One of my friends has a locational problem.
He has said for years that if Katrin Jakobsdottir and Kolbrun Halldorsdottir of the Left/Green party would become ministers then he would flee the country.
Just so it is clear, he does not vote for the Independent Party. He is afraid of their hard-line stance on issues, just like he is afraid of Sigurdur Kari Kristjansson’s and Petur Blondal’s hard-line stance on issues.
One of the most excruciating appearances on national TV belongs to Katrin, when she was one of those who wanted it made into a law that there had to be gender-equality in all boards of companies in Iceland. Her opponent only had to ask, “so if you and your sister start a business you have to find two guys to sit on the board with you, even if the bring nothing of value to the organization?”
Kolbrun’s major issue as a member of parliament has been to ask that new-born children be clad in neutral colored clothing while in the maternity ward, instead of pink for girls and blue for boys today. Just as scary as Sigurdur Kari’s only notable contribution in parliament has been to ask for alcohol to be sold in convenience stores.
But now both Katrin and Kolbrun are ministers, of education and environmental issues respectively. My distressed friend asked whether Akureyri counts as a foreign country.
But in all fairness Katrin is making some positive moves in the ministry of education. In today’s Frettabladid she hints to a change in Student Loans where students will get their loans paid out in the beginning of the semester instead of after the semester.
You can hand it to the Independent Party that on all issues their priorities are clear, businesses first, people second. Their control of the Student Loan Organization has made sure that everyone who has to take student loans has to first get an overdraft with their bank and live on that until the end of the semester when they get their money from the organization. With interest rates of 25-20% and loans guaranteed by the government this has been good business, for the banks.
One of Katrin’s first acts was to meet with heads of student organizations. They said they’d been waiting for such a meeting with the previous minister but hadn’t been granted one. My friend is looking into his re-location options but for now he is considering whether he should be open to good things, no matter where they come from.