Confusion Surrounds ECA Program Deal - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Confusion Surrounds ECA Program Deal

Published September 6, 2010

Numerous conflicting stories surround Dutch military consultancy firm ECA Program’s relationship with Iceland, many of which are related to former Minister of Transport and Communications Kristján Möller.
Initially, it was reported that Kristján had, as his last official function, informed ECA Program that they were now formally welcome to begin operations in Iceland. This sparked outrage among leftists within the Icelandic government. Kristján, for his part, denied having done anything of the sort.
However, ECA Program wrote on their website that Kristján had, in fact, approved the sale, the company stating in part, “Christian L. Möller, public transportation and local minister has ordered the Icelandic Civil Aviation Authorities to start the registration process of E.C.A. aircraft, that are slated to arrive on the island in due time. E.C.A. welcomes and is thankfull for the approval given by the Icelandic Cabinet and is looking forward to working intensively with the ICAA and Gov‘t authorities in the months to come.”
Kristján contends that he met with party chairmen last Tuesday, and at the end of the meeting, came to the conclusion that they had given the green light for the company. He then sent a letter to the Icelandic Civil Aviation Authorities, telling them to proceed with the registration process.
Minister of Finance and Leftist-Green Party chairman Steingrímur J. Sigfússon told reporters that the purpose of the meeting was solely to answer technical and logistical questions about the types of flying that ECA Program wants to conduct in Iceland. Steingrímur added that Kristján took it upon himself “to go farther than that, and sent a recommendation to the Icelandic Civil Aviation Authorities to begin registration.”
Regardless, the matter is now under the supervision of the new Minister of the Interior, Ögmundur Jónasson. Ögmundur represents “the old guard” of the Leftist-Greens, and is decidedly anti-militarist. Speaking to radio station Bylgjan, he said that his main concern was whether or not “the work [ECA Program does] is in harmony with the government position on a peaceful foreign policy”, adding that very little is known about the work ECA Program actually conducts.
In the meantime, ECA Program will have to wait before setting up shop in Iceland.

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