Over 16,000 Icelanders have signed a petition demanding the government ultimately reject Magma Energy’s purchase of HS Orka. In addition, the petition also calls for a national referendum on laws on the sale natural resources.
The petition can be found at orkuaudlindir.is, where it is also possible to sign. Listing your kennitala is required, in order to prevent false signatures.
Björk Guðmundsdóttir has of late been engaging with Magma Energy, deflecting their public relations spin. Most recently, Magma has accused Björk of spreading falsehoods about the company, with Ásgeir Margeirsson, the director of Magma in Iceland, telling reporters that claims Björk has made that Magma Energy intends to buy up more power companies in Iceland are untrue. Magma Energy is only interested in HS Orka, he said, and nothing more. Björk has since clarified that she had been misquoted by the AFP, while pointing out that Magma Energy “had shown interest in Hrunamannaafrétt, Öræfum, Reykjahlíð, Vogum, Bjarnarflagsvirkjun, Kerlingafjöllum and Krísuvík [all of which are places of geothermal activity]”.
Magma Energy is currently being investigated by a committee put together by the Prime Minister, who are examining the legality of the Canadian company’s use of a Swedish puppet company to get around Icelandic investment laws. Magma CEO Ross Beaty recently told the Financial Times, “We do not want to walk away. But we have shareholders who are getting pretty frustrated with what’s happening.” He added that he thought Icelanders would welcome Magma Energy with open arms in these hard financial times, and was surprised that people appeared resistant to a private company owning the a portion of the nation’s natural resources. “We are being made a scapegoat for all the bad business practices leading up to the financial meltdown and the tremendous fear and mistrust it created,” he said.