Interior Minister Wants Nubo's Lease Nullified

27.7.2012
Words by Paul Fontaine
Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson has come to the decision to convince the government to nullify Chinese entrepreneur Huang Nubo's land lease.

As reported, Huang Nubo originally wanted to buy Grímsstaðir á Fjöllum, comprising about 30,639 hectares in northeast Iceland, for the development of a resort. However, Icelandic law forbids foreigners from purchasing property, and so an agreement was made that he could lease the land instead.

However, Huang Nubo told reporters in Beijing recently that he also was given the option to rent the land for another 40 years at the lease's conclusion. In addition, he said he plans to build 100 villas "mostly for wealthy Chinese", with "the remaining about 300 square kilometers of land will be developed into a mountain park that provides services like hiking, horseback riding and hang gliding to tourists around the globe".

Ögmundur has already expressed displeasure with the revelation, saying, "We're not talking about some shop by Jökullsá river. If people can rent land for this length of time, it becomes more or less equivalent to land ownership." Vísir now reports that Ögmundur plans to go all the way - he wants Huang Nubo's lease terminated.

Ögmundur points out that while foreign investment is important to Iceland, the country needs to be more cautious when it comes to how large nations practice business here, saying that "we as a nation and a government need to watch out for our interests in the future".

Ögmundur will introduce the measure to recall on Tuesday.

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