In this edition : the Icelandic blogosphere opposes the enforcement of the controversial Icesave bill; the national identity debate brings the French web to life; and a US racing driver jumps 82 metres in his car.
ICELAND: ICESAVE BILL
In Iceland, 56,000 people, almost a quarter of the country’s voters have signed a petition, delivered to the President on Saturday, asking him to veto the Icesave bill. The controversial bill foresees the reimbursement of almost four billion Euros to Dutch and British savers, affected by the collapse of the online Icesave bank during the crisis.
The petitioners, who came together in this Facebook group, are tax payers who refuse to pay for errors made by banks. They are calling on their Head of State to organise a referendum on the question.
People in Iceland feel the bill represents a huge risk for the economic future of the country. Some net users have allowed their children to appear online to highlight the fact that future generations will be the ones to carry this burden.
But British and Dutch savers are demanding to be reimbursed and are making their feelings known by ridiculing the online bank’s advertisements.
This case is particularly delicate as the dispute constitutes an obstacle to Iceland’s EU candidacy. Some Icelandic people seem resigned to this fact, not without bitterness, as proved by this site baptised ‘Iceslave’, which shows the debt’s developments as well as the interest to be paid, in real time.
Today this initiative is going one step further. It is calling for a monument to be erected in the centre of Reykjavik dedicated to the law, so that the errors which lead to this situation will not be repeated in the future.
NATIONAL IDENTITY IN FRANCE
In France, on the eve of the publication of the first official qualitative study on the subject, the national identity debate, launched by Immigration Minister, Eric Besson is still in full swing. A debate participated in actively by the blogosphere.
A web site addressing the issue has been launched by the Government. The aim being to urge fellow citizens and foreigners to express their feelings about a contentious issue: ‘What does it mean to be French?”.
‘On this site we will ask you some simple questions. What does it mean for you to be French? And we encourage you to give your definition, your values and your vision of the future’.
A question which for this blogger, a French political analyst, is obsolete. He feels that the current debate should not exist, as in his opinion, national identity rhymes with nation and today the French nation merges into Europe, globalisation and multiculturalism.
Others prefer to address the problem in a more unusual way, like these two French comedians, who post a song about the news online each Sunday. As they explain in this song, for them, being French is all about drinking with friends, being generous and loving their wives.
Meanwhile, on the fringes of this debate on national identity, this site looks into shared human heritage. Many documents are available to net users to show that men, however different they are, all belong to the same big family.
IN MY ARMS
In films and cartoon strips, both heroes and villains often have a beautiful girl who has fainted and seems totally defenceless in their arms. A phenomenon which has not escaped the attention of the creator of this site, where a small anthology of these scenes has been compiled.
Is your boss, your mother in law or your neighbour getting on your nerves? Then let him or her know with a touch of humour thanks to this site launched by a French farmer. Send a box of manure accompanied by a nasty message to the person of your choice. A good way of letting the person know exactly what you think of them.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Although some are happy to go out with friends on New Year’s Eve, others prefer to put themselves in danger and attempt a new exploit to mark the event. This is the case of American car racer, Travis Pastrana, a fan of extreme sports, who carried out a spectacular eighty two meter jump (269 feet) in his rally car. A high risk performance which made him the record holder for the world’s longest car jump.