'Corruption' Tag Archive

Jun 29 2011
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The Icelandic Geothermal Cluster: Banks, Universities, Ministries, Energy Companies and Aluminium Producers Join Forces


Suits and Ties: Banks, Energy and Aluminium Companies - From the Establishment Meetings Dozens of Icelandic companies and institutions, all directly connected to the heavy industrialization of Iceland, have established a co-operating forum concerning the development of the so-called “Icelandic geothermal cluster”. The forum, which was formally established yesterday, June 28th, is originally a conception by Dr. Michael Porter, professor at Harvard Business School and known as “a leading authority on company strategy and the competitiveness of nations and regions.” Interviewed by a news-report TV show Kastljós, Porter, who was in Iceland to take part in the forum’s formal establishment, said that Icelanders are “too cautious” when it comes to “using the opportunities that consist in geothermal energy and the nation’s expertise on the issue.” Contrary to Porter, environmentalists and Iceland’s National Energy Authority fear the overexploitation of geothermal resources. Read More

Jun 24 2011
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Environmentalists Excluded from Master Plan on the Future of Nature Conservation


Kerlingarfjöll At the beginning of July the results of a framework programme, concerning the exploitation and protection of Iceland’s natural resources, will be presented publicly. The timing of the presentation has much more to do with demands from the labour market agents, rather than the government’s will to try to reach a settlement about the result, according to the Icelandic Nature Conservation Association (INCA, or NSÍ in Icelandic), which is highly critical of many aspects of the making of the framework programme.

One of the association’s primary criticisms is directed towards the fact that a particular committee, nominated to sort the areas in question into three different categories: protection, hold and utilization – did not include a single representative from environmentalist organizations. Whereas representatives from the energy and tourism industries, as well as the ministries of environment and industry, had seats on the committee. The viewpoint of nature conservation has thus no spokesperson in the working progress, states a press release from INCA. Read More

Jun 23 2011
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The Reykjavík One: The Trials and Tribulations of Geir H. Haarde


The Reykjavík One: Geir H. Haarde - Photo: Gúndi By Snorri Páll Jónsson Úlfhildarson
Originally published in The Reykjavík Grapevine

A little more than a year ago, several Icelandic bankers were arrested and kept in custody in relation to the Special Prosecutor’s investigation into the 2008 economic collapse, its antecedents and causes. Appearing in political TV talk show Silfur Egils shortly afterwards, French-Norwegian magistrate Eva Joly, who at that time served as the Prosecutor’s special assistant, talked about how society does not expect—and has problems to deal with—politically and economically powerful people being arrested, interrogated and possibly sentenced.

Eva Joly was right. And the reason? Habit. Whether a journalist, police officer, lawyer, judge or a powerless citizen, in a civilised society based on dualistic ideas of good and evil, one is most likely unable to recognise well-dressed and eloquent people—with possessions and power in their pockets—as anything other than good. During the interview, Eva compared those people with drug users and dealers that are brought to court, who generally are immediately seen by society as criminals deserving to face “justice”. Another rightful comparison would be political dissidents. Read More

May 25 2011
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More Flouride in Animals Around Aluminium Factories than Elsewhere – Environmental Agency Refuses to Investigate


century+elkem For the last two years, a horse-farmer close to the Norðurál/Century aluminium smelter in Grundartangi, Hvalfjörður, has tried to get supervisory bodies to investigate mysterious sickness, which her horses suffer from. According to recent studies, a great amount of fluoride has been found in the bones of horses close to Grundartangi, much more than in horses in the north of Iceland. In an interview with RÚV (Iceland’s state-owned TV station) last week, the farmer, Ragnheiður Þorgrímsdóttir, said that since June 2007, one horse after another has become sick; their movements are stiff and their hoofs seem to grow unnaturally. Read More

May 24 2011
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Red Mud Spill and People’s Resistance at Niyamgiri: A First Hand Report From the Struggle


Women sit on the tracks, with the factory behind. From Miriam Rose

On 16th May after heavy rain, toxic red mud poured from a breach in one of Vedanta’s Lanjigarh refinery red mud ponds, spilling onto the village below. The next day landless people displaced by the project held two blockades demanding adequate compensation; a five day walking protest ended with a meeting of 500 people on the threatened Niyamgiri hills; and the funeral of a tribal movement leader, killed by factory pollution, was held. Two months before Vedanta’s often-subverted AGM this will be bad news for the company. This is a direct report from the scene. Read More

May 20 2011
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Cover-ups and Evasions Condoned by the Minister of the Interior


Hans Ömurleiki Statement from Saving Iceland regarding the recently published report by the National Commissioner’s ‘National Security Unit’. The report was requested by the Minister of the Interior and was supposed to answer the questions if the Icelandic police were aware of and collaborated in British police spy Mark Kennedy’s infiltration of the Saving Iceland network. (Translated from Icelandic.)

