'Corruption' Tag Archive

Jul 19 2010
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Petition for a Referendum on Energy Resources


A petition has been launched, aimed at getting the authorities to thwart the sale of HS Orka (eothermal energy company) to Magma. To sign the petition you have to have an Icelandic I.D. number, and sign that along with your name on the website Orkuaudlindir.is

Following is the announcement from the group behind the petition along with the demands:

Within few days, the final deals concerning Magma Energy Sweden AB’s purchase of HS Orka will get signed. That will give Magma the full private right of utilization over these important and valuable resources for the next 65 years, with a possibility for a further 65 year extension! The company is buying these rights into our resources very cheaply compared to other countries, for an unusually long time compared to other countries and on terms which seem to benefit the buyer in all aspects. Some arguments have been made, stating that we can’t afford not to sell wheras the country needs foreign investors into the country to create employment. But the fact of the matter is that Magma is actually getting the main part of the loans for the purchase in Iceland – on terms which for some reason are not on offer to other companies. Read More

Jul 13 2010
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Saving Iceland Mobilisation Call-Out


Join our resistance against the industrialization of Europe’s last remaining great wilderness and take direct action against heavy industry!

The Struggle So Far
The campaign to defend Europe’s greatest remaining wilderness continues. For the past five years summer direct action camps in Iceland have targeted aluminium smelters, mega-dams and geothermal power plants.

After the terrible destruction as a result of building Europe’s largest dam at Kárahnjúkar and massive geothermal plants at Hengill, there is still time to crush the ‘master plan’ that would have each major glacial river dammed, every substantial geothermal field exploited and the construction of aluminium smelters, an oil refinery, data farms and silicon factories. This would not only destroy unique landscapes and ecosystems but also lead to a massive increase in Iceland’s greenhouse gas emissions. Read More

Jul 04 2010
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“We who also Attacked Parliament…”


A glaring inconsistency in the charges against the Reykjavik Nine is frequently pointed at: the nine were actually part of a group of over thirty, which itself was part of a movement of thousands. Here we publish the translation of a statement signed by over seven-hundred (at time of writing) other participants of the so called ‘Cutlery Uprising’. Their analysis is sharp and their demands clear: drop the charges against the nine accused, or charge us all.

The president of Iceland’s Parliament Ásta Ragnheiður Jóhannesdóttir received this statement by hand on 24 June 2010.

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Jun 30 2010
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Iceland’s Post-Collapse Trial


Iceland’s first post-collapse trial continued yesterday. Nine participants of the ‘Cutlery Uprising’ face charges of ‘endangering the autonomy of parliament.’

In relation to the events surrounding Iceland’s economic collapse of 2008, nine Icelandic citizens stood in court yesterday. Each face up to sixteen years imprisonment. Yet they weren’t the politicians, bankers and businessmen who landed the country with a crippling €50 billion debt. Quite the opposite, actually.

The Reykjavik Nine (RVK9) are a gaggle of Icelanders who legally entered their Parliament to demand their politicians resign; one month and half before their government stood down. They each face charges of endangering parliament’s ‘autonomy’.

In April this year a parliamentary report was published which singled out the ‘gross negligence’ of seven high-power individuals responsible for crippling the islands economy. Said Johanna Sigurdardottir, the countries new prime minister, ‘The private banks failed, the supervisory system failed, the politics failed, the administration failed, the media failed, and the ideology of an unregulated free market utterly failed.’

Ironically, the counter-establishment protesters are the ones who have been charged. Read More

Jun 29 2010
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A Spade is a Spade, Repression is Repression


Ólafur Páll Sigurdsson

Environmental network Saving Iceland declares full solidarity with the Reykjavik Nine defendants (RVK9), who face between one and sixteen years in prison for exercising their democratic right to peacefully protest against a disgraced parliament, on 8 December 2008.

These nine people have been picked out of the thousands whose protests brought down the previous government, whose corruption and ineptitude was responsible for the historical crisis Icelandic society is still being torn up by. This same government has now been confirmed by the Special Investigation Committee report (SIC – an apt acronym) as instrumental in the abuse that lead to the complete crash of the Icelandic economy; and as a major force in the severe corruption, democracy deficit and ethical crisis which have since emerged as the underlying reasons for the total failure of Icelandic democracy.

Criminalizing political opponents, even those who use non-violent civil disobedience, is an old diversion tactic used by states worldwide. This act of political repression is in glaring contradiction to the sanctimonious declarations of ‘shouldering responsibility’ and ‘taking heed of lessons’ paid by the parties responsible for the crisis. Icelanders should take seriously the systematic abuse of power which has been uncovered in the Icelandic establishment. Read More

Jun 09 2010
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The Impact of Heavy Industry Whitewashed – The Report of the Special Investigation Commission


Wilderness under attackThis article originally appeared in the June issue of the independent newsmagasine Róstur.

