iceland and they have hot water so you can go swimming in every season. In Iceland we have many hot springs, for example the best known Geysir. We have also hot water coming from the earth that we use like pools, for example the Blue lagoon.

Þórunn

My life as an Icelander is great. I live in small town called Mosfellsbær which is nearby Reykjavík. I really love my hometown and my country. There are lots of reasons why I love to live in Mosfellsbær. 
There is good facilities to have horses and lots of good riding trail.You are not only twenty minutes away from Reykjavik’s downtown but also few minutes from the countryside. I would say that the people in Mosfellsbær is one of a kind, we have a special vocabulary and humor that no one else understands. The humor is very ironic. 




The biggest flaw with Icelanders is that many of them do not care enough for their country. They are building those power stations and aluminum smelters just to make some money.
Good: 
the horses
, the people, 
the nature, 
my town

Bad:
 the weather, 
the politico

Steingerður

Iceland is a ittle island in the Atlantic ocean. I have lived there all my life and it has been alot of fun. The best thing about Iceland is that not many people live there. So you don‘t get lost in the crowed.

Tourist often come here either to see the beautiful nature or to check out the nightlife. Iceland has very beautiful mountains and nature. You can do alot of outdoors things here. You can hike in many diffrent landscapes. And you can go camping, climbing, go river rafting and lots of othe things, just name it. You‘ll allways seem to get into some adventure. The nightlife is also very adventurous, there is always something happening. We have alot of music festivals like Iceland Airwaves and Alldrei fór ég suður. Iceland Airwaves is now in the 6th place for the best music festivals in the world, or so I heard.

Hawk

Hello there,
My name is Haukur , but you can call me Hawk . I’m an Icelander and I’m proud of it because Iceland is a nice and fun country. Iceland is pretty much as any other country though, we don’t live in snowhouses. We have a lot of activity here in Iceland such as the ice skating hall in Laugardalur, bowling, swimming and ofcourse shopping in either of the big malls Kringlan or Smáralindin or any other shop you would like.

(Didn't get to finish...)

Politics

We decited to write about Icelandic politics and politicions.

The Icelandic Althing, the parlament of Iceland, was founded in 930 on Þingvellir. In Iceland there is parliamentary representative democratic republic. The prime-minister is the head of the goverment who is usually formend by two political parties. The prime-ministier is usually the head of the party in charge who got a larger number of votes. Today the prime-minister is Geir Hilmar Haarde who is the head of the Independence party.

The Present government is formend by the Independence party (XD) and Social Democratic Alliance(XS). The ministers of iceland are twelve. Forsetisráðherra, the prime-minister: Geir H. Haarde(XD), Dóms-og Kirkjumálaráðherra, the minister of justice: Björn Bjarnason(XD), viðskiptaráðherra, the Minister of Trade: Björgvin Guðni Sigurðsson(XS), sjávarútvegs-og landbúnaðarráðherra, Minister of Agriculture: Einar Kristinn Guðfinnsson(XD), Menntamálaráðherra, Minister of Culture and Education: Þorgerður Katrín Gunnarsdóttir(XD), utanríkisráðherra, Minister of Foreign Affairs: Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir(XS), Iðnaðarráðherra, Minister of Manufacturing Industries: Össur Skarphéðinsson(XS), fjármálaráðherra, Minister of Finance: Árni Matthías Mathiesen(XD), heilbrigðisráðherra, Minister of Health: Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson(XD), félags-og tryggingamálaráðherra, Minister of Social Affairs: Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir(XS), umhverfisráðherra, Minister of the Environment, Þórunn Sveinbjarnardóttir(XS) and samgönguráðherra, Minister for Transport, Kristján Lúðvík Möller(XS).

These twelve persons all come from Social Democratic Alliance or Independence Party.
Today the president is Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson and he used to be the Minister of Finance and was the head of People's Alliance. 
Although the parliament is highly interesting we it more exciting to follow the City Council of Reykjavík. Today the mayor of the capital, Reykjavík is now Ólafur Friðirik Magnússon who represents the Liberalism Party. In the city council there are 15 voted representatives voted from 5 different parties. Today the majority is formed by The Liberalism Party and the Independence Party.


