The current situation in France and, alas, elsewhere in Europe, has prompted a lot of discussion here in Iceland in recent days. You see, as the Fréttablaðið editorial so succinctly put it this morning, Iceland still has the ‘luxury’ of being able to learn from others’ mistakes when it comes to immigration.

This country is presently dealing with its first generation of immigrants, i.e. the children of the people who moved here. As yet, there have been no serious problems, but they are starting, in the form of gang rivalry and such. Meanwhile, the Icelandic government has as yet formed no official policy with regards to immigration and/or integration. Bad news.

Twenty years ago, hardly anybody could conceive of coming to live on this wind-whipped rock stuck in the middle of the North Atlantic, with its harsh, dark winters and closed economy. Today there has been a 180-degree turn. Immigrants are flocking to Iceland. This includes those who come for work in the fish processing factories and/or the major dam construction project in the east, and also those from other Western nations who primarily come to enjoy the quality of life provided by a nation with a very high standard of education and living, with an excellent health care system, and close to pristine nature with relatively little pollution.

Those in the know say that it’s absolutely vital for the Icelandic government to put more money into teaching Icelandic to immigrants in an effort to help them integrate. Whatever; I do hope the powers that be in this country are able to avail themselves of the luxury of learning from our neighbours, so that in 30 years’ time we won’t have cars burning all over our city.

Sleet. Snow. Rain. Overcast and gray. Blustery. Everybody-but-everybody I met today was dog tired for some reason. Probably some kind of low pressure area. Time to hit the sack; got a power suit day happening tomorrow. Yikes! Current temps 4°C and sunrise was at 09.37, sunset at 16.45.