65° - 01.09.1967, Blaðsíða 8

65° - 01.09.1967, Blaðsíða 8
same time last year. The foreign currency reserve totalled 2,000 million kronur at the end of last year. Dr. Gylfi P. Gislason, minister of commerce, has predicted a reduction of 4% of the national income this year. He said there was no question of devaluation of the kronur. Foreign currency reserves decreased by 500 million kronur during the first six months of the year, and on September first the banks announced a reduction of travelling allowance in foreign currency from kr. 15,000 to 10,000 per person. * Work is progressing on the electrification of the river Pjorsa (Burfells electrification), which will sell electricity to the aluminium melting fac- tory at Straumsvik. The Swiss company, Alu- suisse, is creating this factory which will start production in April, 1969. In Straumsvik, work is also progressing on harbor facilities. A number of workers are employed at these two big projects. A plant is also being built at Lake Myvatn for the production of diatomite. * President Asgeir Asgeirsson visited Canada on an official tour in July on the occasion of the Canadian Centennial. The president visited the world’s fair in Montreal, and on July 18th made an official visit to Washington, D.C. at the invita- tion of the U.S. President. In a radio speech, the president said that his reception by the American president had been heartwarming and agreeable, and that Lyndon B. Johnson had, among other things, mentioned with great satisfaction his visit to Iceland when he was vice-president. * Icelandair, which had a business of 275 million kronur in 1966 got its first passenger jet plane, a Boeing 727, last June, which started scheduled trips to other countries at the beginning of July. LoftleiSir (Icelandic Airlines) has applied for permission to buy its fifth airplane of the RR-400 type. The total business of LoftleiSir in 1966 was over 949 million kronur, and its planes moved 165,645 persons. That LoftleiSir still has no land- ing permission in the other Scandinavian coun- tries continued on the agenda at a meeting of the foreign ministers of Scandinavia in Helsingfors, August 22nd, and was finally called to the at- tention of the communication ministers of the countries involved. * Tourists to Iceland have increased 35% per year since 1950. Some noted visitors to Iceland this summer were Crown Prince Harald of Nor- way, Willy Brandt, foreign minister of West Germany, here for the first time in June, and a group of American astronauts who visited Ice- land for field experience. Icelandic and American geologists guided the astronauts on their trips into the interior, including volcanic regions. * This spring marked the 20 year anniversary of the Marshall Plan rehabilitation of Europe. The Icelandic government commemorated the event by contributing $50,000 to a fund named after Thor Thors, late Icelandic minister to the U.S., for strengthening educational ties between Ice- land and the U.S. * From September 1st, Icelandic television began transmitting six days a week instead of four. With this decision, Emil Jonsson, foreign minister, in- formed the Commander of the Iceland Defense Force, Admiral Frank B. Stone, that there was now no reason against changing the Armed Forces Television transmittance at Keflavik airport which the defense force had deemed necessary for busi- ness reasons, as noted in a letter from the head of the defense force in September 1966. Admiral Stone announced immediately that Keflavik tele- vision transmittance would be limited to the air- base and its neighborhood as of September 15, 1967. * Right hand traffic will start in Iceland on Sun- day, May 26, 1968. * An extensive fire occurred in the warehouses of the Icelandic Steamship Company (Eimskipa- felag Islands) on August 30th. Losses, still un- calculated, will probably amount to tens of mil- lions kronur. The Nordic house in Reykjavik, built with money from all Nordic countries will be ready for use in 1968. Ivar Eskelund, an author from Oslo, was appointed manager. 6 65



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