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Articles in English

6.7.2018
Hvers konar kapitalismi? Hvaš eiga norręna módeliš og kķnverska žróunarmódeliš sameiginlegt? Getum viš lęrt eitthvaš af hvor öšrum?

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28.6.2018
„THE MAN WHO LENT US HIS VOICE AFTER OURS“HAD BEEN SILENCED......“

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2.11.2016
JBH interview Scotland

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1.10.2016
Interviewed by the Lithuanian TV

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14.9.2016
WHAT“S WRONG WITH EUROPE – AND WHY DON“T YOU FIX IT?

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All articles in English

21.4.2009

DELORS“S BABY

Žaš eru 15 įr lišin frį žvķ aš samningurinn um evrópska efnahagssvęšiš (EES) gekk ķ gildi. 1. jan. 1994. Af žvķ tilefni mun framkvęmdastjóri EFTA, Kaare Bryn, beita sér fyrir śtgįfu afmęlisrits į vegum ašalstöšvanna ķ Genf.

Žetta veršur lķtiš og sętt fjölskylduafmęli. Ętli myndaalbśmiš verši ekki skošaš, og svo verša rifjašar upp skemmtilegar sögur frį fyrri tķš, žegar EFTA var og hét - smįtt en fagurt - en engu aš sķšur atkvęšamikill klśbbur og skemmtilegur.

Žegar ég rifja upp gamla daga veršur mér fyrst hugsaš til mķns gamla og góša vinar, Hannesar Hafstein, ašalsamningamanns. Hann įtti engan sinn lķka. Viš vorum öll į "first name basis": Pertti, hinn finnski, Anita og Ulf frį Svķžjóš, Wolfgang og Alois frį Austurrķki, Jean Pascal og Blanchard frį Sviss og Thorvald og Eldrid frį Noregi - aš ógleymdum prinsinum frį Liechtenstein.

Hér aš nešan birtist afmęliskvešjan frį undirritušum undir fyrirsögninni: BARNIŠ HANS DELORS. Pistillinn mun birtat ķ afmęlisritinu seinna ķ vor.

The EEA-agreement is a product of the Cold War era. Five of us defined themselves as neutral or outside alliances. Two of us were NATO members, but suspicious of the European Union for different reasons.

We were small nations – in terms of population, but strong in terms of trade and economics. This awkward mix meant that we were marginal vis a vis the process of European integration. This gap had somehow to be bridged.

Jacques Delors – still today the greates tof the EU-presidents – was the consummate political fixer. In his time he had saved the Mitterand regime from floundering on the rocks of out-of-date economics. Now he proposed to square the circle with us.

The EEA is Delors“s baby. It is the product of Gallic logic and Nordic/Alpine flexibility. It was designed to be a bridge across the Cold War devide. When the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, it became in fact obsolete.

Three of the neutrals (The Swiss stuck to their splendid isolation) soon got the message and behaved accordingly. They crossed the bridge safely into the EU, fourteen years ago. The three loners – Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein – are still hesitating at the wrong end of the bridge, counting their losses for fifteen years.

In the more than one thousand year history of the Icelandic Althingi, no issue – not even the adoption of Christianity - has been more hotly debated than the EEA. Only the social-democrats gave it unqualified support from the beginning to the end.

The conservatives were against it, while in opposition, but the majority of them came to accept it, after joining the government. The socialists and the agrarians gave it their blessing at the beginning but turned their back on it when they went into opposition. It was adopted almost by default.

For 15 years the EEA-agreement has been Iceland“s mainstay in its relationship with Europe. It gave our island nation a home market of 500 million customers by a few strokes. This cleared the way for Iceland“s economic miracle. Accordingly, almost everyone thought the EEA was so marvellous that we need not bother to take the final step into the EU.
Now, when Iceland has earned the dubious reputation of becoming the first rich country to fall victim to the international financial crisis, the EEA- agreement is suddenly being blamed for the fall. Thus the EEA is deemed to be the root cause of both – the Rise and Fall – of the island nation of the high north.

This is not a bad record at all. And it might even be a worthy obituary, if we ever summon the courage to cross the bridge we built - 15 years ago.

The article in English

Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson (The author was Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs of Iceland 1987-95)

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Ummęli viš grein

7.5.2009 03:04:49
Jón Valur Jensson
M. Jacques Delors – the one whom Mr Hannibalsson (perhaps rightly) calls "still today the greatest of the EU-presidents" – served as President of the European Commission in 1985–1995. So it can hardly be denied that he, if anyone, could act as a spokesman for the EU and the European Commission. Accidentally, he is the same who declared in an interview in Der Spiegel in November 1991: "Wir müßen Großmacht werden!", viz.: We have to become a Super-Power! (cfr. Ragnar Arnalds, ex-minister of finance and of culture, Iceland: Sjįlfstęšiš er sķstęš aušlind, Reykjavik 1998, p. 102).

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