The Whitewash report, or “Investigative report of the Special Investigation Commission”  made by the Special Investigation Comission (SIC) on orders from Alþingi (The Icelandic Parliament) under the pretence of investigating “the prelude to and cause of the crash of the Icelandic banks and related events”, which also is the subtitle of the report, has been disected by the media and heavily discussed on public forums for the last couple of months. The major medias and other groups of interest have been busy covering it chapter by chapter, drawing out the main conclusions of each part into few sentances to make it easily accessable to their readers. But not all of the chapters are getting equal coverage. Most of the focus has been on selected chapters relating to indictable actions and negligence on behalf of government and bank officials in the run-up to the collapse, the processes of the privatisation policy, especially towards the banks, and the loan books and other financial documentation revealed by the report. In that way, the major medias and other public opinionmakers are, like always, backing up the authorities in their defence of the current political system. All coverage about the report is directed towards these few selected parts, scapegoating a few people from the pre-crash financial sector along with expendable and retired politicians to spare the rest. This has resulted in a black-out of all discussion about the most important and revealing parts of the report, namely the parts about the economic impact of the industrialisation policy. Read More

May 22 2010
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Magma Energy Lied to Us


This article, written by Catharine Fulton was originally published on grapevine.is

Geothermal PlantLet’s cut to the chase. The opacity of Icelandic business and politics has done the country, as a whole, no favours. Much hand shaking and back scratching has gone on behind closed doors and such secluded business environments have proved themselves to be breeding grounds for lies, corruption, fraud, swindling, and downright thievery.

With Icelandic bankers being held in local prisons and wanted by Interpol and the once celebrated “outvasion Vikings” having their pants sued off by the Americans, now is a time to usher in a new, honest era of business in Iceland in an effort to get the country and its economy back on track and to restore the trust of the mass populace in the system.

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May 21 2010
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Nine Protesters Charged for Attacking Parliament


The following report from Haukur Már Helgason:

7 of the Reykjavik 9Mirroring France’s Tarnac 9, nine people have been charged in Reykjavík for ‘attacking parliament’ in December 2008, when they entered public benches, unarmed and without any violent intent or effort, to shout at congressmen: ‘Get the fxxx out! This building does not serve its purpose any more!’ Which was, in all respects, true. 40 days later public protest outed the government.

As they are now tried in court for this violation of section 100 of the penal code, 600 people who participated in the January 2009 protest have signed a petition demonstrating their support by demanding that if the trial is not cancelled, they will be charged for the same offense, since that demonstration was only a more effective attempt to ‘attack parliament’ if that interpretation of events holds.

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May 18 2010
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Landsvirkjun´s Spin on their Energy Prices to Heavy Industry


 

Aluminium PricesThe deals on energy prices between Landsvirkjun (Iceland´s National Energy company) and the aluminum companies working in Iceland have been kept secret from the public since they got signed. The only notion the public had was a pamphlet called ”Lowest Energy Prices”, published in 1995 to lure heavy industry to the country, which like the name states, was filled with promises about cheap, greenwashed, energy. Looking at surrounding countries many estimated that the prices were close to a half of what households in Iceland pay. But after Alain Belda, Alcoa´s president, had the now famous slip of his tounge in Brazil that revealed that they were paying $15 for the MWh (megawatt hour), and RUV´s (Icelandic National Broadcasting Association) exposure of Century Aluminum´s prices earlier in the year, Landsvirkjun decided to open their books in, what they call ”an attempt to create peace around the company´s actions”. In reality they´re just blowing smoke in people faces with well chosen figures in a desperate attempt to save the companies already ruined credibility.

The Price Revealed
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Feb 22 2010

Mining and Refinery Projects Devastate Communities in India


From Amnesty International, February 2010

Plans to mine bauxite in the Niyamgiri Hills in the Indian state of Orissa threaten the very existence of the Dongria Kondh – an indigenous community that has lived on and around the hills for centuries.

The Dongria Kondh depend entirely on the hills for their food, water, livelihoods and cultural identity. They consider the Niyamgiri Hills as sacred.

The proposed mine could have grave repercussions for their human rights to water, food, health, work and other rights as an Indigenous community in respect of their traditional lands. International law requires that governments seek their free, prior informed consent before beginning such projects.

In Lanjigarh, at the foot of the Niyamgiri Hills, air and water pollution from an alumina refinery run by Vedanta Aluminium are threatening the health and well-being of local communities.

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