Jóhannes Haukur Hauksson, one of the owners of the land Grímsstaðir á Fjöllum in Northeast Iceland, said he and three other owners are planning to advertise their 72 percent share of the land for sale in the European Economic Area (EEA) in the coming days.
“We’ve had it. We’ve been playing the fool for almost three years,” Jóhannes told visir.is. Chinese investor Huang Nubo was interested in buying the land but Icelandic authorities refused to authorize an exemption from the law on land ownership, which states that only EEA citizens can own land in Iceland.
A holding company owned by municipalities in the region was planning to buy the 72 percent share in Grímsstaðir and then make an agreement with Huang on a long-term lease.
However, for that to happen, an exemption from the law is needed which has yet to be acquired. “It wasn’t rejected but the government stated the law had to be reviewed. The committee [established to review the law] has delivered its conclusions to the minister of the interior, who has had it for three weeks but we haven’t heard anything,” Jóhannes maintained.
He revealed that interested buyers from the EEA have already contacted the landowners.
The Icelandic state owns 23 percent of Grímsstaðir and some private parties the remainder of the land.