'Corruption' Tag Archive

Oct 19 2008
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Economic Crisis In Iceland – An Overview


motmaeli2.png For the last two weeks Iceland has been facing economic crisis, the worst since 1914. The Icelandic Króna (ISK) has fallen lower than ever and the whole economy seems to be close to a total collapse. How did this start and how does it look now?

The collapse of Iceland’s bank system

The morning of September 29th was the beginning of the crisis for the Icelandic public, when it was announced that the State and Glitnir, one of the tree big banks of Iceland, had come to an agreement that the State would buy 75% share in the bank. Signs of economic crisis have been visible for quite a long time in Iceland; economics and leftists have been warning the Government, but until September 29th, the Government and the Banks have repeatedly ignored these warnings and stated that everything is fine. According to Iceland Review “the state is not planning to be a majority owner in Glitnir long-term; the purpose with these actions is to secure economic stability.” At this time Glitnir had lost c.a. 85% of its share value when the stock market closed Friday September 26th.

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Sep 17 2008

Norway Sells Shares of ‘Unethical’ Rio Tinto


Grasberg Mine in West PapuaSurvival International – The Norwegian government has sold its shares in British company Rio Tinto, whose Grasberg mine in West Papua, Indonesia, has devastated the land of the Amungme and Kamoro tribes. Norway sold its almost £500 million shares in Rio Tinto following recommendations from its Council on Ethics to exclude the company from its government pension fund. The Council made its recommendation due to ‘a risk of contributing to severe environmental damage’ through Rio Tinto’s participation in the Grasberg copper and gold mine. Read More

Aug 30 2008

Letter about Crazy Horse to Saving Iceland


Reverend Billy at SI Conference From Reverend Billy

A year ago we were with you in Iceland, the land of fire and ice and spirits and charms! This year we get news and images on the computers. Congratulations on the Century Aluminum Smelter blockade. You slowed down the output from that day, July 21, 2008. You’re saving lives! Every hour that an F-16 is not yet in the air…

Wandering your website, I remember my sermon last year. I tried to conjure the memory of Crazy Horse and bring his spirit to your struggle for Iceland. Savitri remembers the recurring phrase, “The land is innocent and powerful.” I don’t remember much of the specifics of my talk that afternoon, which was itself an on-the-spot remembering. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the river valley in our windows and simultaneously my boyhood love of the stories of Crazy Horse, from when my family lived in the Dakotas.

And so if you will read this letter, and help us bring back that day in the hotel conference room in Olfus… Writing is an act of memory and by writing this letter to you today — maybe some of your year-ago campaign, and our sermon within it, will resurface in these pages. Read More

Aug 01 2008
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Saving Iceland Blockades Rio Tinto-Alcan’s Smelter in Iceland


straumsvik2.jpg ,,Stop the destruction of Þjórsá for arms production!”

HAFNARFJORDUR, ICELAND – Activists from Saving Iceland have today begun stopping traffic to and from Rio Tinto-Alcan’s aluminium smelter in Straumsvík, Hafnarfjordur, by chaining themselves to the gates of the plant. Saving Iceland is protesting against Rio Tinto-Alcan’s plans to increase their aluminium production capacity on the island, the consequences of which would would be that significant parts of Iceland’s unique environment would have to be destroyed for energy generation. The activists are also protesting against the worlds largest aluminium producer’s involvement with the arms industry.
Rio Tinto-Alcan wants to increase its production in Straumsvík by 40 thousand tons per year without enlarging the smelter building itself. At the same time the company is planning to build a second aluminium smelter in the towns of Keilisnes or Þorlákshöfn (1).
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Jul 25 2008
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Saving Iceland Invades Landsvirkjun for Alcoa’s Severe Human Rights Abuses


Við hús Friðriks Sophussonar PROTESTS AGAINST LANDSVIRKJUN’S PLANNED DAMS IN ÞJÓRSÁ RIVER AND THE CONNECTION BETWEEN LANDSVIRKJUN AND ALCOA

REYKJAVÍK  – Today 30 activists from the international campaign Saving Iceland have invaded the Landsvirkjun (national power company) building (Háaleitisbraut 68) to disrupt work. Earlier this morning Saving Iceland activists dammed the house of Landsvirkjun director Friðrik Sophusson and nailed an eviction notice to his door.

