Icelandic news translated into English

November 13, 2008

Icelandic news translations moved!

Filed under: Uncategorized — newsfrettir @ 5:45 pm
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After a donation of a domain i have set up a wordpress blog on the domain, and moved all articles to there and will continue my translations there. This was done to make it easier to bookmark and return to the blog, as well as make it easier for me to manage since these blogs are somewhat limited, and this is the reason for the translations have been slow today. I apologize for that !

I hope this change is welcome to you all, and i want to send a special thank you to those of you who have donated, i have no words to express how much this means to me since this is my only form of income. Thank you, thank you and thank you !

Please bookmark my new site and visit often !

http://www.newsfrettir.com

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Laughs about Icelanders unhappyness

Filed under: Uncategorized — newsfrettir @ 2:57 pm
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Icelandic children watch the Parliament at work

Icelandic children watch the Parliament at work

“Everyone got the joke, and it was quite an experience to feel that we are being laughed at everywhere,” says Sylvía Ingibergsdóttir psychiatric nurse that went to a European convention of psychiatric nurses with an Icelandic colleague in Malta these days.

The convention was sought by 350 psychiatric nurses from 35 countries and the manager of psychiatric area of the international health care institution of Europe, dr. Matt Muijem, spoke to the convocation. “He spoke of the health in some nations and in his speech he mocked the Icelanders by saying that the Icelanders were the happiest nation in the world until recently. Now they are the most unhappy,” says Sylvía “Then he laughed and the worst was the the whole convocation laughed with him.”

She says this is not the only incident of this sort in the convention. “We met a Norwegian nurse and when we told her that we are from Iceland she laughed and said; Ah yes the poor people!”

From what Sylvía says the lack of understanding in the situation was total. “People from the other Nordic nations seemed to look at the way the Icelandic investors behaved and knew of some of the reactions of the Icelandic government but did not realize the tragedy that is going on here and touches every family in Iceland in one way or another. The experience was really that a whole nation has lost its reputation because of the economic issues.”

News Article by Njála Guðmundsdóttir
Original Article in Icelandic

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The government has been neglegting it’s duty

Filed under: Uncategorized — newsfrettir @ 2:54 pm

Hermann Guðmundson, CEO of N1 (formarly Esso oil), said at an open association meeting of the Federation of General and Special Workers held at Grand hotel this morning that a lot of measures could have been taken to avoid the collapse of the Icelandic banks. The collapse had in fact started in March when the exchange rate of the króna had plummeted and short sellers had been seen at 101 Reykjavik hotel. At the time the Prime Minister had said that we had reached bottom that is the time that the government should have gone to the IMF, to keep the Icelandic banks alive. ‘The government neglected their duty’ says Mr. Guðmundson and made a few suggestions that he wants implemented right away.
Mr. Guðmundsson said administrators are contemplating their liability when companies are hanging by a thread and are kept running with considerable negative capitol position. Those companies were apt to default on, among other things, public dues. The administrators of those firms do not wish to be called criminals and to prevent that they will be put in jail the government would have to change legislations. Mr. Guðmundson also suggested that the government founded a trust to lend companies for as long as 5-10 years, companies’ debts will have to be redefined and property tax on vacant properties should be lifted and the government should buy real estates from contractors. Also it should be seen to that competition authorities were able to make their rulings with swiftness.
Mr. Guðmundsson also said that companies should be able to reduce employees to part time work rather than lay them off. Unfortunately mass lay offs were inevitable, and N1 one had downsized their workforce by 10% since this summer and laid off 70 people. He also said that more and more companies were defaulting every day. He named N1 as an example they have 16 thousand account holders doing business. A year ago 100-130 bills were in debt collection because of defaults, now they are well over one thousand.

‘Our costumers lack off liquid assets is high, contractors big and small are filing bankruptcy and the turn of events has begun which will lead to massive lay offs if nothing will be done’
Other speakers at the meeting were Vilhjálmur Egilsson, CEO of SA (Confederation of Icelandic Employers) and Þór Sigfússon president of SA. Mr. Egilsson restated his earlier opinion that it was necessary to negotiate with foreign lenders of Icelandic companies and institutions and invite them to become shareholders in the new banks. At the same time it is imperative to implement IMF’s plan of action, no sooner would the currency market start again. At the current situation ongoing access to international finance markets is essential. Mr. Egilsson also said that if that did not succeed, Iceland would be faced with paying up all claims that have been made, we will be heading into mass-bankruptcies of companies and individuals.
‘Even if they are dogs’

In both Mr. Egilssons and Mr. Sigfússons cases there was a very distinct criticism on the authorities for not showing enough cooperation with the working forces. It is necessary to know where we are heading and Mr. Egilsson suggested that discussions on switching to € and membership to the EU be started. Mr. Sigfússon said that the business classes will not survive through many more days without any solutions, a broad sense of solidarity was needed and cooperation from the authorities. With that many of the uncertainties will be lifted. ‘The government has not sought much cooperation from us, the playing style of holding their cards close is unfortunate. It would be better to reveal your cards, even if they are mere dogs’ says Mr. Egilsson.

