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Proposal to Move State Companies out of Capital

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Proposal to Move State Companies out of Capital

Bjarni Benediktsson and Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson

Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson (right) and Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktsson, who chairs the Independence Party. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Prime Minister of Iceland Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson called the government to a meeting last Friday afternoon on short notice to discuss a proposal from Norðvesturnefndin (The Northwest Committee) about creating jobs in Northwest Iceland.

According to ruv.is, the meeting took two hours and the ministers of the Independence Party (which is in coalition with the PM’s Progressive Party) were not happy about the proposal, including moving the offices and fleet of the Icelandic Coast Guard to the Skagafjörður region and the head office of RARIK (Iceland State Electricity) to Sauðárkrókur, which has a population of 2,567.

The proposal also included building a big data center in Blönduós, population 798.

The move and operation of the institutions in Northwest Iceland may cost Icelandic taxpayers hundreds of ISK millions (ISK 100 million = USD 796,000, EUR 647,000).

The government is also planning a controversial move of the Directorate of Fisheries from Reykjavík to Akureyri.

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