“We oppose Landsvirkjun’s intentions to build the four Þjórsá and Tungnaá dams for Rio Tinto at Straumsvik (1,2), despite the referendum. They are also negotiating to dam Skjálfandafljót and Jökuslá á Fjöllum for ALCOA’s planned Bakki smelter (3,4). This is on top of the mess they are making of Þeistareykir (5) and the deep drilling into Mount Krafla, right next to the tourist attraction. LV are doing this for a company that is a self-admitted arms dealer (6) and has been in the news again and again for it’s gross abuse of human rights. (7) This company should not be welcomed by Landsvirkjun,” says Jaap Krater from Saving Iceland.

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Jun 29 2008

Húsavík Contract Signed Behind Closed Doors


Today, Alcoa, the Ministry of Industry and Norðurþing district council signed a research contract for Alcoa’s planned aluminium smelter in Húsavík (Bakki), north Iceland. The contract allows for the furthering of research into the efficiency of the smelter construction and into the energy production capability of the geothermal areas in the north. The smelter is supposed to be run on geothermal energy only. Read More

Jun 29 2008

Þjórsá Dams Just Around the Corner – RT-Alcan Among Energy Buyers


Urriðafoss Waterfall in Þjórsá Last Monday, June 23rd, the district council of Skeiða- and Gnúperjahreppur agreed on a major change in the district plan. The change includes implementing the construction of two of the three dams Landsvirkjun (national energy company) plans to build in the lower Þjórsá River; Holtavirkjun and Hvammsvirkjun. The plan is now being reviewed by the National Planning Agency. The decision to build these dams was taken despite a huge local opposition in the area. Right now one of the landowners is taking the Icelandic state to court, accused of bypassing laws on local democratic agreement to these projects. According Sól á Suðurlandi (a grassroots organization fighting against the dams) more landowners might follow this figurehead.

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Jun 06 2008

Century’s Lack of Permission Party Crashed


Century Action March 08 Century Aluminum had hoped to hold the traditional ceremony of digging the first spade of earth for their new smelter in Helguvik in a celebrity manner. But neither environmental protesters nor even the Icelandic corporate media were about to let that happen.
A group of people came to the ceremony to protest against how destructive the new Century smelter would be towards the ecological, social and economic life in the south-west of Iceland.They all refused to protest in the ‘designated protest area’ provided by the police, which was out of sight and sound from the ceremony itself. Instead they got much closer to the ceremony before being stopped, one person carrying a green and black flag being held by two undercover police. Some carried a coffin, which read ‘Reykjanes’ and gravestones which read “Innovation – died 6.6.08.”

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Mar 28 2008

Cost of Karahnjukar Far Exceeds Estimates


I’ts official: the cost estimates of Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company, for Karahnjukar were false and the numerous economists and even the National Planning Agency, who criticized Landsvirkjun for massaging their economic data were dead right. The new cost estimate for Kárahnjúkar was presented by Minister of Industry Össur Skarphedinsson at the Althingi parliament yesterday.

According to Skarphedinsson the total cost of constructing the dams and the hydropower plant at Fljotsdalur has exceeded estimates by ISK 17.7 billion (USD 264 million, EUR 172 million) and is now expected to amount to ISK 133.3 billion (USD 2.0 billion, EUR 1.3 billion). MP for the Left-Greens Álfheidur Ingadóttir said until yesterday people had not been aware of by how much cost estimates were exceeded. Ingadóttir criticized the minister for not taking the cost of agreements with contractors into account. She argued that by including such agreements the original cost estimate is exceeded by an even higher amount, ISK 32.5 billion (USD 484 million, EUR 315 million).

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Mar 26 2008

Solidarity Demonstration at the Alcoa European Headquarters in Switzerland


Motivated by other actions that have taken place all over Europe against heavy industry and by the inspiring presentations of Saving Iceland made by Icelandic activists this winter in Switzerland, we organised a demonstration, creating a new group of this international campaign in Geneva. Wednesday 26th March, 30 activists demonstrated their anger in front of Alcoa’s European headquarters in Geneva. Here is where the Alcoa managers take decisions regarding their plans for the destruction and polluting industry for the production of aluminium.

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