(Note from translator – Dog is a bridge term; meaning a bad hand)

News article by Björn
Original article in Icelandic

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Deals about Icesave the only way

Picture by Reuters

Picture by Reuters

The Icelandic government has decided to try to deal with England and Netherlands in the next days on how the Icelandic government can compensate the balances in the Icesave accounts of Landsbankinn to the ones who are hurting from the loss when the banks were bankrupt. It is the evaluation of the head men of the government that the only way to get the loan approved from the IMF and other governments is to finish these deals as soon as possible.

According to the sources of the Morgunblaðið the Icelandic government has been under a lot of pressure from the united nations and the founders of the European Union to make these deals. It has been public that it is the united position of all the 27 ESB countries to be against that Iceland gets the help from IMF until the Icesave debts have been negotiated about.

The ESB countries are not agreeing with the legal reasons of Iceland in he matters and say that this is a political perspective. It is reasoned in the matter that this issue has to be finished in the way that there is no doubt of the value of the executive order from the ESB, that is valid in all the European economic area, about the mutual insurance of the balances. If the unfortunate example is set by giving in on the deals to Iceland everything would be upset in the European bank market in the current situation and the balance owners would stop trusting the banks about practice in another country than its own.

The sources of the Morgunblaðið say that for instance the representatives of all the Nordic nations have made it clear that it will not work to talk about a loan from them until the Icesave disputes have been solved. It was also hinted by the ESB council that if Iceland admits the demands of England and the Netherlands the united nations will try to set the terms in an order that the debt and repayment would not be too heavy for Iceland.

News Article by noname
Original Article in Icelandic

Painted Valhöll red last night

Filed under: Protests,Uncategorized — newsfrettir @ 2:21 pm
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Valhöll

Valhöll

The north gate of Valhöll, the capital of the Independence party, was spray painted red last night. The red color reaches up to 6 meters high. The police got a report about the new color from the Security guards of Securitas at three a.m. this morning. The police was at that time out on a call because of a break in in Ármúli. Because of this the Independence Party has decided to increase security around the house.

It is unknown who were the doers, but the police had an anonymous tip that the house of the Parliament would be painted that night, so the police guarded the Parliament.

There were two hooded individuals seen running away around around midnight after firing up a large firework set in front of the house of the Parliament.

News Article by Júlíus
Original Article in Icelandic

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Treasury has nothing to spare

Árni Mathiesen

Árni Mathiesen

Árni Mathiesen Minister of Finance spoke at the finance convention of the Union of Icelandic Provinces this morning. In his speech he noted that the unemployed increased by 1300 from the beginning of October to current date. Then he said that unemployment will increased substantially next month and add to about 3.5%. He said it was clear that this evolution is hitting hardest on the Capital area, but how things will evolve will later be clear.

He said that tax incomes are going to lower shortly, expenses will also lower and interest difference will be negative in a way that it will really matter. Then request and economic growth will lower very fast. Then he said there is uncertainty about most matters in the government financial areas. He says it is not unlikely that the income of the national treasury could lower by a quarter between the years 2008 and 2009.

He said it was evident that the contributions of the national treasury to the equalization fund of the provinces would lower by at least 10%.

Árni also spoke about the debts of the national treasury, which has increased significantly lately, and specially after the government nationalizing the banks and taking over their bonds. He said it was clear that the authorities have to make cut downs on expenses significantly in the next years. Both government and provinces. He said that the national treasury has nothing to spare to lower the debts of the provinces in the next years.

He recommended setting finance matters for provinces, to be able to ease the process of lowering expenses for the national treasury. Also he said that in an answer to a person at the meeting that the consults between the government and provinces has to be tightened shortly and put older disputes from the good seasons aside.

Worst situation seen

Halldór Halldórsson

Halldór Halldórsson

Halldór Halldórsson, chairman of the Union of Icelandic Provinces, said in his opening speech this morning that the financial state of the provinces are now in their worst situation that has been seen. He used a well used metaphor and said that the provinces are now sailing their beat up ship back to the shore. He said that the provinces have to look to their financial backup, the government, and the Minister of Finance showed it understanding even though he is himself facing serious problems with the national treasury.

He said in the year 2007 not compatible to anything, when the finances of the provinces are viewed. Sales of lots, that was a big part of the income of provinces at that time, is now coming back to hit the chairmen of the provinces in the back, since the lots are being returned in great counts.

Halldór also spoke of the prices of the provinces and emphasized that the provinces in the country have to watch those matters in the next seasons. He said it was irresponsible to say that taxes and dues will not be raised in near future, that it is impossible to not reduce service. He spoke of the urgency to protect the basic service of the provinces.

News Article by noname
Article in Icelandic

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Will Iceland accept it‘s responsabilities?

