Parliament Speaker Receives Foreign Guests

On 12 May 2023 His Excellency Birgir Armannsson, Speaker of the Icelandic Parliament, received the foreign speakers and guests at an international conference held the same day by the University of Iceland on the occasion of the retirement of Hannes H. Gissurarson, Professor of Politics, who turned seventy in February. The Speaker recalled that the Icelandic Parliament, Althingi, was established in 930 and is thus one of the oldest legal assemblies in the world still existing. Althingi originally convened once each summer at Thingvellir, about 45 km from Reykjavik, but it was in 1844 moved to Reykjavik. For her first three hundred years, Iceland was an independent Commonwealth, but in 1262 the Icelanders became subjects of the Norwegian and later (in 1380) the Danish king. The Speaker told the guests about the peaceful Icelandic struggle for independence led by historian Jon Sigurdsson whose statue stands in front of Parliament House. The struggle ended with the Danes granting sovereignty to Iceland on 1 December 1918, although the country remained in a personal union with the Danish king until 1944. The Speaker also provided a short overview of Icelandic politics and the composition and policies of the present government, a coalition between the centre-right Independence Party, the rural-based Progressive Party and the Left Greens.

First row from left: Britt Schier, Dr. Barbara Kolm, Her Exc. Gabriela von Habsburg, His Exc. Speaker Armannsson, Professor Hannes H. Gissurarson, Maksymilian Woroszylo. Second Row: Professor Stephen Macedo, Professor Bruce Caldwell, Yana Hrynko, Dr. Neela Winkelmann, Leslie Caldwell. Third row: Dr. Tom Palmer, Robert Tyler.

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