From Iceland — Leftist Green MPs Tried to Bring HS Orka Into Public Ownership

Leftist Green MPs Tried to Bring HS Orka Into Public Ownership

Published May 25, 2010

Many Leftist-Greens are angry over Canadian energy company Magma Energy’s takeover of 98% of HS Orka, Iceland’s third largest power company – enough for many to have resigned from the party, contends one MP. The party tried to bring HS Orka into public ownership last autumn, but the Social Democrats were against it, contends another MP.
Leftist-Green MP Lilja Mósesdóttir told reporters that many members of her party have been so angry at what they’ve seen as feet-dragging and missed opportunities in blocking Magma Energy’s purchase of HS Orka that they’ve resigned from the party altogether.
However, another Leftist-Green MP, Árni Þór Sigurðsson, pointed out that the party had actually initiated steps to bringing HS Orka into public ownership last fall, but that the management hadn’t been ready to take that step at that time. He added furthermore that Leftist-Green ministers wanted to pass an emegency law to stop this sale last fall, but that the Social Democrats had been against the move. As the Progressives and the Independence Party would likely be against the move as well, the chances of bringing HS Orka into public ownership were nill.
Árni Þór’s comments make an interesting contrast with what Minister of Industry (and Social Democrat) Katrín Júlíúsdóttir had to say shortly after the sale was announced: that the Independence Party and the Progressives were the ones who privatized the energy companies in the first place, so whether they’re owned by a Canadian company or an Icelandic one makes little difference.

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