The parties:
The Progressive Party or Framsóknarflokkurinn was founded December 16th 1916 with the merge of Bændaflokkurinn and óháðir Bændur. It is an agrarian, liberal and centrist party The party is mostly followed by farmers and people in country. However they have not yet gathered a lot of strength in the capital, therefor they have only one representative in the city council but 7 in Althing. 
The head of the party is Guðni Ágústsson, he started as a vice-president in 2001 but was made president of the party when Jón Sigurðsson retired in 2007. 
On of the greatest Prorgessive-people is with out a doubt Steingrímur Hermannsson. In the election 1979 he was the head of the party and in that year they added followers and gained 8% support.

The Independence party is a right-wing and was founded in 1929 with the merge of the liberalism party and conservative party. The party's policy is double-barreled, on one hand it works on the conservation of the Icelandic republic, independents and sovereignty and the exploitation endue of Iceland in the interest of the people, and on the other hand boost up ethnical, liberality and liberalism progressivism on a foundation freedom of the individual, freedom of employment and separate estate, with vested interest for every woman, man and child.
The Head is Geir H. Haarde(prime minister) and vice-president in Þorgerdur Katrin Gunnarsdóttir (Minister of Culture and Education)

More to follow...

Brynhildur Blær

Well. My name is Brynhildur Blær and I am supposed to write something about Iceland here on this blog. This is obviously a schoolproject, I think I would never sit at home or in school and suddenly think "Hey! Maybe I should make another blog than I already have and write about Iceland on it! In English!" No, not happening.

But this is a good idea although. I'm not saying anything else. You thought? Oh well, my mistake. I think it could be interesting to write about icelandic things where everybody can see it. I don't know, maybe this is going to mean something. Maybe someone is going to read this and think he must come to Iceland, maybe someone will read this and stop even thinking about coming here, and maybe someone is going to learn something about this teeny tiny country that he didn't know.
And I guess that's nice, like I said before this is a schoolproject, it must be great if people can learn something.

But write about Iceland, wow, I have no idea about where I should start. I could write about everything, the great nature, the people, Icelandic candy, Reykjavík's city center which some people like me love and adore but other people think it's ugly and damaged, everything to the non-smoking-in-restaurants problem.
Gosh......

Well I'm going to start with telling the truth about some things that part of people in the world think about Iceland that aren't always true. When I went to Italy last summer during international social project for teenagers I met all kinds of teenagers from five or six countrys. And out of all the countrys the Iceland got the most attention and the silliest questions. They had very special ideas about Iceland, and here is the answers they got.

* No, We don't have penguins, snow bears or eskimoes. ....

*Yes, sometimes we see the sun, we can actually get a tan on good summer.....

*Yes, we do eat ordinary food .....

*We can use televisions, mobile phones and computers in the country side......

* No, there isn't raining all days, all year long.....

*Yes, we have eaten spaghetti before.....

No, Bjork is not Chinesee, she is Icelandic.......



OK, this should say something. I´m going to try to update this blog sometimes. But I think this should be enough for now.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Real Iceland

My name is Oddrún and I am an Icelander. I was born in the capital of Iceland, Reykjavík but I was raised in a small village called Neskaupsstaður where the population was about 1000- 1500 people. It’s higher now because they are building an aluminum plant.

Neskaupsstaður is on the east of Iceland where there are no cities only villages, where most men are fishermen and the women work with fish, or at least it was that way when I lived there. My dad on the other hand was the head merchant which was the highest place in the society at that time but my mom was a home working housewife with her three young girls, me the youngest. But my dad is an alcoholic so the mercantile went bankrupt and we moved to Hafnarfjörður which is on the capital area.

I was four years old and didn’t fit in in the big city because the people in the east are a bit “rude” or well, we cursed a lot and well, I didn’t “act” like a girl. Soon after our move to the city my mom and dad got divorced. So there we were, three girls, age 5, 6 and 8 and our mother, bankrupt. My dad was also bankrupt but got a loan to get an apartment in Reykjavík but we moved to a small apartment in Hafnarfjörður.

Times were hard, my mom went to school to study being a carpenter because she was this strong, independent woman who wanted to show that she could do everything that a man could do, but also had to take care of three young girls, had to work for food but we couldn’t make ends meet. My dad had stopped drinking and is now a recovering alcoholic. He met his future wife Ragnheiður who has two children, a little younger than I am and has been with her since. She is a little different from us, so we didn’t always get along because of different habits and lifestyles but we have come okay now. So my dads’ life has mostly gotten better.

Years went by and when I was about ten years old things had gotten even harder for us in Hafnarfjörður. We, sisters, were doing good in school, had a lot of friends and everything looked pretty well to others, but we were always trying to hide how things were at home. My mom had gotten depressed and couldn’t work anymore and the social welfare agency and child care had started to come by now and then to see how things were and providing us with food and clothes. My grandmother also helped a lot but my dad wasn’t that aware of our circumstances but helped as he could.

