Young people fleeing Iceland

„We are a young couple moving to Denmark tomorrow, the main reason being the economic situation in Iceland and how hard it is for young people to establish themselves”

So starts a statement issued by a young couple named Halla and Stefan. The message accompanied by a short YouTube sketch outlining the hardships of living in Iceland and things that they are NOT going to miss.

The video starts on a lighter note but at the end it underscores “what is important”, according to the duo, and they go on to recite everything that in their eyes makes the island barely habitable.

They point out the volatile weathers, the sleepless nights in summers – due to the 24 hour sunlight, and the depression in winter when they can barely drag themselves out of bed due to darkness and cold climate. They also deliver a harsh criticism to RÚV, maintaining that the National Broadcasting service only shows re-runs and boring series. Below is the message Halla and Stefan want to deliver to the government and Icelandic society.

Fréttatíminn news outlet however, recently drew up a bleak parallel of the quality of life for a young couple in Iceland as opposed to a young couple in Norway, a country Icelanders like to compare themselves to. The parallel showed the seriousness of the economical situation that a young couple faces in Iceland – Halla’s and Stefan’s message is not entirely without merit. Norway has shorter working week, higher paycheck, lower taxes, higher benefits, for example when having children, additionally Norway has lower interest rates than Iceland according to the report. The only other country in the northern part of the world with a similar private property ownership as Iceland is Norway. In order for Iceland to insure housing and security for low income people the tax system would have to be adjusted to the Norwegian one.


(image is unrelated)