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Bill Proposes Allowing Yearly Financial Statements in English

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Bill Proposes Allowing Yearly Financial Statements in English

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The new bill allows companies to post their yearly financial statements in English without a previously required exemption. Photo: Wikipedia.

A bill proposed by the Minister of Industry will allow companies in Iceland to release their yearly financial statements in English, RÚV reports. Companies previously had to ask for an exemption to release their yearly financial statement in English. Some claim the bill would be a blow for the Icelandic language while companies believe the bill should go even further.

Companies believe that the bill doesn't go far enough, as they believe they shouldn't be forced to translate the yearly statement to Icelandic. A committee on the Icelandic language, however, believes that a momentary profit should not outweigh the Icelandic language. "It should be clear to everybody that it's costly to be a small nation but a momentary profit should never cost the Icelandic language", said in the statement from the Icelandic language committee.

A comment on the bill was signed by the directors of CCP, Icelandair, Össur, as well as the CEOs of Icelandic Chamber of Commerce and the Icelandic Stock Exchange. The comment states that the signees lament that their suggestions were not heeded when the bill was crafted. The companies' directors believe that it should be sufficient to explain the yearly financial statement in Icelandic at a yearly meeting or a stockholders meeting.

Furthermore, the companies believe that releasing the statements in English poses no threat to Icelandic as nine out of ten Icelanders understand English. They believe that authorities are putting heavy restrictions on the companies, which reduces the competitiveness of Icelandic business life, and could lead to staff and companies seeking greener pastures in the near future. They believe that the cost from translating the yearly financial statement to Icelandic from English could run in millions of Icelandic kronas.

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