She tried to commit suicides number of times and went to a psychiatric ward a few times for weeks. Sometimes people didn’t know that we were alone home but we could take care of ourselves. When someone did our grandma came to take care of us. I never thought my life was boring.
We had fun the four of us and we were more like friends than mother and daughters.

But then, two years ago my mother killed herself at the psychiatric ward. Us sisters were torn apart and I had to move to Keflavík, the town were the airport is, one of my older sister to my aunt and the other to another aunt.

Then finally in September we three moved back together in a rental apartment in Hafnarfjörður. The social welfare agency provides us with food and stuff and everyone have been really supportive and helpful. I think my life is great. I have a lot of fantastic friends, I go to a good school in the down town of Reykjavík and I live in a great country. My plans for the future are to work as a social agent of some sort to help the ones who have less.

Iceland is this small country where the people try to help each other as much as possible. We do not live in houses made of snow and we also hate our weather. We have the same problems and sorrow and pain as every other country and the second highest death rate here is suicide, right after cancer. People say it’s because of our short winter days that people get depressed, you know, because it’s like dark all the time. I don’t believe that. We have our racists and junkies and rapists just like every other country, but perhaps not as many of them .

Most of the people here are friendly and speak good English and would probably like long walks on the beach if we had one. We have a great sense of humor but I think we are the only ones who think that.

Times have changed since I was in kindergarten and now I’m not the one who curses the most, we all curse a little bit more than we should. Girls and boys are almost equal and sometimes it’s not a boy who is the class clown it’s a girl. Although we are a small country where everyone are related and everyone knows everyone I think we are a great proud country and we’re going to do something great someday.

Röskva

In Iceland is good to live. Icelanders have got pretty much everything we need on this island except for good weather. For about 100 years ago we were among the poorest countries in the world, so it has changed alot for the last few years. Now we are among the richest in the world. Many teenagers start to work at the age of 13 and they spend the money fx. to buy more clothes, go to the cinema or buy junk food.

Music in Iceland

I play alot of music, if I‘m not playing it on my basses I‘m listening on it. I‘ve played on contra bass for seven years. I‘ve also played in many symphonies and once I played in the Iceland opera. For many years the official Symphony in Iceland have been fighting for an new music house in Reykjavík. The band have been playing in Háskólabíó since 1980. Háskólabó nearly takes 1000 people and the sound maybe gets perfectly to 200 people. Now the city is building a new symphony house, and all the music people think it is victory for them to get a new music house.


Ingvi Rafn Björgvinsson

Are We a Small and Happy Country?

Hi, my name is Hildur and I am in Kvennaskólinn í Reykjavík. Life on Iceland is not really different from life on other places in the world. Well not much anyway. I live in Reykjavík which is the capital of Iceland but it is really small compared to other capitals in the world. We are about 150-200.000 in Reykjavik and the closest environment.

Icelandic people are known to be peaceful, and because of that and the fact we are such a small country we do not have an army. Instead we are part of NATO; we actually are not doing much in this union because we have no army so we use money to help other people. Iceland is one of the richest countries in the world. Most Icelandic families have at least two cars, a house or an apartment, and some of them have a summer house. People in Iceland like spending money in the malls, even though there are only two malls here and most people here goes at least once in a month to buy clothes, and some even every other day. I don't go shopping as often as my friends but I always go with them just for fun. I actually like dancing like many people in Iceland and I used to be in one of the best dance school in Iceland or JSB. I practiced dance for seven years but I quit last semester.

101 Reykjavík City

My life in Reykjavík is marvelous to say the least. I love it. Down town Reykjavík is what keeps me going on a cold winter day. The architecture of the old buildings are magnificent in every way. The old narrow streets and the spirit of Reykjavík is one of a kind. I don’t mean Reykjavík 109 or what ever the map is telling you Reykjavík is. I’m talking about Reykjavík 101 because to me there is no other Reykjavík. It’s 101 or nothing.

Let me explain in more details; do you like stores that have vintage, stylish, and special clothes? Then go to Reykjavík. Do you love having multiple choices of what kind of food you would like to eat; sushi, Thai, Indian, Chinese, Icelandic? Then go to Reykjavík.

Also the people, who are at Reykjavík 101, well most of them, have a great sense of personal style, check it out at the Reykjavik Looksphoto blog.

