Björk Protests Iceland Energy Sale

Björk has returned to her Reykjavik homeland to help halt the sale of an Icelandic power company to Canada’s Magma Energy. From bjork.com:

Within two weeks time the Icelandic Government is due to sign the contract that gives Magma Energy Sweden Ab the exclusive rights to exploit the Icelandic energy resources for the next 65 years, renewable for other 65 years!

On Tuesday 13th July a Formal Proposal was submitted to the Public Representative of the Icelandic Parliament, signed by Björk Guðmundsdóttir, Jon Thorisson (the Icelandic assistant to Eva Joly) and the writer Oddny Eir. This Proposal, concerning the sale of Iceland’s natural resources to the company Magma Energy, aims to initiate an open discussion and encourage reconsideration of this sale, ensuring that the interests of the public are being protected and that clarification is achieved on all aspects of this decisive case concerning the future of Iceland.

In addition to the Proposal, Björk Guðmundsdóttir, Jon Thorisson and Oddny Eir have also put forward several questions they feel must be asked by the government, by the parliament and by the public before this business exchange can continue.

Prior to a press conference and private performance held a few hours ago, the singer explained her position in an e-mail to The Financial Times:

Until recently, she wrote, geothermal power was considered “the property of the nation” – a public good that helped offset the challenges of Iceland’s precarious location atop one of the world’s most active geological faults on the edge of the Arctic Circle.

In 2007, however, the Icelandic government – then controlled by the pro-market Independence party – decided to sell its stake in HS Orka to a private company with connections to some of the notorious “Icelandic oligarchs” behind the country’s ill-fated banks. After the financial sector crumbled, Magma swooped in to buy the company from its troubled owners.

“Most people feel this is something the nation should keep,” said Björk. “Especially after the bank crash, after witnessing all the criminal gambling with precious things… This deal smells like the leftovers from the corruption that brought us the bank crash.”

More details here.

[Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present photo by Marco Anelli for MOMA.]

Tags: Björk