According to the results of a poll conducted by newspaper Fréttablaðið, most Icelanders do not want to relax environmental protection measures in order to allow more heavy industry, such as aluminum smelters, even if it would mean more jobs.
57.7% said they were against the lowering of any environmental policies for the sake of heavy industry, while 42.3% were in favor. If the data is looked at party by party, the differences become more apparent.
62% of Progressives and 69% of conservatives (Independence Party) were in favor of easing environmental regulations for heavy industries. On the other hand, only 29% of Social Democrats supported easing such regulations, as did merely 12% of Leftist-Greens.
About 40% of those who took part did not want to disclose their political affiliations. Of these people, 62% were against easing environmental regulations, while 38% supported it.
The poll comes at a time when unemployment is nearing 10%, and the aluminum company Alcan wants to hold another public referendum on increasing the size of their Hafnarfjörður plant.