Wealthy Individuals Seeking To Buy Icelandic Citizenship

Words by

Published March 31, 2011

Ten people promising to invest millions in Iceland’s renewable energy field have applied for citizenship directly with parliament. The reaction from within parliament has been one of both bewilderment and suspicion.
The ten individuals are apparently from outside the Schengen area. By Icelandic law, this would normally mean they would need to live here, work, not leave the country for more than six months at a time and remain a resident of Iceland for seven years before they could even qualify for citizenship. However, Iceland has made exceptions in the past for those applying directly to parliament – most notably with certain athletes and Bobby Fischer.
These ten individuals, however, have said that they intend to invest millions in the country if they are granted citizenship, Eyjan reports. Róbert Marshall, chairman of the parliamentary general committee – which handles citizenship requests – told Kastljósið that while he would not comment on these specific applications, he does believe that the government should examine whether or not the promise of citizenship could be used to attract professionals and investors.
Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson, however, quite bluntly told RÚV that “citizenship is not for sale”, adding, “It is my opinion that Icelanders should tread carefully when old Mammon is about.”
There is in fact apparently an entire philosophy around why these ten are trying to entice the government with cash in order to get citizenship. The lawyer representing the group, David Lesperance, has a website outlining this philosophy. In one article, he writes in part, “Many countries having a heavy reliance on a tiny percentage of its members for funding, job creation and creative capital. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that that there will be a major restructuring amongst Nation States and other forms of Collectives in the early part of the 21st century as these Golden Geese reconfigure their relationships with these entities. Will Nation States recognize the need for a new deal with their Golden Geese before their departure causes that Nation State to join many other collectives in the dustbin of history?”
For her part, Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir says she has worries and suspicions about the applicants. Their cases are currently at the parliamentary general committee pending review.



News
<?php the_title(); ?>

US Embassy Delivers Protesters’ Message To Washington

by

The US Embassy in Iceland says they have received the written statement from protesters who oppose the Gaza attacks, and “have delivered this message back to appropriate colleagues in Washington”. As reported, protesters assembled in front of the US embassy yesterday, in opposition to US support for Israel while the attacks on Gaza continue. Vísir reports that some 2,000 people attended the protests, and delivered a written statement to embassy officials. The statement, addressed to US President Barack Obama, called upon US authorities to put an end to Israel’s use of force against Gaza. Today, the US embassy posted a

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Interior Minister Responds To Official Inquiry

by

Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir met with the former Commissioner of the Capital Area Police four times during police investigations of her ministry, but denies she ever tried to exert influence. These acts may put her on shakey ground with members of her own party. In a statement posted on the ministry’s website, Hanna Birna has responded to a formal request from Parliamentary Ombudsman Tryggvi Gunnarsson regarding news that Hanna Birna had allegedly told then Commissioner of the Capital Area Police Stefán Eiríksson, both in person and over the phone, that she was unhappy with how investigations of

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Social Affairs Minister Worried About Immigrant Children

by

Minister of Housing and Social Affairs Eygló Harðardóttir said she is worried about second- and third-generation children of immigrants, saying that they are in danger of becoming isolated. RÚV reports that her ministry is also concerned about immigrants on the rental market. “We are very worried about the status of immigrants on the real estate market, as it relates to overall integration into Icelandic society,” she told reporters. “Language comprehension is also important, in order to ensure that the children of immigrants can finish primary school, continue to secondary school, and then decide to learn a trade or go to

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Minister Promises Law Against Racial Discrimination

by

Welfare Minister Eygló Harðardóttir has announced that, come next fall, the Ministry intends to propose legislation against racial discrimination. This was reported by RÚV. According to RÚV, ‘the notion of equal rights’ will thereby be ‘extended, making it also apply to race and people’s place of origin’. The Minister is quoted as saying that ‘what we have in mind, first and foremost, is for people to have a way through the state apparatus, to verify whether they have been discriminated against or not.’ The legislation will apply, it is reported, ‘both within and outside the job market’. ‘Of course discrimination

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Icelandic Passenger Fixes Plane

by

Disappointed with the delay of his flight from Spain, Icelander Davíð Aron Guðnason decided to take matters into his own hands by fixing the plane’s engine, reports Vísir. There were no flight mechanics available when the delay of Davíð’s plane from Spain to Iceland was announced. It was likely that all 180 passengers would have to spend the night at a hotel while the issue was dealt with. Incidentally, Davíð is a flight mechanic by trade and offered to help fix the plane so that it could leave. “I spoke to the pilot, who put me in touch their flight mechanic

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

No Horse In Our Beef

by

A comprehensive round of testing of beef products across Europe has revealed almost no traces of horse meat in Europe beef and none in Iceland, reports Vísir. The European Commission described the results of the testing as encouraging following last year’s horse-meat scandal, in which millions of ready-made beef meals were pulled from supermarket freezers across Europe.  European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, Tonio Borg, has said the results prove that there has been progress following the events of last year.  According to the report, 10 tests were conducted in Iceland but none showed traces of horse DNA.

Show Me More!