Iceland. At the New Year, a law on equal pay went into
effect. It prohibits employers from giving higher wages to
men than to women for equal work. Companies with more than
25 employees are liable to fines if they cannot show equal
pay. The law will be phased in for three years with the aim
of wiping out the wage gap until 2020. According to the
World Economic Forum, Iceland was the fifth best country in
the world on equal pay between the sexes. Iceland was one of
gender equality in terms of education, health, economic
opportunities and political power.
In March, the Icelandic government decided to suspend all
contacts with the Russian Federation at a high level after a
Russian former spy and his daughter were poisoned with nerve
gas in the UK. None of the Icelandic political leaders went
to the World Cup in the Russian Federation, even though
Iceland's national team qualified for the World Cup playoffs
for the first time.
In April, the Icelandic hunt for herring was resumed
after a few years' rest. 146 whales are managed during the
hunting season. Iceland's left – right government is divided
on the issue of future election hunting. Prime Minister
Katrín Jakobsdóttir's party The Left – The Greens want to
stop the hunt, while the Independence Party and the Progress
Party want to allow it.
Countryaah.com, only six folding whales are handled during the year. The
protection zone with a ban on whaling has been expanded and
forced the whale hunters so far out to sea that the hunt for
folding whales is no longer profitable. Therefore, this
year's hunt was interrupted.
In July, Iceland was elected to the United Nations Human
Rights Council as a replacement for the United States after
President Donald Trump's government left the council.
During the summer, the centenary of Iceland was
celebrated by the signing of the union agreement with
Denmark, when Iceland gained far-reaching independence. But
the party led to political quarrels since the Danish
Parliament's Speaker Pia Kjærsgaard was invited as speaker.
Several politicians boycotted Kjærsgaard, and for the
ceremony at the old town of Þingvellir, 300 people came in
place of the 7,000 visitors, all counted.
In the prime minister's party, the dissatisfaction was
great with the compromises the party made in the coalition.
The Left – The Greens had lost a lot in public opinion since
the 2017 election and were around 10% during the fall.
Government support had fallen from around 75% after taking
office to below 50% a little over six months later.
In the first half of 2018, Iceland's economy grew by just
over 6%. This meant stable growth for the eighth consecutive
year following the financial crisis. Unemployment had more
than halved and was about 3%. The Government Offices had
planned their annual party with entertainment for the
employees until October 6, but when it was realized that the
date coincided with the 10th anniversary of the outbreak of
the banking and financial crisis in Iceland, the party was
postponed in the future.
In September, the government presented a climate policy
program to phase out fossil fuels. By 2030, Icelanders will
no longer be able to register cars fueled with gasoline or
A report by the Minister of Tourism showed that several
popular tourist destinations in the nature of Iceland do not
tolerate more visitors environmentally. The minister said he
would consider restrictions on access to certain places.
Over 2 million tourists visit Iceland each year (area less
than Lapland), and according to the report it is too much.
At the same time, tourism is Iceland's best source of income
for foreign exchange and accounts for almost a tenth of the