Filed under: economy,Politics — newsfrettir @ 1:33 pm
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‚No agreement has been reached with the IMF wich suggests that the government is vacillate in it’s stance. The issue isn’t threats from Britain or Holland or the position of the Scandinavian countries, but whether Icelanders are willing to shoulder their responsibilities or not. It is up to us. If we will not, than what little trust we still have and what small hope of symbiotic help from the international community. Iceland’s IMF loan application lies dormant until a clear heading is presented’ writes Skúli Thoroddsen, general manager of the Federation of General and Special Workers in Iceland, on the federations webpage.
‘It was the chairman of the board of governors in the Central bank that first raised the theory that Icelanders were under no obligation to guarantee credit balance accounts of the Icelandic banks abroad. That invoked the anger of the British. The emergency laws than confirmed that only credit balance accounts in Iceland were insured and the Brits went ballistic. What is most important to realize is that people can not be discriminated by race and it matters not whether the accounts were in branches in Iceland, London or Amsterdam. Every one should be equal, that’s the law that applies, even though the whole thing boils down to ethics of international trade and trust. That is the problem that the government is facing right now.’
‘Accourding to uncomfirmed statements it appears that the Icelandic government has decided to endeavor to reach an agreement with Britain and Holland in the next few days on how the Icelandic government will compensate the Icesave account holder. That is the only way to get a loan from IMF and other countries, and that is in fact the most important task of the day’ writes Mr. Thoroddsen.
‘Can we afford to take over responsibilities of the accounts abroad?’ Mr. Thoroddsen asks in his column.
‘No, we can’t. The burden of so much debt would mean that defection, collapse and decades of poverty her in Iceland if we were to carry it alone. We must therefore seek assistance and negotiate our way out of the crisis, acknowledge the political mistakes of last years and meet our destiny with humility. The longer we draw this out, the anger of the public in Iceland and abroad will escalate. People want to know where we are heading. We need a strategy and we are calling for accountability.

The country is facing destitution because of political mistakes that is a fact. Any trust the Central Bank had is long gone and others that bear some blame in the matter are the supervisory authorities both the Financial Supervisory Authority and the Ministry responsible for bank affairs (the Ministry of Commerce). It is there for only reasonable that the president of the Icelandic Confederation of Labor (ASÍ) is calling to the Ministers of Finance and Commerce to shoulder their responsibilities, seeing as they have failed in their official duties. One can agree to that. They should have been aware of the fact that the growth of the banks abroad was bound to end in misfortune.
Even though no one could have imagined the horrific consequence that was to be, the political and administrative responsibilities are great and unavoidable. They must assume it. But we must not forget the accountability of those that were responsible for the expansion and reaped the benefits at the expense of the public. Their day of reckoning has to and must be soon to come.’

Original article in Icelandic
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Valhöll in a bath

Filed under: Protests — newsfrettir @ 1:07 pm
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Valhöll

Valhöll

Valhöll is having a bath after the nights happening but someone painted it partially red. There are workers trying to get the red color off with high pressure water wash but there are men from the company Allt Af high pressure wash that are working this project. About 4 am last night the police received an announcement from the company Securitas that the house has taken some change during the night, but the doers were not to be found and no one was as a suspect from what the police says. The washers say that this is red ship paint and difficult to handle but they think they will be working this until afternoon.

According to the information the Independence party gave out the security around Valhöll has been increased.

(Translators note – Valhöll is home to the offices of the Independence party)

News Artice by Þóra Kristín Ásgeirsdóttir
Original Article & Video in Icelandic

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Call to a peaceful protest meeting

Filed under: Protests — newsfrettir @ 12:46 pm
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From the protests last Saturday

From the protests last Saturday

Phalanx against the situation call to a protest meet at Austurvöllur next Saturday at 15.00 like the past few Saturdays. Those who will be speaking are: Andri Snær writer, Viðar Þorsteinsson philosopher and Kristín Helga Gunnarsdóttir writer.

Ágúst Ólafur: Jón Ásgeirs threat is unbelievable

Ágúst Ólafur Ágústsson

Ágúst Ólafur Ágústsson

“I thin it is extremely odd that men think they can threaten members of the parliament in this manner, that they will simply be charged if they ask certain questions,” says Ágúst Ólafur Ágústsson, chairman of the trade commission of the Parliament.

In the letter that the lawyer of Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson sent Ágúst tonight it is demanded that he will not call the representatives to his meeting on Friday. It was stated in the news on RÚV yesterday that Ágúst called to that meeting, amongst other issues to demand answers from the representatives ofr the banks if any of the banks financed the purchase of Jón Ásgeirs on 365 media as the situation has been clear on the media market.

Ágúst Ólafur says he will not bend to this demand of Jón Ásgeirs, as it is clear that this matter concerns the worried public and the parliament world if there has started a monopoly on the media market and if the government banks were a part in that. “But it is the banks responsibility to evaluate if there is bank secrecy at hand regarding this information or not. I am not asking men to break law but i am doing my job as a member of the Parliament,” says Ágúst. He says that the members of the Parliament have often asked questions and been denied answers. It is nothing new that members of the Parliament do not get information about issues that are secretive.

Ágúst Ólafur says that the threat of Jón Ásgeir is unbelievable, but doubts it has any example of these sort of threats before. “And one can ask oneself if he´s going to threat the media if they ask questions,” says Ágúst.

After the first news of that Jón Ásgeir bought 365 media he announced to all shareholders of 365 that they would be offered to be partners in the new company that bought the media.

News Article by noname
Original Article in Icelandic

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