Icelandic news translated into English

November 12, 2008

Predicted unemployment rate at 3.8% in November

Filed under: economy,jobs,Uncategorized — newsfrettir @ 3:33 pm
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Registered unemployment in October was 1.9% or on average 3106 people and the number of people who were unemployed grew by 877 people since September. At the same time of year in 2007 the unemployment rate was 0.8% or 1315 people.
The directorate of labour says that usually unemployment increases between October and November. Last year unemployment was similar for both months and was then 0.8%. Unemployed at the end of October increased from the end of September to 1447 and to 2627 from the same time in 2007.
The directorate of labor says it is hard to estimate unemployment these days because of the massive recession in the economy and mass layoffs, but the unemployment rate in November will probably increase dramatically and be about 3.3 – 3.8%.

News Article by noname
Original Article in Icelandic

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Árdegi requests for petition in bankruptcy

Filed under: jobs,Uncategorized — newsfrettir @ 10:14 am
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The request from the board of Árdegi hf. about petition in bankruptcy will be reviewed in district court of Reykjavik today. Árdegi was a large unit around stores but serious problems have been in the practice of the company for some time.

The stores of BT were closed in the end of October and at the same time Sena hf. bought Skífan from Árdegi. Skífan runs three stores, in the international airport of Leifur Eiríksson, on Laugarvegur and in Kringlan.

Árdegi also owned Merlin the chain stores in Denmark, which asked for moratorium in the end of October but the stores of Merlin were then sold.

Árdegi also runs the stores NOA NOA and NEXT. Sony Center, that was owned by Árdegi, was sold a little over a year agoo to Link ehf. a company owned by Nýherji.

(Translators note: Skífan sells cd´s, movies, video games, pc games, dvds etc. Sena is a distributor of those items. Laugarvegur is the main shopping street in Reykjavík. Krinlan is the first shopping mall opened in Iceland.)

News Article by noname
Original Article in Icelandic

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November 10, 2008

Product shortage causing problems to plumbers

Jón Þórðarsson
Product shortage has started to cause problems to industry workers, the product shortage is difficult and starting to delay delivery dues on projects. Jón Þóðarson plumbing master says that industry workers still have enough projects but it has been obvious that product shortage has been for two weeks and is starting to cause problems. Last week was very difficult. Plumbers have to run around the city to try to gather some materials to finish projects.

“This is worsening because the suppliers are not getting currency to import materials and get out of the customs so they are not getting any products. I find this very difficult. It takes four hours a day to gather the materials for two days of work and it´s hard to charge for this time that we spend finding the materials, because people are not very happy about the extra hours.”

Jón points out that plumbers usually get all materials in one place, materials are different in thickness and does not fit together from various places. “This situation is pushing us to other countries. We are checking if we can work in Denmark or Norway because its the material shortage that is stopping us now, not the project shortage.”

He says he is checking if there is an option that all the employees go to Denmark or Norway to work for five or six weeks and come home for vacation and stay with their families for one or two weeks. That way they could make money to pay their debts here. He thinks this will be clear next week.

Björn Bjarnason, chairman of the master union of industry workers, says the shortage of products that are ordered from overseas is because suppliers cannot get them out of customs. “The selection is very limited,” says Björn. “This is starting to affect the delivery time of projects. We can not for instance get fencing materials from abroad.”
Hjalti Ólafsson, manager of Vatnsvirkinn, says most of the material shortage is in hardware stores and plumbing products but least at the Vatnsvirkinn.

“The product shortage is having an affect right now and will increase when the currency markets are not open. When the currency will be put out there again the uncertainty will be too much to order in products, so nothing will be done until the currency markets have got some balance. Many weeks are until the next deliveries will arrive. The uncertainty is pushing us to just order in the essentials,” says Hjalti and points out that the situation is serious when materials are mixed because of shortage. It affects the manufacturers warranty.

(News Article by Anton Brink)
Original Article in Icelandic

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November 8, 2008

No other country crashed this fast

Filed under: economy,families,jobs — newsfrettir @ 6:09 pm
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“Stunned Icelanders Struggle After Economy’s Fall ” is the headline of a long article about the economy and state of mind of the Icelandic nation, which is posted on the website of the New York Times today. The author Sarah Lyall, speaks to a few Icelanders and puts up a picture with that of the situation and the atmosphere in the community.

It says in Lyalls article that the crash had happened so suddenly that one woman described it like being hit by a train. Another person she spoke with says it is almost like being imprisoned, but not knowing why.

Lyall says that it seems as the nation is is total shock. A month ago when the first hit came it was like it was a bad dream but now Icelanders are waking up to that the nightmare is coming true.

She talks about how people lost their savings, how prices are going up, how the restaurants are empty, the currency of the króna crashed and all currencies are rationed so companies are in trouble doing business with other countries.

“No country has ever crashed as quickly and as badly in peacetime,” says Jón Daníelsson, economist at the London School of Economics in his interview with Lyall.

Sarah Lyall Article

(News Article by Ómar Ómarsson)
Original Article in Icelandic

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November 5, 2008

The giant halo of Jón Ásgeir

Filed under: jobs,Politics,Uncategorized — newsfrettir @ 11:56 am
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Þorgerður Katrín Gunnarsdóttir Minister of Culture and Education says it is inevitable to insure the status of the Government media if there will be increased oligopoly in the media market. The situation is at hand that there might be only one person in charge of all media in Iceland, except the Government media.

