Published October 23, 2013
Family members of the Minister of Finance may profit billions of krónur from the controversial road construction taking place through the Gálgahraun lava field on the Álftanes peninsula.
As reported, protesters and police clashed on Monday when developments were to go ahead, leading to arrests that a law professor believes were premature.
Although the Gálgahraun lava field was officially protected in 2009, the construction of a new road was green-lit earlier this month, much to the dismay of environmentalists. They demand that developments be put on hold until the Supreme Court has ruled whether they are indeed legal.
Now DV.is claims that when Garðabær drew up the land-use plan of the area, the owners of the land mostly affected pressured town council to go with a plan where the new road would leave their land intact, but go through the lava fields instead.
At that time, Independence Party char and currently Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktsson had a seat in the planning committee, which accepted the land owners’ suggestion.
As it happens, the land owners include Bjarni’s father and two uncles.
A residential area of around 5-6,000 people is expected to rise in the area in the next few years, which the new road is supposed to serve, costing the government an estimated one billion ISK.
The land owners, however, will profit from dividing up the land and selling plots to contractors, which DV.is claims could be worth billions.
Protests Against Construction In Lava Field
Plans To Build Highway Over Lava Field Unchanged