The Saving Iceland network has spent some time examining the report authored  by the National Commissioner’s ‘National Security Unit’ published on May 17. Already at this stage we would like to make a considerable number of remarks.

First of all we have to express our astonishment if Ögmundur Jónasson, the Minister of the Interior is going to accept as valid the poorly reasoned cover-ups that are resorted to by the report’s authors. It is also remarkable how superficial and simply untrue the Minister’s own interpretation of the report has been so far. Unfortunately the same is true of the coverage of the report made by some of the Icelandic corporate media.

The report’s most serious flaw is of course the fact that it completely evades the responsibility that it was officially intended to assume. The only de facto information about the report’s actual subject is on page 12,  where it is stated that the police received “confidential information” concerning the intended protests against the Kárahnjúkar dam from both domestic and foreign “informers”, and that this information was used to organize the police’s reaction. Read More

May 12 2011

German MP Appeals to Icelandic Authorities to Come Clean About Spying on Saving Iceland


Andrej Hunko - Die Linke MP Statement issued by German Linke MP Andrej Hunko sent to all Icelandic MPs and media.

International infiltration of protest movements to be investigated

“I appeal to the Icelandic authorities to bring to light, in their investigations, the covert activities of foreign police in Iceland. Given that the British police spy Mark Kennedy was active not only in Germany, but also in France, Italy, Poland, Ireland and Iceland, it is obvious that these operations targeted left-wing activists with international links,” said Andrej Hunko, Member of the German Parliament, after gathering new evidence on Kennedy’s activities in Iceland.

Hunko continued:

“I’m glad to see investigations by activists and parliamentarians in their countries to uncover the cross-border efforts to infiltrate anti-capitalist groups. But most interior ministries in the EU member states are remaining silent about their cooperation or are giving conflicting responses. Read More

May 03 2011

New Photographic Evidence Shows that Icelandic Police Lied About their Dealings with Mark Kennedy


Íslenskir lögreglumenn hafa afskipti af eigin flugumanni (M.Kennedy)

In January 2011, when the illegal covert actions of UK police in Icelandic jurisdiction hit the pages of the international media, the local police forces of the two Icelandic towns Seydisfjörður and Eskifjörður in Eastern Iceland issued a statement in response to queries from the Icelandic National Broadcaster (RUV). The Broadcaster asked if the Icelandic police had been aware of the infiltration of the Saving Iceland network by British police spy Mark Kennedy. According to the Broadcaster the two police forces denied that they had had any “dealings with Kennedy during the protests against the Kárahnjúkar dams.”

Saving Iceland can now reveal evidence that shows clearly that the two police forces are not telling the truth about their dealings with Kennedy. The top photograph accompanying this statement shows two Icelandic police officers grappling with Mark Kennedy during a Saving Iceland action that took place on 26 July 2005 at the site of the Kárahnjúkar central dam. Clearly the incident pictured shows that the Icelandic police most certainly had “dealings” with the British spy. Read More

Apr 14 2011
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Alcoa in Greenland: Empty Promises?


The glacier flowing toward Kangerlussuaq from the interior ice cap By Miriam Rose

After many years of preparations the Greenlandic government say the final decision on Alcoa’s proposed smelter will be taken at the spring 2012 of the parliament. It is more likely, as the global history of the industry and the evidence in Greenland tells us, that the decision has in fact already been made undemocratically behind closed doors, despite the decreasing support of the Greenlandic people. In fact Alcoa and the Greenland government are so keen on passing the project that they have just hired an eighth employee at their national company Greenland Development- formed to enable the industry to go ahead. Juaaka Lyberth’s explicit remit is to influence public opinion on the smelter through the media. Greenland Development paints a rosy picture of an aluminium future for Greenland, but will their promises of prosperity come true? A comparison to Alcoa’s Fjardaal project in East Iceland suggests that many will not. Read More

Apr 04 2011
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Ten Billionaires Seeking to Buy Icelandic Citizenship to Ease their Access to Cheap Energy


Geothermal Energy - photo by Craig Thomas Recently it was revealed that ten billionaires from Canada and the US are seeking Icelandic citizenship to ease their access to invest in geothermal and hydro energy in Iceland. These two news articles were published on the Reykjavík Grapevine website (1 and 2).

Wealthy Individuals Seeking To Buy Icelandic Citizenship

Ten people promising to invest millions in Iceland’s renewable energy field have applied for citizenship directly with parliament. The reaction from within parliament has been one of both bewilderment and suspicion.

The ten individuals are apparently from outside the Schengen area. By Icelandic law, this would normally mean they would need to live here, work, not leave the country for more than six months at a time and remain a resident of Iceland for seven years before they could even qualify for citizenship. However, Iceland has made exceptions in the past for those applying directly to parliament – most notably with certain athletes and chess player Bobby Fischer. Read More