An aluminum smelter in Hafnarfjörður that lost a referendum in 2007 to increase in size wants another referendum to be held.
By town law, a referendum can be held if at least one-fourth the residents petition for one. Alcan spokesperson Ólafur Teitur Guðnason told Vísir, “[The petition] is over with a satisfactory number of signatures, and I believe the rules state that this can go to referendum now.”
Bjarki Jóhannesson, the section manager of planning and construction for Hafnarfjörður, has been a conduit of sorts between town officials and Alcan. While he was not available for comment, Alcan Iceland director Rannveig Rist said she would absolutely like to see a new referendum.
The 2007 referendum was a contentious one. Held during a parliamentary election year, both conservatives and environmentalists alike motivated around the issue. When the expansion was voted down, allegations of voter fraud were brought up by conservatives. An investigation quickly found no substance to the charges, but strong feelings on both sides remain.
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