A bank owned by the government, Landsbankinn, seems to have initiative in the matter but his administrators have to step forward and explain their side and explain to the nation what interests are behind this. It is essential to destroy all suspicion. Companies are to sit at the same table with the banks and the public shall not be ignored. She says it is inevitable that the Government media will pack their sails somewhat like other companies and it´s status on the advertisement market will be reviewed with competitive status in mind compared to other media. It is very risky to hand one man the whole advertisement market on a silver plate.

The congress were harsh in their words towards the media company Rauðsól which was called giant halo and monopoly fortress. Guðni Ágústsson chairman of the progressive party wanted to revoke the merging of the companies but challenged Björgvin G. Sigurðsson to react. It did come up in the discussions that the alignment party was happy, they carry a red sun in their chest.

(Translators note : Jón Ásgeir was formerly involved with Baugur group. Rauðsól translates to : Redsun.)

(News Article by Þóra Kristín Ásgeirsdóttir)
Original Article & Video in Icelandic

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Samson bankrupt


“This is not an economic decision. They simply will not extend our deadline as we asked for. The share in Landsbankinn was the mail property of the company and it has been confiscated. There were debts in the company and now the owner of those debts is demanding bankruptcy,” says Ásgeir Friðgeirsson. He is the spokesman of Björgólfur Guðmundsson and Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson, who own Samson holdings. District court of Reykjavík denied them today for continuance of the moratorium.

The German bank Commerzbank demanded from the District Court that the continuance of the moratorium would be denied but Samson has 23 billions in loans that are upset.

Samsons share in Landsbankinn was valued at 90 billion króna when the government took over the bank, but after the bank was nationalized that share is near worthless.

“A decision has not been made still about giving the company up for bankruptcy proceedings and we are not familiar with the Commerzbank demanding so,” says Ásgeir Friðgeirsson.

He also says that the conclution with Samson has not direct affect on other companies owned by the Björgólf family, but first and foremost their own finance.

(News Article by Kristinn)
Original Article in Icelandic

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November 4, 2008

Unemployed during these hard times

Filed under: families,jobs — newsfrettir @ 1:46 am

“I was on my way out of the house, just put on my coat and was on my way on a project when i was called to a meeting,” says Lára Ómarsdóttir who was at her house with her family when the reporter from DV paid her a visit.

Lára was one of the 26 employees of Morgunblaðið who were fired without a notice last friday but according to the sources of DV they were all asked to quit immediately. In this group were few of the most experienced reporters of the news paper. The atmosphere amongst the others at the editorials is filled with anxiety, because the experienced and hardened employees watched their friends and co-workers pack up their things and leave their place of work.

News commentaries ruined
“I guess i´ll just take the winter off,” says Lára, who is not going to work her notice. She, as many others who were fired this friday, packed her things at the editorial that same day.
“They asked me to quit right away. I had 3 news commentaries in process that i had started the day before i got fired. News commentaries that wont be news commentaries from this point,” says Lára, obviously unhappy about the time wasted.

(News Article *ritstjórn dv*)
Original Article in Icelandic

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November 3, 2008

BT stores ask for petition in bankruptcy

Filed under: announcements,economy,jobs — newsfrettir @ 7:56 pm


BT stores asked for petition in bankruptcy today. Hopes are that it will be possible to get BT up and running again, but it is obvious that the BT stores will be closed for now. There are 50 employees working for BT.

This is an announcement from the company:

“In the last few days and weeks we have paddled for the life of the company to insure the practice could continue in the form as we know it, but without satisfying results. The company has asked for petition in bankruptcy today, Monday.

There are hopes that it will be possible to get BT back up and running and discussions about the matter have already started. There is a signed acquisition offer of the practice of BT stores, but is subject to resolution of the liquidator.

It is obvious that the stores of BT will be closed for now while there is sought a result around the acquisition offer.

50 employees are working for BT stores, in 30 full-time equivalent unit. Staff meeting was held tonight and employees were informed about the situation and offered help to insure their rights.”

(News Article by *noname*)
Original Article in Icelandic

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Alcan offers psychological help

Filed under: jobs,Uncategorized — newsfrettir @ 6:23 pm

Alcan in Straumsvik - Photo Ómar
Alcan in Iceland has decided to offer their employees psychological help free of charge after the reality of the situation of the nation becomes clear.

From what Ólafur Teitur Guðnason says, newly hired managing director of the field of informations for Alcan, the remaining employees of the company will have the option of having 3 sessions with a psychologist. “This is just to try to assist those who are suffering in these crisis” says Ólafur.

The project starts today, and it is uncertain how many employees will accept the offer.

The national unemployement / job agency has also offered psychological help.

(News Article by *Ómar*)
Original Article in Icelandic

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November 2, 2008

Tens of millions lost

Filed under: economy,jobs — newsfrettir @ 5:13 pm

Money bills
Formaco is one of many companies that are suffering from the bank crash and impossible currency trade. A payment from the company to Denmark, which was paid two weeks ago, is still lost in the bank system and has not arrived to the supplier in Denmark, says Ragnar.

Te payment was approx 280.000 danish króna and was paid to get movement back up in shipments to the country worth 30 million Icelandic króna. The payment was made through Landsbankinn and has been lost ever since. Questions have not been answered when Ragnar checks on the issue.

As imaginable this is very bad for the Formaco operations and stops the company from making income. Ragnar says it is time to the administration wakes up and realizes that if the industry has to suffer in the way it is today, most Icelandic people will be registered with the unemployement agency before long.

Formaco was established in 1997 and has produced windows and imported materials and gear for construction contractors. The company gave notice to 70 employees of the company before the end of last month because of recession in construction industry.

(News Article by *noname*)
Original Article in Icelandic

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