Áslaug Sif

Iceland Cries Out

I’m a 16 year old male living in Reykjavík Iceland. I’m going to tell you about my life in Iceland. You may think that in Iceland we live in igloos, well your wrong. The only difference between living here as towards living in USA or the UK would be that we have way fewer people here, more nature and our kids are spoilt brats. But it’s not all bad. We have some of the most beautiful untouched nature in the entire world. I have lived in Sweden, USA and New Zealand so I tend to compare the good and the bad in each country. In USA you have a lot of freedom but you probably have even more freedom in Iceland only in a different way, I like Iceland a trillion times more than USA. To me Sweden is just a bigger version of Iceland and they have more history and culture (we have very little of that in Iceland). I prefer Iceland over Sweden mainly because my family lives in Iceland and ye pretty much just that. The biggest competition for me would be between New Zealand and Iceland. These two countries are very unalike and have very little in common. In New Zealand you have beautiful weather and heaps of extreme sports which was one of the things I loved when I lived in New Zealand but in Iceland we have the nature and you can go whale watching, bird watching, hunting and fishing in some of Europe’s best rivers. So if you’re a calm nature lover come to Iceland, if you’re crazy for sports and also love beaches and that go to New Zealand, but if you don’t like nature then got to USA. Some foreigners come to Iceland because they think you can come to Iceland for a one night stand and everything will be sweet, if you thought that you’re wrong. If you come to Iceland you must try our hotdogs they are awesome.

HaLLdór

Sigrún Eva

My life as an Icelander is like any typical teenager here. I go to Kvennaskólinn í Reykjavik, It’s just like eleventh grade in high school, but not really. I think living in Iceland is very just, safe. You can drink right from the sink without getting stomach ache or something, you barely hear about murders or dangerous things here, not even dangerous animals. It’s almost dull but it’s nice to live in such safe environment.

I try to get by in the winter, the dark weather and cold, it’s very tiring and I get just sick of school but the weekends save you from depression sometimes, then normal teenagers here meet up with friends and party or just chill out. But in the summer it’s different, good weather (most of the time), football, swimming, grilling parties, walking home from practice in the evening sun, It’s very cozy. There is something called Unglingavinnan, it’s a job when teenagers get a chance to work for the city outside and do some chores in gardens and tidy up the city. It’s very fun and I worked there last summer and I had such a good time there.

I live in Grafarvogur which is a suburb of Reykjavik city and it’s really nice to live there but I like the down town also very much. Down town there is a very comfortable environment and I love the old houses. There is a shopping street there called Laugarvegur and it’s very similar to the shopping street Strikið/strøget but a bit smaller. I like the shops there are but they could be more and the variety might be more. My favorite shops there are Bask, which is very cool street wear shop who sells Nike and Adidas, old school, very nice. Also I like the vintage shops too, Spúútnik and Rokk og Rósir, and the Icelandic design shops too, like KVK they sell hair bands, capes, dresses and much more it’s very cool and of course Dead or Nonnabúð. I like those clothing stores very much but as much as I like them I hate the price in those stores. Clothes here just can’t be cheap! Maybe I want to buy me something very fashionable and I have to spend all my money that I’ve worked for over the past month! I don’t like that at all. Even the second hand vintage shops put a full price on used clothes! Mmimimmimimimii

maybephotolateryes

Weather Changing in Iceland

The weather here in Iceland is very changing, one moment it‘s like you’re in Florida, and the next its like you‘re on the north pole. But most of the time when it‘s sunny it is still kind of chilly, and when there’s snow it is very cold.

When u travel out of Reykjavík, you must always have a raincoat and something that lets the wind through when it gets hot, because the weather doesn’t stay the same for more than 3 hours☺

Snæi

101

The selection of what I can talk about is so huge, there‘s so much to say about such a little island.

Well, I could ditch every thing here: the government, the weather, the fact that every one knows something or knows every one, the old houses that are being destroyed, the overpriced everything (cd‘s, records, cars, the milk, apartments, cafe lattes, the beer, basically everything in Iceland, even vintage clothes are at the same price as brand new ones) and my favorite thing, the average Joe Icelander.

But still I love it, there’s a lot to do here, specially in 101 Reykjavík. Outside Reykjavík besides the nature (Vestfirðir for example) is nothing, the towns like Garðabær, Kópavogur, Hafnafjörður and Grafarvogur you have nothing, just the jeep-families with their big houses and blonde haired babies in Diesel and DKNY clothes, who go to Smáralind on Saturdays and do uninteresting things like that.

