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Iceland: National Digital Currency Auroracoin Launched

(Aug. 12, 2014) On March 24, 2014 creators of Auroracoin launched a helicopter drop of Auroracoins; they were available to all Icelanders who wanted to claim them. The digital currency is a competitor of Bitcoin and meant to cater to Iceland, although it can be changed into Bitcoins. It acts as a gateway currency for […]

Iceland: Icelandic Bankers Jailed for Fraud

(July 30, 2014) In a decision issued by the Reykjavik district court on December 12, 2013, two bank directors were among the parties imprisoned for fraud in connection with the banking crisis of 2008. (Dómur: Héraðsdóms Reykjavíkur 12. desember 2013 í máli nr. S-127/2012 [Judgment: Reykjavík District Court December 12, 2013 in case no. S-127/2012], […]

Iceland: Whale Meal Beer Ban Lifted

(Jan. 29, 2014) Iceland had temporarily banned the production and sale of beer made with whale bone meal. The West Iceland Public Health Authority had halted production, citing food production regulations; a complete, national prohibition was imposed on January 20, 2014. The companies that planned to make the beer, the brewery Steðji and the whaling company […]

Iceland: Decision to Suspend EU Accession Process

(June 28, 2013) According to <?Iceland's Foreign Minister, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, the country has decided to withdraw its request to join the European Union, at least for the present. He stated that Iceland's new government is opposed to joining the EU. He said that the government has decided to halt negotiations, but to strengthen European […]

Iceland: Internet Porn Ban Considered

(Feb. 25, 2013) It was reported on February 20, 2013, that Halla Gunnarsdóttir, an advisor in <?Iceland's Ministry of the Interior, has said that consensus is developing in the country for a ban on Internet pornography. She stated, "[w]e have so many experts, from educationalists to the police and those who work with children behind […]

European Union; Faroe Islands; Iceland; Norway: Dispute over Mackerel Fishing Not Resolved by Talks

(Nov. 7, 2012) On October 22-24, 2012, representatives of Iceland, Norway, the Faroe Islands, and the European Union met in London to discuss the sustainable management of mackerel fishing off their shores, but failed to reach an agreement. (Coastal States’ Talks Fail to Reach a Mackerel Quota Agreement, FIS WORLD NEWS (Oct. 29, 2012).) Richard […]

Iceland: Amendment to Law on Foreign Exchange Controls Adopted

(Mar. 22, 2012) On March 13, 2012, Iceland's Parliament (Althingi) adopted Act No. 17/2012 Amending the Foreign Exchange Act, No. 87/1992. (Amendments of the Foreign Exchange Act, Central Bank of Iceland website (Mar. 15, 2012).) It was reported that the Parliament had quickly passed the Act after highly secret meetings convened after the markets closed […]

Iceland: Banking Collapse Trial of Former Prime Minister Begins

(Sept. 6, 2011) On September 5, 2011, the trial of Geir Haarde, former Prime Minister of Iceland, opened in the Landsdomur, a 15-member special court established to try criminal cases involving Cabinet ministers. Haarde faces charges of intentional or gross negligence in failing to prevent the country’s 2008 financial crisis, in which the banking system […]

Iceland: Proposal to Change Funding for Asylum Programs

(Aug. 29, 2011) Iceland's Minister of the Interior, Ögmundur Jónasson, recently proposed changing the way funding is allocated to support facilities for persons seeking asylum in the country. He argued that the current system, in which such funding is part of the budget of the Directorate of Immigration, is problematic. As the number of asylum […]

Iceland: Former PM Pleads Not Guilty to Gross Negligence Charges in Banking Crisis

(June 13, 2011) Geir Haarde, the former Prime Minister of Iceland, pleaded not guilty on June 7, 2011, to charges of gross negligence in connection with the collapse of the country's banking system in 2008. More specifically, Haarde is accused of “intentionally or grossly negligently failing to prevent the 2008 Icelandic financial crisis.” (Zach Zagger, […]