Next Year (PS)

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palli-dlThere is a long tradition in Iceland of having a soothsayer foretell what the next year will bring us.

The most famous of these is Völva Vikunnar, the Prophetess of weekly magazine Vikan, who has proven to be very accurate for around half a century.

 

Iceland Review was (very) lucky to meet an even better fortuneteller at Kirkjubæjarklaustur, South Iceland, last week.

 

Here are the highlights of what will happen in the republic in 2014.

 

January 15: A small eruption in volcano Katla occurs. A small glacial flood cuts Ring Road 1. It takes a month to reopen the road, the only connection between South and East Iceland.

 

January 22: Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson signs a friendship agreement with the President of Eritrea Isaias Afwerki, meaning that Icelandic high school and university students can travel to Asmara, the Eritrean capital, on study exchange programs.

 

January 25: Icelandair starts daily flights from Keflavík to Asmara, the first direct connection to the African continent from Iceland.

 

February 5: Vestmannaeyjar, the archipelago just south of Iceland known in English as the Westman Islands, declares independency. The island republic becomes one of the world’s smallest countries in the world with 5,000 inhabitants. President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson becomes both president and prime minister of the world’s newest state.

 

February 6: Prime Minister of Iceland Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson becomes president of Iceland while Progressive Party parliamentarian Vigdís Hauksdóttir takes over as prime minister.

 

February 10: The 100 inhabitants of the island of Grímsey vote in a general election to join Vestmanneyjar in independency. The votes: 27 for, 22 against and six ballots blank.

 

March 20: Iceland becomes isolated for four days due to a snowstorm which closes all airports.

 

March 30: Prime Minister Vigdís Hauksdóttir goes on her first official visit to Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

April 22: President Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson publishs a very well received book of poetry, Hugarleikir (‘Mind Games’). Publishing rights are sold to Eritrea, Russia and San Marino.

 

April 24: The fishing boat Sæmundur á selnum ÍS24 from Bolungarvík brings in a record breaking cod catch, 2.5 tons in just three hours.

 

May 1: PM Vigdís Hauksdóttir signs a new law banning inflation in Iceland.

 

May 24: Árni Johnsen (a politician who is perhaps best known for his role in the annual Merchant’s Weekend concert on Vestmannaeyjar) becomes the first Icelander to win the Eurovision Song Contest. His song ‘Vestmannaeyjar og hafið’ (‘The Westman Islands and the Sea’) wins for first time contenders the new Vestmannaeyjar Republic. Hungary is in second place and Finland in third.

 

June 7: In a referendum Icelanders vote to use the Nakfa (code: ERN), the Eritrean currency, as their future currency. A whopping 87.3 percent vote for the Nakfa while 11.6 percent vote for taking up the NOR, the Norwegian Krone. Only 1.1 percent of Icelanders vote to keep the ISK, the Icelandic Króna.

 

June 24: Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson is elected the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, when, suddenly, Ban Ki-moon, becomes the first democratically elected president of North Korea when the country’s communist government collapses.

 

July 1: PM Vigdís Hauksdóttir becomes the first Icelander to grace the cover of TIME magazine after she becomes the first head of state to swim in the Black Sea and the White Sea (in Russia) on the same day.

 

July 5: A small eruption occurs in Eyjafjallajökull. Even if the eruption is small, the ash closes European airspace for nine days in the height of the tourist season.

 

July 22: The European Union send a EUR 25 billion bill to the Icelandic government for disrupting European airspace.

 

August 5: Icelanders are shell-shocked after losing to Northern Ireland in a friendly football match 0-4.

 

August 20: The temperature in Öxafjörður breaks a 74-year-old record by one degree Celsius.

 

September 1: Iceland and Eritrea form a union. Vigdís becomes president, Isaias Afwerki prime  minister and Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson mayor of Asmara, the new capital of the union.

 

September 2: WOW Air commences direct flights from Keflavík to Osaka, San Salvador and Tripoli, in doing so becoming Iceland’s most global airline.

 

September 22: Writer Elinor Poulsen from Odense becomes tourist number one million to visit Iceland in 2014.

 

October 5: The Icelandic economy grows 5.9 percent during the first nine months of the year, a European record thanks to Vigdís Hauksdóttir’s sound economy policy.

 

October 20: Iceland prepares to go to war over cod with Vestmannaeyjar.

 

October 21: Iceland looses the war after both the U.S. and U.K. governments provide Vestmannaeyjar with air and naval support.

 

November 17: A snowstorm hits Raufarhöfn. Three tourists from Flanders become stuck in snow at Melrakkaslétta for four days.

 

December 1: Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson is TIME magazine’s Person of the Year.

 

December 28: Iceland joins the European Union.

Páll Stefánsson – ps@icelandreview.com

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.