Town council of Garður, located in Suðurnes, has asked Minister of Justice and Human Rights Ögmundur Jónasson to support Dutch military advisers ECA Program setting up operations in Iceland.
A statement from the council to the minister reads in part, “Preparations for this project have long been on-going and would create paying jobs in Suðurnes for some 100 to 150 people. In addition, 100 jobs would be created when construction is complete.”
ECA Program is a company that provides military training and consultation to countries around the world. The Leftist-Greens have been vehemently opposed to the idea of the company beginning operations here, but former Minister of Transportation and Communications Kristján Möller apparently told the Civil Aviation Authority to give ECA the green light to begin work in Iceland.
Ögmundur Jónasson – who oversees the jursidiction that Kristján used to cover – recently 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.
It has been reported that ECA Program is apparently in full swing. They expect to build facilities for housing jets, and have said that up to 200 jobs would be directly created from the project. Fees for the first year alone, Eyjan reports, are estimated to be at 900 million ISK, all of which would go directly into the Icelandic treasury. ECA Program has also offered to assist Iceland with rescue and surveillance efforts, should they so desire.
The Suðurnes region of Iceland has the highest unemployment rates in the country, and was hit especially hard when the NATO based closed completely in 2006.