Well, there has certainly been a bit of a stir about the whole Magma – HS Orka deal while I was away.
The government threatened to implode over the issue, as three MPs from the Left-Greens said they would withdraw their support for the majority coalition if the government did not do something to annul the sale of the Icelandic energy company to the Canadian concern.
Subsequently the government decided to appoint yet another committee to go over the legitimacy of the deal [as you may recall, Magma of Canada set up a shelf company in Sweden to circumvent* Icelandic laws] before it is 100% approved. Even though the previous committee [which was, note bene, made up of people with NO legal training … the chairwoman is an art teacher, with all due respect … ] had already sent Magma a letter saying that it had concluded that the sale was legitimate [to be fair, the committee was divided on the matter].
That committee shall deliver its report in mid-August. If the committee finds that the sale was legit, the government is looking at other ways to revoke the deal.
Predictably, there are lots of people in Iceland wery wery unhappy about this state of affairs, and support for the government has dropped precipitously. The Independence Party [a.k.a. the Meltdown Party] is once again the biggest party in Iceland, according to opinion polls.
Seriously, I sometimes think Icelanders are beyond hope.
Meanwhile, the Grapevine has an excellent interview with old Björk Guðmundsdóttir on the matter. No less interesting is reading Björk’s letter to Ross Beaty, Magma’s CEO, in which she details Magma’s misdemeanors in other countries and exposes the company’s subversive activities to gain control of STILL MORE Icelandic resources. Shocking, and both are recommended reading for anyone interested in Iceland and Icelandic affairs.
And the best thing? Ross Beaty yesterday told the Financial Times that he was considering pulling out of the deal because of all the opposition. [Because he’s so hurt and misunderstood — after all, he’s only trying to help us.] I suspect he’s bluffing — but I hope he’s not!
* See? I know what circumvent means — really!