In 101 you have coffeehouses, restaurants, record shops, design shops, beautiful houses and you can go to concerts and if you got any money you can go to Kronkron and buy ridiculously expensive but sooo beautiful items. So for me, getting into the high school I’m in right now, Kvennó or Kvennaskólinn in Reykjavík was a great escape from this suburban Icelandic metro dream and I get the real feeling of the greatest part of the country and being downtown every day is a new world for me and after waiting for it for about 10 years and especially the last 3. It’s awesome to experience...
(to be continued)

Hugrún

Maria Rós

Hi my name is María Rós and I am a 16 year old girl from Iceland. My life is very normal. I go to school and in my free time I try to find something fun to do. I like drawing, painting and being with my friends and family. The school I go to is Kvennaskólinn í Reykjavík. The students are about 500 but I love the school because it is so small, cozy and old.

Being an Icelander is not very different then being from another country except for all the opportunities we have. It is very easy to get education or a job and money is never really a problem.

Icelanders are proud of there land and we believe that Iceland is the best country in the world. We are always talking about our beautiful nature and our pure air but still we are ruining it.

If I would move from Iceland I would miss the people and the fact that everybody knows everybody.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

My Iceland

Being Icelandic involves man different factors, all equally important though. As it has been pointed out many times before we Icelanders love to use superlatives to describe ourselves and our country. We are the best, the hardest workers, with the most beautiful country and we have the most beautiful women, we are the cleverest, the richest, we are the most environmentally conscious, how incredibly perfect! And the funny thing is though that we all really believe it, from the bottom if our hearts, I guess we are the proudest nation anyway. However Icelanders are most very hard working and protesters as well. If there is something we don’t like or is wrong we expect it to be fixed, and most of us don’t just sit there with closed moths and watch it being unfixed, well many of us. Although Iceland has many positive things we do have many flaws here to. Our political system and our judicial system is very imperfect from my point of view anyway.

But here just as in other countries, there are new children born every day and people die here every day too. Teenagers try to find themselves, find out who they are and what they are meant to do here on this earth, well and grownups do to I guess. Being one of those teenagers, in my first year in college, looking first at my safe and known past and then at the wide open future with nothing but possibilities and dangers everywhere I turn. I must say that it looks kind of scary. There are not many things that are definite. It is definite that I will die one day, and when I do, I will die loved, loving, educated, with blue-green eyes, with a big family and great friends but wherever I’ll be when I die and however I do I will definitely die, with Vikings as ancestors, a beautiful country to go home to, a proud ICELANDER!

Rannveig

Iceland, a Truth

Iceland, Iceland what can I say about Iceland. For a start I can surely say Iceland is no paradise like the tourist magazines say, untouched nature my ass. We have a very corrupted goverment who only think about money and the small nature we have is on the verge of disappearing.

Actually, Icelandic nature is really not that interesting, there are only mountains and tundra, a big expanse of rock and emptiness. And for the weather. The weather here is rather cold and there is always wind, wind straight from Greenland and it is also very dark most of the year. The suicide rate here is also very high and most Icelanders are a bunch of depressed people.




Bjartur G

My (not so?) Niceland

I guess I‘ll just start on the basics.

My name is Þórunn Jakobsdóttir and I‘m 16 years old. I live in a small town called Seltjarnarnes which is placed right next to Reykjavík, the capital city. I‘ve got a mum, a dad, a stepmother and three brothers. I‘ve also got loads of friends and a boyfriend. I guess I’m just a pretty normal Icelandic teenager. I like to hang out with my friends, listen to music, snowboard, laugh, shop, go to the pool, doing surveys on Myspace, hug my boyfriend, listen to my 2 year old niece telling stories and drive. I’m turning 17 in July and I’ll get my driver's license then. I can’t wait. Enough about me now?


Being Icelandic is okay. At least in the summertime. The winters here are long and sometimes very cold. Like this winter, it hasn’t snowed so much since I don’t know when. It was fine in the beginning, like it’s nice to have a ‘White Christmas’, but when it’s still snowing in April, it gets boring. There’s not much to do in the wintertime. You can go downtown but you have to be prepared for all types of weather. And it’s dark. The shortest day of the year is in December, the sun only shines for a very short time. And that sucks. I dislike the dark. I love the summer. It’s the time when you can go outside, wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt or a dress and leggings. Children go out to play and sometimes their parents have the time to go with them, which almost never happens in the wintertime. Everyone is more relaxed in the summer.

Me and my friends celebrating the summer by the seaside last May.