Iceland Country Report
A series of scandals prompted two snap elections in 12 months, with the latest inconclusive vote being held in October 2017. Coalition negotiations yielded a broad left-right, three-party coalition under the premiership of the Left-Green party. Although proving relatively stable, it is unlikely that such a government would last an entire four-year term. The last remaining controls on capital outflows, which had been in place since the 2008 banking crisis, were fully lifted by the outgoing government earlier in the year.
Iceland welcomes foreign investment, but with restrictions such as investment caps in some sectors. The country’s abundance of geothermal energy provides unique attributes such as cheap energy prices. The workforce is flexible, skilled, productive, and heavily unionised, with collective wage agreements as the norm. Unions are non-political and decentralised, and tend to prioritise negotiations over strikes. Dissatisfaction is, however, growing due to rising wage inequality – particularly between elected officials and the rest of society. This is, in turn, increasing the risk of industrial action. Labour strike risks are particularly high in the mining and fishing industries.
Terrorism risks are negligible. There are few high-profile targets aside from a NATO radar station, and no known non-state armed groups operate in the country. The most probable form of attacks would be a shooting attack by a lone radicalised jihadist actor against state or Jewish assets, or a similar attack against Muslim assets or individuals by far-right individuals. However, both scenarios are unlikely overall. From October 2015, Iceland is a signatory to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism protocol regarding foreign terrorist fighters.
War risks are negligible. Iceland, a NATO member, has no standing army, although it maintains a coastguard and air defences. Since the withdrawal of US Air Force fighter units from Keflavik Air Base in 2006, NATO countries have operated a periodic, rotating deployment of fighter aircraft to patrol Iceland’s airspace. Iceland disputes the ownership of Rockall Island and the surrounding oil reserves with the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Denmark. However, any disputes are likely to be resolved at the diplomatic level and extremely unlikely to lead to any military conflict.
Political protests have become more regular in the aftermath of the protests that followed the country’s financial and banking collapse in 2008–09. Perceived corrupt practices are also a probable trigger of protests. Both political and environmental protests are likely to be predominantly peaceful, aimed at raising awareness, and concentrated outside government offices in Reykjavík rather than intended to cause disruption or damage to business operations. Exceptions include protests against specific projects that are perceived as environmentally damaging. There is little patience among the public for perceived 'anti-social behaviour’ – this limits the occurrence of disruptive activism.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Temperatures in the summer are mild and during this time (late may-mid-August), the sun sets very late in the day. At the end of June, the sun sets around midnight and rises at 3:00 am. The Aurora Borealis can be seen beginning in the end of August. In the winter, nights are very long and temperatures cool. November, December, and January are the darkest months of the year. Rain is common throughout the year and weather conditions can change several times within the same day.
Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz